TITLE: “The Challenge of Representing Juvenile Delinquency Cases and Special Education Rights in Today’s Courts System”
SPECIAL GUEST: Shep Zebberman
According to Shep Zebberman, the biggest challenge in today’s juvenile court system is trying to balance the numerous competing interests at play while obtaining the best possible outcome for the youth. A delinquency case is essentially a criminal case where the accused was under the age of 18 at the time the offense was alleged to have been committed. Although a juvenile has many of the same rights as an adult accused of a crime, the focus is different. The adult criminal system is largely focused on punishment. Although punishment can certainly be a component of rehabilitation, the Juvenile system has as its goal rehabilitation.
So when Zebberman represents a minor who is accused of committing a crime, there are numerous variables running hand-in-hand. For example, the minor is the client. He or she may be 13 or 14 years old and may want something completely different then what the parents want because he or she is looking at the situation through the eyes of a 13 or 14 year old.
Additionally, sometimes the best results are more focused on the long term result while in the short run it may appear to a juvenile that it is not a good option. In the context of a youth seeking educational rights, he or she may be refusing all kinds of benefits the school district can provide for a variety of reasons such as not wanting to change class schedules or not wanting to appear socially different.
Finally, to make the matter even more complex, add to the mix the difficulty today’s youth face from social pressures that at one time did not exist to this level. Join us as Zebberman gives our audience a startling view into the pressures children at young ages are up against, such as the pressure to join a gang or use drugs; pressure not to trust the “system” whether be the educational system, judicial system or often times our social system; and most alarming of all, pressure “not to succeed”.
ABOUT SHEP ZEBBERMAN
Attorney Shep Zebberman has over 25 years of experience representing clients in both criminal, civil and juvenile cases as well as in complex Federal and State Court litigation cases. In 2001 he was appointed to serve as a Juvenile Court Referee where he presided over Delinquency, Dependency, and Informal Juvenile Traffic Courts for the Los Angeles Superior Court on an as-needed basis. In 2005 he was honored with a full-time appointment presiding over Dept. 204 of Eastlake Juvenile Court, Los Angeles Superior Court, presiding over juvenile delinquency cases. He has served as a Judge Pro Tem and Arbitrator for the Los Angeles Superior Court
Currently, the Law Offices of Shep Zebberman represent both adults and juveniles in a variety of cases, including criminal, juvenile and administrative law. In 2008, Mr. Zebberman was awarded the National Association of Counties National Achievement Award for the “Best In” category of Criminal Justice and Public Safety. He is also the recipient of Pasadena Magazines “Top Attorneys” award for 2014.
Zebberman is an adjunct professor and has taught at the International Pacific School of Law, as well as other institutions. He has had the privilege to be a guest presenter at numerous training sessions for the L.A. County Probation Department.