FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Margaret A. Burt

New York Public Welfare Program
Counsel
Pittsford, NY, USA


Margaret A. Burt

PROFESSIONAL 

1992-Present: 
I currently conduct a private law practice specializing in trial and appellate work in the child welfare area.  I handle child abuse and neglect matters as well as adoptions, terminations of parental rights, custody and visitation cases. I handle approximately 100 foster care adoptions a year.

I also serve as a national lecturer and consultant for many institutions and organizations:

American Bar Association - I train, consult and write for the American Bar Association's Center on Children and the Law on child protective and foster care permanency matters and on the termination of parental rights.  I consult on special ABA projects and provide technical assistance for individual states and counties to help them reduce the amount of time children spend in foster care waiting for legal permanency. I helped design, and currently provide training for specialized trial skills for child welfare attorneys. I present nationally on child welfare legal topics, such as confidentiality, the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act, the Indian Child Welfare Act, and the Adoption and Safe Families Act. I have provided technical assistance and consultation to states and agencies on legal training issues, legislative issues, and agency legal office management issues.

New York Public Welfare Association - I serve as legal consultant to the New York State professional organization of local social services districts.  Since 1989, I have reviewed and provided commentary on virtually all pending New York State legislation relative to Family Court and other social services issues. I am directly involved in drafting and passing new child welfare and related social services legislation.  I provide consultation and training on an ongoing basis to social service employees and attorneys regarding new legislation and caselaw trends.

New York State University Research Foundation - I am employed part time to provide legal consulting and training on child protective issues, permanency planning issues, legal issues of foster care, termination of parental rights and adoption to agency caseworkers, judges and attorneys across the state of New York. For the last 18 years, I have designed and provided legal training for new caseworkers in their basic mandated training as well as their advanced legal training for New York State Child protective, preventive and foster care workers.
 
New York State Office of Court Administration - I provide legal training to new and experienced Family Court Judges in New York State and I serve on the Family Court Advisory and Rules Committee which reviews all legislation, rules and forms for the efficient process of New York State Family Courts

New York State Third and Fourth Department Appellate Division Law Guardian Programs - I provide legal training in child welfare areas for new and experienced attorneys for children throughout the upstate New York area.

National Consultant and Lecturer - I provide legal consulting and training on a national basis to individual social services districts, State and Federal Regional Offices, Law Guardian and Ad Litem programs, and various professional and community organizations on issues concerning child maltreatment and the law. I have provided training and consultation on child welfare issues on a frequent basis in almost every state and I have been acknowledged as an expert in the area of child welfare law, procedure and training in both federal and state lawsuits.


January 1988-January 1992:

First Deputy County Attorney, Monroe County Law Department, Rochester, NY 

As First Deputy, I was the first assistant attorney to the Monroe County Attorney. The fifty seven employees of the Law Department handled all legal matters for the County government.  I directly supervised thirty three County Law Department employees who handled all county matters before Monroe County Family Court. These matters included child neglect and abuse, foster care and adoption issues, juvenile delinquency, paternity and child support, and the termination of parental rights. The sixteen attorneys in this unit were responsible for thousands of cases presented in Family Court each year. As supervising attorney, I handled my own caseload and I was responsible for training and personnel matters. I was directly involved in policy making and training for those departments of county government involved with Family Court.  

January 1980-January 1988:
Attorney with Monroe County Public Defender's Office, Rochester, New York. 

From 1980-1983 I represented criminal defendants on misdemeanors, felonies, and violent felonies in all phases of criminal trial practice from arraignment and bail through motions, pleas and trial.  I handled numerous bench and jury trials before Town, Village, City, County and Supreme Courts.   
 
From 1983 until 1988 I represented indigent parents in Monroe County Family Court cases involving child abuse and neglect, family violence offense matters, custody, support and visitation cases. I handled hundreds of cases through to trial.  I wrote and argued appellate briefs on Family Court matters. As a senior attorney, I was involved in supervising and training new attorneys in the Family Court unit.

February 1980:  Admitted to New York State Bar 


EDUCATION

1976-1979:
State University of New York at Buffalo, Faculty of Law and Jurisprudence, Amherst, New York. - - Juris Doctorate  May 1979

1972-1976: 
State University College of New York at Fredonia, Fredonia, New York -  B.A. received May 1976

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