October 2008 Minutes

October 3, 2008
Suggs and Kelly Law Center
500 Taylor Street in Columbia

Members Present:              
Michelle Dhunjishah, Chair          
Amanda Adler              
Mary Au
Maggie Fields Bailey
Cherie Barton
Gale DuBose
Ray Godwin
Bea Hightower
Elizabeth Hill
Brett Lamb
Susan Rose
Sarah Smith
Shannon Wiley
Mitzi Campbell Williams
Bar Staff Present:
Kali Turner
Dana Kurtz

Call to Order:  Michelle Dhunjishah welcomed everyone and asked all to introduce themselves.

Minutes:  Michelle Dhunjishah asked for approval of the January 11, 2008 minutes.  Susan Rose pointed out the phrase in the minutes “which overturns the Davis case” in regard to H.4401 was not entirely accurate.  Michelle Dhunjishah asked that a correction be made.  A motion was made to adopt the minutes. The motion was seconded and the minutes were unanimously approved. 

2008-2009 Goals:  The following goals were set for the calendar year 2008-2009:
1.      Continue to distribute the Child Protective Service cards.
2.    Continue to support efforts to reintroduce and for the passage of the Disturbing Schools Statute bill.
3.    Develop strategies (hand-outs) for schools, law enforcement, parents and daycares explaining the right of non-custodial parents.
4.    Coordinate a seminar with the Family Law Section for the 2010 Bar Convention.
5.    Support the Bar’s efforts to provide FAQs to the public regarding children’s issues.
6.    Support legislative changes that will assist foster children to obtain driver’s licenses and insurance.
7.    Monitor legislation dealing with children’s issues.
8.    Establish and maintain an active legislative subcommittee to review statutes or necessary legislation in more detail.

Legislative Update: 
The Joint Citizens and Legislative Committee on Children did pass and members are slowly being appointed to serve.

Susan Rose reported the following:

The PACT test has been renamed the PASS test with the intent to have quicker turn around time for assessment.

The Qualification for Attendance for Public Schools bill, which provides that a child may stay in a public school if the child resides with an adult in the school district as a result of the parent’s or legal guardian’s military deployment or active duty more than 75 miles from the child’s residence for a period greater that 60 days, did pass.

20-7-110 (children must be appointed legal counsel and a guardian ad litem by the family court):  Michelle Dhunjishah discussed the Ethics Advisory Opinion about 20-7-110 and asked for feedback on the new wording and to look at the possibility of it being amended.   After much discussion the Committee decided that the new legislative subcommittee will take a closer look at the statute.

Future Meeting Dates:  The Committee agreed on the following meeting dates:  November 7, 2008, December 5, 2008 and January 9, 2009.  All meetings will be at noon and Dana Kurtz will inquire as to the availability at the Suggs & Kelly building.  

The Committee decided that the legislative subcommittee would meet in the next two weeks.  Ray Godwin agreed to chair the subcommittee. 

The Committee discussed several items for the legislative subcommittee and decided that the subcommittee will meet on October 20, 2008 with the location to be announced.  All those interested were to meet with Ray Godwin after the Committee meeting.

Ray Godwin suggested that statutes for consideration be emailed to Michelle Dhunjishah for discussion for the next meeting. 

Adjournment:  There being no further business, Michelle Dhunjishah adjourned the meeting.