Family violence parley

October 27, 1994

With public interest focused on judicial responses to women's issues, most of Maryland's 242 judges are expected in Towson today and tomorrow for a conference on family violence convened by Chief Judge Robert C. Murphy.

"They can't come away without being fairly educated in all the

intricacies and concerns of domestic violence," Judge Murphy said of the event. "I think it's important that the world know that we are looking at this. This is an official function. . . . We keep a list of who's not there."

Judge Murphy said the conference has been planned for a year and noted that all Circuit and District Court judges and court masters who deal with family issues are required to attend "unless they have a good excuse."

In addition to a business meeting and workshops, Judge Murphy said he wanted the judges to hear two speakers who addressed a gathering of Baltimore County judges and prosecutors last January. That daylong program was organized by State's Attorney Sandra A. O'Connor as she launched a new family violence unit. Since then, her assistants have prosecuted numerous domestic violence cases -- winning convictions even when the victims have recanted and testified for their husbands and boyfriends.

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