Deborah A. Ausburn

Partner

Atlanta, Georgia

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 childcare 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 childcare 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.

Affiliations

  • American Camping Association
  • American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC)
  • Boy Scouts of America, Atlanta Area Council, Youth Protection Advisory Committee, 2012-present
  • Cherokee Child Advocacy Council, Board of Directors 2008-2019
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Coverdell Leadership Institute, 2001-2002
  • Enduring Hearts, Inc., Board of Directors, 2018-2021
  • Federalist Society
  • Hillside, Inc., Board of Directors,2012-2018
  • International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (IPSCAN)
  • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
  • Prevent Child Abuse Georgia, Inc., Board of Directors 2003-2005
  • State Bar of Georgia
  • State Bar of North Carolina
  • Successful Survivors Foundation, Board of Directors, 2022-present

Recognitions

  • American Camp Association’ Southeastern Community Service Award, 2015

Practice Areas

  • Government & Internal Investigations
  • High Education
  • Media
  • Non-Profit
  • Trial Practice
  • Youth Serving Organizations

Education

  • University of Georgia School of Law, JD, magna cum laude, 1986
  • Bob Jones University, BS, Speech Education, 1979

Bar Admissions

  • Georgia
  • North Carolina

Courts

  • 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 Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina

Clerkships

  • Clerk, Hon. J.L. Edmondson, Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 1986-1987

INSIGHT

CDC Changes COVID-19 Guidance for K-12, Early Childhood Education, and Camps

2022

On August 11, the CDC significantly updated its COVID-19 guidance for schools and childcare centers. It has not fully updated its…

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INSIGHT

Complex Trauma in Children is Related to Poorer Cognitive Functioning

2022

A recent review and meta-analysis of mental health literature looked at the relationship between complex trauma and cognitive functioning…

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The First Story We Hear May Not Be the Whole Story

2022

A long-standing Title IX lawsuit illustrates the importance of paying attention to every claim from a child, no matter how minor it seems…

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Another Court Applies Title IX to a Nonprofit School

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Just days after a Maryland federal court held that nonprofit status subjected a private school to Title IX regulations, a California has…

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Non-Profit Schools May Be Subject to Title IX

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Jury Verdict Follows Conventional Wisdom

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A state social worker won $2 million in damages after convincing jurors that his supervisors retaliated after he reported problems with…

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Mandated Reporters Must Make Formal Reports

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Recently, I have seen an increasing number of people, including clients, get in trouble for failing to report suspected abuse either in…

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Study of Neglect Cases Finds Most Investigations Have Multiple Reasons for Concern

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An important new study addresses the common belief that child protective services agencies conflate poverty with child neglect. The…

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Acceptance of PPP Loan Brings Private School Under Title IX Regulations

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A U.S. District Court decision from North Carolina may have important implications for private schools throughout the country. Karanik v….

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Five Ways that Your Organization Can Support Foster Families

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Probably the biggest need in our foster care system is the lack of sufficient support for foster parents. The usual answer, more…

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Law School’s No-Contact Order Violates First Amendment

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A federal district judge recently issued a preliminary injunction against the University of Idaho law school, preventing it from…

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INSIGHT

Proposed Title IX Guidelines Could Lead Schools to Violate First Amendment

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The U.S. Department of Education has issued proposed new regulations under Title IX, changing many of the existing rules for K-12 and…

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INSIGHT

Social Support Can Help Negate Exposure to Domestic Violence

2022

A recently-published research study from Canada found that children who witnessed parental domestic violence had a higher incidence of…

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Child Education Programs Don’t Prevent Abuse

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One universal component of child protection policies is some level of education for the children themselves. Most off-the-shelf policies…

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INSIGHT

Lower mandated reporting thresholds correlate to more reports, fewer substantiations

2022

A recent study concluded that states whose mandated reporter laws require only a suspicion of abuse, rather than a reasonable belief,…

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INSIGHT

Mandated Reporting Webinar

2022

Join Taylor English attorneys Debbie Ausburn and Tom Rawlings in a webinar on Wednesday, June 29, about mandated reporting…

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INSIGHT

Some Foster Kids Need More Resources Than the System Can Offer

2022

An article from PBS takes a closer look at the problem of finding housing for high-needs foster kids. It’s a complex problem, and…

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INSIGHT

Louisiana Clarifies Suspension of Statute of Limitations for Sexual Abuse Claims

2022

The Louisiana legislature has passed a law clarifying that its previous suspension of the statute of limitations applies to claims of…

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Adventurous Play May Build Resilience in Children

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A fascinating new study from the UK found that children who engaged in risky play were more resistant to mental health problems during…

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Questions to Children about Time May Skew Forensic Interviews

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A recent study indicates that asking children to talk about “the first time” or “the last time” that something happened may confuse them….

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INSIGHT

Social Media Addiction Lawsuits Could Be Coming to California

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A bill is advancing through the California legislature that would allow parents to sue social media companies if their children become…

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INSIGHT

Correlation Between Bullying and Self-Harm

2022

A recent study from Ontario delved into the self-reports of almost 3,000 adolescents in the 2014 Ontario Child Health Study. The…

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INSIGHT

Youth Organizations Need to Prepare for a New Wave of Lawsuits

2022

New York governor Kathy Hochul has signed a bill designed to give adult survivors of abuse the right to file suit, regardless of how long…

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INSIGHT

Join Us (Virtually) in Estonia

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Next week, TED attorneys will be speaking at the European Conference for the International Society for the Prevention of Child Abuse and…

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INSIGHT

CDC Issues New Coronavirus Guidelines for Schools and Camps

2022

The Centers for Disease Control have issued updated guidance for schools, early childhood education, and residential camps. The guidance…

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