Adoption, Visitation, and Undoing Sheets v. Mead

This article was initially published in the Arizona Attorney magazine on February 1, 2023.  By Markus Risinger, Taylor Young, and Isabel Ranney When construing a statue, judges can be quick to shift responsibility to the legislative branch. Many litigators have heard from the bench that their argument is with the Legislature, not the Court. This […]

Racial Disparity in Arizona DCS Investigations Receives National Attention

By Woodnick Law, PLLC Conscious or unconscious, racial bias affects all aspects of life. The caseworkers and child welfare investigators (OCWIs) that make up the Department of Child Safety (DCS) are not immune from these biases. A recent article from ProPublica, which has received national attention, addresses how these biases have culminated in a disproportionate […]

Bypass: The Future of Abortion Access for One of the Most Vulnerable Populations

By Gregg Woodnick, Mysti Rainwater, LPC, Sheena Chiang, and Isabel Ranney Gregg Woodnick: I was in the earlier stages of my legal career when I represented minors seeking an abortion through the judicial bypass statute. My job was to meet these young women briefly prior to their appearance before the judge in the small room […]

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 […]

Preventable: The Legal Consequences When a Child Accesses a Gun in Arizona

By Isabel Ranney It started with a loud popping noise. Marie rushed into the bedroom and found Reggie lying on the ground, blood pooling around him. Her two-year-old son stood nearby; a gun clutched in his hand. She immediately called 911 and began administering CPR while she waited for first responders to arrive. Reggie would […]

Buzzfeed News Consults Woodnick Law Attorney

On April 27, 2022, Buzzfeed News published an article on child abuse registries and how they disproportionately affect people of color. While researching for his article, Buzzfeed reporter Scott Pham consulted with numerous attorneys, including Woodnick Law’s own Markus Risinger. Of note, Scott Pham did a thorough analysis after collecting data about central registries, which […]

To Appeal or Not to Appeal

By: Markus Risinger Advising a client after a trial ruling sometimes feels like trying to close a barn door after the horse has bolted. Clients frequently come to me disappointed with a court ruling and wanting to know how they can get a higher court to revisit their case. My job often entails reviewing the […]

The Hague in Arizona

By: Leslie A. Satterlee and Markus Risinger Custody battles always involve heartbreak and they are never an easy process for anyone involved. However, imagine going through a custody battle across international borders.  For example: Maria and Jeff got married and settled in Scottsdale. They then had three beautiful children. However, after 15 years of marriage, they both decide to get a […]

Confirmation Bias and Reliability in Treating Healthcare Provider Testimony

Imagine you are a juror in a case involving infant abuse. The treating physician testifies that, when the infant arrived in the hospital, she was covered with large bruises. The doctor then states, “The family was awkward, and the father was visibly irritated.” The family also offered no explanation for the infant’s condition. After accurately informing you that accidental bruising is exceedingly rare in infants, the doctor concludes the infant’s bruising is consistent with trauma caused by a severe beating. He adds: “I see this sort of thing every day, and it’s heartbreaking.”