If you have had your children removed by the NJ Division of Child Protection & Permanency (formerly known as DYFS) and/or face abuse & neglect charges, there is nothing more important than choosing the right attorney to defend you.
Choosing an attorney who SPECIALIZES in DYFS defense is essential
You have to hire an attorney who specializes in DYFS defense. I have years of experience in DYFS court, and defended parent-clients in well over 70 trials. A DYFS courtroom is like being on another planet. Indeed, DYFS, and even the judges live in a bubble; they assume that DYFS has more rights than parents do. Still to this very day, I find it hard to believe that a lot of what happens in DYFS court can legally take place in America. DYFS has more power than the IRS and the Mafia combined. An example of DYFS' power is that an anonymous person can call into the DYFS child abuse hotline and make up a completely false allegations that you are abusing your children. DYFS will immediately dispatch an investigator and enter your home without a warrant. If you refuse to let them in, they will call the police to assist. They can inspect your entire home. They can ask questions about your private life such as your medical and psychological history, your relationships, and whatever they feel is important. If you refuse to answer, that is enough to remove your children from your home and place them in foster care. If you give the DYFS investigator an attitude and bruise the investigator's ego, they may remove your children out of spite. Then these same investigators will testify against you if they charge you with abuse and neglect. Time and time again I have been able to prove that a DYFS investigator was lying on the witness stand, however, not one has ever been charged with perjury, and they have legal immunity which makes it virtually impossible to sue them in civil court. I was in a continual state of outrage in my first couple of years of defending parents in DYFS court. My arguments against what DYFS was doing were logical and forceful, and any reasonable person would have agreed with me, however, my arguments fell on deaf ears because logic and reason have no place in DYFS court. I learned that to beat DYFS, you have to beat them at their own twisted game, and you have to know the DYFS law and DYFS case law like the back of your hand.
Do not hire an attorney who DOES NOT SPECIALIZE in DYFS defense
I'll say it again: you have to hire an attorney who specializes in DYFS defense. I have seen time and time again that attorneys who do not specialize in DYFS law do not adequately represent their parent-clients. Many of the lawyers I have observed are very good lawyers, however, they made the same losing arguments that I made in my first couple of years, they didn't know how to catch DYFS investigators in lies, they didn't know how to navigate the system like whether or not their client should be evaluated by a DYFS psychologist, they didn't know how to effectively cross-examine a DYFS psychologist or doctor, and they didn't know DYFS law and DYFS case law well enough to win. The main takeaway from this is I would not hire an attorney to represent me in DYFS court unless they have had at least 25 DYFS trials under their belt.
Our Rating is calculated using information the lawyer has included on
their profile in addition to the information we collect from state
bar associations and other organizations that license legal
professionals. Attorneys who claim their profiles and provide Avvo
with more information tend to have a higher rating than those who do
What determines Avvo Rating?
Experience & background
Years licensed, work experience, education
Legal community recognition
Peer endorsements, associations, awards
Legal thought leadership
Publications, speaking engagements
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in .
Disciplinary information may not be comprehensive, or updated. We recommend that you always check a lawyer's disciplinary status with their respective state bar association before hiring them.