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Fla. L. Rev. News

Fla. L. Rev. Forum

Stacey Steinberg
Where Did All the Social Workers Go? The Need to Prepare Families for Adoption, Assist Post-Adoptive Families in Crisis, and End Re-Homing
Response to S. Megan Testerman, A World Wide Web of Unwanted Children: The Practice, the Problem, and the Solution to Private Re-Homing

S. Megan Testerman’s Note, A World Wide Web of Unwanted Children: The Practice, the Problem, and the Solution to Private Re-Homing, offers a detailed overview of private re-homing, provides an analysis into the root causes, and offers child-centered solutions to the practice. Private re-homing is the process of engaging in the transfer of children from one adoptive home to a non-licensed caregiver for the purposes of permanently altering the child’s family make-up. In many instances, this treats children as commodities. Testerman explains that parents eager to relinquish custody of their children often advertise their children online, offering them to individuals who would likely not be able to adopt through legal means. Many of these children face repeated physical, sexual, and emotional trauma. While some states have taken steps to curb this practice, private re-homing remains largely unregulated, and endangers children who fail to thrive in adoptive placements. Testerman proposes legal solutions and calls for better pre- and post-adoption state support. My response expounds on the key issues raised in Testerman’s Note and offers additional insights into pre-adoption practices and post-adoption concerns. Read more.

Fla. L. Rev. Forum

Justin Sevier
On Hearsay Dragon-Slaying
Response to Liesa L. Richter, Posnerian Hearsay: Slaying the Discretionary Dragon

Professor Liesa L. Richter evokes dragon imagery in her important debate with Judge Richard Posner over the future of Article VIII of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which governs the use of hearsay evidence at trial. In her article, titled Posnerian Hearsay: Slaying the Discretion Dragon, Professor Richter critiques Judge Posner’s latest proposal for analyzing hearsay, which appears in his concurrence in the Seventh Circuit case, United States v. Boyce. As I discuss in more detail below, there is actually much agreement between Professor Richter and Judge Posner with respect to the policy and doctrinal intricacies surrounding the rule barring hearsay evidence. However, they disagree strongly regarding the role of judicial discretion in determining whether certain types of hearsay are “reliable enough” to overcome Article VIII’s general bar on the use of second-hand information as evidence at trial. This Article briefly (1) analyzes Judge Posner’s proposed approach to hearsay, (2) examines Professor Richter’s critique, and (3) discusses other paradigms—supported by experimental psychology research—by which to evaluate out-of-court statements used as evidence at trial. Read more.

Environmental Law

Florida Constitutional Law