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New York State Bar Association

Annual Meeting

January 25-30, 2010

New York City





Committee on Children and the Law


The Robert J. Schack Memorial Program




Beyond the Family Court:

Appeals and Collateral Review


A comprehensive view of the appellate process in Family Court cases:
preservation of the issues for appeal; moving the appeal from Family Court order to appellate decision;  when and how to move for interim relief;  writing a winning brief;  effective oral argument; ethical considerations;  and alternative and supplemental remedies.



Hilton New York

1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York City


9:00 a.m.—-12:10 p.m.


(3.5 MCLE Credits)



Nassau Suite (2nd Floor)



Under New York’s MCLE rules, this program has been approved for all attorneys including those newly admitted for a total of 3.5 credit hours 2.0 in the area of professional practice, 1.0 skills and 0.5 ethics credit.





8:30-9:00 a.m.        Registration


9:00-9:05               Welcome and Opening Remarks

                                                GEORGE E. REED, JR., ESQ.

                                                Program Chair


9:05-9:30               Preserving Issues for Appeal:  Procedural and Evidentiary Considerations

                                                JOHN A. CIRANDO, ESQ.


9:30-9:55               Challenging the Family Court’s Orders: Obtaining Immediate Relief and Commencing an Appeal

— Commencing the Appeals Process

— Obtaining a Stay: Nuts and Bolts and Strategic Considerations

— Going Back to Family Court

— CPLR 5704 Applications



9:55-10:20             Perfecting the Appeal:  Writing the Brief

— Reviewing the Record, Finding Viable Issues 

— Finding the Relevant Law

— Telling a Compelling Story in the Statement of Facts

— Breaking Each Argument Point into Five Parts

— Editing the Brief and Final Winning Touches

— Some Thoughts on Respondent's and Reply Briefs

                                                CYNTHIA FEATHERS, ESQ.


10:20-10:30           Coffee Break


10:30-10:55           Effective Brief Writing and Oral Argument:  Pointers from an

                              Appellate Judge

                                                HON. EDWARD O. SPAIN


10:55-11:20           When the Sands Shift:  Ethical Considerations for Appellate Lawyers  Dealing with Changed Circumstances and Changed Minds

— Determining the Child’s Position on Appeal

Providing New Information to the Appellate Court

Strategic Considerations

                                                JUDITH WAKSBERG, ESQ.


11:20-11:45           Alternatives and Supplements to Direct Appeal

  Federal Court Remedies: Section 1983, Injunctive and Declaratory Relief, and Damage Actions

Administrative Remedies: Name-clearing Hearings at the SCR, OCFS
 Fair Hearings

— Article 78 Proceedings: To Compel a Hearing, and Appeal from OCFS

State Supreme Court Habeas Corpus

                                                DAVID J. LANSNER, ESQ.


11:45-12:10           Panel Discussion: Making Appeals Work for You


12:10                     Adjournment






Program Chair

White Plains



D.J. & J.A. Cirando, Esqs.





Saratoga Springs




Lansner Kubitschek Schaffer & Zuccardy

New York City




Juvenile Rights Practice, Appeals Unit

Legal Aid Society

New York City




Associate Justice, Appellate Division

Third Department, Albany




Director, Appeals Unit

Juvenile Rights Practice

Legal Aid Society

New York City


About Robert J. Schack


Robert J. Schack was a founding member of the Committee on Children and the Law and, for many years, Chair of the Legislative Subcommittee. A supervising attorney at the New York State Attorney General's Office, Mr. Schack represented the State in several landmark juvenile justice and child welfare cases. He was a tireless advocate for children’s rights and interests, and contributed enormously to the Committee's and the NYSBA's achievements.




Discounts and Scholarships: New York State Bar Association  members may apply for a discount or scholarship to attend this program, based on financial hardship. This discount applies to the educational portion of the program only. Under that policy, any member of the Association who has a genuine basis of financial hardship can receive a discount or scholarship, depending on the circumstances. To apply for a discount or scholarship, please send your request in writing to the New York State Bar Association, Attn: Catheryn Teeter, One Elk Street, Albany, New York 12207 or via e-mail


Special Note for Attorneys Representing Children and Family Court Assigned Counsel Panel Members: Members of Appellate Division Law Guardian Panels are eligible to apply for a tuition waiver for this program.  If you qualify for this waiver, you cannot register online.  You must obtain a 2010 Waiver Form from your Program Director or download the waiver form, attach it to the completed Annual Meeting Registration Form, and fax or mail back the completed forms to the number/address listed.  A limited number of waivers are available on a first come/first serve basis for Family Court or Family Court Appeals assigned counsel panel members who are not currently on a law guardian panel.  To inquire about these waivers, please call Catheryn Teeter at (518) 487-5621. Completed waivers must be received by Monday, January 11, 2010.  Please note that if you are not a member of the New York State Bar Association, the $200 nonmember surcharge cannot be waived.


Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities: NYSBA will make reasonable modifications/accommodations to allow participation in its services, programs, or activities by persons with disabilities. NYSBA will provide auxiliary aids and services upon request. NYSBA will remove architectural barriers and communication barriers that are structural in nature where readily achievable. To request auxiliary aids or services or if you have any questions regarding accessibility, please contact Katherine Suchocki, Staff Liaison to the Committee on Children and the Law at 518-487-5590 or


For overnight room accommodations, please call the Hilton New York at 1-800-445-8667 and identify yourself as a member of the New York State Bar Association. Room rates are $239.00 for single/double occupancy. Reservations must be made by Monday, December 21, 2009. You also can reserve your overnight room on the web at


For questions about this program, please contact Katherine Suchocki at 518-487-5590 or  For registration questions only, please call 518-487-5621.  You can fax your registration form to 1-866-680-0946.


Table of Contents of Program Book

Registration Information

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Committee on Children and the Law Program
View this Flyer in PDF

Annual Meeting Registration Form

NYSBA General Annual Meeting Information

Register on-line now (not for Law Guardians)

2010 Waiver Form for Law Guardians

Our committee publishes Standards for Law Guardian (Attorney for the Child) representation in the following areas of Family Court (and Supreme Court) practice:

Juvenile Delinquency;

Person in Need of Supervision (PINS);

Custody, Visitation and Guardianship Proceedings;  

Child Protective, Foster Care, and Termination of Parental Rights .


For more information about the Committee on Children and the Law, please go to



Last Updated December 19, 2009


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