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Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association honors Justice Jeanette Ruiz

October 4, 2018 By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and other legal groups honored Justice Jeanette Ruiz, administrative judge of the NYC Family Court, during its annual Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Pictured from left: President Carrie Anne Cavallo, Hon. Jeanette Ruiz and Hon. Joanne Quinones. Eagle photos by Mario Belluomo
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The Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association honored Justice Jeanette Ruiz, administrative judge of the New York City Family Court, during its 2018 Hispanic Heritage Month celebration in Brooklyn Heights on Wednesday.

The event was co-sponsored by the Brooklyn Bar Association, Cervantes Society of the New York Courts, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, the Latino Judges Association and the law firms Avanzino and Moreno, and Pacheco and Lugo.

“I could stand here all evening and tell you all about Judge Ruiz’s accomplishments in the area of child welfare in the past years which extend from her years as a social worker and to her present capacity of administrative judge of the New York City Family Court,” said Carrie Anne Cavallo, president of the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association (BWBA). “This is an important night for all of us. We have the privilege of honoring Jeanette Ruiz, a born Brooklynite and a card carrying member of the BWBA.”

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Before justice Ruiz was presented with a award, some speakers got up to share some words about the judge including David Chidekel, president of the Brooklyn Bar Association; Hon. Wilma Guzman, president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association; Angelique Moreno; Mercedes Lokich; and M. Frank Francis.

“She’s dedicated to her work, to her ‘children’ as she calls them,” said Judge Guzman. “It’s not an easy job. If you work with the youth, children and parents of NYC it’s not easy. It’s heart wrenching. You have to have someone as dedicated as Jeanette to sit at the forefront and lead all of the Family Court judges.”

Carrie Anne Cavallo presents Hon. Jeanette Ruiz with a citation on behalf of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams’ office.

Judge Ruiz, who was born and raised in Sunset Park, started her legal career as a social worker, litigator and city official before she became a Family Court judge and eventually supervising judge of the Brooklyn Family Court. She briefly served as deputy administrative judge of the New York City Family Court before being promoted to administrative judge who oversees the entire Family Court system.

Justice Joanne Quinones introduced Justice Ruiz and presented her with a plaque. During her introduction, Justice Quinones remarked about the impact that Ruiz has had on the Family Court and credited her with starting the Brooklyn Family Courts Hispanic Heritage, its Black History Month and its Pride Month celebrations.

She also teased her about this past spring’s International Association of Women Judges conference that took place in Argentina.

“I have had the privilege of knowing Jeanette first as a role model who guided me through the judicial appointment process, then as a colleague and now as a dear and close friend,” Quinones said. “After all, who but a close friend would allow you to persuade her to slide down a waterslide at a conference attended by hundreds of lawyers and colleagues. Thank you, judge, for being that friend.”

During her speech, Justice Ruiz talked about standing on the shoulders of those who came before her and mentioned Hispanic judges that blazed a trail for her including Hon. Cesar Hiram Quinones, Hon. Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, Hon. Jenny Rivera, Hon. Frank Torres and Hon. Felipe Torres, Hon. Michael Garcia, Hon. Luis Gonzalez, Hon. Rolando Acosta and also Hon. John Carrow.

She then shared a letter that Justice John Carrow sent to her in 1986 shortly after she passed the bar exam.

“‘I could not help but notice that yours was one of the Hispanic names on the list, if I’m correct in assuming you are Hispanic,’” said Ruiz with a laugh, reading from Judge Carrow’s letter. “‘I hope that in time that you to will take your place among the contributors of our people, our city and our country and at the same time achieve the satisfaction of a fulfilling career in the law.’

“Imagine how meaningful it was to receive this letter from a judge in the appellate department with this inspiring message,” Ruiz continued. “I hope that I too became a contributor for the children and families of our city.”

Angelicque Moreno and Helene Blank.

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