DCF Press Release

State of Florida
Department of Children and Families
Charlie Crist

Robert A. Butterworth

February 29, 2008 (850) 488-4855

Children and Families Announces New Statewide Children's Legal Services Director of Appeals
~ Jeff Gillen accepts appointment to direct Department appeals throughout the state ~

TALLAHASSEE, FLA. - Department of Children and Families Secretary Bob Butterworth has appointed Jeffrey Gillen to serve as the statewide Children's Legal Services Director of Appeals. Over 350 attorneys serve in the Department's Children's Legal Services division statewide, making it the Department's largest legal entity.

"We are very fortunate to have someone with Jeff's expertise lead the Department's appellate efforts," said Secretary Butterworth. "With Jeff's outstanding tenure as a Senior Attorney in the Department, he has the experience and dedication necessary to further strengthen our legal team."

Gillen has dedicated more than 10 years to the Department as a Children's Legal Services Senior Attorney serving in the 19th and 15th judicial circuits. Since 2002, Gillen has represented the Department in various appellate proceedings in four of the five Florida District Courts of Appeal as well as in the Florida Supreme Court where he has presented four oral arguments on behalf of the Department.

"I've personally dedicated myself for some time to ensuring consistency in the Department's legal positions in Florida's District Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court," said Gillen. "I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to carry this mission forward and to further our commitment to serving the best interests of every child in our care."

Upon appointment, Gillen will be working alongside Mary Cagle, Director of Children's Legal Services statewide. Children's Legal Services is comprised of the Department's front line attorneys who work with judges, law enforcement, foster parents, guardians and community-based care agencies around the state to provide services for vulnerable children and families.

"I am confident in knowing Jeff's leadership and legal abilities will be an asset to our team," said Cagle. "He is a motivated individual who will surely bring consistency in appellate proceedings."

Gillen completed Culver Military Academy as Cadet Lieutenant and Personnel Officer, earned his Bachelor's from Denison University in Ohio and a Juris Doctorate from Syracuse University College of Law. He previously worked in General Foods Corporation's legal department, supervising outside lawyers retained by the company from across the country. He later became a partner in a small private firm in Albany, New York. Gillen currently resides in Palm Beach County and will remain there in his new post.

For more information about the programs and services offered by the Florida Department of Children and Families, visit www.state.fl.us/cf_web/.


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