Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare

2017 Howard A. Levine Award 

Award Recipients:
Hon. Karen K. Peters | Presiding Justice | Appellate Division | Third Judicial Department | Albany, NY
Theodor S. Liebmann, Esq. | Professor | Hofstra Law School | Hempstead, NY 


The New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Children and the Law each year presents the Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare to recognize individuals who have done outstanding work to improve New York's child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The Committee on Children and the Law is seeking nominations for the 2017 Howard A. Levine Award for Excellence in Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare.

The New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Children and the Law created the Howard A. Levine Award in 1986. It is named for retired Court of Appeals Judge Howard A. Levine (Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP), who was the first chair of what was then called the Special Committee on Juvenile Justice. He has been and continues to be a strong proponent and leader in the effort to improve New York’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

The award recognizes the vital services of lawyers and non-lawyers who have done outstanding work to improve New York’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems. The winners are honored by the Association at an annual Spring reception at the New York State Bar Association State Bar Center in Albany. Nominees should be individuals who have a career history of distinguished and longstanding service in the field of juvenile justice and child welfare. Potential nominees can include lawyers, social workers, government officials, community advocates and New York State court personnel.

Past recipients include Senator Velmanette Montgomery (NYS Senate District 18), George E. Reed, Jr., Esq., Hon. Edward O. Spain (Appellate Division, Third Department), Prof. Meril Sobie, Margaret Burt, Prof. Jane Spinak, Mishi Faruqee, Prof. Sarah H. Ramsey Hon. Joseph M. Lauria (New York City Family Court), Hon. Sharon S. Townsend (Erie County Supreme Court), Hon. Eugene F. Pigott, Jr., NYS Court of Appeals, Hon. Judith S. Kaye, retired Chief Judge, NYS Court of Appeals, and Matilda Cuomo, former First Lady of New York State.

Nominees must have worked in the area of juvenile justice and child welfare. The Nomination Form is posted below. Nominations should include a narrative describing the individual’s efforts to improve New York’s child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Supporting materials, such as letters in support or letters of reference, should be sent to the attention of the Committee on Children and the Law, New York State Bar Association, One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207. References listed on the nomination form should be advised that their names have been submitted as all references should be willing to speak with the nominating committee. There is no limit to the number of nominations any one person may submit, and multiple individuals can nominate the same person for this award.

Completed nomination forms may be emailed to Kevin Kerwin, Staff Liaison, Committee on Children and the Law at kkerwin@nysba.org or mailed to the following address:

New York State Bar Association
Committee on Children and the Law
One Elk Street
Albany, New York 12207

Past Winners of the Howard A. Levine Award

1987
Matilda Cuomo 
Honorary Chair, NYS Council on Children & Families
Co-chair, NYS Citizens Task Force on Child Abuse and Neglect
Philip C. Pinksy
First Assistant Counsel to the Majority Leader, NYS Senate

1988
Hon. William B. Hoyt
Chair, NYS Assembly Committee on Children & Families
Subcommittee on Child Abuse
Elizabeth T. Schack
Staff Associate for Juvenile Justice Citizens Committee for Children of N.Y., Inc.

1989
Hon. Mary B. Goodhue
Chair, NYS Senate Committee on Child Care
Robert P. Patterson, Jr.
Former NYSBA President
Hon. Albert Vann
Chair, NYS Assembly Committee on Children & Families

1990
Hon. Sol Wachtler
Chief Judge of the State of New York
Charles Schinitsky
Founder & First Attorney-in-Charge, The Legal Aid Society of New York

1991
Eve Block Brooks
Executive Director, Statewide Youth Advocacy, Inc.
Shirley Mitgang
Former Deputy Counsel, Office of Court Administration

1992
Hon. Kathryn A. McDonald
Administrator for New York City Family Court

1993
Hon. G. Oliver Koppell
Chair, NYS Assembly Judiciary Committee
Sister Mary Paul
Center for Family Life in Sunset Park

1994
Hon. Judith S. Kaye
Chief Judge of the State of New York
Prof. Ellen Schall
Former Commissioner, NYC Dept. of Juvenile Justice

1995
Lenore Gittis

Attorney-in-Charge, The Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division (1981-1995)
Hon. Helene Weinstein
Chair, NYS Assembly Judiciary Committee

1996
Barbara Blum

President, Foundation for Child Development
Jules Kerness
Legislative Director, New York State Senate Committee on Children & Families

1997
Hon. Anthony V. Cardona

Presiding Justice, App. Div., Third Dept.
Hon. Sondra Miller
Justice, App. Div., Second Dept.

