Family Law Section to promote free representation for children

first_imgFamily Law Section to promote free representation for children Family Law Section to promote free representation for children August 1, 2005 Regular Newscenter_img Encouraging pro bono for children by both section and nonsection members will be a priority for the Family Law Section in the coming year.New section Chair Jorge Cestero said his main goal is to encourage every section member to take a pro bono case for a child in need. And immediate past section Chair Evan Marks said the section will also be expanding its mentoring program for nonfamily law attorneys who want to take pro bono family law cases.“We’re going to encourage every member of the Family Law Section to represent a child in crisis on a pro bono basis,” Cestero said, as the section executive council prepared to meet during the Bar’s Annual Meeting in June.“It’s part of Florida’s Children First,” he added. “We have a structure set up and we’re going to be able to track how it works. Our goal is to motivate people.”Marks said the section already has a program in Miami-Dade and Broward counties that has section members mentoring nonfamily lawyers who want to handle family pro bono cases. Now the section wants to expand that to four cities — Tampa, West Palm Beach, Orlando, and Tallahassee — in the coming year.The idea, Marks said, is to leverage section members’ expertise, as each one can mentor several nonfamily lawyers, greatly increasing the pool for pro bono cases.Coordinator for the mentoring project is executive council member Kim Rommel-Enright. For those interested in more information about the project, she can be reached at (561) 655-8944, ext. 265.Besides the pro bono efforts, Cestero said the section is continuing its examination of child custody issues.“We have a task force that’s exploring a presumption of a 50-50 time-sharing for children in a dissolution of marriage,” he said.The section will also be working on a glitch bill for the new alimony legislation approved by the legislature and signed by the governor this year, Cestero said. That provides that alimony can be reduced or terminated for a spouse who acquires a roommate of the opposite sex, who is not a family member.The section, he said, is also supporting The Florida Bar Foundation’s Challenge for Children, where Bar members can make contributions on their Bar annual membership fee statements to support the Foundation’s legal programs that help children.last_img

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