Lawyers challenge Terri Schiavo's Guardian Ad Litem

8:44 PM, Oct 30, 2003   |    comments
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An attorney for Terri Schiavo’s parents claims her proposed court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem may be biased and unable to properly protect Terri Schiavo’s rights. In a court filing Wednesday, an attorney for the Schindler family claimed prominent USF College of Public Health Prof. Jay Wolfson may have demonstrated bias when during a television interview last week he “expressed his opposition to Terri’s Bill.” The filing went on to claim he “may not be able to carry out the duties and responsibilities as the Guardian Ad Litem. Wolfson, reached at his home Wednesday evening maintained there are constitutional questions about Terri’s Law. He declined to comment further on the Schiavo case. Wolfson holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, in public health and law. He has written a book, and contributed to more than two-dozen other books and journals. He is also co-director of the Consortium for Law and Medicine at USF and Stetson College of Law. Despite his extensive credentials, university officials did suspend him for six days without pay in 1994. He committed “serious and egregious acts of misconduct” according to the St. Petersburg Times. He was accused of “jumping on a secretary’s back and trying to wrestle a tape recorder from her” in late 1993. The secretary later sued for $300,000. Court records show that case was settled out of court. Wolfson said details of the settlement were confidential. Michael Schiavo’s attorney has asked the judge to hold off on appointing a Guardian Ad Litem until the constitutionality of Terri’s Law is sorted out. The Schindler’s attorney says the judge should move forward, maintaining that all laws are presumed to be constitutional until proven otherwise.

Ned Roberts, Tampa Bay's 10 News

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