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.
- Lead counsel in Solis v. Laurelbrook Sanitarium and School, Inc., Case No. 09-6128 (6th Cir., April 28, 2011), successfully defending private vocational school against Department of Labor's attempt to apply workplace regulations
- Successful argument before the United States Supreme Court in Northeastern Florida Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America v. City of Jacksonville, 508 U.S. 656 (1993)
- Assisted Centers for Disease Control in preparation of 2007 publication, Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-Serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures
- Appointed by Governor Perdue to Board of Georgia Department Human Resources, 2005-2007
- Lead federal prosecutor in numerous jury trials of rape and child sexual abuse cases from Cherokee Indian Reservation in western North Carolina, along with federal pornography and sex trafficking cases, 1992-1999
State Bar of Georgia
State Bar of North Carolina
Claims and Litigation Management (CLM) Alliance
American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
American Camping Association
Coverdell Leadership Institute, 2001-2002
Board of Directors, Enduring Hearts, Inc., 2018-present
Boy Scouts of America, Atlanta Area Council, Youth Protection Advisory Committee, 2012-present
Board of Directors, Cherokee Child Advocacy Council, 2008-2019
Board of Directors, Hillside, Inc., 2012-2018
Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, Inc.
- Board of Directors 2003-2005
- Advisory Board 2012-2014
Georgia Department of Human Resources, Board Member 2005-2007
Caring for Children, Asheville, NC
- Foster Parent, 1995-1999
- Board Member, 1998-1999
Defense of organizations across the country in personal injury claims, including child sexual abuse; defense of childcare centers throughout Georgia in licensing and general litigation matters. She served as a federal prosecutor, handling crimes against children, and has deep experience in constitutional litigation.
She has worked with organizations across the country, including childcare centers, camps, private K-12 schools, colleges, and mentoring organizations, in conducting internal investigations of abuse and harassment claims, developing youth protection policies, and consulting about best practices in internal policies.
- Successfully defended a private school against the invalid application of child labor laws to a vocational program.
Solis v. Laurelbrook
Successfully defended a private school against claims by the United States Department of Labor that its vocational program violated child labor laws and obtained an order awarding the school its attorneys’ fees. The favorable opinion from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals established precedent for all similar schools in the four-state circuit.
- Obtained jury verdict in favor of a non-profit advocacy group in trademark and defamation jury trial
Successfully defended non-profit advocacy group against claim that it did not own rights to its name.
Wrote amicus curiae brief in support of challenge to Minnesota statutes limiting free speech activities near voting areas.
- Lead federal prosecutor in jury trials of rape and child sexual abuse cases along with federal pornography and sex trafficking cases.
Deborah was the federal prosecutor in numerous jury trials of rape and child sexual abuse cases from Cherokee Indian Reservation in western North Carolina. She has also represented plaintiffs in civil rights cases in federal court, and participated in two constitutional claims before the United States Supreme Court.
Hecht v. Laurelbrook Sanitarium and School
Represented the defendant, a Seventh Day Adventist school and sanitarium, against claims brought by the plaintiff under Tennessee’s workers’ compensation statutes. The defendant’s defense was based in part under the United States Constitution and the Tennessee Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
- Assisted Centers for Disease Control in preparation of 2007 publication, Preventing Child Sexual Abuse Within Youth-Serving Organizations: Getting Started on Policies and Procedures.
Advised on legal aspects of standards for youth serving organizations in hiring, screening and supervision.
Governing board for state agency, serving on committee for department of Family and Children's services.
- Child Abuse Reporting: Addressing Ethical Dilemmas for Lawyers, CLE Webinar, Knowledge Group Child Abuse ReportingJanuary 28, 2020
- October 27, 2019
- October 10, 2019
- September 24, 2019
- September 23 – 25, 2019.
