Being the bad guy at court.....
Lots of time attorneys do not want to spend time fighting the system or dragging out court cases out of fear of being disliked. And even though many attorney's will say they will risk losing their job or that they are wasting everybody's time and resources, in the end they are doing their job by really advocating for their clients be it parents or children.
Too often parent's attorneys and children's counsel will refrain from properly advocating for their clients. They simply agree with the department's recommendations. They believe that because if I "demand all of these documents and court orders everyone is going to be mad at me". They do not want to do all of these things even if it is in the best interest of their clients simply out of fear of looking bad or being a nuisance. They believe that asking the court for formal discovery requests and setting trials will "stir the pot" too much and waste the county's money.
As counsel it is very important to ask yourself why are you there? Are you there to be simply be an attorney in name for the client or actually represent your client. by any means you can. Ask yourself what are you hired for. Did the county hire a facsimile of an attorney or did they hire counsel to properly advocate for their clients? Are you paid to go through the motions or are you paid to represent your clients? You are not simply there as decoration you are there to advocate.
There are plenty of hearings where the judge mainly hears one person talking while the rest of the attorneys sit passively and accept the recommendations and orders of the department. There are many times where parent's counsel will advise their parents to agree to the recommendations and get started on their services to expedite the process. This may be acceptable in some cases where the parent knows that setting a contested hearing will do more harm than good, but there are plenty of instances where the parent should set a contested matter to really fine tune their services and the court order. Also, bear in mind that the department is not always right in their recommendations. The department may commit procedural mistakes. The lawyer is the parent or the child's only advocate in the courtroom so having a zealous lawyer representing them will make them feel like their interests are really being presented and properly defended.
Even though you may want to avoid being that attorney who has a reputation, an attorney who fights for their clients interests despite the fact that they may demand a lot of attention and time of the court are the ones who in the end are the most respected and sought after by clients.
Juvenile Dependency and