Cocktail Reception and Award Ceremony

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2 Cocktail Reception and Award Ceremony 4:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. Reception in the Cocktail Lounge and Ballroom Cocktails and hors d oeuvres Raffle and silent auction with original pieces by painter and muralist Alejandro Romero Entertainment by guitarist José Tito Cornier in Cocktail Lounge 5:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. Program Musical Interlude and Welcome Guitarist: José Tito Cornier Board President: Michael O Connor Mistress of Ceremonies: Laura S. Washington Message from Executive Director Diane L. Redleaf Special Recognition Individual Recognition: Michael Otto (Jenner & Block) Team Recognition: McDermott, Will & Emery Firm Recognition: Sidley Austin LLP Slide Show: Defending Children and Families in the Supreme Court 2011 Family Defender Award Presentation by Carolyn Shapiro and Michael T. Brody Honoring Carolyn Kubitschek Brief Address by Carolyn Kubitschek Why Children and Families Need Legal Defense 6:00 p.m. 6:15 p.m. Live Auction Auctioneer: Co-chair Salvador Cicero Fund a Special Need : The Chaitanya Maddali Family Legal Support Fund Program Conclusion 6:15 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Raffle, Silent Auction and Dessert Raffle drawing in the cocktail lounge at 6:30 p.m. Silent Auction closes at 6:45 p.m. Entertainment by José Tito Cornier in Ballroom 1

3 Wecome to the Family Defense Center s Third Annual Benefit Event honoring our dear friend, colleague, mentor, and child welfare reform leader Carolyn Kubitschek. On behalf of many wonderful clients, volunteers, committee members, our board and our staff, we are here to thank you and to celebrate with you tonight. We re often asked, How old is the Family Defense Center? Last year, in my program book message, I raised the question, Which birthday is the Family Defense Center celebrating this year? In 2010, I claimed that we were having our 5th birthday (we formed in 2005) but arguments could be made for either more recent or more distant start dates for Family Defense Center activities. I m sorry that, as a lawyer, I make the simplest of questions complex and find it hard to give straightforward answers! But isn t that what lawyers are good for? We re also often asked, Are you a local, state, or national organization? Here again, I find myself arguing with the question as I struggle to give a direct answer. This year s celebration honoring Carolyn Kubitschek for her heroic efforts in the Supreme Court and her decades of precedentsetting work is a truly national event. The work we did to coordinate amicus briefings in the Supreme Court established the Family Defense Center, once and for all, as a national leader possibly THE national leader advocating justice for families in the child welfare system. We fended off a challenge from 41 state attorneys general and the U.S. Solicitor General! If that doesn t make us a national organization, I m not sure what would. But I can t claim we are truly a national organization just yet. We re too small just three full-time lawyers on staff. The clients we help directly live in the Chicago metropolitan area, most in the city itself. We do advise downstate clients, but we do not act as their lead attorneys. So we are definitely Chicago-based, with some claim to being state-wide. I would term us a locally-based model organization with a national impact. And you can believe that I do refer to the Family Defense Center in just this way! You can see I don t like to be pinned down or boxed into categories. And that goes for our legal work, too: we provide direct services, systemic law reform advocacy, policy advocacy, community legal education and wonderful community programs like National Reunification Day. So, I ask you, Is the Family Defense Center a direct services provider or a policy group? You tell me, but I believe we are both! Are we stretched too thin? Definitely! Could our impact be significantly greater if we had more resources? Absolutely! But our strength, I believe, is in coming up with varied solutions to the great problem of families being mistreated by the child welfare system a system that has the power to destroy families, but one that can help heal them, if its power is used correctly. Since the struggle of the families we serve can t be confined by zip code or by any one solution, we need to be flexible and use as many strategies to help them as we can. All of this is why honoring Carolyn Kubitschek this year is such a special honor for me. There is no one in the United States who has done more to create legal remedies for families or develop more brilliant and effective legal strategies than she has done. As her biography (p. 12) reveals, she has an astounding record of creating important precedents for children and families throughout the country. I m forever in her debt and our client community is too! The Family Defense Center is indebted to you, too! Without our friends, supporters, allies, and volunteers who do everything from handling pro bono cases to helping us get the word out, we couldn t begin to be an effective local, state, or national organization, however old we are! Thank you again, and please enjoy yourself as you join us in celebrating our efforts to bring justice to families all across America. Yours in the struggle for justice, 2 Diane L. Redleaf Executive Director

4 Event Co-Chairs Michael Brody joined Jenner & Block in 1984 and was named a partner in He has represented clients at all levels of the state and federal courts. His commercial litigation practice has included the defense of class actions, as well as securities, commercial tort, and contract disputes. He is Secretary of the Seventh Circuit Bar Association. He previously chaired its Representation of Indigents Committee and was a member of its Board of Governors. He is on the board of the Family Defense Center and the Evanston Community Foundation. Mr. Brody received a bachelor s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in He received his law degree with honors from the University of Chicago Law School in He was selected a member of Order of the Coif and was a Comment Editor on the Law Review. After graduating from law school, Mr. Brody clerked for the Hon. Antonin Scalia on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Mr. Brody and his wife, Libby Ester, have two sons one is a recent college graduate and the other is in college. They live in Evanston with their occasionally ill-behaved but very loyal dog. Salvador Cicero is the principal of Cicero Law Firm, P.C., where he handles a wide range of legal matters in the state and federal courts. He is the President of the Hispanic Lawyers Association of Illinois. Prior to forming his firm, he directed the American Bar Association s Ecuador project on trafficking in persons and prior to that position, he was Chief Legal Counsel at the Mexican Consulate General in Chicago, in which capacity he directed major policy initiatives on behalf of families involved in child welfare matters. In that position, he worked with DCFS to achieve an important Memorandum of Understanding concerning consular notification requirements. He published an article and did trainings concerning the Vienna convention and other consular notice issues as these affect both child welfare and criminal proceedings. From , he served on the Family Defense Center s board of Directors. Mr. Cicero is a graduate of the Matias Romero Institute for Diplomatic Studies, received his law degree from the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University and received his B.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of New Mexico. He has one daughter Maya Aurora and lives in Chicago. Mr. Cicero is also the Center s on-demand live auctioneer (and when he is not advocating for the public interest, he is known to both write and perform his own repetoire of songs after a few drinks!). 3

