A Position of Trust III: When Members of the Clergy Fail to Report Child Abuse

By Gregg Woodnick and Isabel Ranney The conversation between an individual and a member of the Clergy during a spiritual confession is sacrosanct. It is a time when the person confessing should feel that they can speak freely, without fear of reprisal. This act of confession is so valued that Arizona law permits members of […]

A Position of Trust II: Teachers Facing Prosecution for Failure to Report Child Abuse

By Gregg Woodnick and Isabel Ranney When mandatory reporters fail to report suspected child abuse, they are complicit in letting the abuse continue. Educators, in particular, have such a unique and consistent level of interaction with children that makes them a reliable source of child abuse/neglect reports. Due to this, nearly all states, including Arizona, lists […]

A Position of Trust: Teachers Accused of Sexual Misconduct with Students

By Sabra Barnett and Isabel Ranney  Due to their close proximity to students, teachers and school personnel are often the first line of defense when it comes to identifying signs of child abuse and they are often blamed for failing to detect abuse sooner. Teachers are expected to act as detectives – to notice and […]

The Importance of Pre-Charge/Pre-Indictment Counsel

By Sabra Barnett Prior to working in private practice, I was an Assistant Federal Public defender. In this role, I received cases long after charges had been filed. Meaning, the opportunity for many of my clients to avoid being charged had long since passed. Grand Jurys had convened, statements were recorded, and the case had […]

Is it Me or is Everyone Talking About Parental Alienation?

By Gregg Woodnick and Isabel Ranney Things do not just “trend” in fashion or TikTok. They happen in courtrooms too. In the 1980s, the era of unlocking repressed memory had people suddenly remembering childhood traumas at a scientifically unsupportable rate, and with significant consequences. In the 1990s, guided imagery led to even more “recollections” of memories, […]

Understanding the Basics of Shaken Baby Syndrome (SBS)/Abusive Head Trauma (AHT)

By Markus Risinger and Isabel Ranney Markus Risinger joined Woodnick Law as a law clerk in 2012. Markus graduated cum laude from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University.  Isabel Ranney is a law student at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, Associate Editor for the Law […]

Almost 40 Years Later: Key Takeaways from the McMartin Preschool Trials

By Gregg Woodnick and Isabel Ranney As parents return to work, children across the nation are going back to school and back into the hands of caregivers, which creates an atmosphere ripe for abuse allegations (not to mention the continuous rise of QAnon). It is important for parents and caregivers to be reminded of the […]

An Abuse Allegation Against You Has Been “Substantiated”: Now What?

By Gregg Woodnick and Isabel Ranney A DCS Investigation Crystal is the mother of three-month-old Michael and six-year-old Grace. A few months ago, she was the subject of a Department of Child Safety (DCS) investigation when Michael fractured his leg after a fall in the park. The attending physician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital believed the […]

6 years post-Obergefell: Same-sex parenting rights in Arizona

By Claudia D. Work and Isabel Ranney Originally Published September 24, 2021 on OUTvoices Phoenix. The path to the landmark ruling of Obergefell v. Hodges (2015) was a long and arduous one, filled with decades of small victories and crushing losses, many of which went unrecognized. When same-sex marriage was finally deemed constitutional by the […]