Shareholder Kevin Diamond accepted a pro bono case to represent three children in a trial seeking to terminate their parents’ parental rights. Sadly, the children’s mother had fallen victim to drug abuse and the father was incarcerated for numerous offenses. Nevada’s Department of Family Services concluded the children were at risk in this environment and would be best served if they were removed from their parents. The Department went to court to accomplish this and Mr. Diamond was appointed to separately represent the children.
Before trial, Mr. Diamond successfully terminated the mother’s rights. The father insisted upon trial. At trial, Mr. Diamond was assisted by law clerk Matthew Winters. Mr. Winters volunteered to help and was permitted to participate in trial by Nevada’s program encouraging law students to gain experience by participating in pro bono work. The trial was a success for the children as the father capitulated and agreed to terminate his rights shortly before Mr. Winters was to cross-examine him. All three children may now be formally adopted by a loving family member in the near future.
“Assisting children as clients is a difficult situation,” says Winters. “Here they were too young to understand what was happening other than that they might go to live with a family member. Our goal was to provide these children a better opportunity in the future by providing them stability in their home life they never had before.” Diamond added, “here, stability is exactly what was achieved as the children will all be adopted by a family member and continue to grow up together as opposed to living in split foster homes. Pro bono cases like these are exactly what makes practicing law very rewarding, especially right before the holidays.”