Abusive Head Trauma: Collaborating to Prove Child Abuse

On-Demand Webinar: Abusive Head Trauma: Collaborating to Prove Child Abuse 
300-minute presentation 

Join a respected child abuse pediatrician and two experienced prosecutors for a day of training in trying abusive head trauma cases. From the medical diagnostic process when presented with a child victim to working with the medical expert and investigator in building a case to dismantling the defense theories, this webinar will conclude with a panel discussion between the speakers and an opportunity for questions.


Members: $275

Non-Members: $300

If you would like to become a member, please join here!


NDAA's mission to serve and support prosecutors and their staff. In consideration of this commitment, NDAA requires that all those in attendance of our programs currently work in or work closely with prosecution: NDAA invites prosecutors, lawyers and paralegals in local, state, tribal, federal and military government attorneys’ offices. 


Please contact training@ndaajustice.org.

Debbie Feinstein

Senior Assistant State's Attorney

Special Victims Division Montgomery County

Debbie Feinstein has a been Assistant State's Attorney in Montgomery County, Maryland for the past 20 years. In 2012, she became the Chief of the Special Victims Division where she is responsible for supervising and prosecuting cases involving murder, child physical. sexual abuse and exploitation; domestic violence; elder abuse; human trafficking; and sexual assault. Debbie currently chairs the Montgomery County's Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, Domestic Violence Fatality Review Team, and Elder/Vulnerable Adult Abuse Task Force. She is a member of other collaborative, multidisciplinary teams, including the Tree House Child Advocacy Center team and local and state child fatality review teams. Debbie has worked on multiple successful statewide legislative efforts, including the admissibility of other sexually assaultive behavior and making strangulation a felony in Maryland. Debbie has presented on her areas of specialty at international, national, and local trainings, including child abuse training for prosecutors in Vietnam and abusive head trauma prosecution training for prosecutors and investigators throughout the United States. Debbie is also an adjunct professor at the Washington College of Law at American University.

Lori D. Frasier, MD, FAAP

Professor of Pediatrics

Penn State Milton Hershey Children’s Hospital and Division Chief of Child Abuse Pediatrics

Dr. Frasier graduated from the University of Utah School of Medicine and completed a residency in Pediatrics and fellowship in Child Abuse at University of Washington/Children’s Hospital of Seattle.  She completed a fellowship in Child Abuse at University of Washington/Harborview Medical Center. She has been on the faculties of the University of Missouri/Columbia, the University of Iowa, and the University of Utah. Dr. Frasier is board certified in General Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics. Dr. Frasier has served as the chair of the section on Child Abuse and Neglect of the AAP, was on the first subboard for child abuse pediatrics at the American Board of Pediatrics, where she served as chair of the subboard, and immediate past chair. She is currently a member and past chair of the Governing Board of the National Center for Shaken Baby Syndrome. Dr. Frasier is President of the Ray E. Helfer Society. She is currently a Professor of Pediatrics at Penn State Milton Hershey Children’s Hospital and Division Chief of Child Abuse Pediatrics. She is the medical director of the PinnacleHealth Children’s Resource Center. Dr. Frasier has lectured extensively nationally and internationally and published many chapters and papers on the subject of child abuse. 

Robert Parrish

Deputy District Attorney

Salt Lake County Homicide Team

Rob Parrish began his legal career with the Utah Attorney General’s Office in 1980.  Through many years of work as an appellate and trial attorney, he gravitated to the field of child abuse and child maltreatment, becoming a nationally recognized expert in prosecuting cases involving physical abuse and murder of children.  After spending 20 years with the Attorney General’s Office, Rob took a 2- year sabbatical as the Deputy Director of the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome.  In 2002, Rob returned to government law practice as a Guardian ad Litem, representing abused and neglected children in juvenile court between 2002 and 2007.  He is now prosecuting criminal cases again as a Deputy Salt Lake County District Attorney assigned to the Homicide and Special Victim Teams.


