New York, NY, Friday, May 25, 2023 – The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) supports the passage of S.6492, which would increase the number of family court judges in the city of New York to seventy-two and provides for an additional two family court judges in Westchester and Rockland counties and one in Erie and Niagara counties.
The Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, created to promote equal access and full participation in the court system by persons and communities of color, recently released a report on the crisis in New York City’s Family Court. Among other things, the Commission recommended an increase in the number of family court judges statewide, especially in New York City. New judges will provide caseload relief to existing judges and reduce the system’s reliance on other judges temporarily assigned to family court.
Additional judges will promote more timely adjudication of cases and allow family courts to continue to work through the backlog created during the pandemic. While increasing the number of family court judges in these counties is a much-needed step, WBASNY would encourage the legislature to expand the relief throughout the State, as more family court judges are needed in all jurisdictions. WBASNY believes that additional clerks and court officers are also needed to ensure the success of this expansion.
The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) is the professional membership organization of choice for nearly 4,000 attorneys throughout New York State and the largest statewide women’s bar association in the country. For more than four decades, WBASNY has been a singularly important resource for women lawyers, providing professional networking, continuing legal education programming, leadership training, and advocacy for the rights of women, children, and families. Through involvement with WBASNY’s 20 regional chapters and its 40-plus substantive law committees, WBASNY’s members collaborate with one another on a variety of issues and perform public and community service, in furtherance of its mission to promote the advancement of the status of women in society and women in the legal profession; to promote the fair and equal administration of justice; and to act as a unified voice for its members with respect to issues of statewide, national and international significance to women generally and women attorneys in particular. WBASNY holds United Nations NGO status with the U.N.’s Department of Public Information, and Special Consultative status in association with the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). WBASNY is also a founding member of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations.