““It is an honor for our team in the Brooke S.B. matter to be recognized by members of the legal profession regarding this decision, which has had a profound, positive impact on same-sex couples in this state,” says Eric Wrubel. “Our team is certainly amo”
Eric Wrubel, a partner at Warshaw Burstein LLP who led the litigation team in the matter leading to the Court of Appeals’ decision in Matter of Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A.C.C., is one of three finalists selected by The New York Law Journal for its first Attorney of the Year award, as part of its Professional Excellence Awards recognition event. Mr. Wrubel’s legal practice is devoted to handling complex family and matrimonial matters.

NEW YORK, NY – July 27, 2017 – In a landmark decision last year, Mr. Wrubel and his litigation team, comprised of his partner, Linda Genero Sklaren, Esq., and his former associate Alex Goldberg, Esq., were successful as appellate counsel to the attorney for the child, R. Thomas Rankin of Goodell & Rankin, in the New York Court of Appeals’ ruling in Brooke S.B. v. Elizabeth A.C.C. that changed the legal definition of “parent” under New York’s Domestic Relations Law, and the laws regarding parental custody and visitation, especially as it related to same-sex couples. 

The new criteria no longer relies on 25-year old precedent, which defined “parent” exclusively as a person related by biology or adoption to a child. The Court found that this rule had “become unworkable when applied to increasingly varied familial relationships.” The Court expressly overruled its decision in Alison D. v. Virginia M. (1991), where it previously had created the former “bright line” rule. The appeal was argued by Mr. Wrubel and the brief submitted on behalf of the Attorney for the Child was written by Ms. Sklaren, Esq. with the assistance of Mr. Goldberg. 

According to Mr. Wrubel, “Clearly the bond that exists with someone who is parenting that child is extremely important. To sever that bond can have a very detrimental effect on the child. I think you would be hard-pressed to find a psychiatrist or psychologist who wouldn’t say, ‘You can’t get rid of one of these people. They are the child’s parents. This is who the child knows.’”

Mr. Wrubel has years of experience in the New York Courts, dealing with a large variety of issues in family and matrimonial matters, including complex equitable distribution questions, novel support and custody issues, as well as being on the forefront in same-gender marital issues. He has litigated, written and lectured extensively on same gender marriage and divorce, civil unions, domestic partnerships and their tax consequences.  He is also an adjunct professor at the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law. He has contributed to improving the lives of families in navigating the various changes in family structure and the shift from the definition of parent as biological or adoptive, to multi-parenting arrangements, where three or more people are granted parental status. 

“It is an honor for our team in the Brooke S.B. matter to be recognized by members of the legal profession regarding this decision,which has had a profound, positive impact on same-sex couples in this state,” says Eric Wrubel.  “Our team is certainly among a crop of distinguished lawyers in this selection, who represent much larger law firms.”

Warshaw Burstein is a mid-sized, full-service law firm based in New York City, concentrating in the following practice areas: banking and finance, construction, corporate and securities, creditors’ defense litigation and compliance, entertainment and media, exempt organizations, financial services, intellectual property, litigation, matrimonial and family law, real estate, tax, and trusts and estates. The firm has comprehensive experience representing a wide range of international, national and local businesses of all sizes, as well as governmental authorities and many prominent families and individuals, in an extensive array of litigation and transactional matters.

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