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2004 Child Advocate Training Seminar

Scott Hollander, of KidsVoice, Pittsburgh (center), is congratulated on his Child Advocate of the Year Award by Outgoing PBA President Thomas Golden (left) and Incoming PBA President Michael Reed (right).

Emmanuel Cassimatis, York County Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge (center), is congratulated on his Child Advocate of the Year Award by by Outgoing PBA President Thomas Golden (left) and Incoming PBA President Michael Reed (right).


HARRISBURG (June 3, 2004) — The Pennsylvania Bar Association Children’s Rights Committee presented its 2004 Child Advocate of the Year awards to York County Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge Emmanuel Cassimatis and to Scott Hollander, executive director of KidsVoice, during the association’s Annual Meeting in Hershey May 13-15.

The Child Advocate of the Year Award was established to recognize the accomplishments of lawyers and judges who are advocates for children within the commonwealth or who are involved with child advocacy.

York County Court of Common Pleas Senior Judge Emmanuel Cassimatis
“Judge Cassimatis has been deeply involved in matters of importance regarding juveniles not only in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but throughout the world,” said York County Court of Common Pleas President Judge Arthur E. Grim, who nominated him for the award. “It is the passion and commitment to children which he brings to the table that is quite extraordinary.”

Throughout his career, Judge Cassimatis has been a leading advocate for children. He serves as the president of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges Juvenile Court Section and is a member of the Pennsylvania Permanency Planning Task Force. He chairs the Ad Hoc Committee on the Mental Health Needs of Juvenile Offenders and is a member of the Pennsylvania Commission of Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Committee. From 1991-1994, Judge Cassimatis was the convener of Pennsylvania’s Juvenile Justice Policy Group. This group is comprised of the secretaries of the Pennsylvania departments of Education, Health and Welfare and the Commissioner of Corrections and the Executive Director of PCCD. Judge Cassimatis also was a member and chair of the Juvenile Court Judges’ Commission from 1989-1998.

In addition, Judge Cassimatis was selected as one of five jurists worldwide to serve on the International Tribunal for Children’s Rights. He serves with judges from Brazil, Kenya, Poland and Thailand and conducts hearings on war-affected children.

To assist children in York County, Judge Cassimatis established the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Program, which utilizes trained community members to serve as advocates for abused and neglected children. He also founded the EARN-IT Program, which targets delinquent youth, ages 14-18, and enables them to earn money to pay for the damages caused by their offenses. Judge Cassimatis also chaired the Safe Kids Initiative.

Judge Cassimatis is a graduate of Dickinson College and the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.

Scott Hollander
“Through the years, this impressive lawyer has dedicated himself, first to becoming an outstanding children’s lawyer, and now, to leading a children’s law office to prominence and greatness,” said Frank Cervone, executive director of the Support Center for Child Advocates, who nominated him for the award. “He has made the practice of law for children his passion and his pride.”

Hollander has worked in Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan and Washington representing children in class action and individual cases involving abuse, neglect, custody, adoption, personal injury, wrongful death, guardianship and educational rights. He developed the first program in the country to recruit, train and utilize volunteer attorneys to represent children in domestic violence cases involving restraining orders between parents. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges named that program as a “best practices” model in 1997.

Before joining KidsVoice as executive director in 1999, Hollander worked for the Pittsburgh law firm of Evans Ivory and was in private practice in Seattle, Wa. He previously served as the senior staff attorney and pro bono coordinator of the Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center in Denver, Co., and was an adjunct professor at the University of Denver College of Law. In 1995, the National Center for State Courts selected Hollander as one of six individuals in the country to study and evaluate custody decisions in domestic violence cases.

In 2002, Hollander testified before the Northern Ireland Assembly about potential reforms in the child welfare system. In 2003, he participated in statewide trainings and reform efforts in Florida, North Carolina and Maine.

Currently, Hollander is the executive director of KidsVoice, which is a private, nonprofit organization in Pittsburgh that represents more than 5,000 abused, neglected or abandoned children each year. He also serves on the U.S. Attorney’s Crimes Against Children Task Force, the PBA Professional Responsibility & Ethics Committee and in the PBA House of Delegates. He was appointed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias Dependency Subcommittee. Hollander is a former chair of the PBA Children’s Rights Committee and is an adjunct professor at Duquesne University School of Law. In addition, he works as a consultant for Hollywood screenplays and television scripts. His latest project, The Guardian, is a weekly television program on CBS about child advocacy in Pittsburgh.

Hollander is a graduate of Tufts University and the University of Michigan School of Law.