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NYS lawyers with full time state jobs must get permission to be law guardians

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The Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department has in a letter mailed out to attorneys, amended its rules to preclude any attorney from being a law guardian for children who has full-time employment by any governmental agency unless he or she gets the express written permission of the employer, Family Court and Appellate Division, Office of Attorneys for Children.

The letter went on to state that "Any attorney who has full-time employment with any governmental agency cannot be assigned or accept assignment in any court as an attorney for the child without the express written permission of those three entities."

The letter also stated that "For any current panel members who are employed full time by any governmental agency and also have pending attorney for the child assignments, that attorney must either obtain permission to continue that assignment as indicated above or have the matter reassigned to another panel member who is eligible to accept such an assignment, on or before the effective date of the order. Absent authorized permission, such an attorney is no longer eligible for panel membership."

The purpose of the prohibition is to prevent conflict of interest.

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