Harvey Schweitzer, a 1976 graduate of UCLA Law School, has been involved in child welfare and related issues since 1980 when he helped create the Counsel for Child Abuse and Neglect Office at the D.C. Superior Court. Mr. Schweitzer engages in trial and appellate litigation. He is legal counsel to the (D.C.) Consortium for Child Welfare; a consultant to the (D.C.) Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council; and is an adjunct professor at Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America where he teaches juvenile law. He serves as the general counsel to Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area, is a legal advisor to Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. and provides advice and representation to many other nonprofit child serving agencies. He also represents social workers in licensing and disciplinary proceedings.
Mr. Schweitzer represents charter schools in such matters as charter compliance, relations with education management organizations and compliance with federal and local law. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the (D.C.) Next Step Public Charter School.
A frequent lecturer to lawyers and child welfare professionals on confidentiality, child abuse and neglect and mandatory reporting laws, the court process, testifying in court, adoption and laws pertaining to children in general, Mr. Schweitzer is widely recognized for his expertise in these areas.
He has handled hundreds of adoption cases and is a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys.
In 1999 he co-founded and became CEO of The Center for Social Work Management, a firm that provides consulting services to public and private child-serving agencies in the areas of social welfare law and practice, public-private joint ventures, risk-management, practice standards, service delivery and confidentiality.
Mr. Schweitzer is also associated with e‑Lawpublishing.com LLC where he is a frequent contributor to The Adoption and Child Welfare Law Reporter.
Mr. Schweitzer is admitted to practice law in D.C. and Maryland.
With over 30 years litigation experience, Mr. Scherr is a recognized authority in the area of adoption and adoption-related matters. In 1986, Mr. Scherr successfully introduced legislation to the Maryland legislature limiting the time period for birth parents to revoke consent to adoptions, thereby establishing greater stability for newly adopted children. Mr. Scherr has successfully litigated several definitive adoption matters resulting in landmark decisions, including Baby Boy C, M.N.M. and Blankman v. Pixley. In the renowned Baby Jessica case, Mr. Scherr was requested by Baby Jessica’s guardian ad-litem to submit briefs on the child’s behalf to both the Michigan Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States.
Since his career began, Mr. Scherr has been at the forefront of cutting-edge adoption matters, including successfully completing the first gay parent adoption in Maryland and the District of Columbia, as well as the first second parent gay adoption in D.C. As a result of his considerable adoption experience, Mr. Scherr has nationwide contacts and regularly counsels attorneys around the country on issues regarding contested and wrongful adoptions. He has taught Continuing Legal Education courses on adoption and adoption-related matters in Maryland and the District of Columbia, and served as the Chair of the Amicus Committee of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys for five years. Mr. Scherr was recently invited by the American Academy of Pediatrics to advise pediatricians nationwide on issues concerning liability and assessing the health of prospective internationally adopted children.
As a partner in the firm, Mr. Scherr continues to litigate and negotiate complex adoptions, adoption-related and domestic relations matters, including private, agency and international adoptions, contested and wrongful adoptions, custody, visitation and child support. He is an expert in his field, renowned for his devotion and commitment to the health and welfare of children.
Mr. Scherr is a 1962 graduate of Columbia Law School and is admitted to practice law in D.C. and Maryland.
Sherry Leichman has been a member of Maryland Bar since 1985 and has a wealth of experience in all areas of family law and litigation. Formerly with The Lewis Law Firm, a prominent domestic relations law firm in the District of Columbia, Ms. Leichman prepared complicated property settlement agreements, negotiated and litigated child custody cases, divorces, monetary awards, adoptions and other family law matters. She has also represented many clients in guardianship matters, both adult and child.
Ms. Leichman was an Associate County Attorney for Montgomery County, Maryland, for twelve years serving for 10 years as in-house counsel for the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services, representing Child Welfare Services in neglect and abuse cases and handling all the adoptions of foster children. She was also the Chief Counsel for the code enforcement unit for two years, as well as counsel to adult protective services for 12 years. Ms. Leichman served as judicial law clerk to the Honorable Douglas Moore, Jr., and Honorable John Tracey, both retired judges of the Montgomery County Juvenile Court.
Ms. Leichman received her Bachelor of Science from Boston University and her Juris Doctorate from Antioch School of Law. She is licensed to practice in the District of Columbia and Maryland. Ms. Leichman is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar Association, the Montgomery County Bar Association, the Maryland Women’s Bar Association and the District of Columbia Women’s Bar Association.
Whitney Ellenby is a 1995 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and has been involved in complex civil and civil rights litigation since 1995. Ms. Ellenby is an experienced appellate attorney who had advocated in federal courts on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice and individual plaintiffs. Since joining the firm in 2001, Ms. Ellenby has handled a variety of adoption and child custody cases including agency adoptions, interfamily and international adoptions, and litigation involving child custody, visitation and financial support issues.
Ms. Ellenby is admitted to practice law in D.C. and Maryland.
Elisabeth (Liz) Lyons
Elisabeth Lyons graduated from Georgetown University Law Center in 1988. She has been practicing law in the District of Columbia and Maryland since that time. She specializes in adoption law, and has experience in independent adoption, agency adoption, foster parent adoption and international readoptions.
Ms. Lyons is admitted to practice law in D.C. and Maryland.