June 20, 2014: State Bar Hails Creation of New Family Court Judgeships

New York State Bar Association President Glenn Lau-Kee today commended the Legislature for passing a measure to create additional of Family Court judgeships, which helps address overwhelming caseloads in the courts.

“Circumstances that bring a child to Family Court, such as adoption, custody or delinquency are fraught with emotion. By seeking to increase resources for the courts, this bill will help children move ahead with their lives.

“We thank the Legislature for taking this critically important step toward remedying the insufficient number of judges in our Family Courts. We are particularly grateful to Assembly Judiciary Chair Helene Weinstein and Senate Judiciary Chair John Bonacic for taking the lead on this issue,” said Lau-Kee of New York City (Kee & Lau-Kee).

“We urge Governor Andrew Cuomo to sign the authorization bill without delay.”

Lau-Kee also praised the state Judiciary for including funding for 20 new judgeships in its 2014-15 budget proposal. Said Lau-Kee, “We cannot overstate the importance of the Judiciary's action.”

State Bar Association Advocacy

Creation of new Family Court judgeships is the Association’s highest legislative priority for 2014.

This is not a new problem; rather, it has been building for many years.

In 2010, the Association, recognizing that a crisis was building in the Family Courts, created a Task Force on Family Courts to study the problems and make recommendations. In announcing the task force, co-chaired by Susan Lindenauer and Rita Connerton, then President Stephen P. Younger noted that “with overcrowded dockets, too few judges and far too many delays, these courts resemble hospital emergency rooms and our family law attorneys are forced to perform triage.”

The report identified varied reasons for the extensive delays in Family Court proceedings, including the inadequate number of judges.

The task force's final report was approved by our House of Delegates in January 2013.

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The 75,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.

Contact: Lise Bang-Jensen
Director, Media Services & Public Affairs
lbang-jensen@nysba.org
518/487-5530