Committee Program

Friday, January 29, 2021

1:00 PM – 4:30 PM


Black Families Matter: How People of Color Fare in Family Court and How We Can Do Better

This program will consider the reality of treatment of black families in child welfare cases and other Family Court proceedings and the continuing need to guard against and remedy systemic racism and implicit bias to meet the mandate of equal justice under law. Special consideration will be given to the interplay of race and gender for girls and women of color involved in the family judicial system.


Committee Chair

Lorraine R. Silverman, Esq.
Copps DiPaola Silverman, PLLC.

Program Co-Chairs

George E. Reed, Jr., Esq.
White Plains
Kristen A. Conklin, Esq.
Executive Director, NYS Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children

4.0 MCLE Credits- 3.0 Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias; 1.0 Areas of Professional Practice

This program is transitional and is suitable for all attorneys including those newly admitted

Friday, January 29, 2021

1:00 PM – 1:05 PM

Welcome and Opening Remarks

Program Co-Chairs

Kristen Anne Conklin, Esq.
George E. Reed, Jr., Esq.


1:05 PM – 2:45 PM

Remedying the Injustice: A Multi-systems Approach for the Legal Community

This panel will focus on a multi-systems approach to remedying racial injustice through racial equity assessments, early representation of parents and children, race equity training and tools, collaboration, and gender responsive approaches. It will address what the legal community can do to reverse the historically constant scrutiny, over surveillance, poverty, and exposure bias that leads to disproportionate intervention and destabilization of families of color that results in systemic suffering of children in foster care, mental illness and under performance in school. The panel will examine how the legal community can work to end the disparate treatment of women, particularly Black women, in the courts.


Dawne Mitchell, Esq. | Attorney in Charge, The Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Practice, New York, NY
Hon. Kathie E. Davidson | Administrative Judge, Ninth Judicial District, White Plains, NY
Prof. Shabnam Javdani, Ph.D. | Assistant Professor of Applied Psychology, New York University, New York, NY

2.0 Credits in Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias


2:45 PM – 2:50 PM



2:50 PM – 3:40 PM

Establishing and Enforcing Equal Justice in the Courts: How the Legal Community Can Help

Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Edwina G. Mendelson, who is leading the court system’s day-to-day efforts to implement the recommendations of the Special Advisor on Equal Justice, will outline the findings and recommendations of the Special Advisor, as well as discuss the plans and timelines for putting these necessary Equal Justice reforms into action in the Courts.


Hon. Edwina G. Mendelson | Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives, New York State

1.0 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice


3:40 PM – 4:30 PM

How the Legal Community Can Promote Racial and Gender Equality

This panel will examine the approaches and types of programming that will remedy the gender and racial inequalities that girls and women in face in Family court and the juvenile justice system. It will identify methods that reduce gender inequities that girls face when they encounter the juvenile justice system and the ways we can better address their needs.


Rashida D. Cartwright-Thigpen, Esq. | Senior Assistant County Attorney, Westchester County, White Plains
McKenzie Berezin, Ph.D. | Doctoral Fellow in Counseling Psychology, New York University, New York, NY

1.0 Credit in Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias


4:30 PM



$119: Section Member | $149: NYSBA Member | $269: Non-NYSBA Member

REGULAR REGISTRATION (1/1/21 and after)

$159: Section Member | $199: NYSBA Member | $359: Non-NYSBA Member

IMPORTANT: For those of you that wish to attend multiple Section or Committee programs, we are extending a discount of 25% off the pricing of 2 or more programs, however you must contact our MRC Department directly and register over the phone.


If you have questions please contact us at 800.582.2452 | [email protected]

Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

If you would like to view and register for our Committee’s additional upcoming events, or access the on-demand library for past events, please visit our Committee’s page here: