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WASHINGTON, April 13, 2015 — Patricia E. Apy, partner at Paras, Apy & Reiss, P.C. in Red Bank, N.J., and fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, will receive the American Bar Association’s Grassroots Advocacy Award on April 15 for her outstanding support of legal protection and assistance for members of the military.
Recognized as one of the nation’s leading experts in family law, Apy has focused her career on the needs of military families, serving as a teacher, advocate, lecturer, consultant and commentator on the complexities of international family law. She has served as a past member and present liaison to the ABA Legal Assistance for Military Personnel Committee and past chair for the ABA Family Law Section’s Military Family Committee. She has dedicated countless pro bono hours on Capitol Hill and the New Jersey state legislature serving as the ABA president-designated spokesperson. She continues to provide military and civilian lawyers and judges with education and technical assistance on the rights of American military service members.
For the past five years, Apy has worked tirelessly with her congressman, Rep. Chris Smith, to draft and shepherd to enactment the Sean and David Goldman International Child Abduction Prevention and Return Act of 2014. This law will help parents reunite with their abducted children and will strengthen efforts to prevent child abductions in the first place. Apy was instrumental in including provisions originally proposed by the ABA working group to address the unique challenges faced by military parents.
Apy also is being honored for her leadership over the past eight years in helping the ABA oppose federal legislation that would have adverse consequences for military parents involved in child custody disputes. She was influential in crafting a New Jersey state statute that serves as a basis for the Uniform Act (Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act), which has been adopted in many states and under consideration in other states.
“Patricia Apy has been a leader in addressing the legal needs of military families,” said William C. Hubbard, ABA president. “She has helped the ABA oppose federal legislation that would have hurt military parents working through child custody issues and she has spent endless hours educating members of Congress about this issue. We are delighted to honor her work.”
Apy will receive the ABA Grassroots Advocacy Awards as part of the association's annual effort to connect policymakers with constituents in the legal profession. ABA Day 2015 brings distinguished lawyers from 50 states to Washington, D.C., to discuss issues such as funding for Legal Services Corporation, overincarceration and juvenile justice reform.
The other recipients of the 2015 ABA Grassroots Advocacy Award are John M. Rosenberg, founder and longtime director of the Appalachian Research and Defense Fund of Kentucky, Inc., and Nan Heald, executive director for Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Maine.
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