Florida Guardian ad Litem volunteers well represented at Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Awards
In 2022, the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office was appointed to and represented more than 36,000 children under the jurisdiction of Florida’s juvenile dependency courts
Six Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office pro bono attorneys were among the 20 lawyers recently honored with Florida Bar President Pro Bono Service Awards at the Supreme Court in Tallahassee.
The Pro Bono Service Awards are given annually in each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits to attorneys who have provided exemplary pro bono legal service to help increase access to justice for those who otherwise could not afford it.
Jennifer Gutai Comella (First Judicial Circuit), Kristie Hatcher-Bolin (10th Judicial Circuit), David L. Manz (16th Judicial Circuit), Douglas J. Glaid (17th Judicial Circuit), J. Randall Moore (18th Judicial Circuit) and Melissa Grege Schiffman (20th Judicial Circuit) are Florida Guardian ad Litem Office pro bono attorneys who have dedicated countless hours to the statewide organization, aiding in its mission to represent abused, abandoned and neglected children in the dependency system. They have mentored youth aging out of foster care, protected permanency on appeal, and advocated tirelessly for the legal interests of Florida’s dependent children.
“We are so thankful for our pro bono attorneys, who, as part of the Guardian ad Litem multidisciplinary team, are fierce defenders and mentors for Florida’s most vulnerable children,” said Dennis Moore, Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office interim executive director. “High-quality, effective legal advocacy is crucial to ensure that each child gets the services they need and has a voice in court so they can have significantly better outcomes and a safe, permanent home.”
In 2022, the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office was appointed to and represented more than 36,000 children under the jurisdiction of Florida’s juvenile dependency courts. Every child in Florida appointed to the office is assigned a guardian ad litem attorney as part of their multi-disciplinary team, providing independent advocacy and loyalty to the child.
To learn more about the Florida Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office, visit www.guardianadlitem.org.