• Michigan Law School Professor: Parental Rights Attorneys Too Often Give Up Instead of Fighting

    For the past few weeks, I’ve been reading transcripts from child protective hearings. Hundreds of pages of transcripts. I’ve seen examples of clear legal errors. I’ve read many lines of parents’ lawyers grumbling and complaining. I’ve read even more of those lawyers simply agreeing to whatever the agency is proposing. I’m still waiting, though, to see one key phrase in the transcripts. I’m waiting for one lawyer to say it. “I object.” In fact, in the six years I’ve co-directed the Child Welfare Appellate Clinic at the University of Michigan Law School, I’ve rarely seen that phrase in a transcript. I’ve rarely seen motions filed by parents’ lawyers, even when confronted with obvious mistakes. I’ve rarely seen a hint of outrage about the process. Instead, I usually see very little advocacy. I’m typically struck by the acquiescence of the lawyers in the courtroom.

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  • Michigan Law School Professor: Parental Rights Attorneys Too Often Give Up Instead of Fighting

    WOW, I can not believe it! I have said the same thing. That the parents are getting screwed by the attorneys failing to file motions on there behalf.

    I think everyone needs to file complaint to the AZ State Bar making these statements.

    Every attorney in the family court should be up and in trouble for failing to do the job correctly and failing to report others for the same.


  • Michigan Law School Professor: Parental Rights Attorneys Too Often Give Up Instead of Fighting

    Percy-Blakeney said:

    Sadly, this is why attorneys have Omissions and Errors insurance - negligence and incompetence.


    Some years back, I belonged to a group. The members were all attorneys, judges and court clerks. One of the topics was citing the state or federal constitution. Several times, a few attorneys claimed they "didn't have time to waste on that crap." They went on to ramble about their client's valuable time and money.


    Fed up with the nonsense, I made a post regarding the topic. Of course, the next round of ridicule started. It was with great glee I responded by posting a fresh case site in which a state supreme court stated attorneys had an obligation to defend their client's constitutionally protected liberty rights.


    Many went the "crickets" route, but a couple were big enough to admit their error and stated they would be citing applicable protections from that point on.


    In the years since, I have recommended people provide their public defender with written notice of expectations, and a request for their Omissions and Errors insurance.


    The notices included:


    (1) Making objections (such as when the opposing side brings and issue not properly before the court);


    (2) Otherwise building a record (e.g., introducing relative documents, then "moving them into evidence," citing laws and rulings, etc.)


    In one case, the attorneys ALL found a before unknown conflict of interest and allowed the attorney to withdraw from the case. The court, then, foolishly appointed another attorney from the defender's office, which, also, was a clear conflict, since a defender's office is treated like a law firm and a conflict with one member is a conflict with all. Seven attorneys later, the prosecutor dismissed under a bogus procedural error.

    Thank you this is very important information. Please continue to speak out as an attorney on the corruption parents routinely deal with in family court. The deck is stacked against them. No where to turn for grievances or judicial complaints. In my state alone the state of Tennessee 98% of the judicial complaints to the judiciary are dismissed the 2% that are not our in-house fighting between attorneys and judges or judges and other judges. Not one complaint from a citizen has ever been reprimanded or removed from the bench. I follow a courageous man here in Tennessee doing some great work in the legislature. His name is John Gentry. He is a CPA by day, also an ex Navy seal and in all his spare time a constitutionalist standing up to corrupt judges and the good old boys club. He announced that he is running for Senate and he is also served a remonstrance which hasn't been done in a little over a hundred years. We need more heroes like you and Mr. Gentry to hold these bad actors accountable. Thank you for your great works.

  • Michigan Law School Professor: Parental Rights Attorneys Too Often Give Up Instead of Fighting

    Sadly, this is why attorneys have Omissions and Errors insurance - negligence and incompetence.



    Some years back, I belonged to a group. The members were all attorneys, judges and court clerks. One of the topics was citing the state or federal constitution. Several times, a few attorneys claimed they "didn't have time to waste on that crap." They went on to ramble about their client's valuable time and money.



    Fed up with the nonsense, I made a post regarding the topic. Of course, the next round of ridicule started. It was with great glee I responded by posting a fresh case site in which a state supreme court stated attorneys had an obligation to defend their client's constitutionally protected liberty rights.



    Many went the "crickets" route, but a couple were big enough to admit their error and stated they would be citing applicable protections from that point on.



    In the years since, I have recommended people provide their public defender with written notice of expectations, and a request for their Omissions and Errors insurance.



    The notices included:



    (1) Making objections (such as when the opposing side brings and issue not properly before the court);



    (2) Otherwise building a record (e.g., introducing relative documents, then "moving them into evidence," citing laws and rulings, etc.)



    In one case, the attorneys ALL found a before unknown conflict of interest and allowed the attorney to withdraw from the case. The court, then, foolishly appointed another attorney from the defender's office, which, also, was a clear conflict, since a defender's office is treated like a law firm and a conflict with one member is a conflict with all. Seven attorneys later, the prosecutor dismissed under a bogus procedural error.