FacultyFaculty/Author Profile

Wendell Cruz

Center for Family Representation
Criminal Litigation Supervisor
Jamaica, NY, USA


Wendell Cruz, Esq.,was hired as a Litigation Supervisor by The Center for Family Representation (CFR) in May 2016. CFR is a groundbreaking, nonprofit legal services organization dedicated to providing free legal assistance and social work services to families in crisis in New York City.  In collaboration with the Directors and management team at CFR, Wendell is assisting in developing the organization’s Criminal Defense Practice, which will enable holistic representation for their clients who have concurrent Family and Criminal Court cases.  Wendell comes to CFR after spending ten years as a staff attorney with New York County Defender Services (NYCDS) in Manhattan.  In this role he handled all levels of misdemeanor and felony cases, including multiple jury trials in New York County Supreme Court.  Additionally, he represented several clients on high profile cases, such as Alex Hausner, accused stalker of CNN journalist, Anderson Cooper, and Max Rosenblum, who was charged in a drug sale connected to the death of noted actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman, on a subsequent case.  In addition to carrying his full complement of cases, Wendell was the named the “Juvenile Defense Specialist” attorney at NYCDS, to represent their juvenile offender clients charged as adults in the New York County Supreme Court.  Prior to working at NYCDS, he served as the Assistant Attorney In Charge for the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society’s Queens office in New York City.  In this role he was the direct supervisor for the attorneys assigned to handle juvenile delinquency cases in Queens County Family Court.  Prior to his supervisory role, Wendell worked as a staff attorney for their office in the Bronx, from 1997 to 2004, where he handled both child protective and juvenile delinquency cases.  Wendell graduated from Seton Hall University School of Law, where he was a member of the Honor Council & received the Pro Bono Service Program Award.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from St. John’s University in New York, and currently serves on their advisory board for their Division of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies & Homeland Security.
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