The New York State Bar Association and the New York State Unified Court System will mark the 50th anniversary of New York's Family Courts on Friday, September 14, with events at the Court of Appeals and the State Bar Center.

A ceremony and panel discussions will examine the impact of the 1962 restructuring of the court system that created a statewide Family Court to deal specifically with issues related to children and families. Among the matters assigned to the then-new Family Court were cases of child abuse and neglect, family violence and abuse, paternity, custody and visitation, foster care and child delinquency.

"For the past half century, Family Court has played a vital role in resolving issues that so deeply affect children, parents and caregivers," said New York State Bar Association President Seymour W. James, Jr. (The Legal Aid Society in New York City). "It's important to recognize its positive impact over the years and to continue to take steps to improve the services it provides."

The first portion of the program begins with a ceremony at the Court of Appeals in Albany. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman will make opening remarks, followed by a panel discussion entitled, "New York State Family Court Past and Present." The discussion will be moderated by Hon. Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson, administrative judge of the Family Court of the City of New York. The program then moves to the State Bar Center on Elk Street where former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye will discuss the future of the Family Court.

PROGRAM:

Ceremony and Panel Discussion on New York State Family Court, Past and Present
Where: New York State Court of Appeals, 20 Eagle Street, Albany.
When: 10:30 a.m., September 14
Speakers: New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, Administrative Judge Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson (Family Court of the City of New York), Judge Carol R. Sherman (Family Court of the City of New York), former Court of Appeals Judge Howard Levine (Whiteman Osterman & Hanna) and Chief Clerk Frank J. Boccio (Family Court of Erie County).

Afternoon Discussion on the Future of New York State Family Court
Where: New York State Bar Center, One Elk Street, Albany.
When: 12:30 p.m., Sept. 14
Speakers: New York State Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti, former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye (Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom) and State Bar Association President Seymour W. James, Jr.

The New York State Bar Association, with 77,000 members, is the largest voluntary state bar association in the country. It was founded in 1876.

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Contact: Mark Mahoney
Associate Director, Media Services
mmahoney@nysba.org
518-487-5532