September 8, 2011
Distinguished Professor and Scholar John Myers is nationally recognized for his expertise in child abuse and neglect, and his prolific scholarship in the area has had a profound impact on a heightened awareness of the problem in American society. His vast body of work in the field, both in articles, books, and in hundreds of presentations throughout the country, has been an important resource to countless judges, attorneys, social workers and policemen.
Myers' passion for the difficult and complex subject knows no boundaries. He quietly added another chapter to his singular resume in December 2010, signing a three-year contract to represent every abused and neglected child in the Colusa County dependency system as a minors' counsel.
Every Monday, he takes a 45-minute drive north from his Davis home to the rural county seat to represent young clients in court proceedings. On weekends, he often calls on his young clients to discuss their cases — visits that have not only taken him to foster homes throughout the tiny county (population 22,000), but also to faraway places such as a San Diego Native-American reservation and Washington state.
"I'm enjoying practicing law in the field on which I write about very much," said Myers. "The judges, there are only two of them, are very nice people as well as the other attorneys with whom I have come in contact. I like the small-town environment where you feel every case is getting the attention it deserves."
There are three attorneys involved in each court proceeding — one for the county, one for the parent or guardian, and me," he said. "I had never done this kind of work even though I have been teaching it [in Juvenile Law] for years. It's very rewarding to play a small, direct role in trying to secure a safe, permanent, and nurturing environment for a child."