Barton Child Law and Policy Center Newsletter
Dear Child Advocates, this update contains:
2012 General Assembly Session Begins
Supreme Court Approves Ethics Opinion on Child Representation
Next Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy January 30, 2012
The 2012 Georgia General Assembly Session Begins


The General Assembly convened this morning, Monday, January 9, 2012.  Highlights of this first week will include:

  • The Governor's State of the State Address will be delivered to a joint session of the House and Senate on Tuesday evening, January 10th, at 7pm
  • The General Assembly will be in session all five days this week, and will adjourn next week for joint hearings on the budget.

Because we are in the second year of a biannual session, bills that were introduced but did not pass last year are available for the General Assembly's consideration this year.  The most significant legislation from last year that we'll be following is the Child Protection and Public Safety Act, which is also known as the Children's Code Rewrite or by its bill numbers, HB 641 and SB 127.

We, too, have returned to the Gold Dome and will resume our weekly legislative updates and occasional action alerts while the General Assembly is in session.  As in past years, the Barton Center will be tracking key legislation related to child welfare and juvenile justice as well as the budget. Additionally, we will be twittering information relevant to child advocacy at the Capitol. Follow us at @bartoncenter by clicking on the Twitter icon to the right.  Follow us on Twitter


Georgia Supreme Court Approves State Ethics Opinion Concerning Child Representation in Deprivation Cases 


This morning, the Georgia Supreme Court approved a Formal Advisory Ethics Opinion prepared by the State Bar of Georgia.  This opinion, number 10-2, clarifies the ethical duties of an attorney appointed as both the child's attorney and as guardian ad litem.  Specifically, the opinion states that if a person is serving as both attorney and guardian ad litem for the child and a conflict arises between the attorney's considered opinion of the child's best interests and his or her duties to the child as client, the attorney must withdraw as guardian ad litem. 


Pursuant to State Bar Rule 4-403, with the Supreme Court's approval, the opinion is now binding on all state bar members and state courts. 


Next Georgia Child Welfare Legal Academy to Be Held Monday, January 30, 2012   

Reconnecting Families and the Cobb County Family Dependency Treatment Court 


On Monday, January 30th, the Honorable Juanita Stedman and representatives from Cobb County CASA and DFCS will discuss Reconnecting Families and the Cobb County Family Dependency Treatment Court.  Presenters will discuss findings from Cobb County's drug court program and provide suggestions and strategies for implementing programs in other counties.  Please join us at Emory Law School in Room 5C from 1:30-3:45 pm.  Online registration is strongly encouraged. Please visit for more information. Attorneys will be offered two CLE credits.  








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