Letters to the Editor, September 15, 2002

first_imgLetters to the Editor, September 15, 2002 Representing ChildrenAs an attorney who has practiced dependency law under Ch. 39 within the State of Florida, I found the June 15 article headlined “Children in state custody need more representation” rather interesting. While the recommendations seemed sensible and aimed at the problem, the biggest problem is the State of Florida’s unwillingness to spend the money necessary to provide these children with adequate and zealous legal representation.Educating the public is a noble task. Creating legislation that truly helps children is necessary in our modern society. Unfortunately, attorneys cannot pay bills with good intentions and education. They pay their bills, raise their children, pay for college, and pay their staff with real dollars, not kind sentiments. Until the State of Florida, specifically the counties, embrace an acceptable hourly wage to pay the practitioners of dependency and delinquency law within Florida, I am afraid you will find the list of attorneys who practice in this area of law dwindling. I think the best solution to this problem would be to rid our court system of the annual flat fee contracts that are offered to attorneys to accept dependency and delinquency cases and offer a per-hour fee arrangement with the counties. I for one would be more than willing to re-enter into the practice of dependency law should the state, in its wisdom, restore the per- hour fee arrangement. C. Donald Detky Jacksonville September 15, 2002 Regular Newslast_img

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