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Civil Rights, Child Welfare and Social Worker Liability

Mr. Flynn–O’Brien defends public employees, including social workers and child welfare officials, in federal civil rights cases. His cases have helped define the limits of social worker and other official's liability under federal civil rights law in New Mexico and the Tenth Circuit. Mr. Flynn–O’Brien also helped resolve a long standing system reform consent decree involving New Mexico's protective services system.

In addition to his ongoing litigation practice in this area, Mr. Flynn–O’Brien will consult with public entities and both plaintiff and defense attorneys outside New Mexico in federal civil rights cases involving child welfare systems, social worker and foster parent liability under federal civil rights law. This consultation is most valuable as soon as practicable after an incident that may result in litigation. Mr. Flynn–O’Brien will also consult with counsel for agencies concerning the defense of system reform cases, establishing systems for review of critical incidents, and legal risk analysis of foster care systems.

Representative cases include: