Communications Office:
David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
(212) 428-2500

Date: December 11, 1999

Seal of the Unified Court System
Additional Legal Representation for Children in Custody and Visitation Cases
BRONX - Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman, together with Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, Betty Weinberg Ellerin, announced today that the Children's Law Center will expand its services to the Bronx Family Court in the near future.

Law guardians for children in custody and visitation cases in the Bronx currently are selected from the roster of 18B attorneys, who handle a variety of cases. Under the new program, many children in the Bronx Family Court will be represented by the Children's Law Center, which has a staff of full-time, specially trained attorneys. The Center also includes social workers and paralegals to provide supplemental services for children in these cases. This comprehensive approach improves the quality and consistency of representation and eases scheduling conflicts. The Executive Director of the Center, Carol Sherman, will oversee the program, which has been operating in Brooklyn since 1997.

Chief Administrative Judge Lippman said, "It is critical that children in custody and visitation cases have quality legal representation. The Children's Law Center will help to improve the quality of representation for children, and I am pleased that this program is being expanded into another borough of the City. Chief Judge Kaye and I particularly want to thank Presiding Justice Betty Weinberg Ellerin for her commitment to this program and her efforts in bringing the program to the Bronx."

New York City Family Court Administrative Judge Joseph Lauria added, "I had the privilege of working closely with Carol Sherman and the Center in Brooklyn and know first-hand the difference they can make in the lives of children going through custody and visitation cases in our court. The Center's comprehensive approach to representation will benefit Bronx families, who are in need of these services."