Talk to Strangers Program for Professionals
If you believe court custody evaluation procedures protect children, think again.
Film director (and attorney/mediator) Larry Sarezky, and co-producer Attorney Deb Grover have put together a compelling program regarding the responsibilities of lawyers, judges, mediators and mental health professionals to children of high conflict divorce. The program is designed for presentation to professional organizations of all of those professionals.
The program begins with a screening of Telly Award winning Talk to Strangers the powerhouse new film that portrays the custody evaluation process from the perspective of a nine-year-old boy and his thirteen-year-old sister. The 25-minute dramatic film is intended to lessen the impact upon children of high-conflict custody cases. An original score co-written by multiple Emmy and Grammy winning composer Brian Keane and Sarezky, enhances the power of the film that has brought divorce litigators to tears. To quote Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, “Watch it and learn!”
Following the screening, the presenters lead a discussion covering the ethical responsibilities of professionals involved directly or indirectly in custody cases. Specific topics covered include:
- The extent to which applicable ethical standards restrict the professional’s ability to protect children of high conflict divorce
- Possible initiatives by professional organizations to improve the custody evaluation process
- To what extent should a mediator act on concerns for children of the participants? (This discussion includes co-mediation integrative approaches.)
- What’s true and what isn’t about the eight child custody myths presented in Talk to Strangers?
- The use of film in courthouses and other venues to influence custody litigants’ conduct and institutional procedure
- Talk to Strangers DVD, accompanying Parents Guide
- Talk to Strangers Quick Index & Discussion Guide
- ABA/ACR/AAA Model Standards of Conduct for Mediators
- ABA Model Rules of Professional Responsibility
Larry Sarezky is an attorney, divorce mediator, writer and filmmaker.
During a thirty-year plus legal career, Larry has represented clients ranging from indigents to household names. A cum laude graduate of The Johns Hopkins University and The George Washington University Law School, Larry has served as Chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Family Law Section and as a member of the CBA’s Liaison with the State Courts Committee, a think-tank of judges and leading Connecticut lawyers.
Larry has also been appointed as a Special Master for two of Connecticut’s judicial districts and for the State’s Regional Family Trial Docket. He is a member of The Family Law Section of The American Bar Association and The Association of Conflict Resolution. Larry has written numerous articles on divorce law and procedure, and is currently writing on consumer guides on the subject. His articles have appeared in The Connecticut Lawyer magazine as well as newspapers throughout Connecticut. In 2003, Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Peter Zarella distributed an Op Ed piece written by Larry for The Hartford Courant to each of the State’s trial judges that helped adopt a court rule protecting confidentiality of financial information in divorce cases.
In addition to writing, directing and co-producing Talk to Strangers, Larry authored its companion guide, The Talk to Strangers Pocket Guide for Parents, which offers separating parents strategies and techniques to avoid battles over their children.
Among Larry’s other film credits are the highly acclaimed short film, Ed Meets His Maker, which Larry wrote and directed in 2006. Ed won an International Cinematographers Guild emerging cinematographer award in 2007, and in 2008, it garnered Larry a “Best Director” award from the Spudfest Film Festival, and was nominated for Best Short Film at both The International Family Film Festival and The Danville International Children’s Film Festival. Larry also co-produced the 2008 short film State of Grace and co-produced and wrote theme music for the 2010 Telly Award winning documentary Wild Horses in Winds of Change.
Deb Grover is an attorney practicing in Danbury, CT. She is a former Chair of the Family Law Section of the Connecticut Bar Association. She has recently been appointed to Connecticut’s Family Law Commission by The Honorable Elizabeth A. Bozzuto, the State’s Chief Administrative Judge for Family Matters. Deb has practiced family law for thirty years and is featured in the 2012 Super Lawyers publications.
Deb has also been appointed a special master in the Danbury CT judicial district as well as the Connecticut Regional Family Trial Docket located in Middletown, CT.
Deb conceived of the child advocacy project that eventually became Talk to Strangers and despite having no previous filmmaking experience, served as its co-producer and set designer.
For further information, contact Attorneys Sarezky and Grover via the “Contact” page on this site.