Children’s Rights, a national watchdog organization advocating on behalf of abused and neglected children in the U.S., has honored Paul Yetter and Yetter Coleman with its Champion Award in recognition of their major contribution in leading the fight for foster care reform in Texas.
In accepting the award, Paul remarked, “I am honored to accept this award on behalf of my wonderful colleagues at Yetter Coleman. They deserve the credit for our victory, along with our co-counsel, Barry McNeil and his law firm, Haynes & Boone in Dallas, and the amazing legal team at Children’s Rights, including Sara Bartosz, its lead lawyer, and senior attorney Christina Remlin, her right-hand litigator.” Yetter noted, “This award is for all of the children in the custody of the state of Texas,” adding, “We each have a duty that children no longer leave the foster care system in Texas, or anywhere, worse than when they arrive.”
In closing, Paul said, “This award is for all of the children in the custody of the state of Texas. Together we have taken a stand to ensure a system that protects the young people who need it most.”
Paul and the firm served as lead trial counsel in M.D. v. Abbott, the Texas foster care reform case that he and others pursued for 11 years. The result, a landmark ruling by U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack in which she found that Texas Children “almost uniformly leave state custody more damaged than they entered,” confirmed the constitutional rights of 12,000 Texas foster children, and set into motion appointment of two experts, which has since been upheld by the Fifth Circuit, who are recommending a blueprint for reform.