The Bronx Defenders presented at New York State Defenders Association conference on veterans last week

Last Friday, October 17th, Bronx Defenders Civil Action Attorney Christa Douaihy, Criminal Defense Attorney Amalea Smirniotopoulos, and Family Defense Defense Attorney Lauren Teichner all presented at the New York State Defenders Association “Representing Veterans in New York Courts” conference in Albany.

Their presentation, “Holistic Defense: Representing Veterans in Family Court and Beyond,” covered a range of topics including:

  • An introduction to Family Court proceedings and the ways in which an arrest of a veteran can lead to jeopardized rights to custody and visitation of their children;
  • Information and guidance on how to obtain the best outcomes for veterans defending themselves in concurrent criminal prosecutions and Family Court proceedings;
  • Due process concerns facing veterans in both fora and instructions on techniques for successful cross-practice representation, specifically analysis of the differing legal standards, discussion of burdens of proof, and analysis of substantive legal areas unique to veterans in both fora;
  • Suggestions on how to best tailor representation in Family Court to most effectively address legal, social, and inter-personal issues unique to veterans; and
  • Strategies for mitigating harm of an arrest in the context of Family Court involvement and civil collateral consequences.

True to the holistic defense model, The Bronx Defenders presenters also encouraged defense attorneys to partner with experienced Family Court attorneys and civil attorneys for technical assistance and substantive support when an arrest has potential to trigger child welfare system involvement.