- November 14-17
- ASCI Professional Development Forum 2017November 20 – 21, 2017
- "Mandated Reporter Laws: Who, What, Where, When, and Why," Breakout Session, ASCI Professional Development Forum 2017, GeorgiaOctober 27, 2017
- "It's Transformational," Breakout Session Workshop, Fellowship of Companies for Christ International 38th Annual International Business Leaders ConferenceSeptember 17-21, 2017
- February 7-11, 2018
- "Mandated Reporter Training: Overcoming Barriers and Protecting Children," American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children's Advanced Training SummitJune 21-23, 2017
- "Internal Investigations," Association of Christian Schools International 2016 Professional Development ForumNovember 21, 2016
- "Dealing with Sexuality Issues in Christian Schools," Association of Christian Schools International 2016 Professional Development ForumNovember 21, 2016
- "Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse: Who, What, When, Where & Why," National Association for the Education of Young Children's 2016 Annual ConferenceNovember 2-5, 2016
- "Dealing with Sexuality Issues in Christian Schools," Association of Christian Schools International 2016 Professional Development ForumOctober 14, 2016
- "Mandated Reporting: Who, What, Where, When, Why," American Camp Association 2016 Southeastern Fall Camp ConferenceSeptember 26-28, 2016
- "Managing Risks: Helping Children Conquer Their Fears, Reassuring Parents, and Fending Off Lawyers," 2016 Tri-State Camp Conference, American Camping AssociationMarch 9, 2016
- "Managing Risks: Helping Children Conquer Their Fears, Reassuring Parents, and Fending Off Lawyers," 2016 American Camp Association National ConferenceFebruary 11, 2016
- February 2, 2016
- "Managing Risks: Encouraging Children to Conquer Their Fears, Reassuring Parents, and Fending Off Lawyers," American Camp Association 2015 Southeastern ConferenceOctober 6, 2015
- August 1, 2015
- "Mandatory Reporting," American Camping Association SE Camp4UMay 2, 2015
- "Managing Risks: Teaching Children Resilience, Reassuring Parents, and Fending off Lawyers," 2015 Tri State CAMP Conference, American Camping AssociationMarch 18, 2015
- November 5, 2014
- October 21, 2014
- "Preventing Child Abuse in Your Organization," Atlanta Area Council, Boy Scouts of America's Youth Protection Seminar for Youth Serving AgenciesOctober 16, 2014
- "Managing Risks: Helping Children Conquer Fear, Reassuring Parents, and Fending Off Attorneys," American Camp AssociationSeptember 21, 2014
- May 6, 2014
- "A Parent and a Lawyer Walk Into a Camp: Avoiding and Responding to Lawsuits," 2012 ACA Southeastern ConferenceOctober 2, 2012
- Child Labor Laws and Vocational Schools: Podcast on Taylor English Litigation Win in Solis v. LaurelbrookJuly 19, 2011
- November 12, 2015
- June 19, 2015
- May 5, 2011
- April 26, 2011
- June 21, 2021
- Information Current as of March 17, 2021
- Information Current as of August 3, 2020
- Information Current as of July 6, 2020
- Information Current as of April 10, 2020
- An Anticipated Coronavirus Vaccine: How will Georgia Schools & Daycare Handle Vaccination Exemptions?Information Current as of June 11, 2020
- Information Current as of May 29, 2020
- Information Current as of May 13, 2020
- Information Current as of April 29, 2020
- Information Current as of April 28, 2020
- March 24, 2020
- October 3, 2019
- January 1, 2019
- June 2018
- By: Deborah AusburnMay 17, 2018
- By: Deborah AusburnMay 9, 2018
- September 21, 2016
- Mandated Reporter Laws in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina: Who, What, When, Where and Why You Must ReportSeptember 21, 2016
- September 21, 2016
- February 2, 2016
- July 22, 2014
- Higher Education and Research Parks
- Litigation and Dispute Resolution
- Public Interest and Advocacy
- Youth-Serving Organizations
University of Georgia School of Law, JD, magna cum laude, 1986
- Georgia Law Review, Symposium Editor, 1985-1986; Editorial Board, 1984-1985
- Order of the Coif
- Order of Barristers
Bob Jones University, BS, Speech Education, 1979
Clerk, Hon. J.L. Edmondson, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 1986-1987
Courts & Adjudicative Bodies
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
American Camp Association' Southeastern Community Service Award, 2015