PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Child Protection Division Calls for More Illinois Appellate Lawyers to Handle Cases

Released On 05/13/2021

The Hon. Robert Balanoff, Acting Presiding Judge of the Child Protection Division, announced on Thursday an effort to increase the number of lawyers handling appeals from cases heard in the Child Protection Division. 

The lawyers would represent both parents and minors in juvenile court appeals. Most of these cases arise from Circuit Court orders terminating parental rights, findings that minors should be made wards of the court, and the closing of cases to guardianship. Widening the pool of appellate attorneys to handle Child Protection cases will help prevent unnecessary delays in resolving these important matters. The major requirement is that the lawyer be licensed to practice in Illinois. 

Judge Balanoff said that, in the past, the division had primarily sought lawyers with some experience in Child Protection cases, but has since determined that experienced appellate attorneys would not need “years of exposure” to this division of law to competently handle cases. 

“This is an opportunity for lawyers to earn appellate experience, receive compensation and, most importantly, help both parents and juveniles to exercise their rights.  These are cases where compensation goes beyond the monetary, right to the soul of us as human beings, to our duty to help one another,” Judge Balanoff said. 

Appointed attorneys will be compensated in accordance with Illinois Supreme Court Rule 299.  The costs of appeals are waived for appellate attorneys, and all transcripts and records are electronic and provided without charge.  

Interested attorneys can apply for assignments either by sending a resume to Acting Presiding Judge Robert Balanoff at Robert.Balanoff@cookcountyil.gov or by contacting Juli Vyverberg at the Chicago Bar Association, jvyverberg@chicagobar.org


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