5 Honorary Co-Chairs Dr. Christopher Sullivan is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who directs the Pediatric Orthopedics and Scoliosis Program at the University of Chicago Comer Children s Hospital. He joined the surgery faculty at the University of Chicago in 1989, following residencies and further training in internal medicine, pediatric orthopedics and general orthopedics in Texas, Illinois and California. Dr. Sullivan attended college at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and attended medical school at UCLA while remaining on active duty. While at UCLA, he also earned a Master s Degree in public health, focusing on epidemiology. An outstanding teacher and clinician, Dr. Sullivan has developed an expertise in child abuse and bone fractures through research, writing, and expert testimony in juvenile court and DCFS proceedings. Courts have frequently relied on his testimony, finding his opinions more persuasive than the contrary testimony of other child abuse specialists in several Center cases. Dr. Sullivan was the Family Defense Center s honoree for the 2010 Family Defender Award. Dorothy Roberts holds the Kirkland & Ellis Chair at Northwestern University Law School where she is also a faculty fellow at the Institute for Policy Research. A prolific writer and researcher, she is the author or co-author of several books and has published over seventy articles and essays in books and journals including the Harvard Law Review, the Yale Law Journal and the Stanford Law Review. Professor Roberts has done pioneering research in the areas of race, class and gender, highlighting especially the ways in which social policy is biased against poor, minority, and pregnant women and mothers. She is one of the nation s foremost academic legal scholars on issues regarding the child welfare system and is the award-winning author of Shattered Bonds, The Color of Child Welfare. Professor Roberts is a graduate of Yale College (where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa) and Harvard Law School. She serves as one of the Family Defense Center s National Honorary Advisors. She is also the academic sponsor for the Family Defense Center s Mothers Defense Project and was the honoree for the Center s 2009 Family Defender Award. 4

6 Mistress of Ceremonies Laura Washington has been an awardwinning columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times since She is also a political analyst for WLS-TV, the ABC-owned station in Chicago. She is a regular commentator on National Public Radio and Chicago Public Radio and previously wrote a column for the Chicago Tribune. In 2010, she served as President of the Woods Fund following many years of service on the board of the Fund. From 2003 to 2009, she served as the Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor at DePaul University. She edited The Chicago Reporter, a nationally recognized investigative monthly specializing in racial issues and urban affairs, from 1990 to 2001, and also served as its publisher from 1994 to From 1987 to 1990, she was a producer for the investigative unit at CBS-2/Chicago. In 1985, Ms. Washington was appointed deputy press secretary to Mayor Harold Washington (no relation), Chicago s first black mayor. Ms. Washington has been quoted in Time and Newsweek magazines, The New York Times, and appeared on NBC Nightly News and The Lehrer News Hour. She has received more than two dozen local and national awards for her work, including two Chicago Emmys, the Peter Lisagor Award, the Studs Terkel Award for Community Journalism and the Ohio State Award for broadcast journalism. Newsweek magazine named her one of the nation s 100 People to Watch in the 21st Century. Newsweek said: her style of investigative journalism has made (the Reporter) a powerful and award-winning voice. In 1999, the Chicago Community Trust awarded her a Community Service Fellowship for exemplary service, commitment and leadership in individuals from the nonprofit sector. In addition to her community service for the Woods Fund of Chicago, she has been the board secretary for The Field Museum and has chaired the board of the Neighborhood Writing Alliance. Ms. Washington earned bachelor and master degrees in journalism from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, where she has also taught and lectured. The Center is delighted that Ms. Washington has agreed to be our Mistress of Ceremonies again in 2011 and is very grateful for her efforts to make the program meaningful and memorable. 5

7 Meet this Evening s Artists José Tito Cornier Chicago-born musician José Tito Cornier, of Puerto Rican and French descent, is a man whose vision includes sharing his love through music. He picked up his first guitar at the age of 8 and is now able to play nearly any instrument placed in front of him. Cornier served in the U.S. Navy, Marines, and the Coast Guard. After being retired during the first Persian Gulf War, he returned to his guitar and released his debut album Esperanza. Tracks from Cornier s Esperanza are piped in at Chicago s O Hare and Midway airports and played on radio stations worldwide. José has performed at a fundraiser for Barack Obama and entertained at many major events locally, nationally, and internationally. Alejandro Romero No artist captures human emotion better than Alejandro Romero, whose vibrant artwork graces our invitation. Mr. Romero has generously donated his work for our invitation and for tonight s auction. Alejandro Romero, one of the best-known Hispanic visual artists in the United States, was born and educated in Mexico. He moved to Chicago in 1975 and has adorned our city with murals, posters, and conventional paintings. Mr. Romero s work can also be found in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art, the National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Art Institute in Chicago, as well as the Museum of Modern Latin American Art in Washington, D.C., the Museum of the Print in Mexico City, and the Hermitage in Leningrad, Russia. 6

8 Special Individual Attorney Recognition: Michael Otto Mike Otto, an associate with Jenner & Block, is a rare kind of attorney: he excels in on-your-feet trial advocacy, writing appellate briefs with detailed textual analyses, and appellate oral arguments. Luckily for the Family Defense Center, Mike has been willing to bring each of these outstanding skills to bear in fighting for justice for the Center s clients. He has represented Center clients in administrative hearings and in the Illinois Appellate court to exonerate wrongly accused clients, taking on the special challenge of bringing a broad-based policy challenge to a DCFS rule that is hurting thousands of families each year. In April of 2010, Mike read a description of one of the Center s pro bono cases circulated at Jenner & Block and volunteered to represent Liz S. at a DCFS administrative hearing. Liz was a dedicated single mother who had been indicated for creating an environment injurious to her son s well-being merely because she had permitted her son to stay at his father s home always while supervised by Liz and the home was found to have marijuana seeds present. When the DCFS investigator unexpectedly changed his testimony at hearing by suddenly claiming that the one-year-old child could reach the container with the seeds, Mike activated his masterly litigation instincts on the spot. He impeached the investigator with the investigator s own notes, which included the investigator s observation that the child could not have reached the bowl due to his small size and inability to walk. Mike delivered a clear victory for Liz when the administrative law judge ultimately concluded that DCFS had failed to provide any facts that would prove a substantial risk of injury to Liz s son. The work Mike did for Liz included arguing that the Illinois legislature explicitly removed the specific allegation of environment injurious from the enabling statute s definition of neglect more than thirty years ago. This allegation has been used by DCFS for twenty years and presently represents one-third of all DCFS indicated findings. Attorneys at Legal Assistance Foundation of Metropolitan Chicago had been challenging the lack of legislative authority for this charge through original legislative analysis they had conducted. Mike developed their arguments further. In Liz s case though, she won on other grounds. As a former law clerk with the Illinois appellate court, Mike was eager to take on an interesting appellate case with a significant impact. Even though Mike was able to secure an exoneration of Liz on the factual merits of her case alone, her case had piqued his interest in handling another case in which the question of whether the environment injurious allegation s validity would arise. Mike quickly jumped on board when we told him that our client, Julie Q., needed excellent representation in a state court appeal challenging her indicated finding of environment injurious. The match between Julie s case and Mike s interests and abilities was perfect. And so, with a little help from our Pro Bono Program and Jenner & Block, Mike took on a DCFS allegation that has become entrenched in DCFS practice and ubiquitous in DCFS investigations. Oral argument for Julie s case was held on July 21, Mike s presentation was masterful, and his argument appeared to be very well received by the appellate judges. As this booklet goes to print, we are cautiously optimistic that Mike s hard work and skilled advocacy will result in a decision that will not only clear Julie s name, but will also prevent DCFS from continuing to make invalid findings that are not in keeping with Illinois statute and that hurt thousands of families throughout Illinois. 7

