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Projects, Units & Initiatives

Juvenile Rights Practice Appeals Unit

The Juvenile Rights Practice Appeals Unit handles all appeals concerning our JRP clients. Most appeals arise from child protective and delinquency cases, but we handle other kinds of cases as well. Once a notice of appeal is filed, either by the JRP attorney for the child, or by another party, the case is transferred to the Appeals Unit.

The Appeals Unit offers JRP trial attorneys the opportunity to do a two-year rotation with us. Through a pilot project entitled “Brief Encounter,” we also offer all interested trial attorneys training on the appellate process and the opportunity to write briefs and work with appellate attorneys as mentors. We also provide pro bono attorneys from partnered law firms the opportunity to handle appeals on behalf of JRP clients.

The Unit also includes a Stays and Writs Project, which provides legal advice and back-up support on stays and writs. In addition, our attorneys are available for phone consultations on legal issues that arise in the trial courts with the twin goals of developing the most effective trial strategy and ensuring the best and most complete record for appeal.

Our Unit, along with JRP’s Special Litigation and Law Reform Unit (SLLRU) and Educational Advocacy Project (EAP), work together to identify issues of particular importance to our clients and develop strategies both at the trial and appellate levels to address these matters. For example, an attorney from our Unit and an attorney from the Bronx trial office are working with EAP to develop a protocol for handling school suspension hearings in particular kinds of cases.

Partnerships

We also collaborate with outside agencies and attorneys representing other parties on matters of particular significance with which we are aligned, as a means of crafting the most persuasive and comprehensive arguments that will educate the appellate courts on the breadth and multifaceted nature of an issue. As an example, we have worked closely with NYU’s Family Defense Clinic and Brooklyn Defender Services to challenge, on constitutional and other grounds, the application of the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) to non-respondent parents who reside out of state.