In Re Gault: Defending the Defenders and the Due Process They Protect

By Eric J. Zogry

May 15, 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the United States Supreme Court decision In re Gault. Gerald Gault was a 16-year-old adjudicated and confined for making an illicit phone call to an elderly neighbor. Gerald was given no notice of the charges, no attorney, no opportunity to cross examine witnesses, and not informed of his right to remain silent when speaking to authorities. The Supreme Court determined these rights apply in juvenile delinquency court, firmly establishing the rule of law and due process.

While Gault emphasized the importance of counsel in juvenile proceedings, the ensuing response from court systems across the country has been mixed. Some states have a mandatory right to counsel, other states still require a showing of indigency from the parents. Attorneys might be appointed at the earliest stages of the case, like arrest, while others may have to wait until after arraignment, even being unrepresented at a detention hearing. Legal representation frequently ends after a disposition or sentence is entered, but what about the “guiding hand” of counsel while on probation or in a secured facility? Are attorneys properly trained, supported, and financed, or does juvenile defense continue to take a back seat to adult criminal representation? These issues and more need to be addressed before the promise of Gault can be fully achieved.

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Juvenile Representation: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow: JJCR Section Annual Meeting 2017

By Matthew Ellinwood and Sabrina Leshore

Have you had questions regarding juvenile law that were left unanswered? Have you wondered what the juvenile court judges deem most effective when appearing in their courtrooms? Are you interested in hearing from youth who are directly impacted by the daily decisions made by practitioners and judges on their behalf?

Well, the Juvenile Representation CLE scheduled for Friday, May 12, 2017 at the Cary Bar Center is just for you!!!  The first 15 Juvenile Justice & Children’s Rights Section Members who register BEFORE May 5, 2017 will receive an additional rebate which will lower the registration fee.

This CLE will provide attendees with effective strategies for juvenile representation from practitioners in the field, juvenile judges, and youth impacted by contact with the juvenile justice system.

Key topics covered will include:

  • Practical suggestions from experienced attorneys handling cases in abuse, neglect, and dependency court
  • Judges’ examples of effective advocacy from their experiences in juvenile court
  • Perspectives from youth who were formerly involved in the juvenile delinquency and child welfare systems
  • A look back at the meaning of In re Gault after 50 years
  • Dealing with stress and trauma from handling difficult juvenile cases

Matthew Ellinwood and Sabrina Leshore are co-chairs of JJCR-CLE.