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Showing posts with label DR. KARIN HUFFER. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DR. KARIN HUFFER. Show all posts

Monday, December 3, 2018



Dr. Karin Huffer passed away peacefully at her home in Colorado surrounded by family and loved ones on October 24, 2018. Born October 18, 1941 in Pocatello, Idaho to the late Adolph and Jane Pearson and raised in Shoshone County between the towns of Wallace and Mullan. 

She received her bachelors in Psychology from the University of Idaho, her masters in Psychology from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and her Doctorate of Counseling and Forensic Psychology from Kings University. Dr. Huffer was most proud of her advocacy work which drew upon her forty years of experience as a counselor in Clark County, Nevada behavioral schools along with her private practice which focused on the recognition of post trauma stress and the use of ADAAA accommodations as a means of intervention. 

Karin was the beloved wife of the late James ("JD") Huffer. She was preceded in death by her grandmother, Karin Ingeborg Johnson; grandfather, Peter Adolph Pearson; and dearly beloved dog, Hudson. Karin is survived by her sons, Jason Huffer and Jordan Huffer; and dear friends, Billi Gremain, Jorge Medina, and Meryl Lanson. 

Those who wish may donate in Karin's name to Equal Access Advocates Scholarship Fund. The memorial service will be held at the South Florida National Cemetery at a time to be announced followed by a celebration of life for all who wish to join.

Sunday, October 21, 2018


Mary Lee A. Kieman, YMCA
"Domestic violence is a crime that affects people of all races, genders, religions and income levels. It is also a crime that often doesn’t end when the victim leaves the abuser. Taking the step to leave an abuser is monumental for a victim, and leaving is when violence is likely to escalate. The reasons for staying are complicated, which is why it often takes many tries before a victim can leave.
A cruel turn of events often happens after the victim leaves the has had the courage to leaves the abuser: Abusers often continue to assert power over victims by using civil and criminal court systems to their advantage through threats, intimidation, and using legal maneuvers to maintain control. Legal abuse happens whenever an abuser misuses the legal system to re-victimize his or her partner.
Victims quickly discover the complexities and challenges of the legal system. While the system is set up to be impartial, receiving the best representation is often based on the ability to pay for a lawyer. Since abusers often control the family finances, they are often able to obtain experienced legal representation, while the victim is self-represented or less well-represented by legal counsel.
In addition, the abuser continues to assert power and control over the victim by manipulating the court system in their favor using tactics like:
Refusing to agree to reasonable custody agreements or dragging out court battles. Abusers can suddenly show interest in parenting when they had not been involved with the children in the past.
Abusing the right to file motions to keep the victim tied up in court and exhaust the victim’s financial resources with legal fees.
Applying for restraining orders without the threat of violence from the victim.
Refusing to comply with court orders, forcing victims to spend time and money enforcing the orders.
Portraying the victim as an unfit parent and/or making false reports to Department of Children and Families (DCF).
Claiming the victim abuses drugs or alcohol and using this claim against the victim.
“Shopping around” for attorneys, thereby creating a conflict of interest for attorneys and preventing these attorneys from representing the victim.
Requesting continuances to prolong proceedings and/or not showing up to court for scheduled appearances, when the victim has had to arrange child care, call out of work, or pay her attorney.
Not only are these tactics costly, but they also cause additional emotional stress for the victim. In fact, according to Dr. Karin P. Huffer, a marriage and family therapist, the consequence of being abused through the legal system can cause a condition known as Legal Abuse Syndrome, a form of post traumatic stress disorder caused by the continued abuse of power, betrayal, or fraud within the legal system.
What can we do to address legal abuse?
First, we need to continue to raise awareness that abuse of the legal system is a powerful form of domestic abuse that enables an abuser to retain power and control over the victim.
Second, better education and training about how abusers use the legal system to continue to victimize their partners must be provided to judges, lawyers, court advocates, police officers and other professionals who treat victims of domestic violence.
Third, victims of domestic abuse also need advice and counsel on how to determine the best representation for themselves, including interviewing multiple lawyers, finding a lawyer who has experience in litigating domestic violence cases, and finding a lawyer who will take the time to deeply understand the full history of the victim’s abuse, so they can best represent the victim’s interests.
Earlier this year, YWCA Greenwich announced the opening of the YWCA Greenwich Civil Legal Clinic. The clinic, run by two YWCA volunteers who are attorneys, is providing consultations for YWCA Greenwich domestic abuse clients who need help filling out legal paperwork; help with court documents; assistance creating financial affidavits; advice on motions that they need to file; and educational consultation advice on what to look for in a lawyer.
Abuse of the legal system is another “hoop” that victims of domestic abuse often go through to be free of the abuser. Join YWCA Greenwich in raising awareness about this powerful form of abuse and supporting victims of domestic abuse in our community. To provide financial support for the Civil Legal Clinic and the work of YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services, donate to the Purple Purse Challenge at All of all funds raised this month will go to support the work of YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services.
If you, or someone you know, is in an abusive situation, contact YWCA Greenwich Domestic Abuse Services at 203-622-0003. All services are free and confidential. You don’t have to fight abuse alone."
Mary Lee A. Kiernan is president and CEO of YWCA Greenwich.