9 2011 Team Recognition: McDermott Will & Emery for Work on Behalf of Asia Slater, Culminating in Major Appellate Victory The pencils Asia had been using for the project were not particularly sharp, and in fact, witnesses later described them as dull. And no one disputed Asia s claim that the injury happened while she was working on her school project and was watching her daughter in the same room. No one claimed Asia was generally inattentive; to the contrary, witnesses all praised Asia s care and concern for her daughter. None of this mattered, however, since the accident occurred while Asia was watching N. Thus, Asia was labeled guilty of neglecting her daughter. Asia Slater was just 17 years old when her life was turned upside-down by a misplaced accusation against her concerning an injury to her toddler, N., who was seven months old at the time. Asia lived with her own mother and was doing well in school, all while trying to be the best mother she could be. Teachers and friends all attested to Asia s dedication to her child and her attentiveness to her needs but a 10-second episode a freak accident while Asia s head was turned changed Asia and N. s life and threatened to derail their hopes for the future. Asia was doing her homework, an art project, on the afternoon of November 30, The art project required her to use some colored pencils, which she had in front of her on a table while N. was crawling some feet away. Suddenly, in a moment when Asia had turned her head away, N. was able to grab a pencil and then fell on it, causing the pencil to pierce through the skin on her neck. Asia became hysterical and called her mother for help; Asia and her mother raced N. to the nearest emergency room. While the pencil had broken through skin and had been lodged in N. s neck, fortunately it did not cause any internal damage. Nevertheless, DCFS was called to investigate the circumstances of the injury. 8 At first DCFS would not even let Asia continue to care for her daughter. Without seeking or obtaining a court order, DCFS changed N. s custody, requiring N. to live with her father under a so-called Safety Plan that Asia neither signed nor agreed to. Moreover, N. s father was abusive to Asia and she had difficulty seeing N. while she was placed with him. Finally, with help from the Family Defense Center, Asia regained custody of N., but a neglect finding remained on her record a black mark that could be used against her in a custody battle or if she sought a position working with children in the future. The Family Defense Center thought the neglect label was unfair: accidents can happen to any child and to the best of parents. That is why they are called accidents! We believe that an accident, even one that is as serious as N. s accident was, should not be enough to put the name of a good and reasonably attentive parent into the State Central Register for child abusers and child neglectors. Unfortunately, the FDC was short-staffed. The Center knew that the battle to clear Asia s name from the register wouldn t be simple given the commonplace reaction to N. s injury i.e., that a parent must be at fault and, with hindsight, she should have known not to allow her baby to grab an object that could hurt her. Indeed, the FDC has had a number of cases in which DCFS has treated a severe or unusual injury as necessarily due to neglect or abuse and has treated parents more harshly depending

10 Aron Frakes, Michael Weaver, Elizabeth Lewis, and Todd Solomon (co-chair, Pro Bono Committee). Not pictured: Lisa Loesel. on how serious the injuries are, even if the evidence of wrongdoing by the parents is very weak. Knowing that the case might be a tough one, the FDC reached out to its seasoned pro bono lawyers for help. Two attorneys from McDermott Will & Emery stepped forward: Elizabeth Lewis and Lisa Loesel, who had taken on prior pro bono cases with the program. Little did they know that they were embarking on a more than two-year-long project to exonerate Asia. Lewis and Loesel represented Asia at a full trial in the DCFS Administrative Hearings Unit. The lawyers presented a strong case that DCFS had not met its burden of proving abuse or neglect. Indeed, they established that no one was claiming Asia abused her daughter; rather, that she had turned her head for only a few seconds and that she had gotten immediate attention for N. s injury as soon as it happened. They established that Asia was a very good mother and a good student who was doing her homework at the time the injury occurred and was keeping her eye on N. to the best of her ability. Despite this detailed presentation of the evidence, however, the DCFS Administrative Law Judge ruled against Asia, finding a blatant disregard for [Asia s] parental responsibilities was demonstrated because Asia had left out sharp objects (the colored pencils) when she knew N. was able to cruise around. At that point, FDC staff were not able to take up the fight to exonerate Asia and were uncertain if the effort would pay dividends that justified the time and energy that a further appeal would take. If McDermott attorneys had not been willing to continue to battle for justice in a higher court, the Center would have had to tell Asia they were sorry but limited resources meant we could not provide further assistance a common way cases get closed or not taken in the first place. But the McDermott lawyers were so convinced of the unfairness of Asia s indicated finding that they readily agreed to take the case up to the Circuit Court in an Administrative Review Action and to do all the briefing required. At this stage, McDermott lawyer Michael Weaver joined forces with Lewis and Loesel and he began to lead the charge for higher court review. Not surprisingly, the seriousness of N. s injuries continued to pose a roadblock. On August 12, 2010, after extensive briefing and oral argument, Circuit Court Judge Martin Agran ruled against Asia and sustained the finding that she had neglected N., finding that she had failed to exercise necessary precautionary measures to protect N. from injury. After one level of review, many lawyers and clients would decide that continuing to battle for justice is not worth the time, money, and emotional turmoil that comes with any prolonged litigation. Nevertheless, the indefatigable McDermott team continued to believe that the decision that Asia had neglected her daughter was unjust and wrong as a matter of law. They continued to believe that they should press for exoneration for Asia. The stakes were getting higher: An appeals court decision against Asia might not only continue to haunt her but could cause other parents to face an uphill battle to exonerate themselves in the future. If the Appellate Court ruled that Asia had not been 9

