Court Appointed Attorney
New York, (month day, year)
1. Since I have not abused/neglected my children, I do not see the need to comply
with a case plan/treatment plan. If one is presented in court, I expect you to
object to it on the grounds that is unnecessary and irrelevant. If you are
overruled-I insist that you file an immediate appeal to that ruling. A case
plan/treatment plan is punishment without due process.
2. I will not accept a false plead bargain or falsely admit guilt. Do not try to
coerce me into a 1051A Admission.
3. Whenever possible I will meet you in the presence of my Family Preservation
Advocate, I insist in his/her presence at those meetings, even at the risk of
breaking the Attorney-Client confidentiality.
4. I am working with a Family Preservation Advocate from Parents in Action. I expect
that you will cooperate with their efforts and fight for my right to utilize their
services. If you cannot, you are required to tell me now and request to withdraw
from the case due to your refusal to work with them.
5. I require you to contest any finding that Reasonable Efforts were made. For
authority see Making Reasonable Efforts by the Youth Law Center, a copy can be
obtaines at http://www.emcf.org/pdf/children_makingreason.pdf.
6. I expect you to object on the record to all ex parte hearings that exclude me.
If any are held over your objections, you must appeal.
7. I will not attend any classes, therapy or psychological evaluations that are
conducted by providers who are not of my own choosing or whose values violate my
principles or faith.
8. I will not sign any releases of confidential information, as it is a violation
of my right to privacy and my right against self-incrimination. You must protect
those rights. If you are overruled-appeal the ruling. You may craft restricted
releases which only reveal whether I can provide safe and appropriate care for
my children and direct all information to flow through you.
9. I demand that any treatment plan that I do approve have a clearly defined
termination point-either a specific time frame or the completion of specific acts.
And that upon the completion of the plan, it is put in writing that my children
are returned and CPS intervention must cease.
10. I demand that you insist that I and my advocates participate in the formation
of any treatment plan as required by statute.
11. Regardless of the fact that this situation is classified as a civil matter,
I expect you to demand that all my rights be protected as if it were a criminal
matter. If the substance (meaning the consequences and punishments) of these
proceedings hold comparable detrimental results as a crime, then the protections
must also be the same. You MUST raise constitutional rights issues whenever they
12. I require you to insist on my presumption of fitness as a parent.
13. I require you to expose every lie by the agents of the state during hearings.
I also require you to establish that these people are biased against me during
14. I require you to demand that my children be returned home. If you don't ask
for it, we won't get it. If it is denied, appeal the ruling.
15. As my court-appointed defense lawyer, I expect a diligent and vigorous defense
to be presented on my behalf and that you competently pursue an acquittal. I am
stating for the record that I am innocent of the charges against me.
16. I am aware that a large percentage of child abuse convictions occur not because
the defendant was guilty, but because the defense attorney did not do his/her job
properly and/or because the defense attorney sold his client out.
Consequently I require that you comply with the following instructions to insure
I receive an adequate defense (these instructions are not negotiable):
17. If you do not believe I am innocent, I require you to inform me of that fact
immediately so you can be replaced by the court. You will request the court to
replace you based on your inability to adequately defend me.
18. If you do not believe you can adequately defend me, I require you to inform
me of that fact immediately so you can be replaced at your request to the court
based on your inability to adequately defend me.
19. If you have a personal bias against me for any reason, including but not limited
to race, heritage, religious beliefs, personality, mental condition, or any other
reason, I require you to inform me of that fact. Otherwise I will expect to be
treated with respect and courtesy.
20. Given the unjust nature of the New York City Family Court System, I expect
you, from the very beginning to put any type of favorable evidence, affidavits
of good character, testimony of witnesses, etc, in the Court Record in order to
be able to win on appeal any and all unjust decisions by the Family Court Judge.
21. I require you to provide me with all options and associated risks so I can
make a fully informed, intelligent decision.
22. I require you to return each of my phone calls within 24 hours.
23. I require you to keep me apprised of the status of my case and any new
developments as they arise. Do not represent to the prosecutor that I will entertain
a plea bargain-I will not accept any plea bargain.
24. I require you to immediately provide me with a copy of any and all paperwork
you send out or receive pertaining to my case.
25. I require you to follow up every interview with me or any prosecution witnesses
with a letter to me explaining your understanding of the discussion and the actions
that will be taken.
26. I require you to provide me with an interview at your office before every court
date in order to prepare the presentation for such court date and plan and maximize
strategy for the prompt return of my Child(ren).
