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Nominations sought for defender’s award

Nominations are due by Sept. 27 for a new award created by the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office to recognize excellence in indigent adult representation in Family Court.

Timothy P. Donaher

Timothy P. Donaher

“The important work of family court is too often overlooked by the legal profession,” said Public Defender Timothy P. Donaher. “Despite dealing with complicated and often emotionally charged issues that profoundly affect families, from custody and visitation cases to termination of parental rights cases, Family Court is not always recognized for the quality of justice it strives to provide to its litigants.”

He said the attorneys who represent indigent adults in family court work tirelessly to preserve one of the most important human relationships, that of a parent and child, and their dedication deserves to be recognized by the legal community.

The new award will recognize an attorney who practices in Monroe County Family Court and who, in the previous two years, displayed exceptional dedication to his or her indigent, adult clients, excellent advocacy skills and superior knowledge of the law. The attorney must have represented one or more indigent adult clients in a custody/visitation, child support, abuse or neglect, or termination of parental rights case.

The award is also open to appellate attorneys who represent adult, indigent appellants or respondents in New York state appellate courts. The award will be presented at the 2013 Defense Community Dinner in the fall.

To nominate an attorney, send a letter and any supporting documentation to Timothy P. Donaher, Monroe County Public Defender, 10 N. Fitzhugh St., Rochester, NY 14614. Nomination letters may also be emailed to: tdonaher@monroecounty.gov.

Letters should explain why the attorney merits consideration for the award and provide non-confidential details regarding specific cases where you believe the attorney displayed the qualities to qualify. References to specific cases should include the names of opposing counsel, attorney for the child (if any) and the judge. All submissions will be reviewed by an awards committee consisting of Family Court judges and attorneys for the child.