CASA Advisory Panel
Type: Standing Committee
Established: 4 M.R.S. Section 1505
Revised: May 13, 2020; March 17, 2021
Chair: Judge Andrew Benson
Report date: November 30, annually
Maine Court Appointed Special Advocate (Maine CASA) was established within the Administrative Office of the Courts to provide volunteer lay persons the opportunity to serve as court-appointed special advocates or guardians ad litem under Title 22 Maine Revised Statutes section 4005 in child abuse and neglect cases. 4 M.R.S. Section 1501.
The purpose of the Court Appointed Special Advocate Advisory Panel (Advisory Panel) is to set the policy for and monitor Maine CASA in recruiting, training, screening, and overseeing volunteer guardians ad litem appointed in child protection actions. 4 M.R.S. Section 1505.
The Advisory Panel supports the vision of Maine CASA that every Maine child has a safe, permanent, and loving home.
The Advisory Panel may:
• Review and comment on Maine CASA's policies and procedures.
• Identify and support marketing and recruitment efforts.
• Identify additional grant funding sources.
• Identify training and education needs for volunteers.
• Review the annual report to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court (SJC).
• Establish subcommittees to focus on designated issues.
The Advisory Panel may seek input, suggestions, and recommendations from individuals and groups within and outside the Judicial Branch. The panel may invite consultants to the meeting as needed.
The panel may establish subcommittees to focus on designated issues. The Guardian ad Litem Services Coordinator may seek input, suggestions, and recommendations from individuals and groups within and outside the Judicial Branch and invite consultants to the meetings as needed.
The Chief Justice of the SJC appoints members for three-year terms. Members serve at the sole discretion of the Chief Justice. The membership list is attached hereto.
Judge Robert Langner shall serve as Chair of the Panel.
Kaela L. Scott, Esq., Guardian ad Litem Services Coordinator, is appointed as the ex officio consultant to the Advisory Panel.
Caroline Y. Jova, Esq., Family Division Manager will serve as the liaison for the State Court Administrator.
The entire Advisory Panel shall meet as often as is necessary to fulfill its responsibilities, but no less than twice annually. The Chair shall schedule the meetings. Subcommittees will meet as needed. The Guardian ad Litem Services Coordinator will schedule subcommittee meetings. At the discretion of the Chair, a committee member will be appointed to chair the subcommittee meetings or the Guardian ad Litem Services Coordinator will serve as chair.
The Advisory Panel shall report its activities to the SJC annually on or before November 30th of every year.
VII. Committee Duration:
The Advisory Panel will be a Standing Committee of the Judicial Branch. The Committee will cease to exist when Maine CASA ends.
Dated: May 13, 2020; revised March 17, 2021
Acting Chief Justice Andrew M. Mead, Maine Supreme Judicial Court
Updated May 5, 2022
Until January 1, 2023
Erika Bristol, Esq., of Auburn
Sarah Glidden, Esq., of Lyman
Ally Keppel of Brunswick
Barbara Childs of North Waterboro
Lindsay Duranceau of Biddeford
Until January 1, 2024
Michael Kearney, Esq., of Portland
Sara Murphy, Esq., of South Portland
Until March 1, 2025
Mark Moran of Bangor
Shannon Saxby of Portland
Randi McKechnie of Ellsworth
Catherine Brillant of Augusta
Michael E. Carpenter, Esq., of Houlton
Cassandra D. Rogers, Esq., of Presque Isle
Hon. Robert Langner, Maine District Court
Kaela L. Scott, Esq., Guardian ad Litem Services Coordinator
LIAISON FOR THE STATE COURT ADMINISTRATOR
Caroline Y. Jova, Esq., Family Division Manager
Associate Justice Rick E. Lawrence, Maine Supreme Judicial Court