Presiding Justice Karen
K. Peters and Professor Theodor S. Liebmann have been honored with the 2017
Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare,
given by the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Children and the
The awards, presented on
May 30 at the State Bar Center in Albany, recognize the vital services of
lawyers and nonlawyers who have done outstanding work to improve New York’s
child welfare and juvenile justice systems.
“These two outstanding
recipients embody the ideals that define this award: excellence in juvenile
justice and child welfare,” said Betsy R. Ruslander, chair of the Committee on
Children and the Law. “Their work is an inspiration for all of us and has been
consequential for children and families across the state. We are grateful for their dedication and
commitment and we are honored to present them with this award.”
Peters is the presiding
justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department. She began her judicial
career as an elected family court judge in Ulster County. In 1992, she was the
first woman elected to the state Supreme Court in the Third Department. Two
years later, she was appointed to the Appellate Division and in 2012, became
the Third Department’s first woman presiding justice.
Liebmann has directed the
Youth Advocacy Clinic at Hofstra Law School since its inception 18 years ago.
As attorney-in-charge of the clinic, he works with law students to advocate for
youth involved in the immigration and family court legal systems. Liebmann and
his students have represented hundreds of immigrant children in dependency and guardianship
cases as well as in deportation cases in federal immigration courts.
The award ceremony was
attended by New York State Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and State Bar President
Claire P. Gutekunst.
The Howard A. Levine
Award is named for retired Court of Appeals Judge Howard A. Levine (Whiteman
Osterman & Hanna), who was the first chair of the Special Committee on
Juvenile Justice, now the Committee on Children and the Law. He is an advocate
and leader in the effort to improve New York’s child welfare and juvenile
The 72,000-member New
York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in
the nation. It was founded in 1876.
Contact: Christian Nolan