Joan E. McNichol

Joan E. McNichol

Highlights of Presidency:

As WBASNY President  in the 2002-2003 term, I was privileged to have worked with such accomplished and enthusiastic officers and chapter presidents as our executive committee.  Two of the many matters and issues we addressed that year stand out.  First, was the challenge in addressing a sitting Family Court Judge in one of the districts who berated a Mother on the record for “allowing herself to be raped”.   This woman conceived and gave birth to a child from a man who had raped her.  When she sought legal assistance to collect child support,  this man now sought visitation with the young child with whom he had absolutely no relationship.  The attorney for the Mother, as well as for the child, sought WBASNY’s help when it appeared that this Judge intended to seek re-election.  We obtained the transcripts from proceedings in which this Judge demonstrated his non-judicial temperament and clear unfairness toward women.  The  WBASNY Board unanimously voted to take action, and most impressively to make sure to protect the members who could be adversely affected in their practices by speaking out against this Judge.  It is my firm belief that WBASNY played a significant role in this Judge’S decision to retire and not seek re-election.  The second personal  matter  that will always stay with me was my personal undertaking  to garner other WBASNY members  and actively push our Federal  representatives and other political powers to bring forth long time WBASNY member (and  former Vice President of WBASNY),  the Hon. Sandra Feuerstein  for confirmation as a US District Court Judge , which happened in 2003. Sandy was smart, engaging, generous, and supportive of WBASNY’s mission.  I still have difficulty accepting  her tragic and untimely passing  from a hit and run case in 2021.

These two memories from my year as President should remind us all of our Mission.  I am honored  to have served  WBASNY  in this leadership role to advance women in the law and to advocate for women and children.

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