FEBRUARY 1, 2013

   An act to add Section 634.3 to the Welfare and Institutions Code,
relating to juveniles.


   SB 166, as introduced, Liu. Juveniles: attorney qualifications.
   Existing law provides that any person under 18 years of age who
commits a crime is within the jurisdiction of the juvenile court,
except as specified. Existing law further provides that a minor has
the right to counsel in proceedings to declare the minor a ward of
the court. If the minor and his or her parents are indigent, the
minor is entitled to appointed counsel.
   This bill would require the Judicial Council to establish minimum
hours of training and education necessary in order to be appointed as
counsel in delinquency proceedings, and would provide that training
hours approved by the State Bar shall be counted toward Minimum
Continuing Legal Education (MCLE). The bill would require the
Judicial Council to adopt rules of court in this regard, including,
among other things, establishing required training areas and
encouraging public defender offices and other agencies that represent
minors in delinquency cases to provide juvenile delinquency
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.


  SECTION 1.  Section 634.3 is added to the Welfare and Institutions
Code, to read:
   634.3.  (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the
   (1) As representing minors in the juvenile justice system has
become much more complex, and the potential consequences of juvenile
court involvement have become more severe than when the
Arnold-Kennick Juvenile Court Law (Chapter 2 (commencing with Section
200) was enacted, delinquency attorneys need specialized skills,
education, and training to ensure proper representation of minors in
juvenile delinquency court.
   (2) Competent legal representation by defense attorneys is needed
to preserve the integrity of the juvenile justice system, prevent
wrongful judgments, reduce unnecessary incarceration, and help ensure
that minors receive the care, treatment, and guidance upon which the
juvenile justice system is premised.
   (3) It is essential that California's juvenile delinquency defense
attorneys have the appropriate knowledge and skills needed to meet
the demands of this increasingly complex area of legal practice.
Advances in brain research demonstrate that children and adolescents
do not possess the same cognitive, emotional, decisionmaking, and
behavioral capacities as adults. Counsel must ensure that these
differences are appropriately recognized in the attorney-client
relationship and defense of the case.
   (4) It is essential that delinquency attorneys provide diligent
and conscientious advocacy and make rational and informed decisions
founded on adequate investigation and preparation.
   (5) It is essential that delinquency attorneys represent the
expressed interests of the minor, meet regularly with the minor, and
maintain a confidential relationship with the minor. The attorney for
the minor should have sufficient contact with the minor to establish
and maintain a meaningful and professional attorney-client
   (6) When appropriate, delinquency attorneys should consult with
social workers, mental health experts, and other experts for the
minor's defense, and, when appropriate, seek appointment of those
experts pursuant to Sections 730 and 952 of the Evidence Code.
   (b) The Judicial Council shall establish minimum hours of training
and education necessary in order to be appointed as counsel in
delinquency proceedings. Training hours that the State Bar has
approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) credit shall
be counted toward the MCLE hours required of all attorneys by the
State Bar.
   (c) The Judicial Council shall adopt rules of court to do all of
the following:
   (1) Establish required training areas that include, but are not
limited to, developments in juvenile delinquency law, child and
adolescent development, special education, mental health issues,
child abuse and neglect, counsel's ethical duties, appellate issues,
direct and collateral consequences for a minor of court involvement,
and securing effective rehabilitative resources.
   (2) Encourage public defender offices and agencies that provide
representation in proceedings under Sections 601 and 602 to provide
training on juvenile delinquency issues that the State Bar has
approved for MCLE credit. District attorneys should also be
encouraged to pursue education in the relevant areas.
   (3) Provide that experts whose appointment is requested by
delinquency attorneys are agents of the attorneys and require those
experts to adhere to the attorney-client privilege under Article 3
(commencing with Section 950) of Chapter 4 of Division 8 of the
Evidence Code.
   (4) Provide that attorneys practicing in juvenile delinquency
courts shall be solely responsible for compliance with the training
and education requirements adopted pursuant to this section.
   (d) The rules adopted pursuant to this section shall not require a
delinquency attorney to do any of the following:
   (1) Assume the responsibilities of a probation officer, social
worker, parent, or guardian.
   (2) Provide nonlegal services or assistance to the minor.
   (3) Represent the minor in any proceeding outside of the
delinquency proceedings.