Scott Casher

Photo of Scott Casher

Scott Casher is a Partner in the Commercial Litigation Department. His bio is available here

Tell us about your recent pro bono experience.

Lawyers for Children America (LCA) is a leading child advocacy organization protecting the rights of children who are victims of abuse, abandonment and neglect by providing quality pro bono legal representation and collaborating for systematic change to improve the lives of children. For the past three years, Scott Casher, on behalf of White & Williams, has been providing pro bono legal services to LCA, working in the Connecticut state courts on behalf of abused and neglected children. Scott just obtained a small but significant victory in one of his cases.

We represent two of four minor children (the ages of the four children range from 5 to 13) who are in the custody of the Connecticut Division of Children & Families (DCF). The father of our two minor clients has lived in two different hotels since November 2020, when our minor clients were taken from him by DCF, he has pending criminal charges for, among other things, neglect and abuse, and DCF has ongoing concerns for his abuse of substances and intimate partner violence. We recently made a motion on behalf of our two minor clients, and their foster mother (their paternal aunt), to change their primary health care provider to a pediatrician in closer proximity to the children's foster placement. The mother of our minor clients consented to our motion, but their father objected. An evidentiary hearing was held during which numerous documents were introduced into evidence followed by direct and cross examination of the parents, the DCF case worker and the foster mother. The judge issued a decision granting our motion, finding that all four children should be seen by a pediatrician who can get to know them and who is in close proximity during times of illness and that the children will all benefit from this connection. The judge stated: “The children are best served by an affiliation with a pediatric practice, and a caregiver whose time and energy resources are not stretched thin.”

Following that decision, a plan of reunification with the parents was abandoned, and guardianship was transferred from DCF to the children’s aunt. Just recently, we learned of new allegations of abuse by the father, including placing a gun inside the mouth of one of the children. We acted immediately with DCF and the CT Attorney General’s office (counsel to DCF) to have all visitation with the father suspended pending the outcome of investigations by the CT state police and DCF. Our clients, and the guardian, are very relieved that they no longer have to visit with the father.

How did you select an organization to support?

I feel very strongly about providing pro bono service. My first pro bono experience was in law school when I was a volunteer for the Disabilities Law Project in Philadelphia. Since then, I have provided a lot of pro bono service to various organizations and individuals over the years. Currently, I provide pro bono service to LCA in Connecticut where I live. I selected LCA because I wanted to work with children who do not have the resources to hire a private attorney and to assist them with their legal needs.

What would you want someone to know about the organization?

LCA is a leading child advocacy organization protecting the rights of children who are victims of abuse, abandonment and neglect, and collaborating for systematic change to improve the lives of children. LCA began as a pilot in 1995 in Hartford, Connecticut under the leadership of LCA Chairperson Emeritus, Zoë Baird, then Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Aetna. In June 1995, at a ceremony hosted by Attorney General Janet Reno, LCA was launched as a national initiative with the announcement of two additional programs developed in Washington, D.C. and Miami, FL. In addition to the three pilot sites, LCA opened a fourth office in May 2000 in Fairfield County, CT and a fifth site in New Haven, CT in 2002. Since their inception, all sites have grown tremendously. Since 2002, LCA has leveraged over $3 million in pro bono legal time and in-kind contributions through its network of law firms, volunteers and participating organizations.

What value does pro bono service provide you and your clients?

Providing pro bono service to children and families in need helps them obtain the proper legal representation that they might not otherwise have. Without pro bono assistance, these children and families would not be adequately supported and represented in legal proceedings. This work is very rewarding to me and gives me the opportunity to give back to my community.

Why should other lawyers get involved in pro bono service?

As attorneys, I believe we have an ethical and moral obligation to help those in need of legal assistance. It is very rewarding work, and you make a real difference in the lives of children and their families.

What advice do you have for lawyers who want to get involved in pro bono service?  

Research and locate an organization in your community that interests you. Once you do, interview some of the lawyers who work with the organization to see if it is a good fit for you. If it is, attend training sessions and find a mentor within the organization, and then get to work. You will be happy that you did.

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