Sunday, September 4, 2016


John Jay College of Criminal Justice Certifying ADA Advocacy is taking a bold step toward fostering greater empathy and less trauma and stigma in our judicial system.  If you are ready to take on this challenge, please continue to read further!

There is a great need for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Advocates.  The ADA of 1990, the Amendments Act of 2008 and now the update in ADA Regulations of 2016 going into effect Oct. 2, 2016 have put the burden upon institutions to accommodate all persons ensuring equal access and protection under the law.

You, as a Certified ADA Advocate, will be trained to assist the one in four persons suffering from an invisible disability while facing the extreme stress of litigation.  Whether serving your firm, agency, business, or opening a new income stream as an independent provider, you will be a catalyst witnessing your enforcement of federal mandates affecting the court toward fairness.  

ADA advocates are an accommodation that must be near their client as much as possible.  They sit at the counsel’s table, watch their client, and ensure that pre-arranged accommodations through court administration are followed.  The process is confidential and not to be part of the adversarial process.  This act of privacy helps to eliminate stigma.  Accommodations are organized administratively just as elevators and wheelchair ramps are provided, never to be challenged.  The filing for the ADA accommodations is just one of your responsibilities.

You will be apprised through this experiential course of the new regulations.  As an ADA advocate, you will often find you are placed in a teaching role with clerks, court personnel, and coordinators that have not been trained as the law comes to the courts unfunded.  Therefore, ADA advocates often serve in a consulting capacity for their organizations and assist the courts.

Given the knowledge of the litigant’s diagnosis, you will make the difference for many people through filing a request for individualized ADA accommodations.  For example, Galvan, an autistic man, falsely accused of child abuse, and who just automatically agrees with prosecutors, now has an advocate who interprets the questions to him.  Or, Carolyn, who suffers PTSD from domestic violence, used to be questioned by her abuser in court until an advocate obtained accommodations for her.  She now appears in a sequestered room and questions from her abuser must be written for her to answer in her own time, not under intimidation, threat, and coercive control.  Accommodations are reasonable, simple, and usually cost the court nothing. 

Certified ADA Advocates represent litigants with non-apparent disabilities in the justice system and prove to be a real legal game changer toward justice.  I can’t wait to have you join us and hope to see you on October 17.  Any questions in the meantime, email me at .

Warm regards,

Dr. Karin Huffer
Executive Director of Equal Access Advocates
Office:  719-426-9711
Fax:     719-426-9712

Friday, May 15, 2015


Nancy Erickson stated as follows:  In my work in litigation, I see that the fathers would abuse the mother who would then develop PTSD or some other form of mental illness.  The mother would then come across very badly in psychological tests and lose custody.  

These tests are not meant to figure out whether you are a good parent and they cannot really arrive at such conclusions, but they are misused for that purpose.  

PTSD is extremely common among battered women.  If you look at these percentages, there are studies indicating that among women in DV shelters 40-89% have PTSD.  PTSD is not what you would really call an illness.  It is an injury.  The best way to think about it and explain it to the court is that we are starting to learn about it.  Soldiers returning from combat have PTSD.  All of the research money is out there to treat PTSD, not for DV, but that which results from combat.  

There are similarities and also differences.  PTSD from DV is worse, because you have been traumatized by someone you thought was going to love, protect, and take care of you--not an enemy, but a person you trusted.  Thus, your trust in the whole world has gone.  So it is an injury.  

PTSD is defined in the DSM-5 as follows:

1.  You had to have had a trauma; 

2. you have to have the requisite numbers and kinds of symptoms, i.e. one or more--sort of like a restaurant menu in a Chinese restaurant:

A. intrusive thoughts--nightmares of the abuse, flashbacks or dissociative reactions, not a memory, an oh my God, I am back there again, distress at exposure to external or internal cues regarding what happen, physiological reactions to external or internal cues; 

B. avoidance, avoidance of thoughts and feelings of this event, avoidance of external reminders: people, places, activities, objects; 

C.  negative changes in cognition/mood, can't remember something that happened, change from before to afterwards, loss of trust, distorted thought like blaming yourself, anger, feelings of detachment or estrangement from others, memory problems, and persistent inability to experience positive emotions; 

D.  changes in arousal or reactivity such as exaggerated startle response, hypervigilance, problems with concentration, sleep disturbances, suicidal behavior or ideation.  