27. As my attorney, I do not give you the authority to sign anything on my behalf,
including any documents filed with the court. All documents will require my
signature along with yours to verify that I have reviewed the document and agree
with it. If I do not understand the purpose and nature of said document, you will
explain it to me so that I can understand it. You will provide me with a copy of
the signed document immediately. You will give me adequate time to consult with
my advocates as to the contents of the documents prior to demanding my endorsement.
If you desire, you can forward a copy of the document to my advocate (insert
advocate/consultant's name) enough in advance for him/her to advise me or you as
to changes or anything else.
28. I do not give you the authority to speak with the judge, prosecutor, social
workers, Law Guardians, or anyone else connected with this case outside of my
presence where I cannot hear and participate in the discussion. This includes
sidebar conferences in the courtroom, conferences with prosecutors/county
attorneys and conferences in the judge's chambers. In the event that I cannot be
physically present I require that I be included via a speaker phone or conference
call, and that you do not discuss my case with any of the principles unless I am
able to participate in and listen to every communication. In the event that a judge
orders you to participate in a discussion outside of my presence, I require that
you decline to participate unless I am present and that you appeal that order
immediately as an unlawful order that violates our private contract. In the event
that you conduct these prohibited communications with the principles outside of
my presence, I will view it as unethical behavior and act accordingly.
29. I require you to object often and effectively during hearings and trials. I
require you to raise appealable issues at every opportunity, regardless of whether
you think the judge will rule against you or not. In the event I am
convicted/adjudicated, if you have raised sufficient appealable issues, I will
not have to appeal based on ineffective assistance of counsel or sue you for
malpractice or file a professional complaint against you. Such issues include the
use of hearsay evidence, speculation, manufactured diagnoses by unqualified
witnesses, violations of due process based on constitutional issues, violations
of constitutional rights, improper jury instructions, introduction of evidence
that you have not had the opportunity to examine, et.al.
30. I require you to contest the validity of psychological evaluations. They have
less scientific basis for validity than a polygraph does, and I require you to
challenge it under Daubert or Fry depending on the state we are in.
31. I require you to diligently attempt to impeach all prosecution witnesses. I
require you to diligently examine all prosecution evidence and witnesses prior
to trial, and use your findings or the findings of my advocates to impeach them.
32. I require you to present expert witnesses and other witnesses who can benefit
33. I require you to consult with: (fill in you consultants/experts names & phone
34. I require you to follow the instructions given to you by these people-they
are expert consultants in this area and have the knowledge that will help you defend
me. These people have already agreed to be expert witnesses on my behalf and I
expect you to utilize them effectively in my defense.
35. I demand the right to face my accuser. I require you to demand that the alleged
child witness be available to testify in court and that our experts be allowed
to examine her prior to trial I require you to obtain all of her medical records,
psychological records, social services records, etc. Be aware that they will not
fully disclose all information under services records, etc. Be aware that they
will not fully disclose all information under discovery and you will have to fight
for it. I require that this child'd background be admitted into evidence as well
as the findings of our experts' examinations of her-both medical and psychological.
It is not your job to say this can't be done, it is your job to find a way to do
36. I demand a Taint Hearing-to determine if the child's testimony has been tainted
by improper interview techniques such as being asked leading questions, use of
anatomically correct dolls, etc. or if he/she has been coached to make a false
disclosure against me when it really was another person who abused him/her, etc.
this will be used to exclude tainted elements of his/her statements from testimony
during trial. If you do not understand what a taint hearing is or how to effectively
use it, contact (insert advocate/consultant's name) for advice.
37. If a Taint Hearing is denied, I require you to appeal that ruling immediately.
38. If you have any questions about this agreement you may ask me and if I cannot
answer, you should contact (insert advocate/consult's name). Be advised, I will
have outsiders monitoring your progress and actions. While I may not be literate
in the area of criminal/family/juvenile law, I have many advocates who are and
who are watching out for my rights and my best interests.
39. I authorize you to release any requested confidential information to (insert
your experts/consultants), so they can help you prepare my defense.
40. I declare this document to be privileged communication between me and my
attorney and you are specifically prohibited from disclosing the fact of this
document's existence or its contents to anyone else, including but not limited
to any associates, partners or supervisors, and/or any judges.
41. I assert that I am not asking you to do anything illegal or unethical in my
42. If I am demanding something that you cannot do, you are required to explain
to me why it can't be done and you must offer an acceptable alternative that will
achieve the same results.
43. If at any time you do not feel you can fulfill these requirements, you are
required to notify me immediately in writing. (Getting this in writing is
imperative-do not accept verbal information from a lawyer you do not trust. If
he refuses to put it in writing, record the conversations and follow up with a
letter (certified mail) that describes your understanding of the conversation.)