Follow
Publications: 59 | Followers: 0

Representing Children_ Talking and Advocating

Publish on Category: Birds 0

Representing Children
Lori K. Duke, Clinical ProfessorChildren’s Rights Clinic |University of Texas School of Lawlduke@law.utexas.edu| 512.232.1294
Rules For Effectively Representing Children
Meet with your client regularlyKnow your caseBe a lawyer
Rule 1: Meet yourclient
Why?TexasFamilyCode: 107.001, 107.003. 107.004Disciplinary Rules: 1.01, 1.02, 1.03,1.05, 2.01Because you can’t effectively represent a client you don’t know and haven’t met.
When?/Where?/How?
As soon as possibleAt placement if appropriateConfidentiality and exceptionsRoles/PeopleManage ExpectationsExplain Parties
Interviewing Do’s:
Interview siblings separately&togetherPrivate, but not enclosed, spaceAskopen ended questionsLikes/dislikesChoiceof placement – 1, 2, 3:write this downFocus on Judge making decisionsObserve child’s body languageIf appropriate, tell them about parents and progress, that they love them, etc.Texas Disciplinary Rule: 2.01 AdvisorRole: Sustainclient’s morale, butbe honest.Mustexplain in terms they understandCommonsense: reveal as necessary
Interviewing Don’ts
Question about past abusePretendto know them or their livesAssume to know outcomeCriticizetheir parentsMakepromisesUsejargonGive empty platitudesImproper boundaries
Children’s Top Concerns:
Whenwill I go home?Whenwill Ivisitmymom/dad/sibling?Wherewill Ilive?Wherewill I go to school?
How to explain the system
Use simple language to explain; avoidjargonWho are all these people?Procedural overview IF APPROPRIATESpeakingtojudgeRegular hearingsMotions practice
Babies/Pre-school
Law doesn’t require meeting them, but shouldSleeping, eating, developmental, health, immunizations, addiction issues, attachmentHoware foster parentsactingLovingAttachedWant to adoptAbility to work withbiological family
Elementary/Middle School
Education levelIntelligencelevelChangingschools?McKinney-Vento to keep in same schooldistrictFoster Care LiaisonIndividualEducational PlanARDParents/siblings/relatives/fictive kinMedical/dental issues
Teens
Same issues – medical, mental health, therapySchoolPALCircle of Support16+CollegewaiverDriver’slicense/ID/RecordsCollegeTours/Conferences
ALWAYS:
Have them explain what you told themAskpermission to share information/telljudgeProblem solve for difficult situationsAskif they have questionsGiveyour contact information
Rule 2: Know YourCase
Sources of information:ClientsDocumentsTestimonyParentsRelativesCaregiversOther professionalsOffense ReportsCourt Reports – CPS & CASAFacebook/Twitter/YouTube/internet searchesDon’t fried/connectSearch phone and email
Meetings & Visitation:Go, observe, and advocate
Impressions of parents’ responsibilityRelationship of parentsRelationship of parents and familyClients’ behavior especially if youngRole of AALPlacement and permanency options
Rule 3: Represent Client’s Legal Interests
Does client have capacity to form attorney-client relationship?Substituted JudgmentDirect representationKnow your own biasesDouble check presumptions
Legal Issues
Father’s StatusCCJICWACitizenship/ImmigrationJuvenile involvementCriminal involvement – victimICPCPlacement
Hearings/Mediation/Trial/Appeal
Advocate for clientGet there early to negotiate issuesUse legal tools: discovery and motionsBe independent even if alignedFrame the issues through your client’s eyes
Ideas for Making a Difference
Placement Issues: Standing orders requiring ad litem agreementMotions Practice: placement with caregiversDaycare/servicesReturn and MonitorAdvocate for client’s legal positions

0

Embed

Share

Upload

Make amazing presentation for free
Representing Children_ Talking and Advocating