The National Board of Forensic Evaluators (NBFE) is proud to announce its first annual conference at the luxurious Daytona Grande Oceanfront Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida, and you’re invited to participate in this historic event!
This year’s conference offers mental health professionals an opportunity to train with experienced evaluators, attorneys, and an esteemed judge dedicated to launching an elite workforce of “dangerous” expert witnesses.
So many mental health professionals develop the character, skill, passion, and discipline to provide quality forensic evaluations only to falter on the stand. Don’t succumb to the fear of court testimony—get the training and expertise to take the stand with confidence and finesse.
On day 1 of the conference, you’ll learn from a variety of experienced witnesses and attorneys. On day 2, you’ll apply that knowledge by participating in realistic expert testimony simulations with attorneys and a judge.
- List and describe several emerging issues in forensic mental health evaluation.
- Provide expert witness testimony for a variety of family law and criminal court cases.
- Identify and avoid common ethical violations when testifying in court.
- Identify and avoid common “attorney traps” in court.
Day 1 Schedule & Times
8 am - 9 am
Keynote Speaker - Emerging Issues in Forensic Mental Health Evaluation, with Aaron Norton, PhD, LMHC, LMFT, CFMHE, CFBA, CFP
9 am - 10 am
Expert Testimony for Family Law, with Donald Dempsey, Esq.
10 am - 10:15 am
10:15 am - 11:45 am
Children's Issues and The Most Effective Use of an Expert Witness, with Dayanna Lopez, Esq.
11:45 am - 12:45 pm
12:45 pm - 2:15 pm
Complex Ethical Issues in Forensic Evaluation, with Marissa Jordan, LPCC-S, CCTP-II, CFMHE
2:15 pm - 3:15 pm
How to Prepare Forensic Mental Health Expert Witnesses for Cross Examination, with Leonard Ross Esq.
3:15 pm - 3:30 pm
3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
What Every Mental Health Expert Witness Needs to Know About Divorce Law and Testifying in Florida, with Doug Kneller, Esq.
4:30 pm - 5:30 pm
Stories from the Stand: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (Challenges of Expert Witness Testimony and Lessons Learned), with Tom Black, PhD, LPC, CFMHE, CCCE, CFP
Day 2 Schedule & Times
8:00 am - 8:30 am
Welcome and Introduction with Norman Hoffman, PhD, LMHC, LMFT, CFMHE, CCCE; the Honorable Judge Dawn Nichols; Kim Banister, Esq.
8:30 am - 10:00 am
Expert Witness Scenarios and Role Play, Part 1, with Norman Hoffman, PhD, LMHC, LMFT, CFMHE, CCCE; the Honorable Judge Dawn Nichols; Kim Banister, Esq.
10:00 am - 10:15 am
10:15 am - 12:00 pm
Expert Witness Scenarios and Role Play, Part 2” with Norman Hoffman, PhD, LMHC, LMFT, CFMHE, CCCE; the Honorable Judge Dawn Nichols; Kim Banister, Esq.
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Wrap-Up and Questions and Answers” with Norman Hoffman, PhD, LMHC, LMFT, CFMHE, CCCE; the Honorable Judge Dawn Nichols; Kim Banister, Esq.
About the Presenters
Norman Hoffman, PhD, EdD, LMHC, LMFT, CFMHE, CCCE, CFBA, CFP
A man who saw the potential, an innovator, pushing the boundaries to advance the cause of licensed professional counselor in the field of forensic mental health. He had the vision, the success in his field, sometimes overcoming great challenges to pave the way for those seeking status and professional recognition in a field of forensic mental health that has in the past been inaccessible.
Dr. Hoffman had the boldness and courage to create a training and certification process paving the way for those seeking the status as psychiatrists and psychologists have. His dedication and persistence, despite systematic discrimination, made it possible for licensed professional counselors to have equal, if not elevated status in the field of forensic mental health.
Dr. Hoffman is considered a pioneer with his passion and creativity to develop the pattern for those who pursue a role as an expert forensic mental health expert witness.
