How Long Does Arizona DCS Have to Investigate an Allegation?

By Deandra Arena and Isabel Ranney Suppose five-year-old Lucas tells his Kindergarten teacher that his dad hits him and that is why he has a faint bruise on his leg. As a mandatory reporter under A.R.S. § 13-3620, Lucas’ teacher calls the DCS hotline and reports her “reasonable belief” that Lucas may be abused or […]

So DCS has invited you to a Team Decision-Making Meeting (TDM): Now what?

By Deandra Arena and Isabel Ranney In the grand scheme of nearly indecipherable acronyms in child welfare investigations, one particular abbreviation stands out as being part of nearly every case but nonetheless being misunderstood by most parents. The “TDM,” or “team decision-making meeting,” is an important step in the resolution of child welfare investigations that […]

How the Medical “Code of Silence” Affects Child Abuse Litigation

By Gregg Woodnick and Isabel Ranney Despite being the fifth-largest city in the United States, Phoenix only has seven board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeons, five of whom work at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. Because of their specialty, it is safe to presume that the surgeons all know each other from their professional community and any conferences they […]

The Not-So Basics of Third-Party Visitation

By Markus Risinger and Isabel Ranney A person’s right to parent their children is a fundamental right under the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. The only way to completely dissolve a parent’s fundamental right to parent in Arizona is through severance. Visitation, however, permits a third party to be awarded time with the children if […]

Who Represents Children in Arizona Court Proceedings?

By: Deandra Arena In Arizona, there are several types of legal counsel that may be appointed to represent children, each with a slightly different role or purpose in the proceeding. It’s important to be educated on what type of legal representation for the child is most appropriate in your case.  Arizona Law provides the following […]

A Fool for a Client: Why Lawyers Should Not Represent Themselves in Divorce

By: Leslie A. Satterlee Divorces are common in the United States, and lawyers are no exception. According to one source, the divorce rate in the legal field as a whole is over 35% and for lawyers and judges the divorce rate is around 28%.[1] Now why might that be? Although there are many factors that […]

Suspected child abuse during a trip to the emergency room

By: Gregg R. Woodnick I have been practicing law for over 20 years. Throughout that time I’ve lectured for Yale on issues of child abuse and neglect and I have also been a guest instructor at medical schools and PA programs where I would teach about mandatory reporting laws. Mandatory reporting requires that certain individuals […]

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 […]

Revisiting Dentists and Divorce

By: Leslie Satterlee, Ben Himmelstein & Larry Mathis The chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused legal professionals to revisit some of what we thought were constants in the divorce world, one of those being that medical professionals had “guaranteed” income. For many professionals, their practices came to a halt in the midst of the […]