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Family Law Conference offers in-person, virtual learning opportunities

The 22nd annual Family Law Conference began Thursday, Aug. 4, with nationally recognized speakers providing case law updates, insights, and personal experience to family law lawyers in Missouri. For the first time in three years, family law professionals were able to gather both in-person and virtually for continuing legal education.

Held at the Chateau on the Lake in Branson, more than 300 lawyers attended the conference in person and virtually, which featured plenary sessions with nationally recognized experts on topics such as resist and refuse, the opioid crisis, lawyer well-being, and more.

“Getting to hear from nationally recognized experts in your practice area really is an invaluable experience,” said Garnett Matthews-Campbell, director of CLE and dispute resolution at The Missouri Bar. “It keeps Missouri family law lawyers at the top of their game and offers networking opportunities that practitioners can benefit from throughout their careers.”

The Missouri Bar hasn’t hosted the Family Law Conference since August 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lawyers had the option to attend 30 different breakout sessions, including a guardian ad litem track and a getting your case settled track.


The conference welcomed new and previous plenary speakers, including Stuart Teicher. A well-known presenter and educator, Teicher spoke on ethics and bias issues in virtual settings such as Zoom and Metaverse.

Stephanie Tabashneck examined the opioid crisis and how lawyers and courts across the country are confronting the challenges of managing the effects of opioid addiction in families. Drawing on recent research, she discussed the neuroscience of addiction and provided information for lawyers, judges, and mental health professionals involved in opioid cases.

Shely Polak joined virtually to discuss parent/child problems during separation proceedings. Although there is debate about how best to understand and respond to such cases, Polak highlighted recent research on parent/child contact problems and provided practical tips and tools for family law lawyers and judicial officers.


When not attending CLE programming, lawyers also had the opportunity to visit exhibitor booths. Sponsors such as the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and Soberlink networked with lawyers about their companies and the benefits of their products. 

Visit The Missouri Bar’s Facebook page and Instagram page to view photos from the conference.

Visit to sign up for upcoming conferences, including The Missouri Bar Annual Meeting and Missouri Judicial Conference Sept. 14-16 and the Estate, Trust, & Elder Law Institute Oct. 20-21.