Breadth of Service
I handle a wide range of legal issues – no matter is too big or too small to be deserving of top-quality legal representation. Here are some of the most critical types of cases in which I can be of service.
Abuse and Neglect Cases
I defend abuse and neglect petitions filed by the Department of Social Services against parents or other adults deemed to be legally responsible for a child. Children can be placed in foster care by the Department, so I help parents and legal guardians keep or regain custody of their children. Many times the services required by the Department involve issues of substance abuse or mental health, or a combination of the two – issues that need to be addressed by the parents/guardians before children can be safely returned to the family.
I draft the legal documents required for prospective parents, step-parents, grandparents, or foster parents to adopt children. I help arrange the home study required by the Department of Social Services or the Family Court, and assist my clients in obtaining all the necessary background checks and fingerprinting to complete the adoption.
Attorney for Children
I am appointed by the Family Court to represent children in all manner of cases. I provide the child with a voice in the Court process and represent what the child desires, or what is best for the child based upon the child’s needs, age, and ability to express his or her wishes. As an attorney for the child, I have completed New York State certified training, which is updated on a yearly basis.
Child Support Cases
I handle petitions to obtain or modify support, and prosecute (or defend) violations of support orders. I draft and file petitions, and appear in cases through completion of the case, which often requires a hearing. Violation petitions can result in referral to a Family Court Judge for a penalty phase, which could include probation or jail.
Court Appointed Referee
I am appointed by the New York State Supreme Court to oversee foreclosure actions in Tompkins and surrounding counties. I ensure that the amounts due are allowed under the mortgage and note, that the bank is properly calculating the amounts due, and that the rules required to be followed in foreclosure actions are followed by the banks or holder of the mortgage. I ensure that people are not overcharged by a bank. I conduct the public auction once the bank provides the necessary documentation to complete the foreclosure.
I handle every type of case, from traffic tickets to a murder. I defend the accused’s rights as protected by the U.S. and New York State Constitutions. I obtain favorable offers from the prosecuting agency if the client so wishes to resolve the case with a plea agreement. I also take matters to trial when there is no acceptable offer to resolve a case.
Family Offense Cases
I defend (or prosecute) family offense petitions. These petitions are often companion cases to criminal charges between people who have a blood or intimate relationship, frequently resulting in an order of protection being granted. Once a family offense is established, a disposition must be determined, which can include probation and an order of services to be completed.
I prosecute (or defend) matrimonial cases, which can involve issues of separation, divorce, annulment, and pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements. Many times a separation or divorce also includes decisions about custody, visitation, child support, maintenance (traditionally called alimony), and distribution of assets and debts. Cases are often resolved by agreement, but can require court intervention or a trial.
I prosecute (or defend) paternity actions to either establish or rebut paternity, which usually involves a blood test.
Visitation and Custody Cases
I handle the prosecution (or defense) of visitation and custody petitions, involving the modification of previous court orders. Many cases involve the alienation of a child from a parent, or denial of access to the child or records regarding the child. These cases can also involve the desire of one parent to relocate with the child.