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Social Security Bench-Bar CLE on November 6, 2019


Please join us for the annual CLE Seminar sponsored by the Western District of Washington’s Social Security Committee. This year’s program will be hosted by the Hon. Marsha J. Pechman, U.S. District Court Judge and Chair of the Western District of Washington Social Security Committee.

The Hon. J. Richard Creatura and Hon. Michelle L. Peterson will provide a view from the bench, and speak about practice tips for social security appeals. They will also answer questions from the bar.

Three mental health professionals will discuss the unique challenges presented by social security claimants who have been diagnosed with drug addiction and alcoholism (DA&A) disorders as well as other mental impairments. Psychological Contractor Arthur Lewy, Ph.D. will discuss DA&A under the new mental listings, as well as the agency medical reviewer’s consideration of whether DA&A is a sign of another mental condition.

David Widlan, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who has been performing psychological evaluations for the SSA and DSHS for over ten years. He will explain what is involved in conducting psychological evaluations in dual diagnosis cases, including the different factors he relies upon to distinguish between symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse and underlying mental disorders.

Karen Lizzy, LMHC, is a credentialed Substance Use Disorder Professional who has dedicated her career to working with dual-diagnosed patients with both mental health and addiction disorders. Ms. Lizzy will discuss the unique challenges presented by working with this vulnerable population.

Finally, our program will conclude with round table discussions of hot topics, challenging issues, and winning strategies in social security cases.

Date: Wednesday, November 6, 2019 from 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Location: U.S. District Court, 700 Stewart Street, Seattle, WA  98101; 19th floor Conference Room


The program is free of charge and pre-approved for 2.75 CLE credits. Please register in advance using the following link.
Questions? Please contact