Thursday, November 5, 2009

Noting Family Lore' Post of the Month

Here is part of the post from Family Lore:

October Post of the Month
The particular source of the criticism that Lucy discusses is a children's guardian, who is quite clear in their view as to how the case should be resolved and becomes frustrated by what they see as lawyers (acting for parents) causing unnecessary delay. However, as Lucy says, parents are entitled to a fair trial too: "For what is fairness if it is not something applicable to all parties?". She concludes: "I think about the kids all the time. How could one not? But then I get on with giving sound advice and acting on my instructions, and put my faith in the court to work out the right solution."

It would be nice if this post were read in certain quarters, before lawyers are insulted in this way.

Reading the original post from Pink Tape makes me think the type of case spoken of over in England resembles our CHINs (Child In Need of Services0 case, but I think the post remains relevant for ounderstanding that how lawyers relate to the whole of the legal system:

‘Don’t you lot EVER think about the kids?
Lawyers understand this whoever they are acting for and whatever their silent views of the merits of their clients case. What some professionals interpret as not caring is no more than our professional ability to take a step back from making judgments about what is or is not worth delaying matters for, and focussing on preparing the case properly so that the judge who has to make the final decision can make the right decision first time round. It is not easy for professionals of any discipline involved in these cases to maintain a professional distance, and it is particularly difficult for social workers and Guardians who are specifically tasked with making recommendations to the court to feel anything but frustrated waiting for their considered views to be acted upon by the court at trial, but the court framework is overlaid upon the social work role for a reason – to protect families, and to protect children. The lawyers are not working against that aim, they are a vital art of the process of getting to the right outcome.

Some cases admittedly look so hopeless or pointless or inevitable that everyone concerned feels that they are going through the motions. But in cases like that I remind myself of the cases I have dealt with where I have found myself succeeding on what I have told the client is a completely hopeless case. That’s neither a mark of my brilliant advocacy skills, nor of my poor judgment – it is a demonstration of the importance of the judicial process.

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