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Judge Richardson Mendelson was presented with the Abely Leading Women and Children to Safety Award in recognition of her work with victims of domestic violence within the New York City Family Courts. She first took the family court bench in 2003, after being appointed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. In 2008 she was appointed as the Supervising Judge of Queens County Family Court and in 2009 she began serving in her current position as an Administrative Judge for the family court. Her current term will expire in 2014.
Prior to taking the bench, Judge Richardson-Mendelson oversaw child-protective proceedings as a Court Attorney-Referee in Queens County Family Court. Before that, she represented both parents and children in the New York Family Court as an Assigned Counsel Panel 18-b Attorney. She further handled Supreme Court matrimonial matters.
Judge Richardson-Mendelson also served as a staff attorney at Sanctuary for Families Center for Battered Women's Legal Services while the agency was still in its infancy. Sanctuary is a New York-based non-profit that serves victims of domestic violence and sex trafficking, as well as the children of those victims.
She also worked as an attorney for the Legal Aid Society- Bronx County Civil Division, where she worked with clients in Housing Court, as well as in benefits entitlement matters. She was an Adjunct Professor in the Law and Police Science Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice for ten years, teaching courses in criminal law, constitutional law, evidence, and administration. She is frequently called upon to present information on Family Law issues.
She was previously the Chair of the Law Guardian/Assigned Counsel Advisory Committee for the Second and Eleventh Judicial Districts. From 1999 to 2001, Judge Richardson-Mendelson chaired the Children and the Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She holds a JD from the City University of New York at Queens School of Law, as well as a Ph.D and a MA in in Criminal Justice from the City University of New York Graduate Center.
The Abely Awards are dedicated to the memory of Maryellen Abely who died from cancer in 1995. Abely was a pro bono attorney at Sanctuary for Families, a Davis Polk associate, and a Columbia Law School graduate. This month's event was co-hosted by Sanctuary for Families; Davis Polk; and Columbia Law School.
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