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CAT Newsletter:  The Litter Box
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                                                     CHILD ADVOCACY TEAM                                                 

                                                          1023 Church Street

                                                               Flint, MI 48582

telephone:   810-238-LGAL (5425)                                  email: info@l-gal.org

facsimile:  810-238-9340                                               website:  http://www.l-gal.org



Karen K. Bunker, Staff Attorney .   

          kbunker@l-gal.org

          Prior to April 2004, Ms. Bunker was a panel attorney assigned to Judge Farah’s Court. She has had extensive experience in criminal and civil litigation. Ms. Bunker served as a public defender in the 67th District Court, serving both the Grand Blanc and the Mount Morris Courts. The experience gleaned as a public defender has enabled her to handle large case loads. Ms Bunker has practical experience in Child Protection Proceedings and in Juvenile Law. She also has extensive experience in criminal and appellate law. Ms. Bunker has experience in estate planning, adult guardianships and conservatorship, minor guardianships, parental waivers and commitment hearings. Ms. Bunker is a regular attendee of the annual Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect conference.  In May 2004, Ms. Bunker attended LGAL training as well as the seminar and annual meeting hosted by the Children’ Section of the Michigan Bar Association. Ms. Bunker has been employed by CAT as a full-time staff attorney since April 01, 2004. While operating under the current contract, Ms. Bunker is assigned as LGAL to Judge David Newblatt’s court. Ms. Bunker also does minor guardianship reports and parental waivers under the current contract now in effect. Ms. Bunker designed the CAT website at www.l-gal.org. As well as the Intranet utilized by CAT to keep track of the nearly 2000 kids in care. Ms. Bunker has met with and spoken to the Genesee County Adoptive/Foster Parents Association, CASA, Lutherann Social Services of Michigan and has been a guest lecturer at Mott Community College and the University of Michigan.  Alongside DHS and CASA volunteers, Ms. Bunker participates in DHS’s annual picnic as well as special and holiday events for foster children; book collection and distributions; and Volunteer Services.

Terina Carte, Staff Attorrney.                                                                                    

        tcarte@l-gal.org

        Ms. Carte has practical experience in Child Protection Proceedings and in Juvenile Law. Ms. Carte has been employed by CAT as a full-time staff attorney since June 2004. While operating under the current contract, Ms. Carte is assigned as LGAL to Judge Robert Weiss’ court. Ms. Carte also does minor guardianship reports under the current contract now in effect. Ms. Carte has met with and spoken to the Genesee County Adoptive/Foster Parents Association .

Christopher Flowers, staff attorney.



Justin Harper, Case Services Specialist 



Barbara Haruska, Legal Secretary and Support Staff Coordinator.

          barb@l-gal.org

Theresa M. Haruska, Staff Attorney.

          tharuska@l-gal.org

          Ms. Haruska was a managing attorney for Judge Joseph Farah until she left for a job with the Genesee County Friend of the Court. While at the Genesee County Friend of the Court, Ms. Haruska handled 1900 hearings per year. Ms. Haruska’s performance in handling the large case load at the Friend of the Court evidences her ability to manage a large case load. Ms. Haruska has extensive experience as a trial attorney in both criminal and civil litigation. She is experienced in workman’s compensation, social security and disability determinations. After leaving the Genesee County Friend of the Court, Ms. Haruska assumed the position of managing attorney assigned to Judge John Gadola’s panel where she demonstrated her ability not only as a litigator but also as an effective managing attorney. Ms. Haruska left the managing attorney’s position effective April 01, 2004, when she was employed by CAT as a full-time staff attorney. While operating under the current contract, Ms. Haruska is assigned as LGAL to Judge John Gadola’s court. Ms. Haruska also does minor guardianship reports and parental waivers under the current contract now in effect. Ms. Haruska has met with and spoken to the Genesee County Adoptive/Foster Parents Association.


Teresa R. Holifield, Staff Attorney.

          tholifield@l-gal.org

          Ms. Holifield was a panel attorney assigned to Judge Duncan Beagle’s court prior to April 01, 2004. Ms. Holifield is a skilled trial attorney with extensive litigation experience in the family court division of the circuit court. She has had practical experience in Child Protection Proceedings and in Juvenile Law. Ms. Holifield also has extensive experience in family law, criminal law and appellate law. The experience gleaned as a criminal defense attorney has enabled her to handle large volumes of cases. Ms. Holifield is a regular attendee of the annual meeting or conference of the Governor’s Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect. Ms. Holifield appeared on ABC Channel 12 Newsmaker, air date February 08, 2004, to discuss the role, the duties and the obligations of lawyer-guardian ad litems to their minor child-clients. Ms. Holifield’s performance in handling the large case load in the 67th District Court made the transition to a full-time staff attorney employed by CAT seem effortless.   While operating under the current contract, Ms. Holifield is assigned as LGAL to Judge Duncan Beagle’s court. Ms. Holifield also does minor guardianship reports and parental waivers while the contract is in effect. Ms. Holifield is responsible for initiating the photo identification project under which CAT attempts to keep a current photo of every court ward in the database. Ms. Holifield has met with and spoken to the Genesee County Adoptive/Foster Parents Association. On July 28, 2004, Ms Holifield was named as the Legal Advocate of the Year by the Genesee County Family Independence Agency. It was the first time that an LGAL was so named. Alongside DHS volunteers, Ms. Holifield was an official at the "Teddy Bear" Crim race.


Cathy Mitchell, Case Services Specialist



Keely Mills, Secretary and  File Coordinator.



Rande’ F. Wright, Staff Attorney.

Prior to April 2004, Rande’ F. Wright was managing attorney assigned to Judge Joseph Farah’s panel. Mr. Wright is experienced in criminal and civil ligation. He is experienced in Probate Court in the areas of parental waivers, adult guardianships and conservatorship, minor guardianships and mental commitments. The experience garnered in handling mental commitment hearings has been applied to proceedings involving juveniles. Mr. Wright is experienced in adoptions as well as personal protection orders and extradition. While operating under the current contract, Mr. Wright is assigned as LGAL to Judge Theile’s court. Mr. Wright also does minor guardianship reports and parental waivers while the current contract is in effect.