Deborah Ausburn is a member of Taylor English’s Litigation and Dispute Resolution Department, where she focuses on advising and defending youth-serving organizations. Ms. Ausburn has spent more than 30 years as a social worker, foster parent, criminal prosecutor, and civil trial attorney. Her experience includes successful cases before the United States Supreme Court in constitutional claims, extensive work in free speech and religious freedom issues, and dozens of successful jury trials. That experience has given her a national presence with organizations that serve young people.
Ms. Ausburn's background has given her unique insights into defending child care centers, camps, schools, and mentoring organizations. She has volunteered with and defended youth-serving organizations throughout the United States in matters as diverse as personal injury cases, intrusive government regulations, libel and slander issues, and claims of sexual abuse. She has conducted numerous investigations of claims of historic child abuse and sexual assault or harassment claims. She also advises youth-serving organizations about child protection policies, staff screening, conduct standards, cyberbullying, and best practices for protecting the children in their care.
Prior to joining Taylor English, Ms. Ausburn worked with well-respected civil litigation firms defending personal injury claims against youth-serving organizations and medical facilities as well as defending child care centers and private schools in disputes with state and federal governments. She served as a federal prosecutor in Western North Carolina, prosecuting cases of sexual assault, child abuse, and drug trafficking. She has worked with non-profit legal foundations defending free speech, religious liberties, and property rights in various federal courts.
What is very unique about Debbie is that she makes her living as a lawyer, but takes care of other people’s children. For more than 40 years, she has been working with traumatized children, starting as a preteen helping her parents with their summer camp and church ministries. In the years since, she has served as a juvenile court probation officer/social worker, group home parent, criminal prosecutor, non-profit volunteer and Board member, and attorney defending youth-serving organizations.
Her most important roles have been foster parent and stepparent. She never had biological children but has managed to collect 7 children and 10 grandchildren. Along the way, her foster children, stepchildren, and grandchildren have taught her the life lessons that are the core of her speaking and writing — the lessons that she wished she could have learned from a parenting manual rather than trial and error.
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