11 neglectful, that ruling might help other parents to clear themselves of wrongdoing when they are not at fault in an accidental injury. After careful consideration, the McDermott team and the FDC, in consultation with Asia, decided the appeal strategy was worth the risks because the legal arguments were strong and the facts had established Asia s excellent parenting abilities and care. These facts made the case a good one to test the flawed DCFS premise that injuries alone can be held against a parent, effectively holding parents strictly liable when their children are injured on their watch. After the decision to appeal to the First District Appellate court was made, the McDermott team, led by Michael Weaver, now joined by Aron Frakes, wrote two excellent legal briefs laying out all the arguments why Asia could not be considered neglectful in causing the injuries her daughter sustained. On June 17, 2011, fully two years after the initial hearing that went against Asia, in a decision by Justice Robert Gordon, the Illinois Appellate Court declared that the accident to N. was just that: an accident, not child neglect. In so ruling, the Court held that the decision that Asia neglected N. is, clearly erroneous. There is no doubt that N. was seriously injured by one of Asia s colored pencils, however, it cannot be the case that the existence of the injury itself automatically results in a finding of neglect. Instead, the A L J was required to determine whether N.S. s injury was the result of Asia s neglectful conduct. Here, the Court went on to find no evidence that N. lacked care necessary for her well-being given that the incident was isolated and could happen to anyone and Asia was generally attentive to N. and her history of being a good mother was not refuted. The Court stated it could not accept the DCFS judge s conclusion that merely having pencils in the same room as an infant, when the child was otherwise being supervised, is neglectful conduct. Therefore, the Court stated it had the definite and firm impression that a mistake had been committed. Sometimes it does take two years or more to right a wrong. Sometimes it is far too easy to blame parents when children are injured without carefully considering what the parent did wrong. And sometimes it just takes a very special group of lawyers with a commitment to seeing a case through to the end and making the arguments that hit their mark. Luckily for Asia and N., their bad luck turned when they found the outstanding legal team of pro bono lawyers at McDermott Will & Emery. And luckily for the Center, our pro bono partners are helping us to set very important precedents for families, making it clear for all of us that it isn t fair to blame good parents when their children have accidental injuries. Congratulations to Michael Weaver, Aron Frakes, Elizabeth Lewis, Lisa Loesel, and to Todd Solomon, co-chair of McDermott s Pro Bono & Community Service Committee who has very ably served as the coordinator of the Firm s pro bono work for the Center. 10

12 Special Law Firm Recognition: Sidley Austin LLP Sidley Austin LLP has emerged as a leader in the Family Defense Center s growing Pro Bono Program in Currently, there are more Sidley attorneys involved in Center cases than at any other firm. Over twelve Sidley attorneys (including Partners Gerald Angst, Erin Kelly, and John Levi, and Associates Susan Brehm, Joseph Dosch, Ben Frey, Brett Myrick, Maria Post, Kees Vandenberg, and Julie Weber) have represented five different clients in their administrative expungement appeal hearings, three of which were cases that went to hearings this year. Most recently, Sidley attorneys represented Ellen T., a victim-survivor of domestic violence who had been wrongfully indicated for neglect based on an incident in which her estranged husband threw a remote control at her, even though: (1) her children were in another room at the time; (2) she immediately obtained an order of protection against him; and (3) she filed for divorce. Ellen s career was seriously damaged by the unfair accusation against her. As part of the FDC s Mother s Defense Project, Sidley Austin attorneys successfully advocated to clear Ellen s name, and the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) concluded that Ellen was very credible and her children appear to be her whole world. She was thrilled with the Sidley team s success on her behalf so that she could move on with her life and support her family by continuing to work in her chosen career. The skilled litigators at Sidley were also able to exonerate Lewis B., a caring father to two children, who was indicated after his young daughter took an accidental fall and got a scrape and bruise on her face while Lewis was watching her at their home. Doctors and the DCFS investigator agreed that the marks on her face were consistent with the accident described by the family and that the injury was not suspicious, but DCFS indicated Lewis for abuse anyway. Thanks to the diligent advocacy of Sidley attorneys, Lewis was exonerated following his hearing. In a case involving complex medical issues, Mary C. was wrongfully accused of shaking her baby and indicated for abuse after her 8-month-old daughter Front row (l-r): Susan Brehm, Joseph Dosch, Maria Post, John Levi, Julie Weber, Ben Frey; Back row (l-r): Kees Vandenberg, Richard O Malley (Sidley Austin LLP Chicago Pro Bono Chair), Erin Kelly, Gerald Angst, Brett Myrick. rolled off of a bed when Mary momentarily looked away while she was changing her diaper. For Mary s hearing, Sidley retained and presented the testimony of well-known forensic pathologist Dr. John Plunkett, who testified that the child s injuries were entirely consistent with the explanation offered by Mary, in part because her child was predisposed to sustain head injuries more easily due to a pre-existing medical condition. Ultimately, the ALJ found that Mary did not cause her child s head injuries and did not place her at risk of harm, so the indicated finding was expunged. Earlier cases in which Sidley Austin attorneys provided pro bono representation include a case on behalf of Fiona W. and Paul J., loving parents to their own child and relative foster parents to several nieces and nephews. Sidley successfully appealed a neglect finding based on an argument between Fiona and Paul, in which no one was harmed and the children were not even present at the time. In addition, Sidley exonerated Sandra W., a caring, hard-working mother who was at work when her son sustained burns on his legs due to Sandra s then-boyfriend placing the child into bath water that was too hot. Sandra was indicated even though she took her son to the hospital as soon as she became aware of the burns. 11

13 In each and every Sidley Austin case, the attorneys have been diligent, prepared, thorough and consummate professionals. They have completely satisfied clients who would not have been able to access justice but for the hard work and support these dedicated individuals provided through the Center s Pro Bono Program. Sidley Austin attorneys are now at the forefront of legal advocacy for wrongly accused parents, having seen up close how DCFS often errs in targeting parents who are doing their best to raise their children. The growth of the Sidley Pro Bono Program would not have been possible without the strong support, commitment and encouragement of Richard O Malley, the Firm s Pro Bono Committee Chair and its Pro Bono Coordinator, Angelyn ( Angie ) Chester. Richard and Angie do a wonderful job to facilitate placement of FDC Pro Bono Program cases with Sidley attorneys, and promote Center attorney trainings among associates and partners at the firm. Meet My Personal Hero, 2011 Family Defender Carolyn Kubitschek By Diane L. Redleaf Civil rights, child protection, and social security lawyer Carolyn Kubitschek has more legal achievements to her credit than many legal departments, firms, and agencies with dozens, even hundreds, of lawyers. She can be considered the leading appellate lawyer in America arguing on behalf of children and families in the child welfare system. Most importantly, she is the only lawyer to argue before the Supreme Court on behalf of children and family rights in a child abuse investigation in the past 21 years, as she did this past March in Camreta/Alford v. Greene. Her depth of experience, coupled with her encyclopedic knowledge of the law in the child and family rights area, combine to make Carolyn a one-person national legal support center. For more than a decade, she has been just that for me and for the Family Defense Center since its birth in Most fortunately, she has dedicated her prodigious talents to advocacy for the legal rights of children and families in the child welfare system, the area in which the Family Defense Center works exclusively. In fact, if it weren t for Carolyn Kubitschek, there probably wouldn t even be a Family Defense Center. Her brilliant and winning legal theories in the case Valmonte v. Bane were instrumental to our victory in the Illinois class action suit Dupuy v. Samuels. Dupuy, a case I initiated with Bob Lehrer in 1997, took 13 years to conclude and resulted in sweeping changes in the child protection investigations and appeal system in Illinois. Further, the victory in Dupuy gave me both the impetus and the funding to start the Family Defense Center, so it s fair to say that many clients of the Center owe their legal representation to fight for their own careers and their ability to protect their families to Carolyn Kubitschek. 12

