Thank you for taking time out of your busy life to participate in this important process, especially during these very trying times. I am honored to inform you that I have been found “Most Highly Qualified” by the New York County Democratic Independent Judicial Screening Panel for the position of New York County Surrogate’s Court Justice. I am both humbled and grateful for their support and confidence. Today, I ask for your support as I continue to seek to become the next Surrogate for New York County.
I bring a unique blend of public and private experience to the bench. My career started as a social worker before becoming an attorney. In my first 25 years of practice, I specialized in trusts and estates, guardianship, and real estate. I entered the court system eleven years ago, first as a principal law clerk for Supreme Court Justices, and then selected, after a vigorous application process, as a principal court attorney/special referee, to initiate an innovative program consisting of a three-member citywide law department implemented as part of NYS’s Excellence Initiative. I was designated to work in a confidential capacity serving in high-need courts.
As an elected Civil Court Judge since 2018, I was quickly recognized by administrative judges as the "go-to troubleshooter", and most recently, during the pandemic, assigned to resolving 2,200 outstanding cases.
Surrogate’s Court deals with complex and emotional issues for the most vulnerable, whether it involves inheritance, appointing guardians for intellectually challenged individuals, or adoptions. Sensitivity and transparency dealing with both pro se litigants and with counsel are critical to the administration of justice.
Understanding the value of mediation and implementing the tools to get matters in front of the court and out the door, so to speak, should be the hallmark of Surrogate’s Court today. Surrogate’s Court, as we all know, is unique in the court system and requires someone with judicial temperament, empathy, respect for vulnerable litigants, including those requiring a guardian, those who have lost a loved one, and the decedents themselves; all with a deep abiding commitment to do justice.
On a personal note, my husband and I have been married for thirty-eight years. We have two adult children. Like so many others in our community, I too am struggling with managing my elderly father’s failing health. The man that I looked up to my entire life struggles every day with dementia. I fully understand what it takes to care for a loved one suffering from such diminished mental capacity and physical disability. I believe that my own life’s journey has cultivated those needed qualities in Surrogate’s Court.
I look forward to speaking with you in the immediate future to earn your support.