No. S125822.

31 Cal.Rptr.3d 472 (2005)

36 Cal.4th 664

115 P.3d 1133

In re JOSIAH Z. et al., Persons Coming Under the Juvenile Court Law. Kern County Department of Human Services, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Tina M. et al., Defendants; Josiah Z. et al., Appellants.

Supreme Court of California.

As Modified August 10, 2005.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Marin Williamson, San Francisco, under appointment by the Supreme Court, and Michelle R. Trujillo, Bakersfield, under appointment by the Superior Court, for Appellants.

Marvin R. Ventrell, Janet G. Sherwood, Corte Madera, and Donna Wickham Furth, San Francisco, for National Association of Counsel for Children and Northern California Association of Counsel for Children as Amici Curiae on behalf of Appellants.

B.C. Barmann, Sr., County Counsel, and Jennifer L. Thurston, Deputy County Counsel, for Plaintiff and Respondent.

Jennifer B. Henning for California State Association of Counties as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Plaintiff and Respondent.

Cameryn J. Schmidt, David F. Estep and Marissa Coffey for Children's Law Center of Los Angeles as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Plaintiff and Respondent.

Anahita Savarnejad and Darlen Azevedo Kelly for Sacramento Child Advocates, Inc., as Amicus Curiae on behalf of Plaintiff and Respondent.

William Wesley Patton for Whittier Law School Legal Policy Clinic as Amicus Curiae.

Jonathan B. Steiner, Los Angeles; Matthew Zwerling; Elaine Alexander, San Diego; and Michael Kresser, Santa Clara, for California Appellate Project, First District Appellate Project, Appellate Defenders, Inc., and Sixth District Appellate Program as Amici Curiae.


A child's dependency appeal, challenging the juvenile court's evaluation of the child's best interests, involves a delicate balancing of considerations. We must decide what role a child's appellate counsel plays in this balance and, in particular, under what circumstances appellate counsel may investigate whether dismissal of an appeal is in the child's best interests.

We conclude the following...

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