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New York Court Expands Definition of Parenthood and Overrules 25-Year Precedent in Case Involving Children of Same-Sex Couple

As reported in the New York Times and other media outlets, the New York State Court of Appeals issued an opinion in Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A. C.C., expanding the definition of "parent" under New York law and overruling Alison D. v. Virginia M., a 1991 decision in which the court held that a lesbian partner without a biological or adoptive relation to the child may not seek custody or visitation. Paul, Weiss submitted an amicus brief on behalf of the New York State Bar Association in Brooke S.B. urging the court to overrule Alison D. and to adopt the reasoning of the late Judge Judith Kaye's dissent in that case. The Court of Appeals' decision in Brooke S.B. did exactly that, explicitly noting that "as predicted by Judge Kaye, there is little doubt by whom th[e] injustice [of Alison D.'s bright line rule] has been most finely felt and most finely perceived." 

The Paul, Weiss team included, among others, litigation associates Nila Merola and Luke O'Brien.

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