Bend Attorneys Train to Represent At-Risk Children for Free

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The children who need legal representation most are often those who don’t have access to it, and lawyers in Bend are working to close the gap.

Attorneys at Stahancyk, Kent & Hook P.C. are hosting a free training session to teach lawyers how to represent children in custody and parenting time cases through a continuing legal education seminar (CLE).

“In cases where families are going through divorce and there’s conflict, the children don’t have a voice,” said Stahancyk, Kent & Hook Managing Shareholder Joel J. Kent. “Sometimes hearing what they need is important but parents don’t have the money.”

Kent spearheaded a group of Central Oregon lawyers who have volunteered to represent children in high conflict divorce cases through the Child Centered Solutions program. In juvenile court cases, the state hires an attorney to represent children, but that’s not the case in divorce cases.

“There’s nobody to represent children if there’s no money to pay for them,” said Kent. “This is filling the vacuum.”

Lawyers can qualify to represent children Pro Bono in Deschutes County through attendance at the CLE at the Deschutes County Services Building July 10 2015 from 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Presenters will include: Oregon State Bar General Counsel Helen Hierschbiel. Redmond Attorney Alison Emerson, Deschutes County Judge the Honorable Michael C. Sullivan, and Bend Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Dr. Deborah Coehlo.

The event will cover detailed workings involved in representing children throughout custody and parenting time cases. Attendance at the CLE will qualify any attorney to become part of the Deschutes County Child Centered Solutions Program.

Video coverage of the event will be available following the presentation. To attend, please email Brent Wilkins at Brent@Stahancyk.com