Today, as Clinical Director of the Counseling and Psychotherapy Center in Ormond Beach, Florida, Dr. Hoffman continues to break through conventional barriers to provide families with the help and guidance they need. But he has not forgotten his musical foundation. He credits music with inspiring his collaborative approach to working with parents and professionals, and he continues to perform and write the jazz that started it all.
Aaron Norton, PhD, LMHC, LMFT, CFMHE, CFBA, CFP
Dr. Aaron Norton is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapy with certifications in addictions, trauma treatment, forensic evaluation, rehabilitation counseling, psychometry, telehealth, and virtual reality therapy. He is the Executive Director of the National Board of Forensic Evaluators, Assistant Professor of Instruction at the University of South Florida's Department of Mental Health Law and Policy, Southern Regional Director and Ethics Committee Liaison for the American Mental Health Counselors Association, and Chair of the Government Relations Committee for the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association. Dr. Norton co-authored the forensic evaluation section of the American Mental Health Counselors Association's "Standards for the Practice of Clinical Mental Health Counseling" and assisted with revision of the forensic section of the "2020 AMHCA Code of Ethics." He has 20 years of clinical and forensic experience at Integrity Counseling, Inc., was awarded Mental Health Counselor of the Year by the American Mental Health Counselors Association and Counselor Educator of the Year by the Florida Mental Health Counselors Association in 2016, Researcher of the Year by Florida Mental Health Counselors Association and Public and Community Service Award by the American Mental Health Counselors Association in 2020, and has been published in several social science journals and professional magazines in clinical mental health counseling and related disciplines (e.g., American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, Psychotherapy and Politics International, Addiction Professional, Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services, Journal of Individual Psychology, Journal of Creativity in Mental Health, The Advocate Magazine, Counselor Magazine, Counseling Today, InSession Magazine).
Tom Black, PhD, LPC, CFMHE, CCCE, CFP
Dr. Black is a Licensed Professional Counselor who has been in private practice since 1998. Currently he serves as a member of the Georgia Composite Board for Professional Counselors, Social Workers, and Marriage & Family Therapists. He also serves as the Chair of the Rules Committee and on the Advisory Panel for the National Board of Forensic Evaluators.
Dr. Black has extensive experience and training in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy, REBT, and DBT. He works with a myriad of life issues but has particular expertise in Grief/Loss, Depression, Anxiety Disorders, PTSD, Impulse Control Issues, Relationship difficulties, and Adjustment Difficulties.
Marissa Jordan LPCC-S, CCTP-II, CFMHE
Ms. Jordan has been in the counseling profession since 2015. During her tenure, she has sought specialties in trauma, crisis intervention, and forensic populations. Ms. Jordan has worked in community health settings, group practice, crisis management in both in-person and telehealth formats. She has served individuals, families, and groups in addition to advocating for her clients’ interests in the courtroom as a subject matter witness. Currently, Ms. Jordan works for R3 Continuum as a Disruptive Event Therapist serving as a consultant and therapist nationwide. She holds specialty certifications as a Natural Disaster Mental Health Responder, a Level 2 Trauma Specialist, and a Certified Forensic Mental Health Evaluator.
Ms. Jordan is currently enrolled in her PhD program at the University of the Cumberlands studying Counseling Supervision and Education, expecting to complete her program in December of 2023. This presentation was designed by Ms. Jordan with mentorship by one of her esteemed professors and mentor, Dr. Gary Patton, PhD. Ms. Jordan’s dissertation is scheduled to be a psychometric study hoping to develop the first objective measure of evaluating the effects of mental providers responding to Disruptive Events in the workplace setting.
Kim Banister, Esq.
Kim Bannister is a private attorney with a practice centering on family law, domestic violence, dependency and probate. She is a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Law Mediator. She is the former managing attorney for the family law division of Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc. (CLSMF). During her tenure at CLSMF, she managed seven attorneys and support staff in twelve counties across Central Florida and was named Outstanding Supervisor of the Year.
Kim is also actively involved in a variety of community and professional organizations. She is the current President of the Volusia County Bar Association and a former Executive Board member. She is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Volusia Flagler PACE Center for Girls, serving for six years, and a past member of the Junior League of Daytona Beach.
