Emma Palmer
MSB Solicitors Liverpool
Emma PalmerPartner
Law Society Children panel Member
Resolution Accredited Specialist in Domestic Violence and Child Abduction

Example Of Handling The Failings Of Social Services:
Emma Palmer represented a mother whose child was placed voluntarily with his grandmother prior to Proceedings. The main issue was the mother’s drug use. During Proceedings, the allocated Social Worker was unprofessional in her dealings with the mother. The mother worked hard to resolve her drug issue and her parenting assessment was largely positive, subject to further testing. The drug testing result showed no evidence of direct drug use during the relevant period but the Social Worker doubted the mother’s ability to remain abstinent and recommended the child stay with his grandmother under a Special Guardianship Order.
We fought this on the basis that the Social Worker’s personal bias against mother was evidence of the Social Worker’s unprofessional conduct. The Court believed the mother over the Social Worker and returned the child to the mother immediately, under a Supervision Order with a direction that a new Social Worker be allocated for the period of the Supervision Order.

Representation Of A Child:
Emma Palmer represented a child in Care Proceedings where the Local Authority sought removal. Emma argued against the removal and advocated instead for a parent and baby placement . The Judge stated that it was the appropriate Order and the parents were given the opportunity to prove they could care for their child safely.

We Raised Breach Of Human Rights When Father’s Right To Contact With A Child Ignored By The Local Authority:
Emma Palmer represented a father in a case where the mother had voluntarily agreed for the children to go into foster care on a short-term basis whilst Care Proceedings were being issued. The father requested contact which was ignored by the local authority. Care Proceedings were issued and Emma successfully applied for was thought to be the first  for a declaration of breach of the Human Rights Act in Merseyside family Courts. The case concluded with the child returning to father’s care.

Disputing Drug Test Results:
Emma was instructed in a three day final hearing for an intervenor in Care Proceedings who supported the child being returned to father’s care. The child was to be placed for adoption due to the father’s drug use which was denied. The father had been drug tested and the results showed that despite what he said, he had taken drugs. Emma attended at Court and immediately requested a second opinion of the interpretation of the drug test results. The Judge was unhappy that this had not been raised by any party prior to Emma’s instruction but allowed a second expert to be instructed if the work could be done that day. Emma found an appropriate expert immediately and the interpretation of the drug results was questioned. When challenged the original drug testing company said that there was a possibility that the father had been telling the truth and it may be that he hadn’t taken drugs in the relevant time frame. As a direct result of that new information the child was returned to the father’s care in line with her client’s wish.

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