Friday, May 17, 2013

Pro Bono and the Land of Missed Opportunities

It always seems to end up happening when you are trying to help someone out. I've been working on a pro bono case here in Brooklyn, helping a young woman get some parenting time with her children. Back in February when I was first assigned to the case, we had a court appearance and everything seemed to be fine. The client had warned me ahead of time that they judge did not like her, but that is almost everyone's impression of a judge when they show up without an attorney. The first appearance seemed to go fine and we set up the beginnings of a schedule for her to see her children.

Fast forward to May, 3 months later, and come to find out that, despite negotiating time for her to see her children, she has not picked them up once for her scheduled parenting time. The judge was rather surprised that she had not picked the children up, as was I since I had asked her last week and she said the parenting time was going good.

So now we are all in the same position, trying to figure out what is actually going on with the pick ups. My client begins to give excuses, many of them contradicting each other, and then begins to try and blame the children's father. Once that picks up, the whole  thing degrades into a morning of "he said-she said" allegations that do nothing but frustrate the judge.

After we finished, and the judge gave her another change to begin spending time with her children, I asked my client if she was actually going to start seeing them or not. She told me "of course", but then again, that is what she said last time.

For more information on custody and visitation proceedings or to schedule an appointment, please call me (718.568.0221) or visit my website ( for more information.

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