DLG Contact Information
- All mail and packages sent to any DLG employee, or any division within DLG, should only be sent to Suite 200. Please use the mailing address shown above.
- Mail sent to any DLG employee using the County of San Diego's Internal Mail system should be addressed to the employee at MS P310.
Click the links below for additional contact and assignment information.
> All Staff Directory (Rev. 3/1/15)
> Courtroom Assignments (Rev. 3/1/15)
> Management Roster (Rev. 3/1/15)
The Dependency Legal Group of San Diego (DLG) is a non-profit public benefit corporation. We are a registered 501(c)(3) charity. DLG was founded in 2010 by Ms. Candi Mayes and Mr. Brian Blackwood. The firm was created for the sole purpose of providing competent, high quality legal representation to indigent families involved in juvenile dependency proceedings within San Diego County.
Our firm is court-appointed to represent both parents and minors (foster children) in Juvenile Dependency Court. DLG is not available for hire (retained) by clients and none of our attorneys may represent clients in any matters outside of the juvenile dependency court. DLG does not represent de facto parents or foster parents.
The Firm's Structure
Executive Team (EXE)
The Executive Team oversees and maintains the smooth operation of the firm, with the assistance of the Management Team. A comprehensive knowledge of all matters related to the business side of the organization provides it with the necessary vision and skill required to quickly adapt and navigate the firm’s course into the future.
The Executive Team develops all of the global corporate strategies and manages the implementation of the firm’s policies and procedures. It identifies and acts on any potential legal issues involving the firm. It is responsible for managing human resources; courtroom staffing assignments; corporate governance; crisis management; compliance reporting and public policy advocacy.
Education & Policy Office (EPO)
EPO coordinates and develops specialized child welfare law programs for DLG’s staff, the dependency bar and various juvenile justice stakeholders. These training programs are presented in both live and webinar based formats. EPO also reviews relevant legislation and advises the Executive Team on the potential impact of state and federal child welfare law legislation on the firm’s operations. As a 501(c)(3) charity, DLG does not engage in lobbying activities.
Writ & Research Office (WRO)
WRO represents DLG clients on their dependency writs at the appellate court level. This includes record review, research; brief writing and oral argument. WRO also provides legal research assistance to all of our trial divisions.
OUR TRIAL DIVISIONS
Minors Counsel Office (MCO)
In most situations, MCO attorneys are appointed by the judge to represent all of the minors involved in a Juvenile Dependency Court case (also see CCO). Per California law, MCO attorneys are appointed as both the minor’s legal counsel and guardian ad litem (GAL).
As the minor’s legal counsel, the role of the MCO attorney is to explain the various court proceedings to the minor as well as the rights the minor is entitled to while in the dependency system. The attorney provides legal advice and counsels the minor regarding their legal options and advocates the minor’s legal position to the court, within the bounds of the law.
As the minor’s GAL, their role is to advocate for the minor’s protection, safety and physical and emotional well-being. The GAL is prohibited from advocating for the return of the minor to a parent if such return would conflict with the protection and safety of the minor. Any request to obtain or release information for a dependent minor must be signed by the minor’s attorney/GAL, regardless of the minor’s placement.
Primary Parent Office (PPO)
PPO attorneys are appointed by the Court to represent the “primary parent” (the parent who allegedly committed the act of abuse or neglect) or the parent from whom the minor is being removed. As the parent’s legal counsel, the role of a PPO attorney is to explain the various court proceedings to the parent as well as their rights as a parent while in the dependency system. The attorney provides legal advice and counsels the parent regarding their legal options and advocates the parent’s position to the court, within the bounds of the law.
Conflicts Counsel Office (CCO)
CCO attorneys may be appointed by the Court to represent a minor, the second or co-parent; the non-custodial parent or the non-offending parent and to take over the legal representation of parties where a conflict within one of the other trial divisions has arisen.
As the parent’s attorney, their role is identical to the role of PPO attorneys.
As the minor’s attorney, their role is identical to the role of MCO attorneys.
CCO attorneys also represent Non-Minor Dependent (NMD) clients re-entering the dependency system under the Fostering Connections Act.
Only CCO attorneys have mixed caseloads of both minors and parents. An individual CCO attorney will never represent both a minor and a parent in the same case; however, multiple CCO attorneys may represent various parties in the same case. Internal security and the separation of trial teams into subdivisions makes this possible. CCO attorneys have the same responsibilities and roles as the attorneys in the other DLG trial divisions.
CCO also manages the DLG Associated Counsel Panel (ACP). These attorneys are in private practice, but have contracted with DLG to assist in representing clients (minors and parents) on a case-by-case basis. On the rare occasion that the number of legal parties in a case cannot be managed by the various trial divisions within the firm, DLG will appoint an ACP attorney to the case. DLG remains responsible for all of these appointed cases.
DLG screens all of its ACP attorneys to ensure they have the necessary training and credentials required to practice in juvenile dependency court. DLG monitors the performance of its ACP attorneys to ensure the firm’s high level of client service and professional standards are being maintained. Furthermore, DLG ensures all ACP attorneys have access to the same resources as our regular staff attorneys to properly represent the assigned client in each case.