1998
Kay C. Murray

General Counsel, Department of Juvenile Justice, NYC
Lucia B. Whisenand
Solo Practitioner, Syracuse

1999
Michael Corriero

Acting Justice, Supreme Court, First Department
Carol R. Sherman, Esq.
Executive Director, Children’s Law Center, Brooklyn

2000
Nicolette Pach

Justice, Suffolk County Family Court
Hon. Gloria Sosa-Litner
Justice, New York City Family Court
Professor Merril R. Sobie
Pace University School of Law

2001
Patricia Countryman, Esq.
Law Guardian, Schenectady County
James S. Hinman, Esq.
Law Guardian, Monroe County
Jayne Ann McPartlin, Esq.
Law Guardian, Suffolk County
David I. Waldman, Esq.
Law Guardian, Richmond County

2002
Joan T. Byalin

Counsel to Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein
Hon. Edward O. Spain
Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Third Department

2003 Founder’s Award
Hon. Howard A. Levine
(Retired) Associate Judge, New York State Court of Appeals and
Senior Counsel to Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP

2003
Hon. Joan O. Cooney

Supervising Judge of the Family Courts, Ninth Judicial District
Gary S. Solomon, Esq.
Director, Legal Support for the Juvenile Rights Division, The Legal Aid Society

2004
John E. Carter, Jr., Esq.

Director of the Law Guardian Program, Appellate Division, Third Department
Hon. Elizabeth W. Pine
Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Fourth Department

2005
Hon. Eugene F. Pigott, Jr.

New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division Fourth Department
Janet R. Fink, Esq.
Deputy Counsel, New York State Unified Court System

2005
Special Recognition Award

William J. Carroll, Esq.
(Retired) Executive Director, New York State Bar Association

2006
Hon. Joseph M. Lauria

Administrative Judge
New York City Family Court
Hon. Sharon S. Townsend
Administrative Judge
Eighth Judicial District

2007
Sarah H. Ramsey, Esq.

Professor of Law, Syracuse University College of Law
Director of the Family Law and Social Policy Center
Mishi Faruqee
Director, Juvenile Justice Project
Correctional Association New York

2008
Margaret A. Burt, Esq. 

Attorney at Law
Professor Jane M. Spinak
Columbia University School of Law

2008
Lifetime Achievement Award

Honorable Judith S. Kaye
Chief Judge of the State of New York
Special Recognition Award
Kathryn Grant Madigan, Esq.

President of the New York State Bar Association

2009
Commissioner Gladys Carrión

New York State Office of Children and Family Services
Karen J. Freedman, Esq.
Executive Director, Lawyers for Children, Inc.

2010
Senator Velmanette Montgomery

New York State Senate - 18th Senate District
George E. Reed, Jr., Esq.
Attorney, White Plains

2011   
Hon.  Jonathan Lippman

Chief Judge, New York State Court of Appeals
Stephanie J. Gendell, Esq.
Associate Executive Director, Citizen’s Committee for Children of New York, Inc.

2012
Hon. Judith S. Claire

Chautauqua County Family Court, Mayville, NY
Tamara A. Steckler, Esq.
Attorney-in-Charge, Juvenile Rights Practice, The Legal Aid Society, New York

2013
Harriet R. Weinberger, Esq.

Director of the Attorneys for Children Program, Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department
Glenn R. Metsch-Ampel, Esq.
Deputy Executive Director, Lawyers for Children

2014
Hon. Monica Drinane

Supervising Judge, Bronx County Family Court, City of New York
Hon. Vincent J. Reilly, Jr.
New York State Supreme Court, Fourth Judicial District, Schenectady County

2015
Hon. Edwina G. Mendelson

Administrative Judge, New York City Family Court
Jacquelyn D. Greene, Esq.
Sr. Project Associate, National Center for Mental Health and Juvenile Justice
Former Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice
Special Recognition Award
Hon. Jonathan Lippman

Chief Judge, New York Court of Appeals

2016
James J. LeCain

College Program Director, Brookwood Secure Center
Kathleen R. DeCataldo, Esq. 
Executive Director, New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children