Lectures & Events

Alec Baldwin and PAS (Parental Alienation Syndrome): Shifting the Paradigm On Abuse
Mandel School for Applied Social Sciences and The Law-Medicine Center, Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Co-sponsored by
The Law-Medicine Center
SEP 11, 2009
3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Mandel Center for Nonprofit Management, Rm. 108
On April 11, 2007, actor Alec Baldwin was taped using highly derogatory language toward his then 11- year- old daughter. After much nationwide publicity about the incident, mostly negative, he published a co-authored book, “ A Promise to Ourselves: A Journey through Fatherhood and Divorce,” in which he alleges he was driven to speak to his daughter this way by his ex-wife, Kim Basinger, because she had “alienated” his daughter from him. He devotes 20 pages to the now discredited “Parental Alienation Syndrome” (PAS).

In this presentation, Judge Gothard will first give a brief history of the Baldwin/Basinger case, leading up to the now infamous remarks. Judge Gothard will show how child abuse perpetrators often use the media, politicians, and particularly the courts to shift the paradigm so that they are now perceived as the victims, and the focus becomes the “alienating” parent, all too often causing the original complaint(s) of child abuse or neglect, to be ignored.

This is often done by “High Conflict People,” especially in contested cases of custody and/or visitation. Contributing to this misuse of the court system is the discredited “Parental Alienation Syndrome,” problems with the Guardian Ad Litem system; “punishment” for reporting abuse; problems with Judges, unwarranted psychological and/or social work evaluations, court appointed “experts” and other issues.
Speaker Information
Judge Sol GothardJudge Sol Gothard
retired Chief Judge
Juvenile Court, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana

Judge Sol Gothard, JD, MSW, ACSW, was elected to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal for the State of Louisiana in 1986 where he served as Senior Judge, until his retirement in 2005 .He was formerly Chief Judge of the Juvenile Court, Parish of Jefferson, State of Louisiana, having served there for fourteen years. Before being elected Judge in 1972, he was engaged in the private practice of law for over ten years. Prior to that, he was a social worker for sixteen years in a variety of settings. He has a Masters degree in social work from Case Western Reserve University, and a JD from Loyola University in New Orleans. He is an Honorably Discharged Veteran of the United States Army.

He has participated as lecturer, workshop leader and keynote speaker for numerous international, national and regional conferences and workshops. His articles have been published in Child Welfare, Social Work, Journal of Independent Social Work, Journal of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, The Practicing Law Institute, The American Medical Association, Journal of the National Organization of Forensic Social Work, Journal of The American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children, Seattle University Law Review, Louisiana Bar Journal, and other books and publications.

He is Past President of the Louisiana Council of Juvenile Court Judges. He teaches at Tulane University Graduate School of Social Work, where he has the rank of full professor.

In the past, Judge Gothard was selected "Citizen of the Year" by the Louisiana State Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers; he was awarded the Alfred E. Clay award for significant contributions to children by the Children's Bureau of Greater New Orleans; he delivered the commencement address to the graduates of the Tulane University Graduate School of Social Work, and the commencement address to the graduates of Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences of Case Western Reserve University, where he was also honored as "Alumnus of the Year" .He delivered the keynote address at the closing plenary of the 1990 NASW annual conference in Boston, which was attended by approximately 5,000 social workers.

Judge Gothard is a member or past member of the Board of Directors of numerous organizations, including The American Professional Society On The Abuse Of Children (APSAC), The American Humane Association, Children's Division, The National Organization of Forensic Social Work (NOFSW), 2000: Year of the Humane Child, One Voice: The National Alliance for Abuse Awareness, Our Children Our Future Charitable Foundation, and the Louisiana/SPCA. He is currently vice-chairman of the Louisiana Animal Welfare Commission, and President of the Council for Family Court Reform.

His most recent publications include: "The Evolving Law of Alleged Delayed Memories of Childhood Sexual Abuse"(APSAC Journal); "Therapeutic Jurisprudence In The Appellate Arena-A Louisiana Jurist's Response"( Seattle University Law Review); "'Truth' versus 'Justice' In The Legal Arena: A Survey Of Judges, Lawyers And Mental Health Professionals"(Louisiana Bar Journal);." He recently taught two Internet Courses on "The Social Worker in Court: Playing Ball in an Unfamiliar Ballpark" and "Child Sexual Abuse and the Courts," under the auspices of the Tulane University Graduate School of Social Work.

He currently presents power point presentations at many conferences and to many groups, organizations and schools. His recent presentations include "Human Abuse/Animal Abuse: Psychological and Legal Implications; The Courts and judges in child abuse and custody cases: what’s the problem?; Conducting Custody evaluations in the best interests of the child: a judge’s perspective; Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Allegations in Custody cases; The Forensic Worker in Court: Playing the Game in an Unfamiliar Ballpark; Disorder in the Court: High Conflict People and Misuse of the Courts, Particularly in Custody Disputes ; The Judge and the Court System in Custody and Visitation Cases: “Truth” versus/and/or “Justice”? SOCIAL WORKERS, THE LAW AND THE COURTS: A JUDICIAL PERSPECTIVE.
Additional Information
EVENT TAKES PLACE at Mandel Center for Nonprofit Management, Room 108; Bellflower Road; Cleveland, Ohio 44106-7167

Free and open to the public. Up to 3.0 FREE hours of CLE credit will be available to lawyers who attend. Please note - Recording in any form is prohibited.

Supplemental Readings:
· Dangerous Legal Tactic
· Warning Signs for Violence
· Batterers and Custody
· Divorce American Style
· Who Gets the Kids?

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