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Children and Families Clinic Spotlight

NSU Law Children and Families Clinic


L-R Manuel Arrieta, Mariam Butt, Harshdeep Sandhu, Professor Brion Blackwelder, Vivian Arenas, Golbarg Gina Riahi, and Nicholas Ashby

Success of the NSU Children and Families Clinic is a collaborative effort resulting in a truly meaningful reunification of parent and child in an international abduction case.

Six 2018 3L students—Manuel Arrieta (certified legal intern), Mariam Butt, Harshdeep Sandhu, Vivian Arenas, Golbarg Gina Riahi, and Nicholas Ashby — under the direction of Professor Brion Blackwelder and Professor Timothy Arcaro, successfully represented a father seeking the return of his ten-year-old daughter in an international child abduction case in Broward County, Florida. The Clinic accepted this case as a pro bono referral from the U.S. State Department Office of Children’s Legal Issues, which is the designated central authority for purposes of The Hague Convention on Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

The client, a citizen of the Dominican Republic, sent his child to the United States during the summer of 2017 for a three month visit, but the child was never returned to him, in violation of a Dominican court order and international law. The client subsequently moved to Spain. The team was able to obtain an order granting a return petition, which reunified the minor child with her father. See photo insert.

Circuit Court Judge John Patrick Contini, assigned to the case, was impressed by the level of sophistication NSU Law students demonstrated with this complex matter and the professionalism Manuel demonstrated in the courtroom.


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