14 Carolyn Kubitschek is an old-school legal services lawyer who came of age in the heyday of civil rights law and poverty law. The seminal case, In re Gault, which declared that the Bill of Rights is not for adults alone was decided in 1967 while Carolyn was still an undergraduate student at Oberlin College. In 1970, the year Carolyn entered law school, the case that became the fountainhead of due process challenges to arbitrary operation of public benefits programs, Goldberg v. Kelly, was decided. The late 1960 s and early 1970 s were heady times for aspiring lawyers, and Carolyn was part of the generation of activists who saw becoming a lawyer as a way to make a difference and make the world a better place. Carolyn had been a music major at Oberlin and is still an accomplished pianist. Yet she followed her budding passion for justice to the University of Chicago Law School. There she took advantage of a very rigorous legal education and made her own opportunities in public interest law, including projects involving juvenile rights. She spent a summer working at Business and Professional People for the Public Interest, with Marshall Patner as her lead supervisor. She spent another summer with the ACLU and with her eventual employer, MFY Legal Services (originally part of Mobilization for Youth, an early anti-poverty project in New York City). Carolyn was one of only 15 women in her class in the male-dominated law school world of the early '70 s. Many of her law school classmates have become renowned judges and scholars; Carolyn made a memorable impression among this distinguished group with her razor-sharp legal mind. (I told her that I suspected many of her classmates would remember her even if she didn t remember them. It would surprise me if someone who is a very tall, model-thin, greeneyed blonde, and who resembles Gwyneth Paltrow, didn t turn more than a few of her classmates heads!) Back row, (l-r): Troy Phifer, Staff; Carolyn Kubitschek, Partner; David Lansner, Partner; Michelle Huey, Paralegal; Front row, (l-r): Rosa Vargas, Staff; Barbara Schaffer, Partner; Santosh Prakash, Paralegal. In 1973, Carolyn finished law school, the same year President Nixon signed the Legal Services Corporation Act into law. In those early years, many fledging lawyers believed that they could make the law work for poor people. So, Carolyn moved on from Chicago s Hyde Park and headed to work for the poorest of the poor in New York City. Carolyn soon steeped herself not only in vast areas of family law and public benefits law, but she witnessed up close the impact of poverty, discrimination, violence, and government misfeasance on her clients lives. Despite the discouraging circumstances, she was sustained by her desire to find legal remedies to make her poor clients lives better. Carolyn practiced family law and general poverty law at MFY areas that intersect with, but are not quite the same area as, child welfare law. Carolyn told me about the case that first got her interested in child welfare law. This dramatic story demonstrates the intersection between child welfare and more traditional areas of legal services practice: a family she represented had moved to New York City seeking medical assistance for their child. The care was denied and the City s child protective services agency was called. The child who had needed medical attention was taken from her parents. The child protection investigator later explained the removal of the child to 13

15 the white mother simply: That s what you get for marrying a black man! Carolyn then filed her first federal child welfare suit, Warren v. City of New York. As she recalls, the case was settled in the mother s favor: the child was returned, and monetary damages of approximately $8,000 were awarded. Carolyn has been hooked on righting the wrongs of the child welfare system ever since. She also has not been fooled by the commonplace child protection rhetoric that dresses up gross agency misconduct as acting in the child s best interests. During her first years at MFY, Carolyn made another career and life connection that has endured over decades. It was there that she met her now-husband and law partner David Lansner. Carolyn and David were married in Carolyn Kubitschek and David Lansner on the Supreme Court steps after Carolyn s argument of the Camreta case on March 1. law as well as child welfare law and has authored five editions of the treatise: Social Security Disability Law and Procedure in Federal Court (Thompson Reuters publisher; first published by West Publishing in 1994). Carolyn stayed in legal services until 1985, when she became a clinical law professor at Hofstra University. She was attracted to clinical teaching because she thought it had both the advantages of academia and the benefits of legal practice. She continued to pursue civil rights litigation while at Hofstra, but she found that the simultaneous demands of academic teaching and clinical practice made it difficult to continue to pursue her federal civil rights practice. Carolyn and David formed their own law firm 15 years later: in 1991, Lansner & Kubitschek (now Lansner Kubitschek Schaffer) began its formal legal collaboration. By then, David was well-established as a leading family lawyer in New York City and he also served as Counsel to the Committee on Children and Families of the New York State Assembly. The firm quickly began to file case after case against the New York Administration for Children s Services. Carolyn has continued to teach law students and interns throughout most of her career. She has also been an adjunct professor at Cardozo Law School since She is an authority on Social Security Disability 14 The Family Defense Center chose to honor Carolyn for the same reasons that California child protection/ civil rights lawyers Donnie Cox and Dennis Atchley sought her out when the United States Supreme Court granted review in Camreta/Alford v. Greene in October 12, Cox and Atchley (in consultation with me, too) realized that a case of such national import required a person steeped in child welfare law. They knew the case required an advocate who has worked on shaping constitutional arguments on behalf of children and families for decades. They knew Carolyn, thanks to an argument she had done before the entire Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and concluded that she was the right person to argue the case. Cox and Atchley consulted Mikel Miller, the lawyer who had handled the Camreta case in the Court of Appeals. They convinced Miller that Carolyn was the best person to brief and argue the case. By October 15, Carolyn filed her appearance in the United States Supreme Court as the lawyer who would argue on behalf of the child plaintiff in the case. It was the right decision. Even Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, during the oral argument in

