The reverential judge, Rita Mella, came to the U.S. when she was 22-years-old, with limited English skills. Just last month, she won the Democratic nomination, receiving 60 percent of the vote, and will run unopposed in November to become the first immigrant and the first Latina Manhattan Surrogate — one of the most prestigious trial court seats in the U.S.
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Judge Rita Mella
Two well-qualified sitting judges — Barbara Jaffe and Rita Mella — are vying to preside over this powerful court, which oversees wills, estates and adoptions. The winner will succeed Kristin Booth Glen, who is stepping down after seven years as one of the borough’s two Surrogate’s Court judges. Ms. Jaffe, a longtime Civil Court judge, has served since 2010 as an acting State Supreme Court
Mella would become the first Hispanic to hold this judgeship in Manhattan. Having an experienced Latina in this position could help expand the reach of this major court, which Hispanics now rarely turn to. Sensitive to the needs of an increasingly diverse city, Mella is running for this position with a plan to train more attorneys to work in this court.
In her current role, Mella chairs the Gender Fairness Committee of the Manhattan Criminal Court, which has organized programs aimed at addressing issues such as sex trafficking of young women, domestic violence among teenagers and relations between the Criminal Courts and the transgender population.
ELECCIONES PRESIDENCIALES 2012
Latina podría ser la primera en corte Surrogate en Manhattan.