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Family Law

Mexican Brothel Raid Just Part of N.Y. Lawyer’s Job

Posted Sep 24, 2008 5:39 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Rescuing two young girls from a Mexico City brothel, accompanied by others, including 20 armed immigration agents, isn't usually part of a New York lawyer's work.

But it was part of the job for Linda Lopez of the Center for Battered Women's Legal Services at New York's Sanctuary for Families, reports the New York Law Journal. Its lengthy article about the divorce and child abduction case that led to the rescue is reprinted in New York Lawyer (reg. req.). The girls, who are 6 years old, are now reportedly back with their mother in New York City and doing well.

"This was not your ordinary lawyer-client relationship," says attorney Norma Ramos of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women. "This was women attorneys putting themselves at personal risk to help another woman and girls at risk."

The two Mexican attorneys who participated in the rescue are receiving Abely Awards at the Manhattan law office of Davis Polk & Wardwell. The annual awards honor lawyers who have "made a difference in the lives of victims of domestic violence and who [share] the compassion, zeal, energy and dedication" of the late Maryellen Abely. A Davis Polk associate, Abely was pro bono counsel for Sanctuary for Families.

Lopez is headed back to Mexico, the legal publication reports, to help return two more abducted children to their mother in New York.

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