16 Camreta, prefaced one of his questions to her with the observation, You are very knowledgeable in this area of law. Indeed, she is. One doesn t get to the position of arguing the first constitutional child protection case before the United States Supreme Court in 21 years, however, without many years of hard work. No one, bar none, works harder than Carolyn, notes her husband David. Many people who helped Carolyn prepare in moot court arguments would agree: I personally came away from several of these two-hour sessions exhausted, while Carolyn never seemed to tire and stayed on her feet, answering question after question. Persistence and willingness to fight to the finish, along with superb research and analytical skills, have enabled Carolyn to become an accomplished appellate advocate. Carolyn s fearlessness, and her uncanny ability to spot and develop legal theories and to apply those ideas to the real life problems of children and families, has enabled her to establish numerous leading precedents in her own cases and set the stage for other advocates, including the Family Defense Center, to build on her successes in cases of their own. Carolyn has had more than 30 federal appeals court arguments, an astonishingly high tally for any public interest lawyer, let alone for a legal services or small firm lawyer. Some of her appellate arguments have been particularly challenging for the most seasoned advocate. Carolyn once had so many cases pending in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals (the federal circuit for New York) that four of her cases were consolidated to be argued together. Similarly, when she argued the relatively rare rehearsing en banc before the Federal Court of Appeals in a Nevada case concerning the question of whether child welfare caseworkers have absolute immunity from suit (Miller v. Gammie), she had to convince the full circuit to change the prior panel s opinion. She succeeded. Carolyn has also prepared briefs and consulted on many important cases that she hasn t argued. When a case concerning whether hospitals could release mothers positive toxicology tests to prosecutors, Ferguson v. City of Charleston, was argued in the United States Supreme Court, Carolyn wrote an important friend-of-the-court brief in support of the mother s rights under the Fourth Amendment. (Ferguson later became the key precedent for the Ninth Circuit s decision in Camreta.) Most recently for the Family Defense Center, Carolyn contributed a winning line of argument to the briefing in Hernandez v. Foster, a case that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided on August 26, 2011, just as this biography was being completed. Unfortunately, Carolyn has experienced her share of heartbreaking stories too. A mother Carolyn represented had her parental rights terminated based on inaccurate findings made by the juvenile court judge. The juvenile court had adopted the prevailing view that the child s foster parents were his psychological parents (following the publication of Goldstein, Freud and Solnit s treatise Beyond the Best Interests of the Child, which made the case against parents and in favor of foster parents popular). The mother went on to successfully raise another child, who eventually became a teacher. The child whom the mother had lost to the foster care system was adopted, but the adoptive mother died and the adoptive father showed no interest in continuing to care for him. By age 21, the child had become a drug addict and a thief. At that point, he came back to live with Carolyn s client and stole everything the client owned. Carolyn s client gave the child a second chance, but he stole from her again. Finally, the client had to make the heartbreaking decision to say no when her son tried to come back a third time. Carolyn kept in touch with her client through this tragedy, offering emotional support when legal support was unavailing. Sometimes, sadly, that is all even the best of lawyers like Carolyn can do when the courts make mistakes and deny relief to deserving clients. For Carolyn, what is perhaps her biggest accomplishment as a lawyer isn t even in an area of law that I usually attribute to her leadership: it does not concern the rights of the family, but, rather, the rights of the children who are already in foster care. The 1981 case, Doe v. New York City Department of Social Services, 15

17 is the very first of a long line of cases that established that children have a constitutional right to safety in foster care. Carolyn is particularly proud of Doe because every federal circuit court of appeals that has considered the issue has adopted it, making it the law of the land. Beyond a doubt, Doe establishes that Carolyn is a child advocate first and foremost, whose ability to speak for the rights of children is unparalleled. That s a key point, because child advocates know that claiming to speak on behalf of the rights and interests of children is a contentious matter. This has brought Carolyn the strongest of allies and friends, but also generated powerful detractors. Another one of Carolyn s important legal victories was in Valmonte v. Bane in The suit sought an order to stop the State of New York from keeping Ms. Valmonte s name on New York s child abuse registry. Carolyn argued that the State used an unconstitutionally low burden of proof in its registry. Carolyn devised an ingenious and original argument that proved to be the linchpin for the very strongly worded opinion of the Federal Court of Appeals in New York. The Second Circuit excoriated the child protection agency for sweeping errors in registering innocent people and ruining careers. The Court proclaimed, To argue that the extraordinarily high percentage of reversals supports the fairness of the system, as a desirable feature of that system, is a curious defense of administrative procedures. One does not normally purchase a car from a dealer who stresses that his repair staff routinely services and repairs the model after frequent and habitual breakdowns. If 75% of those challenging their inclusion on the list are successful, we cannot help but be skeptical of the fairness of the original determination.... We hold that the high risk of error produced by the procedural protections established by New York is unacceptable. Carolyn s victory in Valmonte set the stage for major challenges that have been brought against child abuse registries in Illinois, California and North Carolina for violations of due process (our own Dupuy case included). Similar cases are being filed in Texas and Michigan as this article goes to press. Carolyn is probably best known for her role as lead appellate counsel in Nicholson v. Scoppetta. In a 2004 decision in Nicholson, the New York Court of Appeals declared that domestic violence victims possess constitutional rights to care for their children, and that these rights are violated by child protection authorities who label them as neglectful solely because they allowed themselves to be abused and engaged in domestic violence. The court orders in Nicholson required child welfare authorities to stop seizing children from domestic violence victims in New York City and also required the payment of monetary damages to the named plaintiffs. The federal trial court also ordered a raise in the rate of pay for parents counsel in dependency court proceedings, which set the stage for a sweeping reform of the appointed counsel system for families in New York City. The Nicholson victory was big news in the child advocacy world, and the news spread around the world. Carolyn was invited to speak about the case in Australia and across the United States. The case has been heralded and cited by domestic violence advocates, as well as women s and civil rights groups as a model for successful litigation on behalf of lowincome families. Carolyn s reputation, along with that of her firm, is that she engages in take-no-prisoners legal advocacy. Her adversaries have taken heed. Child welfare authorities have learned the hard way that they will not catch a break if they violate children and parents rights. Lansner, Kubitschek Schaffer s web site quotes an anonymous supervising attorney for the New York City Administration for Children s Services as saying: [Lansner & Kubitschek] has been the nemesis of this agency for about twenty years. And I know from personal experience that if every i is not dotted, every t not crossed and everything not done precisely within the time allotted by the decision they will sue us. Carolyn Kubitschek, David Lansner, and their partner Barbara Schaffer wear their reputations as legal sticklers with evident pride. 16

