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Hon. Erik S. Pitchal

Photo of Judge

Family Court of the City of New York, Kings County
330 Jay Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(347) 401-9870

Judicial Offices

Judge, Family Court of the City of New York, Kings County, Appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio 2015 to 2017, Reappointed, 2017 to 2027

Judge, Family Court of the City of New York, Bronx County, Designated by Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti, 2013 to 2014

Judge, Civil Court of the City of New York, New York County, Appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 2013 to 2013; Reappointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, 2014 to 2014

Other Professional Experience

Independent Child Welfare Consultant and Solo Practitioner, 2011 to 2013

Suffolk University Law School (Boston), Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Founder and Director of the Suffolk University Child Advocacy Clinic, 2007 to 2011

Fordham University, Director Fordham University Interdisciplinary Center for Family and Child Advocacy and Adjunct Associate Professor of Law, 2005 to 2007

Children's Rights, Staff Attorney, 2002 to 2005

Legal Aid Society, Staff Attorney, Juvenile Rights Division, 1999 to 2002

Law Clerk to Hon. Robert P. Patterson, Jr., US District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1998 to 1999

Admission to the Bar

NYS, Appellate Division, Second Department, 1999

First Circuit, 2009

Federal District Court for the District of Massachusetts, 2008

Massachusetts, 1999

S.D.N.Y., 1999


J.D., Yale Law School, 1998

B.A., Brown University, 1994


From Paternalism to Process: Reflections From the Bench on 40 Years of American Child Advocacy, 39 Child. Legal Rts. J. 1 (2019)

Engagement Is the Reform: The Roles of Youth, Foster Parents, and Biological Parents in Child Welfare Litigation, in For the Welfare of Children; Lessons Learned from Class Action Litigation 56 (Judith Meltzer, Rachel Molly Joseph, and Andy Shookhof eds.), 2012

Implementation of the Right to Counsel for Children in Juvenile Court Dependency Proceedings: Lessons from Kenny A., 36 Nova L. Rev. 407 (2012) (with Ira Lustbader)

Evaluation of the Wyoming Guardian ad Litem Program, 2012

New Legislation Helps Youth Aging Out of Foster Care, Mass. Lawyers J., Mar. 2011, at 15 (with Mary Wilson)

The Swedish Approach to Children and the, Law 33 The Guardian 24, 2010

Evaluation of the Guardian ad Litem System in Nebraska, project director and lead author, 2009

Thickening the Safety Net: Key Elements to Successful Independent Living Programs for Young Adults Aging Out of Foster Care, 23 St. John's J. Legal Comment. 447 (2008)

Where Are All the Children? Increasing Youth Participation in Dependency Proceedings, 12 U.C. Davis J. Juv. L. & Pol'y. 233 (2008)

Book Review, Judging Children As Children: A Proposal for a Juvenile Justice System, by Michael A. Corriero, 9 Barry L. Rev. 171 (2007)

Family Values: How Children's Lawyers Can Help Can Help Their Clients by Advocating for Parents, 58 Juv. & Fam. Ct. J. 17 (2007) (with Christine Gottlieb)

Children's Constitutional Right to Counsel in Dependency Cases, 15 Temple Pol. & Civ. Rts. L. Rev. 663 (2007)

Buzz in the Brain and Humility in the Heart: Doing It all, Without Doing Too Much, on Behalf of Children, 6 Nev. L.J. 1350 (2006)

Professional & Civic Activities

Co-Chair, Kings County Family Court Law Day Planning Committee

President, New York City Family Court Judges Association

Recipient, Stevens Award for Outstanding Public Service in the Law; Truman Scholarship Foundation, 2017

Public Member (appointed by Gov. Deval Patrick), Commonwealth of Massachusetts Board of Registration of Social Workers, 2009 to 2012

Member, Massachusetts Task Force on Youth Aging Out of Foster Care, 2007 to 2012

Board Member, New York State Family Court Judges Association

Member, Legislative Committee, National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges

Member, Nominations and Governance Committee, Congregation Beth Elohim