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Family Defense
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Parents and other adults who cannot afford to hire a lawyer receive mandated representation in certain Family Court cases. Quality representation helps preserve families and ensure justice.

NYSDA’s Backup Center employs a Family Court Staff Attorney. Along with the rest of the staff, this attorney responds to requests from attorneys for information and case-specific assistance relating to Family Court matters. The Backup Center presents or co-sponsors training to help lawyers provide quality representation in family matters. Published resources from the Backup Center include information relevant to Family Court representation. The Public Defense Case Management System (PDCMS), initially designed for criminal defender offices, has been modified for use in some programs offering Family Court representation. The PDCMS and other technical assistance from NYSDA help programs adhere to standards and regulations. And Association advocacy includes efforts to improve mandated representation in Family Courts statewide.

Visit the Family Defense Resources page for relevant materials and links of interest.

NYSDA thanks the New York Bar Foundation for supporting our Family Court Public Defense Project to conduct a needs assessment convening of family public defense providers in 2019.


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