(a) As used in this part, "attorney for the child" means a law guardian appointed by the family court pursuant to section 249 of the Family Court Act, or by the supreme court or a surrogate's court in a proceeding over which the family court might have exercised jurisdiction had such action or proceeding been commenced in family court or referred thereto.
(b) The attorney for the child is subject to the ethical requirements applicable to all lawyers, including but not limited to constraints on: ex parte communication; disclosure of client confidences and attorney work product; conflicts of interest; and becoming a witness in the litigation.
(c) In juvenile delinquency and person in need of supervision proceedings, where the child is the respondent, the attorney for the child must zealously defend the child.
(d) In other types of proceedings, where the child is the subject, the attorney for the child must zealously advocate the child's position.
(1) In ascertaining the child's position, the attorney for the child must consult with and advise the child to the extent of and in a manner consistent with the child's capacities, and have a thorough knowledge of the child's circumstances.
(2) If the child is capable of knowing, voluntary and considered judgment, the attorney for the child should be directed by the wishes of the child, even if the attorney for the child believes that what the child wants is not in the child's best interests. The attorney should explain fully the options available to the child, and may recommend to the child a course of action that in the attorney's view would best promote the child's interests.
(3) When the attorney for the child is convinced either that the child lacks the capacity for knowing, voluntary and considered judgment, or that following the child's wishes is likely to result in a substantial risk of imminent, serious harm to the child, the attorney for the child would be justified in advocating a position that is contrary to the child's wishes. In these circumstances, the attorney for the child must inform the court of the child's articulated wishes if the child wants the attorney to do so, notwithstanding the attorney's position.
While the activities of the attorney for the child will vary with the circumstances of each client and proceeding, in general those activities will include, but not be limited to, the following:
An attorney is eligible for designation as a member of the AFC panel of a county in the Fourth Department when the attorney:
You must be a member in good standing of the Bar of the State of New York and in any other jurisdiction in which you are admitted to the practice of law.
You must have obtained experience in the representation of children by substantial participation, either as counsel of record or as co-counsel, in:
You may not be employed full-time by any governmental agency without the express written permission of the employer, Family Court, and the Attorneys for Children Program.
Because there are many more applicants than seats for the seminar, not everyone who applies will be able to attend. Selections will be made on the basis of factors such as geographic location, Family Court experience, and “special” skills, e.g., fluency in a foreign language. We cannot seat applicants who have not completed the experience requirement set forth above.
Prior to attending the live seminar you must view and submit viewing affirmations and evaluation forms for five mandatory webinars. There will be no exceptions.
The Fourth Department Attorneys for Children Program collaborates with the Third Department Attorneys for Children Program to offer the seminar twice annually in the spring (in Rochester) and the fall (in Albany).
Introduction to Effective Representation of Children
Mon Oct 23 2023 Attend Online
OPEN until Fri Aug 25 7 Credit Hour(s)
You must view all five mandatory webinars and submit affirmations and evaluations for each, in addition to attending the live seminar, to be eligible for designation to a county panel. Additional, optional, webinars are available to you as a prospective AFC which you should find useful to your practice.
The live seminar will include training on child welfare and juvenile delinquency proceedings.
At the seminar, you will receive an affirmation and an "orientation packet." You will complete an affirmation for the county panel to which you would like to be designated (maximum two counties) and submit the affirmation to the AFC Program Office.
The office will submit the completed affirmation and the application to the appropriate Family Court judge for consideration.
Upon receipt of the Judge’s approval, the Appellate Division Clerk’s Office will enter an order placing you on the panel. A copy of the order will be sent to you and to the clerks of Family Court, Supreme Court and Surrogates Court in the appropriate county.