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Paul, Weiss is committed to providing impactful pro bono legal assistance to individuals and organizations in need across a broad range of constitutional, civil rights and other public interest matters.

Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Pro Bono Client

Paul, Weiss achieved a victory for a pro bono client accused of child maltreatment when the First Department - Appellate Division affirmed a lower court decision which annulled an earlier adverse finding. In 2012, our client was caught shoplifting with her then five-year-old child. The Administration for Children's Services (ACS) investigated our client and uncovered no evidence of serious or impending harm to the child, but nonetheless made a finding that her child had experienced abuse or maltreatment. Our client appealed the finding, but an administrative law judge held that ACS's determination was appropriate.

Paul, Weiss became involved in the matter at the conclusion of the administrative process, and filed an Article 78 petition in the Supreme Court challenging the administrative law judge's ruling on the basis of error of law. The Supreme Court granted our Article 78 petition in February 2015.

As reported in the New York Law Journal, on December 1, The First Judicial Department affirmed the Supreme Court's order.  The Court held that the administrative law judge's decision was based on an error of law, lacked a reasonable basis, and was made without regard to the facts. The panel also held that the administrative law judge failed to consider the 10 factors set out in the applicable guidelines. 

The Paul, Weiss team includes litigation partner Michele Hirshman, who supervised the team, and associates Elana BealeAdam Bernstein and Sierra Robart.

January 6, 2017

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