2017 Call to Lawyers - Lucas County Juvenile Court

Post date: Mar 9, 2017 6:59:21 PM

March 9, 2017

Calling All Lawyers:

Lucas County Juvenile Court needs the help of the local bar. Since 2014 the number of child abuse and neglect cases being filed in our court has increased almost two-fold due in part to the opiate epidemic our community is experiencing. We need both attorneys and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers to meet the increased caseload. However, additional CASA volunteers will not be enough as Ohio law requires that all child abuse cases must be assigned to attorneys, and children born addicted to opioids are child abuse cases requiring an attorney’s appointment. I am asking local attorneys to serve our community’s most vulnerable children by taking a special, upcoming Attorney Guardian ad Litem (GAL) training and becoming a GAL.

Recognizing the community’s need to get attorneys trained to serve as a CASA/GAL as swiftly as possible, I have approved a two-day streamlined training program for attorneys, instead of the standard required 40-hour training. Additionally, the Toledo Bar Association Foundation has generously supported our effort, and has approved a grant to Lucas County CASA that will allow Lucas County CASA to recruit new GAL’s and to provide a $750 stipend to each attorney who completes the training and meets the grant’s requirements to handle three cases within the first year of service as a GAL. The first case must be taken by the GAL as a CASA volunteer on a pro bono basis, but subsequent cases may be paid in accordance with the Juvenile Court’s normal pay schedule.

This special training is a win-win, as participating attorneys will receive a wealth of courtroom experience, negotiation experience, excellent training, and the benefits of working with an experienced attorney mentor while providing an invaluable service to our community and the children who are in need of our assistance. Additionally, Lucas County CASA has applied for 13 hours of CLE credit, including 3.75 hours of attorney professional conduct instruction.

The training dates will be Monday and Wednesday, May 22 and 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The swearing-in and lunch celebration will take place on Friday, May 26from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The training will be held at the Juvenile Justice Center, 1801 Spielbusch Avenue, Toledo, Ohio 43604.

If you are interested in taking the training, please contact Colleen Schoonmaker, CASA Training Coordinator at 419-213-6781 or cschoo@co.lucas.oh.us. The training application and additional information about Lucas County CASA/GAL can be found at www.casakids.net.


Denise Navarre Cubbon

Administrative Judge, Lucas County Juvenile Court