National Coalition for Family Justice Advisory Board Overview
"The success of all our initiatives shrivels if the public loses faith that the courts operate free of favoritism and partiality."
The Honorable Judith Kaye, Chief Justice of the State of New York.
The National Coalition for Family Justice, a grassroots, gender neutral, 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in 1988 by Monica Getz, has an Advisory Board to address the issues surrounding accountability and ethical behavior on the part of judges, attorneys, and other professionals operating in our country’s courts, particularly as they relate to cases involving family violence, children’s rights, and child custody.
The Coalition is well known and highly respected, where it has been instrumental in working with citizens, attorneys, and judges to implement important legal reform in New York State. It actually owes it's existence to Whitney Seymour, Jr. Esq., former NYS Assemblyman and U.S. Attorney, as it was he who spurred Ms. Getz on to form the organization after representing her in a high profile divorce from jazz musician Stan Getz in the early 1980’s. Shocked by what he observed in divorce court while representing Getz, Seymour collaborated with Mark Green, then the NYC Commissioner of Consumer Affairs, on a 1992 report written by Karen Winner (also a board member) entitled: Women In Divorce: Lawyers, Ethics, Fees, and Fairness.
The Advisory Board is a cross-disciplinary, gender-neutral, non-partisan, national network of prominent professionals, experts, and authorities who will collaborate to raise public awareness of the interrelated societal problems resulting from unethical behavior and lack of accountability in the legal professions (judges and attorneys) and in other disciplines involved in the litigation process (i.e. court appointees, "experts", etc.). The Board also works independently and with other individuals and organizations to develop feasible and appropriate solutions and recommended practices, and will publicly recognize judges, attorneys, and other professionals whose work exemplifies ethical and proper behavior in the legal arena.
Helen Garland, associate of the legendary Margaret Mead, and Mark Green, former NYC Commissioner of Consumer Affairs and the first New York City Public Advocate, are among a distinguished list of experts which also includes Lundy Bancroft, author of the highly acclaimed book, "The Batterer As Parent", Northampton, MA; The Rev. Barbara Reynolds, author, ordained minister, and president of the Reynolds News Service, Washington, D.C.; and many other noted professionals from diverse backgrounds.