Todd G. Cosenza, Nathan Huddell & Jocelyn M. Sher – Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
Julia*, a 35 year old immigrant from Ukraine, met with Her Justice for the first time in 2014, after receiving a criminal court order of protection against her husband of 11 years. When they met in college in early 2000, she, like most of our clients, did not envision her life taking this turn.
Beginning with aggressive, but necessary emergency motion practice, the firm of Willkie Farr & Gallagher started Julia’s long road to maintain custody of the parties’ 9 year old son, secure child support and ultimately, help her obtain a divorce from her abusive spouse. The firm’s representation began through its externship program and continued even after externs Nathan Huddell and Jocelyn Sher, returned to the firm and were supervised by Todd Cosenza.
Julia’s compelling case and strong need for fierce advocacy and emotional support were well-suited for both Nathan and Jocelyn, as their partnership on this case is exactly what Julia needed to maintain the emotional and physical momentum to continue her fight for justice. Her spouse, quick-tempered, unreasonable and verbally abusive, fought hard to gain custody of the parties’ son. The Father’s desire, as told by the child, was to teach their son to be “strong and mean like daddy, not weak like mommy”. As a result of being exposed to the Father’s constant emotional and verbal abuse, the parties’ son was significantly traumatized. After nearly 3 years of Supreme Court litigation, where the team and Julia were faced with a difficult Judge, an unprofessional and condescending adversary, Julia finally secured legal and physical custody of the parties’ son, which assured that she and the child were able to live together without fear of constant abuse.
*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality
Her Justice does extraordinary work on behalf of domestic violence survivors. Representing those survivors in matrimonial and family court proceedings has been deeply rewarding, both professionally and personally. It has been a privilege to partner with the Her Justice staff and to advocate for the courageous women who turn to Her Justice in times of crisis. – Nathan Huddell