She has also served as a two-term President as well as Vice President and Board Member for the Volusia Flagler Association for Women Lawyers, and served on the State Board for the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. She has served on the steering committee for the formation of Sally’s Safe Haven Visitation Center in Flagler County. Ms. Banister is a past volunteer with the Boy Scouts of America and served in leadership with the Girl Scouts of America for over seven years.
Judge Dawn Nichols
Dawn Nichols, Circuit Judge, Seventh Judicial Circuit, DeLand (2014-present). B.A. in Criminal Justice University of Florida (1987); J.D. University of Florida (1991). Former Partner, Law Office of Nichols & Ahmed (1994-2014); Associate Attorney Law Offices of Rice & Rose, P.A. (1994-1996); Assistant Public Defender, Office of the Public Defender, Seventh Judicial Circuit (1993). Board Certified Marital & Family Law (2002-present). Currently serving on the felony bench in DeLand, Volusia County, Florida.
Dayanna Lopez, Esq.
Attorney Dayanna Lopez practices in the areas of family law, personal injury, civil litigation and criminal trial law. Ms. Lopez earned a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and Political Science in 2004, before pursuing a law degree from the same school. In 2009, she received her Juris Doctorate of Law from the Stetson University College of Law.
While in law school, she received the Exemplary Leadership & Dedication Award and the Outstanding Service Award from the Law Student Division of the American Bar Association. Ms. Lopez continues to serve her Alma Mater, by participating every year with the Stetson University Model United States Senate, actively mentoring and encouraging those wishing to pursue a career in law or public service.
Before joining the Politis & Matovina, P.A. legal team, Attorney Lopez interned in Florida’s Office of the State Attorney. She also interned and worked in the criminal division of the Office of the Attorney General, the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court, and most recently, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida. During her career, she has also contributed to several published books and research projects.
Ms. Lopez volunteers her time performing pro-bono legal services for Veteran’s Court in Volusia and Flagler counties along with victims of domestic violence. Ms. Lopez also serves on the Domestic Violence Advisory Committee for the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court.
Attorney Lopez is a member of several professional organizations, including the Florida Bar (2013 - present), Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida (2013 - present), the Volusia County Bar Association (2013 - present), the Flagler County Bar Association (2013 - present), the Putnam County Bar Association (2013 - present), Dunn-Blount American Inns of Court (2014- present), Volusia/Flagler Association for Women Lawyers, the Florida Justice Association (2020 - present) and American Academy for Certified Financial Litigators (2021 - present). She founded the Tax Law Society and participated in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. Attorney Lopez is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Donald Dempsey, Esq.
Mr. Dempsey is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (1987), Southern Illinois University (Cum Laude 1990-1993). He has served in several law positions, including Assistant State Attorney, Seventh Judicial Circuit, Volusia County, Florida (1993-1995); Associate Attorney, Landis, Graham, & French (1995); and solo practitioner, Law Office of Donald B. Dempsey, Jr. (present).
Douglas Kneller, Esq.
Mr. Kneller earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana in 1985. He earned a Juris Doctor with honors from the New England School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts in 1988. He became a Board Certified Specialist in Marital and Family Law in 1995 by the Florida Bar. He became Board Certified in Marital and Family Trial Law by the National Board of Trial Advocacy in 2015. He is the Managing Member of iFloridaDivorce.com LLC, which is a boutique Marital and Family Law Firm specializing in Marital and Family Law matters, comprised of three (3) attorneys and six (6) staff members. He has presented (and authored) Continuing Legal Education in Marital issues for the Florida Bar and private continuing education providers.
Mr. Kneller has been interviewed on national television, local television, and national and local radio. He previously hosted a Marital Law radio show for two (2) years.
He previously contributed to the initial development and presentation of a mandatory parenting class that parents must take during their divorce or other related child action.
He authored a portion of Chapter 39 of the Florida Statutes regarding Termination of Parental Rights based on incarceration during the majority of the minority of the child.
