In the Matter of Kaden J.M. (anonymous)

Brief of Amici Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Respondent-Appellant and Vacatur.

Brief filed: 12/08/2016


In the Matter of Kaden J.M. (anonymous)

New York Supreme Court Appellate Division; Case No. 2016-02399

Prior Decision

Case below Family Court, Kings County Docket Nos. N-2583-16 & N-2584-16.


To effectively represent clients in two forums based on the same underlying allegations – such as parallel criminal and Family Court proceedings – it is necessary to obtain and assess information related to those allegations in the context of both proceedings, and to be able to share it with qualified co-counsel. The restraints placed on appellant's criminal defense attorney deprives appellant of her constitutional right to effective counsel. The non-disclosure order renders appellant's criminal defender incapable of providing effective representation. Effective representation requires attorneys to consider estoppel issues in parallel proceedings. Criminal attorneys cannot effectively counsel clients regarding the right against self-incriminations without unfettered access to information in parallel proceedings. The non-disclosure order impairs adequacy of counsel by prohibiting communication between appellant's two assigned attorneys. The non-disclosure order denies appellant her fundamental right to counsel due purely to her indigence.

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Barry A. Bohrer & Abigail F. Coster, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, New York, NY; Richard D. Willstatter, White Plains, NY; Brendan White, NYSACDL, New York, NY.