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FamilyKind's Upcoming Events

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Former Judge, New York State Family Court, Kings County

President, Brooklyn Legal Services, Legal Services NYC


Hon. Betty Staton (Ret.) was 41 years old when she earned a full scholarship to NYU’s Law School, where she co-founded the Black and Latino Alumni Association, now the Law Alumni of Color (LACA), which celebrates its 46th anniversary this year. Her first job after law school was in legal services at the Bedford Stuyvesant Community Legal Services Corporation (BSCLS), where she became deputy director and director of outreach and education. In 1987, Judge Staton left BSCLS to become a founding partner in the law firm of Boyd, Staton & Cave — the first African-American female law firm in the U.S. In 1991, she was appointed by Mayor David Dinkins to the New York State Family Court, Kings County. She served 15 years before her mandatory retirement and an additional five years as a Judicial Hearing Officer. Staton then returned to BSCLS as Executive Director and now serves as President of Brooklyn Legal Services, Legal Services NYC.


Judge Staton has been an adjunct lecturer at City College of New York, Medgar Evers College, College of New Rochelle, and New York City College of Technology, where she taught business law for more than 15 years. She is a  member of the Local Judicial Friends and the National Bar Association Judicial Council as well as other bar associations.  She volunteers with several community and professional organizations and was awarded the 2023 Haywood Burns Memorial Award by the New York State Bar Association and the Honorable Thurgood Marshall Award by the National Judicial Council, as well as and numerous other awards from elected officials, faith organizations and community based organizations.



Partner, Phillips Nizer LLP


Elliot J. Wiener, Esq. has devoted himself to FamilyKind throughout its history, joining the Board in 2015 and leading FamilyKind as its Board Chair from 2017 to 2021 — a key period of growth. Wiener chairs the New York Matrimonial & Family Law Department of Phillips Nizer LLP and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) and a member of the Executive Committee of the Family Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, among other leadership positions.


With more than 40 years of experience practicing family law, Wiener concentrates his practice in diverse areas of matrimonial and family law including divorce, custody and visitation, support, and related matters. He is a trained mediator, often selected by other matrimonial attorneys to act as the mediator and the Neutral Evaluator in cases in New York County. He is trained in collaborative law and has been the attorney for hundreds of children in proceedings which span the entire range of family law. 




Founder and Managing Attorney, ASJ Law Office


l'Asia Scarlett-Jones, Esq., founder of ASJ Law Office, has represented clients from all walks of life both as a public defender and as a litigator in private practice, demonstrating her commitment to achieving positive outcomes for families by settling disputes and avoiding trial. 


Scarlett-Jones began her career as a Staff Attorney at The Legal Aid Society of Nassau County as a public defender, representing clients in custody, visitation, and child support matters. She went on to serve as Senior Court Attorney at Nassau County Family Court, where she drafted decisions and orders in child custody and visitation matters, helping countless families, both represented and unrepresented, settle their cases. At ASJ Law Office, she is dedicated to handling matrimonial and family law cases with a client-centered focus, working to reduce litigation and promote approaches such as mediation.


Scarlett-Jones was named a “Top 40 Under 40” by the National Black Lawyers. She received her B.A. in political science and government from the University at Albany and her J.D. from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.









Professor of Practice and Director of the Divorce Mediation Clinic

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law


Professor Bob Collins has been practicing divorce mediation for over 40 years. For the last decade he has focused on teaching the next generation of family dispute resolution professionals as the Director of the Divorce Mediation Clinic at Cardozo Law School, where he is also a member of the Kukin Program for Conflict Resolution. Collins has trained both attorney and community mediators in the U.S. and around the world for close to 30 years; he is the author of a 400-page divorce mediation training manual and has received teaching awards from both Cardozo Law School and the Ackerman Institute for the Family.


Collins is considered among the pioneers of divorce mediation in New York. He was a founder and served as president of the Family and Divorce Mediation Council (FDMC) of Greater New York and chair of the Ethics Committee of the New York State Council on Divorce Mediation. Prior to teaching, he worked in private practice and was an Assistant D.A. in the New York County District Attorney’s office.  He holds a B.A. from Yale College and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.




Bill Drewes is a long-time friend of FamilyKind whose guidance has steered its growth and impact. Drewes is an attorney with over 40 years’ experience in business law, real estate, intellectual property, employment law and tax-exempt organizations. He is also a fundraising and development advisor to nonprofit community-based organizations; a diversity counsel and contract procurement specialist for certified minority and women-owned business enterprises; and a workforce diversity and inclusion advisor to corporations and organizations. Drewes is on the faculty of the Business Management Department at BMCC. He received his MBA from NYU Stern School of Business and his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School.

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For more information or to reserve a sponsorship, please email

Betty Staton Bio
Elliot Wiener Bio
Asia Scarlett-Jones Bio
Robert Collins Bio
William Drewes Bio
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