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The Bar Association of San Francisco Appeals for More Statewide Funding for Dependency Counsel

April 5, 2016-- San Francisco --
The Board of Directors of The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) today appealed to the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 5, and its chair, Assemblymember Nora Campos, in a letter asking for additional funding for dependency counsel locally and statewide.

According to 2016 BASF President Michael Tubach, a partner with O’Melveny & Meyers, “The Judicial Council is unable to sufficiently fund court-appointed dependency counsel statewide.”  Thus BASF’s appeal is being made to the budget subcommittee to recommend additional funding to cover this extremely vulnerable constituency. 

According to a 2015 report by the ACLU, “By statute, and because the process is adversarial, California courts are required to appoint counsel to represent indigent parents and all minors in dependency proceedings. The consequences of the court's decisions are lifelong for every member of the family and profoundly impact children. Moreover,’[d]ue to the complexity of dependency proceedings, the need for the court to monitor parents and children's progress, and the need for the court to enforce its orders and ensure that services are being provided as ordered, attorneys often represent clients for years.’"  

Read the full letter. (PDF)