Rutland lawyer recognized for dedication to childrenBy Brent Curtis
STAFF WRITER | January 18,2013Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo
Adele Pastor, seated, congratulates Rutland Public Defender Steven Zwicky who was honored Thursday for his work in juvenile proceedings.In situations where families are torn apart, Rutland attorney Steven Zwicky has spent years trying to put them back together.
Zwicky, who has spent much of his career as a public defender working in the family court system, was recognized Thursday by the Vermont Justice for Children Task Force for his exemplary work representing parents and children in juvenile proceedings.
“We’ve all dealt with trauma of different kinds in this courtroom. It’s not often that we hear about good news, but the work that Steve has done over the years has all been focused on what’s good for the children involved,” family court Judge Nancy Corsones said, addressing a courtroom full of Zwicky’s colleagues.
“With his incessant questions and his refusal to leave any stone unturned, he’s been focused like a laser on finding positive outcomes,” the judge added.
Family court cases can be among the most challenging for lawyers, judges and others involved in the family court system. Juvenile delinquent matters take up some of the court docket, but arguably the more challenging cases are so-called Children in Need of Care and Supervision cases, which entail families in crisis.
“Abuse, neglect, substance abuse, mental health issues, disabilities, social issues and poverty. Poverty is a huge issue,” Zwicky said, summing up the forces that tear apart the families he works with.
Working as part of a team of lawyers, guardians, state Department of Children and Families representatives and other advocates, Zwicky said he has worked for more than a decade to try to connect children and families to services while shielding them from a potentially damaging legal process.
“Litigation in a lot of these family situations can be a destructive process,” he said. “If we can reach some common ground, children benefit in the end. We can’t always reach that and in some cases we shouldn’t but it’s the ideal.”
That commitment hasn’t gone unrecognized.
Vermont Supreme Court Chief Justice Paul Reiber, chairman of the Justice for Children Task Force, which seeks to improve situations for children in foster care and in the court system, praised Zwicky in a statement.
“Dedicated attorneys like Steve Zwicky can change the course of a child’s life through effective advocacy,” Reiber wrote.
State Deputy Defender General Anna Saxman and Vermont Juvenile Defender Bob Sheil also wrote statements praising Zwicky’s work.
But the most effusive compliments came Thursday from those the public defender has worked alongside — and occasionally fought with — the longest.
“Despite our disagreements I have always been amazed at the commitment, energy and effort Steven has made to make outcomes better for the kids,” said Deputy Rutland County State’s Attorney Kevin Klamm. “And he’s done it with an optimism and hope that he always brings to the table.”
@rutlandherald.comMORE IN Local & StateBRANDON — Brandon residents and visitors will use the power of music and rhythm Saturday as... Full StoryCASTLETON — Voters will again get the chance to decide the future location of the police department. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.