Honorable Karen M.C. Cortes was appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio as a New York City Family Court Judge in January of 2019. Judge Cortes currently presides over Child Protective and Custody, Visitation, Family Offense proceedings in Bronx County Family Court. Judge Cortes previously served on the New York City Family Court Custody, Visitation, and Family Offense Operations Advisory Committee to the Administrative Judge of the New York City Family Court and the Bronx County Family Court Strategic Plan Implementation Team for Custody, Visitation, and Family Offense.
Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Cortes was a Court Attorney Referee for the New York City Family Court for four years presiding over custody, visitation, guardianship, and family offense cases and was a Court Attorney for the New York City Family Court for six years. Judge Cortes also served for five years as a trial attorney in the Family Court Legal Services Division at the Administration for Children’s Services (“ACS”), where she tried and supervised hundreds of abuse and neglect trials.
Judge Cortes was formerly a member of the Family Court and Family Law Committee at the New York City Bar Association and Kings County Family Court Disproportionate Minority Representation Committee. Judge Cortes is currently a member of the Bronx County Family Court Bar Association, New York State Women’s Bar Association - Bronx Chapter, New York State Family Court Judges’ Association, and Asian American Judges’ Association of New York State.
Judge Cortes earned her undergraduate degree from New York University and her law degree from Brooklyn Law School, where she was a recipient of the Judge Doris A. Thompson and Judge Edward Thompson Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy.