Tim Flynn-O’Brien

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Tim Flynn-O’Brien, JD

Retired Civil Rights & Tort Attorney

Timothy Flynn-O’Brien graduated from the University of California Berkeley School of Law in 1976, was admitted to practice before the state courts of New Mexico, the Navajo tribal courts, the U. S District Court of New Mexico, and the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. For much of his career, Mr. Flynn-O’Brien represented CYFD, foster parents and social workers in civil rights and tort litigation in federal and state courts. He also advised CYFD Secretaries and senior staff on child welfare issues and conducted training for case workers on 4th Amendment search and seizure in the context of abuse and neglect investigations.

During his career Mr. Flynn-O’Brien had a broad range of involvement with child welfare issues. In the J.J.B. case he was counsel for amicus ACLU on behalf of the father before the Court of Appeals and New Mexico Supreme Court. In J.J.B. the Court reversed the district court’s termination of the father’s parental rights. See, J.J.B., In the Matter of the Adoption of J.J.B. v. Bookert, 1995-NMSC-026, 119 N.M. 638 (the presumption of abandonment established by the conditions set forth in Section 32-1-54(B)(4) may be rebutted by showing that a parent lacks responsibility for the disintegration of the parent-child relationship). On remand to the district court, Mr. Flynn-O’Brien and his co-counsel represented the father in proceedings concerning custody. In another case involving parental rights, Mr. Flynn-O’Brien represented a parent in a case that restored a mother’s parental rights despite a prior voluntary relinquishment and adoption on the theory that the natural parent retained a residual parental right that could be recognized when the adoptive parents relinquished.

More than ten years after the initial consent decree was entered, Mr. Flynn-O’Brien became counsel for CYFD and other defendants in Joseph A. v. Ingram, 285 F.3d 1253 (10th Cir. 2002), a class action system reform case in New Mexico. Mr. Flynn-O’Brien negotiated two revised decrees and was counsel when defendants reached compliance and obtained dismissal.

Mr. Flynn-O’Brien also did land use and civil rights work. He retired from active practice in April 2021 and is an inactive member of the New Mexico Bar.

Tim Flynn O'Brien, JD, Retired Civil Rights and Tort Attorney