18 Child savers cringe when they hear Carolyn s name. In the world of child advocacy, there are many child savers a term elaborated upon by Richard Wexler, the outspoken Executive Director of the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform (NCCPR). Child savers are people who believe that children, especially children who are alleged to have been abused or neglected by a parent, need to be saved from their presumptively bad parents. They believe that the best way to do this is to take them from their parents and put them into foster care. The history of child saving is full of movements that ran roughshod over the rights of poor, minority and immigrant parents in the name of the best interests of the children. I first met Carolyn when she called me in the late 1990 s with an invitation to serve on the board of the NCCPR. Neither Richard, Carolyn, nor I will ever be called a child saver. Child savers tend to minimize children s ties to their families of origin and their communities. We fight instead for the rights of children to remain in their own homes, and for the rights of the parents to raise their own children. That has made us unpopular with quite a number of other child advocates, who see children s interests as more allied with the interests of the State. Carolyn spent her early years in Chicago s Oakdale neighborhood on the far south side, the oldest of four children of Herbert and Jenny Kubitschek, who met at the University of Chicago. Herbert Kubitschek, a geneticist at Argonne National Laboratory, previously worked with Enrico Fermi on the first atomic reactor. Jenny Kubitschek trained and worked as a chemist until Carolyn was born in 1949, after which she primarily cared for the family and was an active community volunteer. Carolyn has three younger siblings, Craig, Warren, and Wendy. When Carolyn was ready to start junior high, the family moved to the western suburb of Hinsdale, where Carolyn graduated from Hinsdale Central High School. Blythe and Carolyn. After Carolyn and David married in 1975, they settled in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where they raised their own two sons, Jesse and Noah. Both sons remain close to their parents in New York City: both are married and pursuing successful careers Jesse is a web designer/ technical consultant and Noah, following in his grandparents interest in hard sciences, was a chemistry teacher and is now a high school principal. Jesse s wife, Liz Call, is a librarian. Carolyn is a very protective mother and an adoring grandmother. She is also a loyal daughter, sister, wife and friend. David once told me that they generally work on every day of the week that ends in y, yet they have managed to lead an active out-of-work life. Even if the phrase work-life balance isn t the first thing that pops into mind when describing their lives, it isn t the last either. Annual trips to Europe, most often to Italy, have helped Carolyn and David stay relatively sane. On May 23, 2010, Noah and his wife, Devon Martin, an attorney and running coach, became parents and made Carolyn and David first-time grandparents. If you ask Carolyn what she does for fun now, she proudly displays pictures of her very photogenic granddaughter, Blythe. Despite her over-the-top busy litigation schedule, Carolyn finds plenty of afternoons and weekends to give Blythe her full attention, just as she managed to find time to raise two healthy, happy, and successful sons. 17

19 She also has a very wry sense of humor. In this she is more than a little encouraged by David who, if he hadn t developed an exemplary career in the law, might have had in my own humble opinion a very successful career as a stand-up comedian. They entertain a close circle of friends each year at their annual Super Bowl Party. Despite working nearly every day of the year, both Carolyn and David are able to manufacture time and energy for friends and family whenever they are in need. As if a full home and work life weren t enough, Carolyn continues to play the piano as her congregation s volunteer substitute pianist. She excels at this, as with everything else she does. Carolyn and David s family life has not been entirely joyful of late, however. On January 17, the day before the briefs in Camreta v. Alford were due in the Supreme Court, Carolyn s younger brother Warren was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer. Carolyn kept to her legal tasks, but in the weeks before the Supreme Court argument, her moot court preparations were punctuated with trips to Indiana to visit her brother. Warren passed away at age 56 on April 3, 2011, survived by his wife Catherine, his mother Jenny, his siblings and his four nieces and nephews. Carolyn and David now make a special point to visit Carolyn s mother in Downers Grove whenever they can, so the weekend festivities of the Family Defense Center provide a special opportunity for the family to gather and celebrate. We only wish Warren could be here to celebrate with us today. Carolyn Kubitschek is both hard to keep up with and a hard act to follow. She s a consummate legal researcher, an ingenious legal tactician, and a prodigious worker. Carolyn can produce lines of legal citations on arcane aspects of civil rights law at the drop of a hat. Unfailingly generous with her time and talent, she seems always willing and able to do more. At age 62, she seems to have the energy of a person in her 20 s or 30 s. If she feels any need to slow down, she doesn t show it. Carolyn and David have worked as such inseparable collaborators in law and life that our decision to honor Carolyn alone caused their long-time friend and colleague, the Honorable Louise Gruner Gans, to object that you just can t honor Carolyn and not David. They are a team. Carolyn absolutely agrees: she first and foremost credits David both for her ability to bring the cases she has won and for enabling her to lead a full, productive, and happy life at work and at home. And she is the first to praise David s impressive legal skills, including his excellent on-your-feet trial skills, and an instinct for understanding judges thought processes and bringing them around to his point of view. David is simply the best lawyer I have ever seen at arguing motions before trial judges, Carolyn says. She also credits David s superb trial skills for enabling them to settle many of their cases. Their opponents just don t want to face David in the courtroom or face Carolyn in the court of appeals. When Carolyn accepted lead responsibility to argue Camreta v. Greene, however, I knew we didn t have to look further for our 2011 honoree. Even if she had not done a superb job in briefing and arguing the Camreta case, even if she hadn t worked tirelessly under extreme pressure from all sides, and even if she hadn t put all of her other work on hold, the fact that she took on the job without a penny of compensation would have earned her our own highest award. But Carolyn s excellence presents a challenge to all of us, too: the challenge is how to build and strengthen our advocacy for children and families. There are simply too few heroes like Carolyn in the world of child and family advocacy. And to anyone who ever wondered if one person can make a difference in that world, we have an answer: One person can definitely make a huge difference, if that person happens to be Carolyn Kubitschek. 18

20 The Family Defense Center Announces A Very Special New Memorial Fund: The Chaitanya Maddali Family Legal Support Fund The Family Defense Center works with many talented pro bono lawyers, but one who stood out both for his commitment to the mission of the FDC and for his at the major Chicago law firm of Winston & Strawn. In August of 2007, he married Anita Ortiz in a combined Catholic and Hindu wedding ceremony and celebration. Three years later, the Maddali s beautiful daughter Amelia was born on December 20, An exuberant and fun-loving man, Chaitanya was known for his keen sense of humor and his intensity. An avid reader, he loved poetry, philosophy, and crime fiction. Thoughtful and contemplative, he was a fountain of good advice and a great source of support to his friends. No wonder, then, that Chaitanya was so passionate about the legal and factual issues in the two civil rights cases he worked on with the Center. The first case was Evans v. Richardson and the second was Hernandez v. Foster. In both of these cases, DCFS investigators had seized an infant from the parents. DCFS then demanded that the parents agree to an onerous safety plan, even though DCFS lacked evidence to support their claim that these children needed to be kept away from their parents. The Family Defense Center has long been challenging these sorts of abuses, but with these two cases it had a special new opportunity to secure precedents that would help to put a stop to such unconstitutional and anti-family practices. Chaitanya Maddali holds his newborn daughter, Amelia. intelligence was Chaitanya Maddali. As an attorney at Winston & Strawn, Chaitanya worked on two major civil rights cases the first such cases the Center filed after it started its Pro Bono Program. Chaitanya was born in Mumbai, India to parents Vijayalaxmi and Krishna Maddali. At fourteen, Chaitanya moved to Brooklyn with his parents, attending the prestigious Bronx Science Academy. He attended Washington University in St. Louis for both college and law school, eventually taking a position Chaitanya conducted a substantial share of the legal research and legal analysis in both cases, and worked with a team led by Julie Bauer to develop the facts for both. The Evans case settled, thanks in part to his work opposing DCFS efforts simply to dismiss the case. Chaitanya was a lead drafter of several legal memoranda filed with the court and played a major role in the briefing before the Seventh Circuit in Hernandez. In all of these endeavors, Chaitanya was both passionate and sharply analytical in his approach. He was strongly committed to justice for families in the child welfare system and he worked at 150% capacity to make that commitment a reality. Chaitanya and 19

