Mandatory Staff and/or Attorney Training


Monthly Legal Training Calls (2019)

Course description

This presentation will discuss the Judge’s perspective on what every Guardian ad Litem attorney should know about Dependency Court and what judges expect from the attorneys in his or her courtroom. 

Issues such as: protecting the record; best practices for eliciting manifest best interest factors for a TPR; the importance of preparing your witnesses; what is helpful to the court and what isn’t; and many more will be discussed during this month’s Topic of the Month.

Guest Speaker:  

Honorable Daniel P. Dawson

Judge Dawson has been a Circuit Court Judge for the 9th Judicial Circuit (Orange/Osceola counties) since 1991. The majority of his assignments have been in the Juvenile Division with several rotations in the Criminal Division. He is currently presiding over the UFC Juvenile Dependency Division in Osceola County. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Dawson was an Assistant State Attorney in 9th Circuit from 1979 until 1990 and served as the Division Chief of the Juvenile Division for 9 years.

He is currently a member of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention State Advisory Group, the Orange County Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Commission and is the Chair of the Osceola County Community Alliance. He has previously served as the chairman and member of The Florida Bar Juvenile Rules Committee, Task Force on Children’s Justice Act, Juvenile Justice Committee of Florida Prosecuting Attorney’s Association, Dept. of Health, Rehabilitative Services, Children, Youth and Family Statewide Advisory Council, and the Supreme Court Dependency Court Improvement Committee. In addition, he has been a member of the Orange County Juvenile Commission: Chair of the Truancy, Crime and Behavioral Issues in Schools Sub-Committee, the Supreme Court’s Steering Committee on Families and Children in the Court, Advisory Council of the Child Protection Team Sex Abuse Treatment Program, the Florida Bar Legal Needs of Children Commission, and the Child Abuse Prevention and Permanency Advisory Council. He is the author of the Florida Juvenile Law and Practice, The Florida Bar Continuing Legal Education Chapter Titled “Families and Children in Need of Services”.

Judge Dawson was named an Honorary Guardian ad Litem by Executive Director Alan Abramowitz and our annual award recognizing Best Interest Attorneys is named the Daniel P. Dawson award in honor of his dedication, support and advocacy on behalf of Florida’s children.

We are very grateful to Judge Dawson for taking the time to speak with our Program and for everything he does to enhance the advocacy provided to children in the dependency system.

For those with the Guardian ad Litem Program, this 1-hour course does apply towards in-service hours.  

Please select training topic "Legal Issues" when inputting into Optima. 


Reviews (1)

by Cindy Pidala

by Cindy Pidala

Guardian ad Litem  State Office

Guardian ad Litem State Office

Legal Counsel

Guest Presenters: 

  • Kristen Solomon, Esquire - Statewide Director of Operations 
  • Camille Frazer, Esquire - Regional Legal Counsel Southern
  • Kathleen Clendining, Esquire - Managing Attorney, 15th Circuit
  • Brittany Rutan, Esquire - Managing Attorney, 9th Circuit 
Course Contents

1 Text

1.0 hr

Course Curriculum

View from the Bench: What every lawyer needs to know (April 2019)