Rob presents training for all professionals on a wide range of child maltreatment issues.  Rob completed a 6 ½ year term as a member of the Board of Directors of the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children.   He co-edited the book Abusive Head Trauma in Infants and Children with Drs. Lori Frasier, Kay Rauth-Farley and Randell Alexander, published in 2006 and has contributed chapters in many other texts.  He is a member of the Utah Coalition for Protecting Childhood and the Utah Culture of Health Working Group.  Rob is conducting a one-year mentoring program for prosecutors in the District Attorney’s Office to learn the key points of prosecuting child physical abuse and homicide cases.

NDAA is not responsible for accrediting or reporting CLE credits for this on-demand webinar. Members are responsible for ensuring their state accepts self-applications for self-study CLE credits. 

At multiple points during this presentation, CLE verification polls will be launched; please make note of the verification codes. You will be asked to provide the codes prior to receiving the CLE Uniform Certificate of Attendance. We will save the results if state bar associations need proof of participation. 

Upon completion of your on-demand course, you will be able to access a CLE Uniform Certificate of Attendance for the recording. If your state accepts self-study credits, you can submit this certificate directly to your state bar. NDAA does not accredit recorded content or report on-demand CLE for this webinar. 

Attendees must self-submit this course for approval in their home state. All attorneys are responsible for any fees associated with CLE filing. Attorneys seeking CLE credit should contact their state bar associations for more information. General questions or additional information regarding CLE credit can be directed to cle@ndaajustice.org.


Dr. Lori Frasier will talk about the diagnostic process that child abuse physicians and experts follow. She will discuss the medical approach to and definitions of abusive head trauma as child abuse. Dr. Frasier will also discuss current “alternative” theories that appear in such cases, and the evidence-based approach to these theories and the witnesses that support them.   She will discuss medical facts should be considered before charges are brought and while preparing for trial.



Prosecutor Robert Parrish will address the significance of medical findings, the importance of working with the medical experts from the occurrence of the abuse or fatality through preparation for trial, and the advantages of using state-of-the-art methods for illustrating complex medical concepts. He will also assist attendees in understanding the defense medical witnesses’ claims and theories and how to use the medical experts as potential rebuttal witnesses.



Prosecutor Debbie Feinstein will demonstrate, using several case studies, the legal and real-world challenges that medical professionals, child welfare investigators, law enforcement and prosecutors face when investigating and prosecuting abusive head trauma child abuse cases. She will address common misperceptions and media attempts to distort the scientific and medical basis for the diagnosis of abusive head trauma. She will outline legal and factual ways to overcome these challenges and distortions, including filing affirmative motions to limit the testimony of defense expert witnesses and motions in response to Frye or Daubert challenges to medical testimony relating to the abusive head trauma diagnosis. 



Finally, all three presenters will be available to answer questions and to share lessons and tips together.

NDAA Policy 

NDAA works to provide a safe and secure environment for partners and participants. By registering for this event, you agree to abide by NDAA policies and acknowledge the disclaimer and waiver. For more information on NDAA’s policies and procedures, including our Code of Conduct, please visit our Policies page.


Recorded 10/05/2020
Recorded 10/05/2020 Join a respected child abuse pediatrician and two experienced prosecutors for a day of training in trying abusive head trauma cases. From the medical diagnostic process when presented with a child victim to working with the medical expert and investigator in building a case to dismantling the defense theories, this webinar will conclude with a panel discussion between the speakers and an opportunity for questions.
2 Questions  |  1 attempt  |  2/2 points to pass
2 Questions  |  1 attempt  |  2/2 points to pass
9 Questions
9 Questions We invite you to participate in a quick evaluation. Your responses will help us better serve your needs and improve our programs for all our members. Please note, you will not receive your CLE Uniform Certificate of Attendance Form until you have completed this survey.
5.00 credits  |  Certificate available
5.00 credits  |  Certificate available