Fixing shelter representation

One of my three readers wrote separately to note that the 72-hour hearing is not the only possible solution to the shelter representation requirement. The reader reports that Broward defense attorneys take turns doing shelter duty. All shelters are handled by one judge for the week, and attorneys rotate being present for them. That’s an idea that requires only administrative changes at the local level.

Another possible solution would be to alert the next attorneys on the wheel about shelters so that they can be there. This is less fair because shelters are by definition add-ons, and you can’t always clear your schedule so easily. Also, you never know which parents will and won’t show up at a shelter, so you won’t know how many wheel attorneys to invite. Attorneys would have to forego other work just to be present for a possible non-appointment.

A third solution, of course, is to stop giving parents attorneys altogether–you could call it the Super Limited Registry. Or the Undefined Registry, in that when you take x number of parents and divide them among zero attorneys the results are mathematically undefined (and morally indefensible).


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