Defending Best Interests Project
The Defending Best Interests Project protects the best interests of children in the appeal process.
The project, started in 2018, works with partners including the Pro Bono Committee of The Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section (APS) to recruit pro bono attorneys who write answer briefs in appeals of cases where a judge has determined TPR is in the child’s best interests. Each pro bono attorney is supported by the GAL Program team.
Pro bono attorneys have worked on over 350 cases since the beginning of the project. With each brief our “DBI Attorneys” write, they advocate for the child on appeal and help the court hear the child’s voice and best interests. Thanks to them, children can find a safe and permanent home faster.
For more information, Register your interest here.
Winning Your Appeal at Trial
The Guardian ad Litem Program and the Pro Bono Committee of The Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section (APS) partner to provide you with the trial-level tools you need to make sure your case is ready for any appeal.
Over the five hour series available on Free Florida CLE, our all-star cast of Florida’s finest appellate practitioners, share their best practices and help you avoid common trial court pitfalls that can hamper a case once on appeal. You can watch the complete series or a single course as each course is individually accredited and approved for board certification in Appellate Practice, Criminal Appellate Law, and Juvenile Law.
Topics and speakers include:
- Evaluating Your Pro Bono Appeal, Presented by Elaine Walter of Miami.
- Effective Uses of Memoranda of Law, Presented by Jessie Harrell of Jacksonville.
- Preserving Constitutional and Statutory Challenges, Presented by Thomasina F. Moore of Tallahassee.
- Preserving Error with Motions in Limine, Presented by Joshua Spector of Miami.
- Contemporaneous Objections, Co-presented by Mary Walter of Orlando and Amy Wessel of Fort Lauderdale.
- Offers of Proof, Presented by Cornelius Demps of Tampa.
- Rehearing and Reconsideration, Presented by Sarah Weitz of Fort Lauderdale.
- Client Communications, Presented by Kimberly Jones of Tampa.
This CLE builds upon the GAL’s prior joint CLE series with the APS, “Appeals for the Pro Bono Practitioner.”
Appeals for the Pro Bono Practitioner
Presented by an all-star cast that includes some of Florida’s finest appellate practitioners, “Appeals for the Pro Bono Practitioner” series provides resources and information for all attorneys interested in appeals. This training, available on Free Florida CLE and sponsored by the GAL Program and the Pro Bono Committee of The Florida Bar’s Appellate Practice Section (APS), dives into different aspects of handling appeals. CLE credit is available for each individual segment of the program. Segments include:
- Appellate Workflows co-presented by Duane Daiker of Tampa and Chris Donovan of Naples.
- Preserving the Record for Appeal presented by Joe Eagleton of Tampa.
- Principles of Statutory Interpretation co-presented by Alexis Fields and Morgan Weinstein, both of Fort Lauderdale.
- The Basics of Brief-Writing presented by Bryan Gowdy of Jacksonville.
- Finality Concerns & The Different Types of Appellate Proceedings co-presented by Nancy Gregoire of Fort Lauderdale and Jamie Moses of Orlando. Click here for hard copy of the presentation.
- Appellate Motions Practice co-presented by Jared Krukar of Tampa and Eric Netcher of Orlando.
- Oral Argument presented by Sarah Lahlou-Amine of Tampa.
- Taking and Perfecting Appeals: An Overview of the Appellate Process presented by Carrie Ann Wozniak of Orlando.
- Ethical Pitfalls in Appeals and How to Avoid Them. Nicholas A. Shannin of Orlando moderated a judicial panel with Judge Jamie R. Grosshans, Judge Meredith L. Sasso, and Judge Dan Traver of the Fifth District Court of Appeal.