I sometimes like to give the Court the following analogy if they are considering taking a mother's children away from her based upon PTSD.  What if the abuser had taken a sledgehammer and crippled the mother for life because he destroyed her knees and now she can't walk.  Then he comes to court and says, your honor, she can't even walk how can she be a parent?  Yet he caused this problem!  

This is not something is biochemical; this is an injury caused by the perpetrator and will stop once the constant abuse is over.  Are these symptoms always at play?  No.  You have PTSD, but it isn't triggered all the time, only when in Court or facing the abuser, or having to see him in court.  In other words, PTSD is often episodic, which is covered under the ADA.  

Jane Doe mentioned requesting breaks, obtaining reduced price transcripts, pencil and paper to take notes on the stand, breaks, etc. as her accommodations under the ADA.  The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 has expanded and extended the civil rights of people with disabilities.  

Dr. Karin Huffer began her presentation taking note of Jane Doe's situation.  She has broken heart syndrome where the pressure of family court has caused her heart attacks.  

If you are in a situation like Jane Doe, says Dr. Karin Huffer, the first thing to note is:  1.  You are not crazy; 2.  You are not alone; 3. You have rights under the ADA.  

The ADA empowers us with a powerful federal tool so that victims of DV can stand up for themselves.  Family courts are a maze where you can end up being abused more because your abuser controls family court the same way he controlled the family.  

In this situation, the ADA can help you.  For instance, you can obtain accommodations under the ADA to undergo a deposition in writing in your own time rather than being put on the spot in an oral deposition.  

It is critical to have a person in your life to address the disability issues when you are in a court proceeding.  

When you request an ADA accommodation, you only have to provide a single diagnosis.    So don't feel you have to provide more than one.  A request for accommodation is administrative; it is confidential and does not belong under discussion in court.  

Federal Court also has to comply with the ADA as well even though they will deny that.  And this is why.  PTSD interferes with expressive speech and so without the ADA a litigant is unable to communicate effectively with the court.  

In addition,  Federal law supersedes state and local law.  

You don't file a motion with the judge.  You go to the clerk ex parte.  

People with invisible disabilities often need extra time; they need a stay, they need a break, etc.  People must have executive functionality--anything that takes it away is not lawful.  

It is my view that Family Courts have become a public health crisis and must be treated as such.  

Consider whether it makes sense to have a psychological evaluation which is intended to take your child from you if they find a disability vs. a disability asssessment in order to address the accommodations you need in order to function.    

One trick of the abuser is to litigate you to the point of bankruptcy.  We need to address this issue.  

Finally, we need to train ADA advocates to be in those courts.  If these advocates can get all over these courts like an anthill, they will not be able to do this any further.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014



Reference Desk by SteveLambert - Color drawing. Man and woman looking ...

AN ANSWER – Regain control with a certified ADAAA advocate to be by your side, another brain to pick you up and put you back on track when the verbal cyclones hit.


Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act are often coercive controllers setting “perfect

storms” in motion to remove civil rights from the abused.


The abused say, “The court only made it worse.”  “It wasted assets, elevated conflict, created unbearable risk, and stress.”


Men and women lose their basic civil rights by intimate partner injury. The abused become:


  • financially deprived as the abuser commandeers all assets;      
  • isolated and threatened as the fearless abuser widens their audience bolstering their position;
  • invisible tyranny causes invisible injuries like PTSD which when diagnosed qualifies you for ADAAA accommodations;

  • coercive controllers overpower their spouse as they probably have a lawyer and you are possibly pro se allowing them to use the court as a weapon;
  • character slandered creates false and negative perceptions of you in court and community;
  • afraid to invoke the ADAAA for protection due to the outdated myths that it will bias the judge. cost credibility, or worse, custody of children, the abused confirms the helplessness the abuser feeds on;  
  • frozen in a moment, without a voice, you need a strong advocate to step up on your behalf.


THE LEGAL GAME CHANGER is the ADAAA and a trained ADA advocate 


  • is mandated federal protection for PTSD and other illnesses and injuries
  • traumatic stress is a psychic injury NOT a mental illness
  • using the ADAAA is confidential and not to be part of the litigation

  • traumatic stress impairs expressive speech – the advocate is as critical as a foreign language interpreter for litigation
  • Legal abuses must not compound domestic abuses


Without effective advocacy and the ADAAA you are relying on an umbrella in a hurricane.


