In keeping with the ongoing commitment by DVCC staff members to stay abreast of new information and best practices, DVCC attorney Andrea Mancuso recently spent three days sharpening her skills and knowledge with respect to obtaining temporary restraining orders. The setting was an August conference in Washington, D.C. hosted by the National Center on Protection Orders and Full Faith and Credit, which provides technical assistance under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The purpose of the conference was to provide training to advocates and attorneys who work with domestic violence victims in obtaining restraining orders against their abusers, with the goal of enhancing the quality of representation and exploring how to troubleshoot common problem areas. Trainings and workshops were conducted by the host organization, the ABA's Commission on Domestic Violence, DV LEAP, and the Legal Resource Center on Domestic Violence, many of which DVCC staff have contacted in the past for assistance on individual cases. Approximately 50 attorneys from around the country were in attendance, some from as far away as Washington State.
Mancuso raved about the conference, citing the impressive caliber of both the presenters and the techniques they used, especially during the daylong workshop that focused solely on honing trial skills.
"This was, no question, the best conference I have ever been to," she said. "The instructors used hypothetical case examples that were, of course, strikingly similar to what we see working with DVCC clients every day. We worked collaboratively in small groups to come up with creative litigation strategies and then practiced implementing them by engaging in mock hearings."
DVCC staff attorneys and victim advocates in the Stamford and Norwalk courthouses provide information and assistance in navigating both the criminal and civil justice systems. A Civil Legal Attorney in Stamford Civil Court helps victims of domestic violence obtain restraining orders and provides information on divorce, custody, property and other family law matters. DVCC's monthly Civil Legal Clinic also offers assistance on civil legal matters to DVCC clients