Caroline Cohen - Civil Court, 6th Judicial District
Q: Why are you qualified to be a judge?
A: I am qualified to be a judge based on the breadth and depth of my legal experience and community service. In the time I have been practicing law, I have engaged in high-volume landlord-tenant litigation, civil rights litigation and appellate practice. I have litigated extensively and have personally overseen over 75 bench trials. Moreover, my deep community involvement gives me an intimate perspective on how the law directly impacts individual litigants and how the law can shape the lives of entire populations of people.
Q: What interventions and resources do you believe are required to ensure that all judges and court personnel competently and respectfully serve and work with the LGBTQ community? What steps will you take to secure the necessary resources to implement the interventions?
A: I believe educating all court employees about different needs of the LGBTQ community and the complementary available resources will help ensure that the LGBTQ community is treated competently and respectfully. For example, knowing what legal services providers are specifically geared to the LGBTQ community, such as Housing Works Legal Services, is a practical way to assist self-represented LGBTQ litigants. Another way in which the court can ensure competent treatment is by knowing which New York City agencies intersect with the LGBTQ community, such as the HIV/AIDS Services Administration. Lastly, training all court employees to respect LGBTQ litigants, particularly the trans community, is crucial; this can be accomplished in part by training staff to use proper pronouns when addressing trans individuals. I personally am particularly well-qualified to competently serve the LGBTQ community, as I have worked within the LGBTQ community, worked at the HIV and AIDS Law Project (also known as the Comprehensive Rights Unit) of Brooklyn Legal Services, and am well-versed in the various benefits provided by New York City agencies.