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Best Practices: Trauma-Informed Processes and Practices in Domestic Violence Cases



This sessio n will explore effective methods for implementing trauma-informed practices within the context of domestic violence cases. These cases are inherently unique and demand an elevated level of sensitivity and awareness. The successful implementation of trauma-informed processes and practices require
understanding of the unique challenges faced by survivors. It will also touch on how to manage respondents/defendants during and between hearings. Additionally, this session will discuss varying court approaches in domestic violence cases and shed light on their potential effectiveness and limitations

Hon. Ron Whitener, Former Chief Judge for the Tulalip Tribes, The Whitener Group
Hon. Ron Whitener, Former Chief Judge for the Tulalip Tribes, The Whitener Group

Squaxin Island Tribe

Hon. Ron Whitener is a founding member of The Whitener Group. In 1994, Ron graduated from the University of Washington Law School and was the first in-house legal counsel for his tribe, the Squaxin Island Tribe. In 2000, Ron was asked to join the faculty of the University of Washington Law School where he created the Tribal Court Public Defense Clinic through which he represented thousands of Native American clients in criminal and juvenile cases. Through the University of Washington, Ron was funded by the MacArthur Foundation to develop public defense resources for juveniles involved in tribal justice systems, including developing model juvenile codes and methods for providing legal representation using video conferencing to rural tribal communities where the youth would be otherwise unrepresented. In 2011, Ron was named a Champion of Change by President Barack Obama for his work on providing public defense to juveniles in tribal courts. While conducting his clinical teaching, Ron also served as the Presiding Judge for the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Indian Reservation, and an appellate justice for several courts in the Pacific Northwest. In 2014, Ron left the Law School to serve as Chief Judge for the Tulalip Tribes, where he participated in the development of the Tulalip Wellness Court, which he presided over for several years, which is the only current tribal court named as a "mentor court" by the National Drug Court Institute. Ron retired from the Bench in 2020. Finally, for the past 8 years as part of The Whitener Group, Ron has led BIA Tribal Court Assessments in Alaska and the Northwest, engaged in tribal justice system strategic planning and improvement, and healing to wellness court development and evaluation. Ron has visited, studied and provided system recommendations to more than 80 tribes in Alaska, 18 tribes in Washington, Idaho and Oregon, and other tribes nationally, providing information and assistance for the development of their justice systems.

Session Materials

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