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Hot Topics in Child Custody, Visitation & Guardianship for New York Practitioners 2019

Author(s): Philip Katz, Karen M.C. Cortes
Practice Area: Family Law
Published: Apr 2019
PLI Item #: 249530
CHB Spine #: 142

Honorable Karen M.C. Cortes was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio as a New York City Family Court Judge in January of 2019.  Judge Cortes currently presides over Child Protective and Custody, Visitation, Family Offense proceedings in Bronx County Family Court.  Judge Cortes previously served on the New York City Family Court Custody, Visitation, and Family Offense Operations Advisory Committee to the Administrative Judge of the New York City Family Court and the Bronx County Family Court Strategic Plan Implementation Team for Custody, Visitation, and Family Offense.


Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Cortes was a Court Attorney Referee for the New York City Family Court for four years presiding over custody, visitation, guardianship, and family offense cases and was a Court Attorney for the New York City Family Court for six years.  Judge Cortes also served for five years as a trial attorney in the Family Court Legal Services Division at the Administration for Children’s Services (“ACS”), where she tried and supervised hundreds of abuse and neglect trials.


Judge Cortes was formerly a member of the Family Court and Family Law Committee at the New York City Bar Association and Kings County Family Court Disproportionate Minority Representation Committee.  Judge Cortes is currently a member of the Bronx County Family Court Bar Association, New York State Women’s Bar Association - Bronx Chapter, New York State Family Court Judges’ Association, and Asian American Judges’ Association of New York State.


Judge Cortes earned her undergraduate degree from New York University and her law degree from Brooklyn Law School, where she was a recipient of the Judge Doris A. Thompson and Judge Edward Thompson Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy.

Philip Katz, Esq. has been a member of the firm of Fink & Katz, PLLC, a firm that concentrates its practice in the areas of Family Law, Criminal Law and Immigration Law for 20 years.  He is bilingual; serving his clients in both the English and Japanese languages fluently.  He graduated with his JD from Hofstra Law School.  In addition to his work at Fink & Katz, PLLC, attorney Katz has also been a member of the Assigned Counsel Panel in the New York Family Court since 2011, the Part 36 Panel since 2014, sits as a member of the Family Court Advisory Committee for the Appellate Division, First Department, and serves as the current President of the New York Family Court Assigned Counsel Association.  In addition to representing adults, attorney Katz represents children as well in New York County Family Court and Supreme Court.  He is also an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at Farmingdale State College.