About a month ago, one of our volunteer lawyers had a moving experience in court. Our client, Ms. Winter, gave beautiful, tearful testimony about the needs and limitations of her 21 year old son, Sam, and painted a colorful picture of the journey she and her son have been on together, the challenges that lie ahead, and the profound combination of duty, hardship, and adoration that defines her life with Sam. The attorney for the ward spoke movingly about the abundance of love and joy between mother and son. In her decision, the judge gave Ms. Winter guardianship over her adult son, which allows Ms. Winter to make important personal and health decisions on her son’s behalf. The judge also decided that, should Sam be able to earn an income in some capacity after he completes high school, Ms. Winter would then be able to seek conservatorship, giving her power to make financial decisions on behalf of her son.
At the conclusion of the hearing, when our volunteer attorney asked the judge if they could take a photo, the judge did an especially kind thing in open court and asked Sam and his mom to approach the bench. She took off her robe and ceremoniously put it on Sam and let him sit in the judge’s chair, with gavel in hand. Sam really loved it. Mother and son walked out of the court house hand-in-hand, gazing at each other lovingly, feeling understood and victorious. It a beautiful day in court.