Defense Strategy Plays a Critical Role in Your CACI Hearing

It is critical that you choose the right defense strategy in order to win your Child Abuse Central Index grievance hearing. Every once in a while, someone will ask me why my win rate is higher than other lawyers across the state. The question is, do I cherry pick? Am I only choosing the best cases, the cases that are slam dunk winners, and not taking any of the other harder cases? The answer to that is no. I wanted to talk to you about my process and about how defense strategy plays a role in your CACI case.

A Clear Winning Defense Strategy for your CACI Hearing

Anytime someone calls me as a prospective client and asks questions, what I do is I gather the information. I'm listening to their story. What happened? What are the facts?

Then after I hear all that, then I tell them the defense strategy that I see. Very often, I'll know right off the bat, this is the defense strategy that we're going to use, and this is how we're going to win your case. Now I can't ever promise someone that we're going to win their case, but I can tell them if I have a high opinion or a high degree of confidence in a defense strategy. Very often, I'll know right off the bat, this is the defense strategy that is going to win, so I'll be able to identify that for most callers, or for a lot of callers. I love those cases.

No Winning Defense Strategy CACI Hearing

On the opposite side of the spectrum are the other types of cases where I have to tell people sadly, "I'm sorry, but I can't help you. I don't see any avenue for you to get off the Child Abuse Central Index. I don't see any defense strategy that's going to help you, and tragically you're just going to be saying on the Index. I'm sorry." Those kinds of calls also happen very often. Probably just as often, maybe even more often than the calls that I get that are slam dunk winners, if you will. So, both of those happen very often.

Unclear Defense Strategy for Your CACI Hearing

Now in the middle, of course, are those middle-ground cases where I'm not sure. I don't know what the defense strategy is going to be. This also happens very often. It can either be an evidence-based strategy or it can be a law-based strategy, so it's going to be a factual issue or evidentiary issue or the strategy will be based instead on a legal issue. There are plenty of times when I get a call and I'll listen to the story about what happened, and I don't know what defense strategy we're going to use. Usually I'll be able to identify, okay here are a couple options that we have. We can use this defense strategy or that defense strategy.

Usually I'll have an idea of two or three possible defense strategies that we can use, but I won't know which one is the best one until we review all the evidence, we gather everything. We get the county's evidence. We get our evidence. Then we look at everything. Then we can decide which strategy is going to be best.

Sometimes when I tell people this, they'll say, "So you're not sure what the best defense strategy is going to be. Does that mean that I'm likely out of luck? Does that mean that I shouldn't fight this? I'm just gonna be out of luck?" My answer is "No, that does not at all mean that. That doesn't mean you're likely to lose or you're out of luck. It doesn't mean that at all. It just means we don't know yet how we're going to win." Either it's going to be often a factual issue or a legal issue, and we just need to gather all the evidence and prepare the case to know which one it's going to be.

Finding a Defense Strategy for Your CACI Hearing

Let me give you an example. I had a case where someone called and they told me the whole story. I said, "Well I think we have two possible defense strategies." One was a factual issue and one was a legal issue. I felt semi-comfortable, fairly comfortable with both, with either one of them. I just didn't know which one we would use. I didn't know which one would be the winning argument. That was really up in the air.

So, this case lasted months. Not just two or three, but months. I don't know if it was less than a year or more than a year, but we had hundreds of pages of evidence, and over this time during the whole case I'm thinking, "Gosh, which strategy are we gonna use? I don't know." And reviewing the case multiple times.

Finally, it was probably about two weeks before the hearing where I was reviewing the file again. Not sure what we're going to do. And lightning struck. I realized what our defense strategy was going to be. It was a third strategy I had not thought of before. It was a whole new issue. It was a legal strategy. Most of the stuff that we had prepared in our case was going to not be totally irrelevant, but largely not going to be helpful for our new strategy.

In a few days, I put together and packaged this strategy because it's not just having a strategy, but it's how you're going to package it and present it because it needs to be presented to the hearing officer in a way that is persuasive and compelling. So, we packaged up this new defense strategy that I was very confident in and success. We won the hearing. My clients got off the CACI because we found the right winning defense strategy.

Choosing the Right Defense Strategy for Your CACI Hearing

So, when you are preparing your case or when you are deciding who to hire, you want to make sure that you hire someone who will have:

  1. the drive, the motivation, to find the right defense strategy for your case, and also
  2. the judgment to know which defense strategy is better than the others.

To have that judgment your lawyer is going to need knowledge and experience in these cases to know, okay these strategies generally don't work as well, or these strategies do. Your lawyer needs to know what strategy is weak versus average versus strong, or even strong versus stronger versus strongest.

So, I hope that helps as you're fighting your case and trying to get off the child abuse central index.

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