Cocktails & Conversation



In light of the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus, we have decided to postpone our upcoming Cocktails and Conversations scheduled for March 25th. We are truly grateful for your continued support of our organization, and look forward to rescheduling this event in the future.


The next Cocktails & Conversation!


Join us on Wednesday, March 25th as we enjoy cocktails & conversation with esteemed guests Professor Jessica Heldman and Professor Robert Fellmeth of University of San Diego.

Professor Fellmeth is the Price Professor of Public Interest Law; Executive Director, Center for Public Interest Law, and Children’s Advocacy Institute. Professor Heldman holds the position of Fellmeth-Peterson Professor in Residence in Child Rights at the University of San Diego School of Law and its Children’s Advocacy Institute. Please see below for more detailed information on their careers.

Tickets are $30 for members and $35 for non-members. The event will be held in La Jolla, specific event location information will be emailed to you closer to the event date.

Robert C. Fellmeth is a graduate of Stanford University (AB 1967 Honors in Humanities) and Harvard University (JD 1970).   He organized Nader’s Raiders from 1968-73 and was involved in the early consumer movement, then moved to San Diego, becoming a deputy DA starting the nation’s first antitrust unit out of a local prosecutor’s office and then cross commissioned to simultaneously serve as an Asst US Atty — enforcing federal antitrust law and prosecuting 22 actions.   He became a tenured law professor at the University of San Diego School of Law and since 1983 has held the Price Chair in Public Interest Law there, founding the Center for Public Interest Law and two subparts, the Energy Policy Initiatives Center and the Children’s Advocacy Institute (CAI).  He has published 14 books, 100 articles and litigated in public interest and child rights areas of law involving some 100 cases and 50 published opinions.  He has drafted or sponsored over 100 enacted statutes in California and portions of federal laws.   CAI is the only law school entity nationally with offices in its state capitol and in D.C.  CAI conducts studies and publishes national and state reports on budget and child protection issues.  Professor Fellmeth served on the Board of the National Association of Counsel for Children for 20 years, and his seat is now taken by CAI’s D.C. office director.   He is on the Boards of Public Citizen in D.C., First Star and the Child Maternal and Health Foundation both In LA and the Partnership for America’s Children (PAC) with child advocates in 42 state capitols.  He also serves as Treasurer and counsel to the Board of PAC.   Professor Fellmeth has taught Child Rights and Remedies for 32 years at USD, in addition to clinics in dependency and juvenile court locally.  The Child Rights and Remedies text, now co-authored in its 4th edition by Jessica Heldman, is under consideration for adoption at numerous other law schools.  Seven of his former students are now judges, including the recent presiding judge in San Diego, Pete Deddeh, and the current juvenile court presiding judge, Ana Espana.  He has also taught Public Interest Law and Practice, a year long course focussing on state regulatory agencies for 33 years.   That teaching and advocacy includes the State Bar, where he served 5 years as its “Discipline Monitor.”     

Professor Heldman holds the position of Fellmeth-Peterson Professor in Residence in Child Rights at the University of San Diego School of Law and its Children’s Advocacy Institute. Prior to this appointment, she served as Associate Executive Director at the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice at Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps in Boston, MA. In this capacity, she provided technical assistance and training to state and local jurisdictions, guiding the development of law and policy within child welfare and juvenile justice systems throughout the nation. She served as a consultant for organizations including Children’s Rights in New York City, the Child Welfare League of America, and Georgetown University’s Center for Juvenile Justice Reform. She has experience in representation of dependent and delinquent children in juvenile court as well as impact litigation on behalf of foster children. Prior to law school, Heldman worked as a theater educator developing and teaching educational arts programming for dependent and delinquent youth in San Diego.

Professor Heldman is co-author, along with Professor Robert C. Fellmeth, of the 4th edition of the law school textbook Child Rights and Remedies. She also authored A Guide to Legal and Policy Analysis for Systems Integration and was co-author of the Dual Status Youth-Technical Assistance Workbook and the Guidebook for Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare System Coordination and Integration. Heldman has served on an expert panel before U.S. Congressional staff and presented expert testimony to California lawmakers.  In addition, Ms. Heldman contributed to the development of the 2nd version of the MacArthur Foundation supported Models for Change Information Sharing Toolkit at, and served as faculty for the Information Sharing Certificate Program at Georgetown University and the online CLE program Information Sharing in Youth and Family Serving Systems.

Honors and Affiliations

Heldman graduated magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law and its Children’s Advocacy Institute, where she was a member of the San Diego Law Review and the Order of the Coif. She is the author of the San Diego Law Review comment Court Delay and the Waiting Child.  Heldman was awarded the James A. D’Angelo Outstanding Child Advocate Award and the 2014 Children’s Advocacy Institute Trailblazer Award. She currently serves as Chair of the Polinsky Children’s Center Advisory Board and San Diego County’s Child and Family Strengthening Advisory Board. 


St. Germaine Children’s Charity is a California nonprofit corporation comprised of approximately 300 members committed to stopping child abuse and improving the lives of abused and neglected children in San Diego. Formerly known as St. Germaine Auxiliary to the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation, we assumed the responsibilities of our own 501(c)(3) organization in August 2006.