Blank Rome Partners Caroline Krauss-Browne and Meg Canby Named “2017 Trailblazers” by The National Law JournalMay 2017
Blank Rome Partners Caroline Krauss-Browne and Meg Canby were named “2017 Trailblazers” in The National Law Journal’s “Divorce, Trusts & Estates” category. This year’s honorees were selected out of “hundreds of nominations” received by The National Law Journal ("NLJ"), and notably recognized for “continuing to make their mark in various aspects of legal work in the areas of family law, trusts & estates.”
Each recipient has a common thread that ties them together, according to the NLJ, which is “a deep passion and perseverance in pursuit of their mission, having achieved remarkable successes along the way.”
To view all of the “2017 Divorce, Trusts & Estates Trailblazers,” please click here.
PIONEER SPIRIT: Caroline Krauss-Browne was working at a 35-lawyer firm doing bankruptcy and commercial litigation when the head of litigation went on leave and asked her to handle a case where the wife had been raped. “I found a great sense of reward in that work.” Krauss-Browne moved to a predecessor firm of Blank Rome, where she met Meg Canby, who had started practicing family law right out of law school.
TRAILS BLAZED: Working pro bono, Krauss-Browne and Canby were part of the team that successfully represented Brooke S.B. in a custody dispute, getting a ruling that nonbiological, nonmarried, nonadoptive parents can seek custody and visitation of a partner’s children born with the biological parent’s consent. In that case, Brooke S.B. and Elizabeth C.C. had been same-sex partners who planned to marry in New York when it became legal. Before that, Elizabeth became pregnant using an anonymous donor; the couple broke up and Elizabeth eventually cut off Brooke’s contact with their son. Brooke’s filing for custody and visitation in family court was dismissed for lack of standing because she was neither a biological or adoptive parent—although she had been functioning as a parent since the child’s birth—and the appellate court affirmed the lower court decision, under the “Allison D.” ruling from 1995. Krauss-Browne and Canby convinced the State Court of Appeals to take the child’s welfare into consideration and overturn decades of precedent. “Now, you won’t be able to identify as parent, child and family, then have someone say years later that they simply want a do-over,” Canby said.
FUTURE EXPLORATIONS: Krauss-Browne said of the ruling, “This will enable people to bring their cases and allow the court to engage in a nuanced analysis of the fact pattern and what’s in the children’s best interest.”