ATLANTA (October 8) – LAWFUEL – The Legal News Service – Kilpatrick Stockton and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) have partnered to create the first comprehensive training manual for international child abduction cases under the Hague Convention. The manual is designed to help attorneys navigate the legal system to effectively return a child to his or her home country or to provide the left-behind parent with access to the child.
Kilpatrick Stockton’s Litigation Partner Lee Mann and Litigation Associate Chad Theriot were instrumental in creating the training manual along with the NCMEC’s Susan Rohol and Yiota Souras.
“While there are many similarities between Hague Convention cases and typical civil litigation, there also are many nuances associated with Hague cases,” said Rohol, director of the NCMEC International Missing Children’s Division. “We know in the past, without this comprehensive guide, some attorneys would shy away from these often complicated cases. This manual will provide attorneys with a general understanding of Hague Convention cases and how best to steer them through the court system.”
NCMEC handles an average of 1,800 international family abduction cases each year, as well as hundreds of abduction prevention and abduction-in-progress matters. Kilpatrick Stockton has provided representation in 26 of these cases resulting in the return of 13 children to Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Germany, Mexico and Panama and the settlement of other access cases. In all, the firm has contributed a total of over $1.5 million and 5,444 pro bono hours to this project since 2001.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children works under the terms of a trilateral cooperative agreement with the U.S. Departments of State and Justice to manage cases of international child abductions. Under the terms of this agreement, NCMEC is strategically positioned to serve as a liaison to help return children to their home countries or to assist left-behind parents gain access to their children.
“As we developed expertise in these cases and created a bank of resources internally, we realized that we had the opportunity to provide a service to the National Center and the lawyers around the country who handle these cases,“ said Kilpatrick Stockton Pro Bono Partner Debbie Segal. “We have learned a great deal in the process and hope that this will make a difference in the lives of thousands of families around the world.”
To view the manual, please go to: http://www.missingkids.com/missingkids/servlet/PageServlet?LanguageCountry=en_US&PageId=604
About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children®
NCMEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to helping protect children from abduction and sexual exploitation. NCMEC’s congressionally mandated CyberTipline, a reporting mechanism for child sexual exploitation, has handled more than 500,000 leads. Since its establishment in 1984, NCMEC has assisted law enforcement with more than 133,000 missing child cases, resulting in the recovery of more than 115,700 children. For more information about NCMEC, call its toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or visit www.missingkids.com.
About Kilpatrick Stockton
Kilpatrick Stockton LLP is a full-service international law firm with more than 500 attorneys in nine offices across the globe: Atlanta and Augusta, GA.; Charlotte, Raleigh and Winston-Salem, NC.; New York, NY; Washington, D.C.; London, England; and Stockholm, Sweden. Kilpatrick Stockton’s delivery of innovative business solutions provides results-oriented counsel for corporations, from the challenging demands of financial transactions and securities to the disciplines of intellectual property management. Collaboration among Kilpatrick Stockton’s corporate, litigation and intellectual property attorneys provides knowledgeable and proactive guidance for companies at every stage of the business life cycle. For more information, please visit www.kilpatrickstockton.com