Coppock on Tennessee Adoption Law

Adoption Law Consulting

Consulting Over the Course of a Case

Dawn appreciates the confidence demonstrated by attorney’s requests for assistance with their adoption law cases questions. She consults hourly at $450.00 per hour for general questions, initial case setup and filings, or to be available on an ongoing basis during the pendency of the case. This is most commonly done in contested termination cases. Attorneys interested in this assistance may call and request a consulting contract for review and to set up an appointment to discuss the matter with Dawn.

Contact Dawn Coppock

Technical Assistance and Consultations for Lawyers

Thank you for your confidence. Dawn Coppock sets aside time to provide free technical assistance via email to attorneys as described below. Dawn also offers paid consultations and petition drafting for Tennessee attorneys. Dawn’s hourly rate for consultations with lawyers and first-draft petitions is $450 an hour. Information about consultations with nonlawyers is found here.


Free Technical Assistance for Attorneys

Dawn receives a large volume of “quick questions” and “I just need to pick your brain a minute” calls and emails. So many that we created a system to organize the incoming questions. The desire to help colleagues offer the best possible service to families prompted her to write a lawbook including the answers to most questions that lawyers have about adoption law.   If after looking for the answer in Coppock on Tennessee Adoption Law, 8th Edition attorneys still have a question, Dawn will answer your questions for free as a service to the bar.

Dawn should be able to read and answer the question in 5 minutes or less.

Questions should be specific and posed in hypothetical form and without identifying information or facts that could create a conflict should Dawn come to represent a party or be asked to mediate the case.

Free technical advice is offered by email through this portal.

If you are working on a case pro-bono, please indicate that in any message. Thank you for your service on behalf of us all. Pro-bono attorneys go to the top of the colleague assistance pile.

If the question is too involved to read and answer in 5 minutes, you may hire Dawn to consult on your case.  More information about paid consultations is offered below.

Paid Consultations for Lawyers

For matters that require more than 5 minutes, consultations are available. These may be as limited or as involved as you need and as Dawn has time to undertake. For those who want Dawn to walk me through their first independent, interstate, or contested adoption, for example, a paid consultation is the way to go.  Other common consultation topics are whether a case is viable before it is filed, trial preparedness or strategy, settlement options, how to convert a case from contested to a voluntary consent, how to best prove a particular ground, or whether a decision should be appealed and if so help to outline the appellate brief.

For paid consultations, a conflict check will be conducted prior to the call, and a payment agreement is required. Time reviewing pleadings, research, and other materials in advance of or outside the call is considered part of the time billed for a consultation. The hourly rate for consulting with attorneys is $450. There is a one-hour minimum.

Please contact us to arrange a consultation.

Petition First Draft Service

Ideally, the initial petition establishes a strategic plan for the case, leading to the ultimate goal of adoption or termination of parental rights.

Attorneys often ask Dawn to review their initial petitions. A better approach is to bring Dawn into the initial strategic thinking and let her prepare the first draft of the initial petition. Drafting is faster than searching for omissions and revising.  This approach sets up the case for success from the beginning.

The first draft service process begins after a conflict check. Dawn provides the lawyer with a data sheet to collect basic case information for the lawyer to complete, then Dawn reviews the datasheet, talks with the lawyer, prepares a first draft of the petition, and sends it to the lawyer. Follow-up calls and revisions are also available. The lawyer is responsible for reviewing the petition with the client for accuracy before it is signed and filed.

This service is offered on the same terms as other consultations, hourly at $450 per hour with a one-hour minimum. As a rough estimate, drafting a simple petition without termination of parental rights can normally be accomplished in under 2-3 hours, depending on the time spent talking with the lawyer about larger case planning issues.


Free Consultations with Judges

Judges may always call directly and anytime at 865.933.8173. The judge is responsible for compliance with the Rules of the Tennessee Supreme Court 10, RJC 2.9 (A)(2) on consulting disinterested experts.

Contact Dawn Coppock

Adoption Law Resources and Services for Attorneys, Judges and Courts

Consult with Dawn

Time is set aside almost every week to provide consulting assistance. You may use the form below to email your question or to schedule an appointment.

  • Pose the question carefully. If the answer is short and clear, the response will arrive by email.
    If your call exceeds 10 minutes, the consult will be converted to a paid consultation and/or may be rescheduled based upon time available.
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