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NYCLA ESTABLISHES TASK FORCE ON THE FAMILY COURT
June 24, 2008 – New York, NY – The New York County Lawyers’ Association (NYCLA) has established a Task Force on the Family Court that will analyze proceedings from two conferences that the NYCLA Justice Center convened on the Family Court and develop a reform agenda. The Task Force is co-chaired by Hon. Howard Miller, Appellate Division, Second Department, and Professor Jane M. Spinak, Columbia Law School, and comprises judges, parent advocates, government officials, court personnel, academics and legal service providers.
The Task Force will propose reforms after analyzing the recommendations submitted by participants of a two-day conference in 2006, sponsored by NYCLA and Columbia Law School, which focused on how the Family Court was facing the challenges of the new century in light of ever-changing social and economic conditions. The conference was part of a larger national conversation, spurred by the recommendations of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care, to reassess the way in which family courts address the central needs of children and families who appear in these courts. Conference participants represented a broad array of experiences and perspectives, including legal practice, the judiciary, government agencies, legal academia, media outlets, public advocacy organizations and, most importantly, family members subject to the court’s jurisdiction. The Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems published a symposium issue on the conference proceedings entitled The Family Court in the 21st Century: What Are Its Roles and Responsibilities?
In the summer of 2007, NYCLA and Columbia Law School co-sponsored a public forum, where judges, legal service providers, academics and laypeople had the opportunity to discuss the 2006 conference recommendations and view the various proposals from both a national and local perspective.
The Task Force on the Future of the Family Court is the last phase of the Association’s two-year collaborative project to address needed reforms in Family Court and represents NYCLA’s mission to “promote the public interest” by seeking reforms in the law and in the administration of justice. Founded in 1908, NYCLA (www.nycla.org) is celebrating its Centennial year and was the first major bar association in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender. Since its inception, NYCLA has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.
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