It was a trend that appears to have started in California in the 1990s and has continued to persist. Judges not wanting to deal with messy custody experts are quick to appoint lawyers to represent children during their parent's divorce cases. Once appointed these lawywers have immunity and open billing rights.
Of the hundreds of cases reviewed, few lawyers acting for these young clients actually do anything in the best interest of the children they represent. In addition to paying their own lawyers, parents will also be ordered to pay minor's counsel. Even when parents can't afford to pay their own lawyer, they can be ordered to pay for one for their children. It is a form of double paying attorney fees for work that shows little, or poor results.
Appointments are arguably made off lists of lawyers noting they are qualified to take an appointment. Audits of cases that span 20 years, show appointments are made mostly based on the lawyers and judge in a case. Family Court Judges have become lazy and corrupt, delegating their duties to lawyers who profit from these appointments, even at taxpayer expense.
Bill Padding and Fee Churning
In Santa Clara County two cases stand out to illustrate the failures of the Minor's Counsel appointments. First, was the case of Alycia Mesiti - Allen. In this case the failure of the father to pay child support and regular pattern of abuse was ignored by the family court, and the local District Attorney. Judge Chiarello appointed a minor's counsel, who has since died. But the attorney's recomendation to send the child to live with her father was deadly as the girl was molested to death and her body was buried in her father's backyard. The minor's counsel appointed was paid with taxpayer funds as the parents were indigent. Mark Mesiti will spend the majority of his life in prision, Alycia's aunts continue to press on to bring awarness to the state's family court failures.
In the Brooks case, the mother of three little girls tried to get protection for suspected abuse. This case raged on in the same courthouse as the Mesiti case, only Evan Brooks , the father, had an estimately $ 33 million which he didn not want ot share with his wife and daughters. The case saw the appointment of attorney Heather Allan, as minor's counsel. For ten years Ms. Allan appeared to be working for the benefit of Mr. Brooks through his divorce attorney Brad Baugh in a case largely before now retired Judge Mary Ann Grilli. The court files show Evan's former spouse repeatedly asked for protection for domestic violence and supected abuse, but she was ignored. She was even sanctioned for making the request and ordered to pay Evan Brooks's lawyer fees.
The case was much like the Scott Hassan Divorce case, and in the end on appeal, Mr, Brooks maintained the rights to the busienses and left his wife in a compromised financial state having run up legal bills and costs that Ms. Allan contributed to. Ms. Allan foreced her minor clients into "reunificaiton camp" with Dr. Rebecca Bailey, who like Ms, Allan had immunity. Bailey charged the family hundreds of thousands of dollars claiming the children had been brainwashed by their mother, The case dragged, with lawyers billing millions as the mother cycled through attorneys and wasn't believed.
Six months after the appeal in the divorce case was published, Evan Brook's daughters sued him, alleging he had sexually abused them when they were as little as three years of age.
Not All Men Are Abusers, Not All Women Are Liars
Not all men are abusers and not all women are liars, but when attorneys such as Heather Allan are appointed to represent children in their divorce cases, the costs will be extraordinary and the outcome will result in life long emotional and financial harm on the parents and the children. This has become the reality of our modern family courts.
Heather Allan has been regularly appointed in a number of divorce cases. In the Brooks case, she billed over $500,000 in fees, for the miserable outcome that is now known. In two other cases, held during the same time, the young boy in once case has clinical depression and life long fractures with both of his parents. In that case Allan spied on the calls the mothter had with the children. She requested orders that benefited the father, including orders that put the mother on supervised visitation. In that case Ms. Allan fradulently padded her bills, that were paid by taxpayers as approved by county attorneys Ms. Allan has known for years.
In nearly every case where judges appoint minor's counsel, the parent with the less money or disfavored lawyers , will end up on Supervised visitation. These are private individuals or services that charge $100- 150 an hour to "watch" parents and children interact for weekly visits. This is an unscientifically supported practice that has been adopted by the courts to generate profits for these businesses.
One former legal assistant noted that in addition to her lucrative minor's counsel appointments, Ms. Allan and her legal partner, Eva Martell have been collecting payments in the form of Bitcoin and gift cards that can't be traced. These payments appear to be directly tied to her referrals of Dr. Rebecca Bailey, who appears to be operating scam reunifcation camps and therapy programs largely deemed junk science that are suspected to be connected to sex trafficking rings throughout the country.