21 his wife Anita, a public interest lawyer herself, were both strong supporters of the Family Defense Center as well. Chaitanya served on the Center s Benefit Host Committee in 2010 even as his illness prevented him from enjoying the festivities. On February 5, 2011, Chaitanya Maddali passed away, just seven weeks after his daughter was born and just three days before the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Hernandez v. Foster, the case that Chaitanya had helped to develop from its inception. The argument before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals went very well, but Chaitanya s co-counsel on the case missed the delight he normally would have taken in hearing the Court s pointed questions of opposing counsel. The Seventh Circuit s favorable decision set important new precedents that the Center will rely on to protect hundreds of Illinois families: Chaitanya s contribution to this success will continue as a legacy to his personal passion for justice. Chaitanya s death is a huge loss, not just for his family and friends, his colleagues at Winston & Strawn and his friends, but for the entire Chicago legal community. His loss is also keenly felt by the Center s client community which lost a shining young legal light far too soon. Chaitanya was an inspiration to us all. To recognize this, and his contribution to the cause of justice for families, the Center has decided to name a new special litigation fund in his honor. The fund meets a very important need at the Center, as many of our clients, like the Evanses and the Hernandezes, cannot afford the costs of litigation to vindicate their rights. The new Chaitanya Maddali Family Legal Support Fund will help pay for the costs of cases the Center seeks to bring on behalf of clients who otherwise cannot pay for filing fees, litigation costs, traveling expenses, and expert witness fees. Given Chaitanya s commitment to access to justice for all, the Center believes it is fitting to create a lasting memorial fund in his name, so that families for years to come will continue to benefit from Chaitanya s inspirational service to our community. Tributes I am honored and humbled by the invitation to join the community in celebrating the Family Defense Center s third annual benefit honoring Attorney Carolyn Kubitschek. The Family Defense Center has been and continues to be a strong advocate for the children and families involved in the child welfare system here in Illinois and throughout our nation. As the Presiding Judge of the Child Protection Division of Cook County I am extremely proud of the legal representation and advocacy that the Family Defense Center provides. The Center has been instrumental in shaping what child and parent representation requires in child welfare matters. I, along with all the judges assigned to the Child Protection Division, congratulate the Center on achieving this important milestone.... I wish you and the Center continued success. The University of Chicago Law School s Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic is proud that its alumna Carolyn Kubitschek is receiving this well-deserved award. Sincerely, Patricia M. Martin Presiding Judge Child Protection Division of Cook County 20

22 The Redleaf Family and the Libgober Family Are Proud to Recognize Our Friends Carolyn Kubitschek and David Lansner As Outstanding Advocates for Justice for Childrenand Families And thank you for all you have done to support the Family Defense Center Rhoda and Paul Redleaf Diane Redleaf and Anatoly Libgober Andrew Redleaf and Lynne Singer Redleaf Brian Libgober Jonathan Libgober Congratulations Carolyn! We are so happy to see you receive long deserved recognition for your undying commitment to the rights of families across the country. You are a brilliant legal mind and a fierce advocate, and we feel very fortunate to have worked with and learned from you. Joy Mele Brett Ward Congratulations to Carolyn Kubitschek from Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin LLP 350 Fifth Ave. Suite 1100 New York, NY Visit our web site at Best Wishes from Mary Halliwell and Marc, Sarah & Aaron Tenenbaum 21

23 Congratulations to Carolyn Kubitschek on receiving the 2011 Family Defender Award Helen Lansner Ruth Lansner Dan Lansner My clients Craig and Wendy Humphries and I, and many thousands of other Californians, owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Carolyn Kubitschek. The amicus brief she wrote for the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform in Humphries v. County of Los Angeles, 554 F.3d 1170 (9th Cir. 2009) contributed immeasurably to the Humphries success in that appeal: the Ninth Circuit held California s maintenance of the Child Abuse Central Index violates federal procedural due process because people are not given a fair opportunity to challenge the allegations against them. Carolyn s brief made clear that the goals of protecting children and preserving liberty are not mutually exclusive. Her arguments were crucial to the court s understanding and finding that the great human cost of being falsely accused of child abuse is borne not only by the accused, but by their children and extended families, their neighbors and their employers. The Humphries court relied on a case that Carolyn successfully argued years earlier, Valmonte v. Bane, 18 F.3d 992 (2d Cir. 1994), which held New York s child abuse registry system unconstitutional. A New York Times story on the Valmonte decision prompted my first phone call to Carolyn, back in I ll always remember something she told me that day: during the Valmonte argument, a judge on the panel asked, You mean I could be on that list? Making an unpopular cause relatable to the court is one of Carolyn s extraordinary skills. Fortunately for all of us, Carolyn has devoted those skills to the improvement of child protection policies across the country. Esther Boynton San Diego, September 13,

24 BARBARA SCHAFFER and DAVID LANSNER Congratulate our Partner CAROLYN KUBITSCHEK On her selection as 2011 FAMILY DEFENDER Her Brilliance, Tenacity, Energy, and Compassion have been a guiding light for all of us through the years. LANSNER KUBITSCHEK SCHAFFER 325 Broadway Suite 201 New York, NY

25 Before there were good, institutional providers of family defense in New York City, before there was a well-organized grassroots advocacy community in New York, there was Carolyn Kubitschek. With her partner in life and in law, David Lansner, Carolyn was otherwise would be, literally, defense-less. Through individual representation and groundbreaking impact litigation that s had an impact around the world (Carolyn has been invited to lecture in Australia and copies of Judge Weinstein s decision in Nicholson have circulated worldwide) and, of course, through her work as President and Vice President of NCCPR, Carolyn has spared thousands of children from the trauma of needless separation from everyone they know and love. Richard Wexler Executive Director National Coalition for Child Protection Reform 24

26 The Efroymson Family Fund is a proud supporter of the Family Defense Center and their work to advocate for and protect the rights of children and families. 25

27 26

28 27

29 Cardozo Law School Congratulates Adjunct Professor Carolyn Kubitschek Thank you for your years of helping Cardozo students understand the practice of family law in the Family Law Clinic Celebrating 35 Years 28

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