On November 19, 2021, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of South Central Kentucky held its annual Soup & Heroes Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at Mariah’s Banquet Room. During the luncheon, recognition was given to Advocates achieving milestone service anniversaries, SuperCASA awards were presented for volunteers going above and beyond, and the following were honored:
2021 CASA Community Partner of the Year – WNKY TV
2021 Margaret Ryan Huddleston Guardian Ad Litem of the Year – Rebecca Simpson, ELPO Law
2021 Hugo Becker Volunteer Advocate of the Year – Marla Calvert
The 2021 Margaret Ryan Huddleston Guardian Ad Litem of the Year award was presented to Rebecca Simpson by Rebecca Gibson, Family Court Prosecutor for the Warren County Attorney’s Office, and Leslie Bucklew, Assistant County Attorney for the Warren County Attorney’s Office.
A Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) is an attorney appointed by the court to represent children and to make recommendations to the court regarding the best interests of a child. A GAL may be appointed in all types of family law cases, including child abuse & neglect cases, termination of parental rights cases, adoptions and divorce cases involving child custody. The GAL’s responsibility is primarily legal in nature, and in this role they advocate in court, file motions and other pleadings, provide evidence and testimony, cross examine witnesses, make objections and participate in hearings and trials. It is the GAL’s responsibility to ensure that the court has all the relevant facts and opinions at all hearings and all stages of proceedings. The GAL is also charged with building a trusting relationship with the child. A GAL advocates for a child’s best interest, but also advises the court when the child disagrees with the GAL’s assessment of the case.
About Rebecca Simpson:
Rebecca Simpson is a Partner with English, Lucas, Priest & Owsley, LLP in her hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, where she serves as both the Family Law Practice Group Chair and the Diversity & Inclusion Chair for her firm. Rebecca is an honors graduate of both Western Kentucky University and the University of Louisville, Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, and has been practicing law in Kentucky for more than 22 years.
Throughout her career, Rebecca has been committed to professional excellence, to public service and to the improvement of the practice of law. To that end, she devoted eight years of her career to working as a public interest attorney with Kentucky Legal Aid, and she currently serves as Guardian Ad Litem in Warren Family Court. Rebecca also volunteers with the local mediation program for low-income families that she helped to develop and implement. A Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Rebecca is an active member of many local, state, national and international professional associations, and holds leadership roles within many of these organizations. Rebecca is a frequent panelist for legal presentations and also has taught pre-law courses at Western Kentucky University.
Outside of her work with families in her community, Rebecca cherishes spending time with her own family. She has been married to Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, Jamie Simpson, for 20 years. Jamie and Rebecca are the very proud parents of Emma Simpson, a WKU Honors College student, and Lily Simpson, who is a Junior at Bowling Green High School. Read Rebecca’s full bio here.
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of South Central KY, Inc. is a non-profit agency dedicated to preventing and eliminating further trauma to children. CASA provides support, advocacy, and intervention for abused, neglected, and dependent children in South Central Kentucky’s Family Court Systems. A CASA volunteer is a court appointed, trained and committed adult who ensures that each child’s individual needs remain a priority in an over-burdened child welfare system. For more information on CASA of South Central KY, please go to www.CASAofSCK.org.