Remembering Judith Kaye: A Pioneer for Women in the Legal Profession and Advocate for Children and Families

 

By: Mallory McGee

Judith_S.Kaye_

On Wednesday, January 6, 2016, former New York Court of Appeals Chief Judge Judith Kaye passed away at the age of 77 years old, leaving behind a legacy as an advocate for social justice who paved the way for many women in the legal profession.

 

Born Judith Ann Smith on August 4, 1938 in Monticello, New York to Polish immigrants Benjamin and Lena, Judge Kaye skipped two grades and was admitted to Barnard College at the age of fifteen. At Barnard, she studied Latin American Civilization and worked for local newspapers in the hopes of pursuing a career in journalism. Post graduation, Judge Kaye landed her first journalism job at the Hudson Dispatch, a newspaper in Union City, New Jersey where she reported on the society pages. In the hopes of furthering her journalism career, she decided to enroll in New York University’s law school. She attended law school part time and worked as a copy editor by day. The law began to appeal to her more and in 1962, Judith Kaye graduated from N.Y.U Law School; she was one of ten women in her graduating class of 300.

 

Following law school graduation, Judge Kaye worked at Sullivan and Cromwell for two years and then went to IBM’s legal department. While raising her family, Judge Kaye worked as an assistant to the dean at N.Y.U. Then she went to Olwine, Connelly, Chase, O’Donnell & Weyher, where she became the first female partner. Her career took a different turn when former Governor Mario Cuomo stated that if elected, he would appoint the first female judge to the Court of Appeals.… <Read More>


New Laws Protecting Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Victims

By: Mallory McGee

Last month, Governor Cuomo signed into law two important provisions protecting victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. Cuomo believes that the laws will close a “potentially dangerous loophole and will help ensure that victims receive the protections that they deserve.”

The first law,  Chapter 240 of 2015, applies to defendants convicted of felony sexual assault. In these instances, the new law provides a ten year order of protection. This allows for the victims to receive protection through the term of probation, which is maxed at ten years. If the charge was a misdemeanor, then a mandatory six year order of protection is ordered, which is the maximum period of probation allowed. Previously, according to Criminal Procedure Law §530.12, a domestic violence victim’s order of protection would often expire before the end of the probation period. The law also amends Criminal Procedure Law §530.13 which covers crime victims not in family offenses. This amendment provides the same protections under §530.12. This law goes into effect 30 days from the signing by Cuomo.

The second law,  Chapter 241 of 2015, makes it easier for victims of domestic violence and other crimes who wish to change their name to obtain waivers for the requirement to publish any name changes in a newspaper. The amended Civil Rights Law §64-a now gives courts broad discretion to determine whether a person’s safety would be at risk by publishing a victim’s name change. This discretion is not limited to direct threats against the personal safety of the victim.… <Read More>


Welcome Back For the 2015-2016 Year!

Welcome back to all students, professors, and staff to another year at New York Law School. This year marks the 125th anniversary of the law school and will include many celebratory events. There are also many events planned with the Impact Center, including the Beyond Permanency: Challenges for Former Foster Youth Symposium on Friday October 23, 2015 from 9:00am – 5:00pm, which is co-sponsored by the Diane Abbey Law Institute for Children and Families of the Impact Center, The Children’s Law Center, and others.

This year, Just Families, would like to welcome Allyson Guidera as the newest blog editor and welcome back one of last year’s editors, Mallory McGee. We would also like to welcome symposium editor Jarien James.

We welcome any students, alumni, or faculty to write for the blog and look forward to another year of providing the latest legal news in family law and commentary on family law cases and topics.… <Read More>


News Round-up April 27th, 2015

Reintroduction of the Pets and Women Safety Act:

  • Congress is joining states such as New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin in protecting the pets of domestic violence victims. The bill, commonly known as The Pets and Women Protection Act (“PAWS”), was reintroduced in March by Congresswoman Katherine Clark. According to the bill’s sponsors, victims of domestic violence often stay in abusive environments out of fear that the abuser will hurt their pet or return to a relationship upon threats of harm to the pet. It can be difficult to take the pets with them when they leave because many shelters do not accept pets.
  • PAWS would expand current federal Personal Protection Laws to include the pets of domestic violence victims. It established grants for institutions that can help victims of domestic violence and their pets with specified housing assistance, support services, and training. Finally, PAWS includes a provision providing for all losses incurred for veterinary costs as a result of injuries to the pet by the abuser.
  • PAWS currently has 50 sponsors, but no date has been scheduled yet for a vote.
  • For the original New Round-up on this bill click here.

 

Families Push Legislators for More Charter Schools:

  • About 30 families are calling on Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers to create more charter schools. This was originally part of the state’s budget; however, it was dropped. The current law provides for 25 more charter schools and the cap was set at 460. Families are asking for officials to “Raise the Cap.”
  • Proponents of raising the cap say that there should never be any caps on educational opportunities and that seats in charter schools currently in operation are hard to come by.
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News Round-up April15th, 2015

New Rules in New York City Day-cares:

  • The Board of Health for the City of New York has issued stricter rules on the amount of juice children can drink at licensed daycare facilities. For children over two years old, juice will be limited to 4 ounces per day, and only 100% juice is allowed. Children under the age of two are not allowed to drink juice.
  • Under the new rules, children are also limited to 30 minutes of screen time per day, which is down from 60 minutes. Screen time allows children to watch movies or shows on televisions or iPads. The rules for “sedentary time” do not apply to when children are napping or during reading time or arts and crafts time.
  • The new rules are aimed at preventing childhood obesity by allowing for children to be more active during the day and to avoid sugary drinks. Some critics of the rules believe that this is just another way for the city to control its constituents and reminds them of former Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt at soda restrictions.

Department of Consumer Affairs Must Provide Young Adults With Outreach and Education Regarding Consumer Protection Issues:

  • On March 30, 2015, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law Intro. 458-A.
  • This law requires the Department of Consumer Affairs to provide young adults, ages 16-24, with information that would increase their financial literacy.
  • The agency is to provide outreach and education measures, which will target consumer issues that would typically affect young adults in the 16-24 year old age range, such as: credit card debt, student loans, and leasing or purchasing a motor vehicle.
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