Top New York Criminal Defense Lawyer Joel S. Walter to Lead I CARE Foundation Criminal Law Oversight Committee

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Joel S. Walter, a highly respected and renown New York City criminal defense lawyer and a Board of Director member of the International Child Abduction Research and Enlightenment Foundation (I CARE Foundation), will oversee the foundation's newly created 'Criminal Law Oversight Committee'.

New York Lawyer Joel S. Walter

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The International Child Abduction Research and Enlightenment Foundation (I CARE Foundation) is pleased to announce that Mr.Joel Walter, a New York Attorney with forty years of litigation experience focused in complex family law and criminal matters and a member of the foundation's Board of Directors will chair the foundation's International Child Abduction Criminal Law Oversight Committee in conjunction with international child abduction cases.

Under the United States federal law known as the 'International Parental Kidnapping Crimes Act', the illegal removal or detention of a child taken abroad in violation of a court order by a parent is a federal crime. In addition to federal law, every state has imposed its own criminal statute. Despite existing federal and state criminal laws, prosecution of abducting parents is rare. Mr. Walter commented, "It is clear that parental child abductors who illegally take or detain a child abroad do not have fear of prosecution. In essence, they believe they are above the law and are judgement proof. This must change. The I CARE Foundation, as part of our mission to raise awareness, will address this issue in various forums as we believe there exits a direct correlation between the escalating growth of abduction and the limited prosecution of these crimes."

Mr. Walter represents clients in New York State courts and Federal courts within and outside New York. Upon graduation from law school in 1970, Mr. Walter was hired as a staff attorney by the New York City Legal Aid Society, rising to Attorney –In- Charge of the Society’s Bronx Criminal Court Office supervising about 35 attorneys before entering private practice. He has represented thousands of clients and has had hundreds of trials to completion. His major skill sets are in the areas of negotiation and trial work in the criminal and family law arenas.

Mr. Walter said,“ The legal complexities involved in either trying to prevent a child from being internationally abducted or getting the child returned under either the Hague Convention or foreign jurisdiction law in non-Hague signatory nations is daunting. Clearly, the number of these cases are massively under-reported due to a lack of research and deep understanding into the issues at hand.” Walter added that, "Tragically, as many parent-victims of international parental child abduction realize, the parent-victim is usually unaware that the abduction is about to occur until the criminal act occurs. With the correct legal strategy, it is possible for a parent to reunite with the child. This work involves experience in criminal and family law. It is my hope to bring the experience I have gained over the past 40 years practicing in both the family law and criminal law arena to the Foundation, as we continue to conduct various research, while helping build attorney networks that could assist targeted children and parents. At the end of the day, it is our hope to raise the bar on social and judicial education so that we will see a dramatic reduction in these types of cases. I am very committed to that, as I am honored to become a Director of the I CARE Foundation."

The Hague Convention on The Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction comes into play so long as the country where the child was abducted from and to are both Hague signatory states.

The Law Offices of Joel Walter provides a team of highly experienced counsel familiar with the legal complexities of international parental child abduction, professionals who practice regularly in state and federal court, intricate and thorough legal strategies based upon optimizing various domestic and international laws, professional relationships with a diverse group of international family lawyers capable of acting immediately to ensure the return of the abducted child, strategies and representation that will assist you in preventing an international child abduction from occurring, and assistance in enrolling your child in various federal child abduction prevention programs and the representation and ability to initiate Hague Convention proceedings.

Mr. Walter is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the New York Criminal Bar Association, the New York County Lawyers’ Association (criminal and family law sections),a Director of the International Child Abduction Research and Enlightenment (I CARE) Foundation, and an attorney on the State Department’s "Hague Convention Attorney Network".

Peter Thomas Senese, a Director of the I CARE Foundation added, "It is a great accomplishment to have a person such as Joel Walter not only sit on the foundation's Board of Directors, but to lead the foundation's investigatory efforts concerning how failures in abduction prosecution enable would-be abductors. Mr. Walter is a very intelligent litigator who thinks is paradigms, something that is extremely useful when dealing with complex cases involving either the prevention or attempted reunification of parent and child. Mr. Walter is honest, considerate, and dedicated. His years of extraordinary legal experience add a very unique presence to our board. The Foundation has been very fortunate to have Joel Walter as an integral part of our Board. And on a personal level, when I was forced to Chase The Cyclone of international child abduction, Joel Walter was the first lawyer I turned to."'

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