broken fence

What's Wrong With This Picture? (Video: Being Falsely Accused of Child Abuse)

I'm a little torn here. On the one hand, I want to do anything I can to shed light on the epidemic of false accusations of child abuse, and how those accusations devastate lives and families every day in this country.

On the other hand, this video is tied to a commercial product from a "consultant" who seems to be advocating self-representation in false abuse cases, which I believe fervently know is a monumentally bad idea.

I make no judgments and hold/share no opinions about this particular group of consultants or what they do or sell. I have no information on the specifics of their scope of services, nor have I seen or heard their "product."

But as an experienced attorney who has represented parents facing false abuse allegations in court, I cannot overstate this point: Do NOT try representing yourself if you're facing false allegations of child abuse. There's simply too much at stake, and there's an entire well-oiled, well-funded machine moving against you. Don't tilt at that windmill by yourself.

And don't think a non-attorney "consultant" can "fill in" for an experienced lawyer. They can't represent you, by law. They can't stand up for you in court and plead your case, by law. They can't negotiate for you or cross-examine CPS witnesses. You'd have to do that yourself, if you don't have a lawyer.

I also have to quibble with the assertion that, "if you currently have an attorney, [you should] direct him [or her] and make sure he's doing what YOU want, not what's 'normally done.'"

I always welcome client interaction.  It is needed and wanted.  But at some point the client needs to rely on his/her attorney's advice.  After all, that's what you're paying for.

But a client who insists on a novel (i.e., unproven) course of action against his attorney's advice is working against his attorney, not with his attorney. Courts are creatures of precedent. Novel approaches can and are attempted routinely, with varying degrees of resulting success, but they have to be pursued carefully, professionally, and supported by the kind of familiarity and expertise that only comes from actually practicing law in this area.

Caveat emptor.