Contact:   -  Dr. Karin Huffer -

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


Now taking registration for LIVE ONLINE WEBINAR

Become a Certified ADA Advocate:
Taught by Dr. Karin Huffer
11AM – 2PM MST/ 1PM – 4PM EST
Starts Sept 30 and every Thursday in Oct.

Please visit for registration at
For details and questions e-mail

Expected 16.5 CEU’s and 18 CLE’s, 6 Ethics Credits, approved

by Nevada Bar Association and Nevada Board of Social Workers

Sponsored by King’s University accredited in U.S. and Europe

Tuition $495



Graduates receive ongoing support and updates as to
pertinent laws and empirical research
*Members receive automatic renews of their

You will learn:

ADAAA Federal Laws mandating equal access

Huffer’s 8 Steps for Coaching the client toward self-protection and coping with litigation stress

How to recognize and ease symptoms of PTSD/LAS

How to design and pre arrange ADA Accommodations for clients

How to assist the client during court proceedings

How to be comfortable in the courtroom in the role of an advocate

How to assist the court to maintain momentum and protect client functionality while preventing

discrimination and exploitation

How to assist in grievances if accommodations are not provided

How to protect client confidentiality under ADAAA and HIPAA

When to refer for medical intervention

To adhere to unwavering ethical obligations regarding disabilities in court

You will learn the new process of Therapeutic Mitigation if litigation and mediation are failing

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Level II –

Certified Forensic Disability Specialist –

18 CEU’s

Six 3 hour online sessions taught by Dr. Karin Huffer with selected guest legal experts.

  • Textbook, Syllabus, and Certificate Included
  • Professional listing on website if desired
  • Must recertify yearly
  • Limited partial and full scholarships available
  • Certificates Awarded with court identification
18 CLE’s for attorneys and 18 CEU’s for social workers and medical professionals.

February 5, 12, 19, 26 : March 5, 12, 19.

Cost:  $495 for 18 hours of training

(Includes certificate, badge, textbook, handouts.)

Participants are trained to use ethical guidelines, the coursework included in the ADA Advocacy course, and the Standard of Care. FDS participants do a research project and are groomed to become leaders in the behavioral health professions and legal professions.

Judges, attorneys, paralegals, judicial personnel, experienced litigants, physicians, clergy, nurses, social workers, executives of disability groups, expert witnesses, and others interested in the comprehensive study of the ADAAA usually select the Forensic Disability Specialist designation.

The ADAAA is taught in the context of litigation, invisible disabilities, and practical application given the realities of the judicial system budgets, traditions, and contemporary problems.

If you are interested in taking this course please email us at:

Friday, October 26, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Level I –

Certified ADAAA Advocate –

18 CEU’S
October 3,10, 17, 24
November 7, 14, 21

11:30 – 2 PM MST with the last session being 11-2PM

Participants learn a standard of care that specifies four specific areas of instruction for the ADA advocate and how to promote advocacy as a career choice or complement to another profession.

 ADAAA law
Local rules and laws
Eight-step supportive counseling protocol
Basic knowledge of most commonly encountered invisible disabilities

18 CLE’s for attorneys and 18 CEU’s for social workers and medical professionals.

The Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008-implemented in 2009, along with the signing of the International Treaty for the Disabled, 2009 by President Obama have opened new doors for equality for persons with disabilities.

The purpose of the this course using the textbook, "Unlocking Justice", is to set a standard of care by offering a system for implementing the mandates of these Acts, equalizing public services for persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Participants will become skilled in recognizing, advocating for, and assisting persons with disabilities. The skills are based upon scientific studies of neurological functioning of human beings under stress – focusing on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and other invisible disabilities.

Participants will become skilled at administratively advocating for persons with impairments as they use their legal systems. Ethical obligations, psychological and physiological realities of serving PWDs when under stress are emphasized.

Participants are exposed to legal and social changes needed in order to be in compliance with laws regarding civil rights, disability rights, and social responsibilities of living in civilized cultures.

The American with Disabilities Act is the sentinel law exposed.

Price: $495.00

For more information, click on the following link:

Monday, March 12, 2012


·      Sign up by March 20 and save $50—Course cost is $495.

·      Webinar conducted by Dr. Karin Huffer—702.528.9588

·      Starting April12, 2012 at 11:30 AM to 2PM Mountain Standard Time

·      The webinar will be recorded and you will be provided a key for self-study or review if you miss part of the class or choose to follow the classes on your own time.

·      You will be provided the textbook and a downloadable manual to accompany the class.

·      When the class is completed, you receive a certificate as a Certified ADA Advocate or ADA Forensic Specialist and badge with a serial number. 

·      Sign up at