Family Court is an important court where families and children come in times of crisis. It is our first chance and best hope to not only turn a child’s life around but to also turn a family’s life around. Family Court is also the court of last resort before we lose that child to the streets of crime. It is important that we have judges with experience who understand this, who understand the demands of this special court, and who are balanced and sensitive to the needs of all families and children.
I am running for Family Court Judge because my strong commitment to public service and my diverse professional and personal experience can make a difference in the lives of families and in our society. My daily work in Family Court as an Assistant Public Defender has given me the knowledge necessary to serve as a judge and the ability to analyze legal issues in a fair and balanced way. I have litigated cases involving paternity, custody, visitation, family offenses, child support violations, abuse, neglect, termination of parental rights, adoption, guardianship, and P.I.N.S. (Persons In Need Of Supervision). My interaction with families and children who are struggling with poverty and access to services has given me the compassion and caring necessary to appreciate the unique circumstances of each family.
I have dedicated myself to serve this community for over 20 years. I have taught at the Rochester City School District and at the University of Rochester. In my legal career, I have worked for the Legal Aid Society of Rochester, the New York State Office of the Attorney General, and the Monroe County Public Defender’s Office. I received the highest ratings from every local bar association. As an attorney, I have handled over 7,000 cases in various courts throughout Monroe County. I have spent 15 years working as an Assistant Public Defender representing indigent clients in criminal and family court cases and ensuring that my clients have a voice, an opportunity to be heard and are afforded due process.
As a bilingual attorney, I use my cultural awareness and understanding of sensitive issues to build a bridge of understanding between the court and multicultural families. I am committed to justice for families and children and work closely with a variety of community agencies and providers to help my clients and their families thrive.
I was born in Puerto Rico and I grew up as the oldest daughter of a judge who served his community for over 25 years. My father taught me that every person has an inherent need to be treated with dignity and respect regardless of color, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status. I follow my father’s example with integrity, honesty, fairness, and compassion.
In 1991, I came to Rochester as a scholarship recipient and quickly realized this is the community I wanted to serve. I earned a Bachelors degree in Political Science and History and a Masters degree in Teaching and Curriculum at the University of Rochester. I also obtained a Juris Doctor degree at the University at Buffalo.
I look forward to meeting you as I visit our city, towns, and villages in the next months. I ask you for the honor to serve as your next Monroe County Family Court judge.