Enlightened Family Court Representation
This free CLE program is sponsored by the NYSBA Committee on Mandated Representation, and co-sponsored by the Committee on Continuing Legal Education, and the Family Law Section.
Enlightened Family Court representation: Advancing racial justice; understanding trauma; fulfilling ethical duties.
This free, five-credit virtual program will offer invaluable information and insights to both new and experienced Family Court practitioners. Providing meaningful parental representation involves more than knowing family law and procedure. It is vital to understanding how to combat racial inequities that permeate child welfare cases. A panel discussion will explore this topic. Your clients who face abuse or neglect petitions may also need your help in responding to “indicated” reports. Recent reforms to the Statewide Central Register will be addressed. You will also learn how to provide more trauma-informed representation, thanks to a joint presentation by a psychologist and an institutional office practitioner. Finally, your ethical duties to your client to explain and preserve their appellate rights will be addressed by two appeals chiefs. The training segments will be interspersed with awards presentations and ample breaks.
- June 3, 2022
- 9:30 AM
- 4:30 PM
- Virtual Participation
Advancing racial justice in child welfare: panel discussion (10 – 11:15 a.m.)
Racial bias has permeated not only the criminal justice system, but also the child welfare system. In a robust, in-depth discussion, three panelists will delve into a recent report on the topic, ways you can represent your clients to achieve racially just results, and suggestions for systemic reform. The panelists will be Angela Burton, Director of Parent Representation, New York State Office of Indigent Legal Services; David Kelly, Director of Family Integrity & Justice Works at Public Knowledge and former Special Assistant to Associate Commissioner, U.S. Children’s Bureau; and Joyce McMillan, Founder and Executive Director of JMac for Families and founder of the Parent Legislative Action Network. The panel will be moderated by Linda Gehron, a family defense attorney and former Executive Director of Hiscock Legal Aid Society in Syracuse.
Appellate ethics: your client’s appellate rights (11:45 a.m. – 12:35 p.m.)
Upon receiving an adverse outcome in a Family Court case, you must explain the decision to the client and explore his or her appellate rights and prospects. If the client decides to pursue an appeal, you must file a notice of appeal and a Family Court Act § 1118 certificate of indigency so that appellate counsel will be appointed. How to handle these ethical duties will be explained by two seasoned practitioners possessing both trial and appellate experience: Piotr Banasiak, Managing Attorney, Criminal & Family Defense Programs, Hiscock Legal Aid Society; and Tammy Feman, Appeals Bureau Chief, Legal Aid Society of Nassau County
Reforms in the Statewide Central Register (1:50 – 2:40 p.m.)
In recent years, New York saw an explosion of “hotline” reports about purported maltreatment by parents, but often the subjects of such reports were Black parents struggling to meet their family’s needs. The system has been improved by several important statutory amendments. Professor Christine Gottlieb, New York University Law School, will provide a cogent and detailed discussion on this topic, including the new standard for indicated reports, how and when to challenged indicated cases, and how to coordinate such challenges with Family Court litigation.
Understanding trauma for effective advocacy (3:10 – 4:25 p.m.)
This session on trauma transcends the area of child welfare and impacts parental representation broadly and indeed other areas of your practice, including criminal defense. Whether because of domestic violence or other history, many clients have suffered trauma that has a profound and lasting impact. Dr. Chitra Rhagavan, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a practicing psychologist with extensive experience in intimate partner violence and trauma, will explore how trauma affects the brain, while Joy Fasanya, a Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Family Representation, will discuss how to provide trauma-informed representation in Family Court cases.
Welcome (Committee Chair Leah Nowotarski)
(1.5 MCLE Credits: 1.0 Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias; 0.5 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice)
11:45 a.m. -12:35 p.m.
(1.0 MCLE Credit in Ethics)
(1.0 MCLE Credit: 0.5 Credit in Skills; 0.5 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice)
(1.5 MCLE Credits: 0.5 Credit in Skills; 1.0 Credit in Areas of Professional Practice)
Closing Remarks (Committee Chair Leah Nowotarski)
- Committee on Mandated Representation
- Committee on Continuing Legal Education
- Family Law Section