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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Lawyers must have time to prepare for trial or bad things happen.

In a recent C.P.S. case, No.07-11-00511-CV, In The Interest of B.W.F., a child the 7th Court of Appeals rejected our argument that a court appointed attorney appointed to represent a parent should have the required 45 day time period set forth in Rule 245 Tex. R. Civ. P. before being forced to trial. The dissent by Justice Pirtle, agreed that by not complying with Rule 245 the trial court violated our client's 14th amendment rights of due process of law. The dissent also found serious flaws in the manner of notice to the parent. Interesting read. I recommend your read both opinions which I believe can be looked up on the 7th Court of Appeals web site and make up your own mind.  It is great to appoint counsel to represent someone who might lose his/her children, but to give said attorney only 14 days to prepare for trial is like giving someone a gun in  a duel, but not giving him a bullet to shoot.  The trial attorney for the terminated parent did a good job at the trial level.  I was very elated with the justices decisions in: In Re J.M. I thought we would make more progress here to prevent the procedural railroading that has been occurring in theses C.P.S. cases. It seems to me that the majority let the facts of the case interfere with their reasoning regarding a procedural argument.

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