California is conducting an audit of family law courts in only Marin and Sacramento counties, focusing on the use of court-appointed specialists in cases involving children. The audit actually was created a year ago and only expected to take 4 months. However, the state claims that Marin County is stonewalling the audit. The state is now threatening to issue a subpoena directly against the court itself! Among the specialists under the microscope is the category of court-appointed counsel for minors. In our firm’s opinion, court-appointed minor’s counsel is a mission of utmost importance, and the site of perhaps the greatest failures in our system. Too often minor’s counsel picks a parent to side with, and seem to lose site of who is their true client…the kids. Of course, the other parent often then has no hope of getting rid of the corrupted minor’s counsel because their criticisms (or motions to dismiss counsel) are discarded as sour grapes rather than being carefully scrutinized. Once in a blue moon, such as the Seagondollar case, a review court overturns this nonsense. But such relief from injustice is all too rare. Does this mean the Marin & Sacto audits will fix anything? Who knows? But let us hope.

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