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Family Court Judge

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    Mark Blanchfield (CON, DEM, IND, WOR) Schenectady City Court Judge

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Biographical Information

To what extent have you practiced in the area of Family Law?

What do you see as a key issue facing Family Court Justice, and how would you address it?

Education BA in History, Harvard University JD, Yeshiva University's Cardozo School of Law
Experience Judge since 2010, Practicing Attorney from 1995-2010
I have been temporarily appointed as an Acting Family Court Judge at different times in my judicial career. While on the City Court, I have addressed matters of juvenile justice, which in the near future will be addressed in Family Court due to changes in the law.
New York recently raised the age of adult criminal responsibility from 16 to 18. As simple as this sounds, the statute is actually fairly complex in that it sets up a detailed procedure for addressing these cases based on their severity and retains the state's ability to prosecute those under 18 as adults in certain circumstances, among other components. Moreover, it is unclear how the state and the counties will be allocating resources between the adult justice system and the existing juvenile system to address this large transfer of case volume. The implementation of these changes will be the biggest issue facing Family Court Justice in the near future. Family Court Judges in our region will have to work together and with other key players in the juvenile justice system to ensure that this change proceeds smoothly and consistently. Case load and dispositional metrics must be gathered more frequently and shared more broadly if this statutory change is to achieve its goal.

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