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NACC Webinar: The Next Level: Appellate Practice in Child Welfare Cases (Part II)
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When: Tuesday, May 5th
2:00pm-3:30pm Eastern
Where: United States
Presenter: Melissa Colangelo, JD and Abraham Sisson, JD
Contact: Daniel Trujillo

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The Next Level: Appellate Practice in Child Welfare Cases (Part II)


Session summary:  An appeal is a powerful tool in the child welfare system. Not only are appeals a means to challenge legal errors and correct wrongs in individual cases, but they also can create broad change by obtaining precedent-setting decisions on wide-reaching legal questions. In this two-part webinar series on appellate fundamentals in child welfare law, the presenters will provide concrete tools and take-aways to attorneys filing and responding to appeals. This webinar series will be beneficial to both attorneys who have previous experience handling appeals and those who have not yet had the chance to do so.  


Part 2 of the webinar will build on Part 1, focusing on the procedural and substantive aspects of appellate practice in greater detail. The presenters will provide tips on drafting persuasive and powerful briefs and dispositive motions, give a refresher on effective usage of citations and proper formats, and offer guidance on how to prepare for and present an effective oral argument.  




Melissa Colangelo is the Appellate Project Manager at Children’s Law Center in Washington, D.C. Melissa handles and supervises appeals arising in a variety of family law proceedings. She works on all matters in which Children’s Law Center presents its views as a friend of the court and is the leader for the organization’s appellate strategy on systemic issues.  In addition, Melissa teams with trial attorneys to develop legal theories for complex litigations. Melissa is also an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Law School, where she teaches co-requisite courses for students involved in externships, and appellate advocacy skills by coaching students competing in national moot court competitions. Prior to joining Children’s Law Center in 2011, Melissa was a litigation associate at Shearman & Sterling LLP and clerked for the Honorable John R. Fisher of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Melissa earned her J.D., with high honors, from The George Washington University Law School and her B.A., magna cum laude, from Brown University.  


Abraham ‘Abe’ Sisson is an associate at Delaney McKinney, a family law firm in Chevy Chase, Maryland.  Abe’s practice focuses on child custody and divorce matters. Prior to joining that firm, Abe was a supervising attorney at the Children’s Law Center (CLC) in Washington D.C., where he supervised guardiansad litem representing the best interest of children in abuse and neglect, custody, and adoption cases. Before he became a supervising attorney, Abe was himself a CLC guardian ad litem. Abe was also assigned to CLC’s appellate project and has presented oral argument in several cases before the D.C. Court of Appeals. Abe is a graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, where he participated in Michigan’s Child Advocacy Law Clinic, representing children and parents in abuse and neglect proceedings. He lives in College Park, Maryland with his wife and daughter.


This event is part of NACC's monthly members-only webinar series.  If you're not a member, click here to join today!


Accredited for 2 hours of CLE in Colorado. CLE approval in at least one state can streamline an attorney’s CLE application in another state. Check with your jurisdiction for details on simplified CLE applications and online/on-demand learning requirements. 


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