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Commission on the Legal Needs of Children

This is a special commission appointed by former Florida Bar President Edith Osman for a two-year term beginning July 1, 1999. The Commission, chaired by Circuit Judge Sandy Karlan, has been extended for an additional one-year term through July 2, 2002. The Commission’s purpose is to identify the legal needs of children who appear in all divisions of the state court system in Florida, either as parties, victims, witnesses or defendants. The Commission identified five priority areas of legal needs of children which may be accessed in the Interim Report - March 2001 PDF document opens in new window. The five priority areas include Representation of Children; Right to Treatment and Services; Technology in the Courts; Confidentiality and Competency; and The Florida Bar's role in meeting the legal needs of children.

The Commission is in the process of reaching final recommendations regarding the needs identified in the Interim Report. The Commission agreed on Representation recommendations on January 11, 2002. The representation recommendations PDF document opens in new window may be accessed on the Florida Bar website or by sending a written request to the staff listed below.

The Commission's final recommendations regarding Treatment and Services and Confidentiality are in the Final Report PDF document opens in new window.

Commission on the Legal Needs of Children Interim Report March 2001 PDF document opens in new window


The Florida Bar News articles
Oct. 15, 1999: "New Legal Needs of Children Commission to meet in Tampa."
Nov. 15, 1999: "Commission launches effort to assist children"
Oct. 1, 2000: "Children's panel turns to the experts"
Aug. 1, 2000: "Children should have the right to counsel, too"
Mar. 1, 2000: "Bar Children's Commission begins prioritizing needs"
Mar. 15, 2000: "Commission continues identifying legal needs of children
Nov. 1, 2001: "Should all children in court be represented?"
Dec. 15, 2001: "Senate takes up children's issues"
Feb. 1, 2002: "Children deserve independent representation"
Feb. 15, 2002: "Bill would require Pds to represent abused children"

The Florida Bar Journal articles
December 1999: "Protecting Our Most Precious Resource"
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[Revised: 03/10/2002]