Since 1988, Mr. Kneller has been involved in over three thousand (3,000) Marital and Family Law matters, ranging from representation, mediator, consultation, co-counsel, Guardian/Attorney Ad Litem, etc. There are over ninety-two thousand (92,000) attorneys licensed in the State of Florida, and of the over ninety-two thousand (92,000) attorneys, there are approximately two hundred seventy-four (274) that are Board Certified in Marital Law, and even less that maintain two (2) Board Certifications, which Mr. Kneller maintains as stated above. He attends Marital and Family law seminars on an annual basis averaging a minimum of 15 continuing legal education credit hours every year. He reads every new District and Supreme Court case relating to marital and family law.
Mr. Kneller is responsible for the Appellate Cases of Janssens v. Janssens, 51 So. 3d 1183 (5th DCA 2010), which was the first case in the State of Florida to formally declare that the ability to pay alimony may be determined prior to deducting payment for unsecured credit cards; and Hull v. Hull, 273 So. 3d 1135 (5th DCA 2019), declaring that the relocation statute applies to the parents in addition to the child, and other matters. There are other Appellate decisions for further discussion.
He has been accepted by the Circuit Court in the State of Florida as an Expert in Marital and Family Law. iFloridaDivorce.com LLC maintains an average of over fifty (50) Marital and Family Law matters pending at all times. Mr. Kneller represents Fiancés, Partners, Husbands/Wives, Former Husbands/Former Wives, Fathers/Mothers and Children.
Mr. Kneller’s website is iFloridaDivorce.com.
Hotel and Travel Information
Registration Cap and Hotel Reservations
Please note that registration without payment does not guarantee your slot at the conference. If you have not submitted payment by 9/30/23, your registration will be cancelled.
Maximum attendance for the Pre-Conference Certification Workshop In-Person is limited to 50. Maximum attendance for days 1 and 2 of the conference is limited to 100. A hotel registration link for a discounted room rate of $169 plus taxes will be supplied in the registration confirmation you receive by email. The discounted rate is available to conference registrants for the nights of 1/3/23 through 1/5/23 conference until our 40-room block is full, so we recommend reserving a hotel room as quickly as possible to ensure the lowest rate available.
Parking and Resort Fees
Room rates are subject to a $30 daily resort charge for in-resort services (e.g., pool chairs and towels, wireless internet access, fitness center access). The “self-parking” rate has been reduced from $15 a day to $10 a day plus tax per 24-hour period for conference registrants. Valet parking is available at a rate of $30 plus tax per 24-hour period.
Wifi will be covered for all attendees during the conference. Please bring your laptops/tablets to access handouts/links during the conference.
Meals and Refreshments
NBFE will not be providing meals during the conference. We will provide coffee and snacks during breaks.
Registrants are responsible for their own travel arrangements. The airport nearest the conference is Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB). Click here to access the Daytona Airport website. Click here to access Mapquest instructions from the airport. The drive from the Daytona Airport to the hotel is approximately 6 miles (13 minutes depending on traffic).
An alternative airport is Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB). Click here to access the Orlando Sanford International Airport website. Click here to access Mapquest instructions. The drive from the Orlando Sanford International Airport to the hotel is approximately 53 minutes depending on traffic.
Orlando International Airport (MCO). Click here to access the Orlando International Airport. Click to access Mapquest instructions. The drive from Orlando International Airport to the hotel is approximately 45 miles (1.25 hours depending on traffic).
If you have any questions about booking your hotel room please contact Valentino@nbfe.net or call or text 386-366-5761.
Continuing Education Information
Florida CE Broker Tracking
# 20- 1039928
CE Broker Provider
This workshop has been approved for 12.75 hours of continuing education (11.25 general hours, and 1.5 hour ethics/professional boundaries) with the Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, & Mental Health Counseling and the Florida Board of Psychology.
The National Board of Forensic Evaluators (NBFE) has been approved by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6189. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. NBFE is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.
NBFE is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. NBFE maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
NBFE is recognized and endorsed by the American Mental Health Counselors Association.
Click here for NBFE