The Last Dissent of Bridget Mary McCormack

On this week’s episode Bridget Mary McCormack, the recently retired chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, joins us to discuss appellate work and child welfare, and a scathing assessment of the system she was once responsible for overseeing. 



Sex Abuse Suits Pouring in As State’s Catholic Leaders Seek Relief from Highest Court

Hundreds of people have filed lawsuits over older sex abuse claims in California with a "lookback" window closing in December

Youth Services Insider


Senate Bill May Require Legal Counsel for Parents, Children in Child Welfare Cases

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions approved a bill that could provide the first federal requirement of legal counsel to parents and children in child welfare cases, though there appeared to be some discussion of further negotiations on that before a vote of the full Senate.

Vivek Sankaran.


Comfort the Troubled, and Trouble the Comforted

My law students entered my virtual office dejected. Their teenage client had been accused of assault. As a result, he needed to change foster care placements, again. His mental health needs were not being addressed by the child welfare agency.


Albany Must Give Young New Yorkers A Right to Counsel Before Police Interrogations

Last fall, in a cramped interrogation room, a NYPD detective read a 17-year-old his Miranda rights and asked whether he was willing to answer questions. Sitting next to the boy was his mother.


Kids in Foster Care to Have Own Attorneys Under New Arizona Law

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R).
Arizona on Wednesday became the latest state to require that children involved in abuse or neglect cases be appointed an attorney to represent their best interest.

    Vivek Sankaran.


    Michigan Draws A Line on Terminating Parental Rights

    My client in a Michigan child welfare case had already suffered from Crohn’s Disease, which hampered his ability to hold a job and resulted in frequent hospital visits, when tragedy struck.

    Youth Services Insider


    Hawaiian High Court: Parents’ Right to Counsel Starts At First Filing

    Honolulu, Hawaii. Photo credit: John Fowler
    Parents in child welfare cases in Hawaii have significantly stronger rights to counsel as a result of a new ruling from the state’s Supreme Court.

    Vivek Sankaran.


    The Lawyer Illusion in Child Welfare Court

    Too often, judges assume that the mere presence of legal counsel for parents in child welfare court means the system wasn't making mistakes.