FERN J. FINKEL, ESQ.
Fern J. Finkel, Esq. is a co-founding partner at Finkel & Fernandez, LLP. She has concentrated in elder law and guardianships since 1998, and has been in private practice since 1990. Fern brings a wealth of experience, compassion and technical expertise to her practice. She is known for her skillful analysis of financial and personal circumstances and for providing practical planning to enable seniors and disabled clients to remain independent through advance directives, asset protection, benefits planning and trusts.
Fern graduated with honors from New York University College of Business and Public Administration in 1981. She received her Juris Doctor Degree from Boston University School of Law in 1984.She has been recognized as a New York Super Lawyer in the field of Elder Law in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Fern has been selected by the Courts, as well as by family members, to serve as the appointed guardian and/or trustee for many individuals in need of personal needs and property management. She represents clients in guardianship proceedings and has been appointed as Counsel and as Court Evaluator by the New York State Supreme Court in countless cases. She has helped thousands of seniors through her extensive community outreach and pro bono services on behalf of the indigent elderly of New York City. Fern spearheaded the Legal Education and Assistance Project, known as LEAP, at the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, of which she is a Board Member. LEAP’s mission is to train and support pro bono attorneys in providing community outreach and education on all aspects of advance planning to seniors, with the goal of maximizing their independence and ability to remain at home long term.
Fern is the Kings County District Delegate to the New York State Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs Section, a Co-Chair of the Guardianship Committee of the New York State Bar Association Elder Law and Special Needs Committee, on the Executive Board of Legal Services New York City, Chair of the Brooklyn Bar Association Foundation Law Committee, Vice Chair of the Brooklyn Bar Association Elder Law Committee, a board member of the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, and a Co-Founder of the Touro Center Aging and Longevity Institute Guardianship Quality Initiative . She served for years as a volunteer certified mediator with Safe Horizons for community disputes, PINS cases and custody matters, as well as with the United States District Court, Eastern District.
Fern lectures for various bar associations on topics including the Role of the Guardian, Role of the Court Evaluator, Advance Directives, Supplemental Needs Trusts and Guardianship. She is a mentor attorney at the Elder Law Clinic at New York Law School. Fern serves on the Committees on Character and Fitness for the Second Judicial Department.
Fern has won numerous awards for her pro bono service, including the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York Hanna S. Cohn Pro Bono Award (2004), the New York State Bar Association Pro Bono Award for the Second Judicial District (2003), the Brooklyn Bar Association Frieda S. Nisnewitz Award for Pro Bono Service (1996) and an Award of Merit from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (1997). She was the 2009 and 2013 recipient of the Brooklyn Bar Association Distinguished Service Award and the recipient of the 2013 Building Bridges Award from the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
Fern was previously an Associate Attorney at the firm of Damashek, Godosky and Gentile, where she litigated medical malpractice and personal injury cases to verdict.
back to top
JULIE STOIL FERNANDEZ, ESQ.
Julie Stoil Fernandez, Esq., a co-founding partner of Finkel & Fernandez, LLP., is a highly experienced attorney with a 23-year history of litigation in elder and mental health law. She is well-known for her fierce advocacy in her litigation practice.
As a new attorney in 1993, Julie worked for seven years for Mental Hygiene Legal Service, Appellate Division, First Judicial Department, representing psychiatric patients in retention proceedings and guardianships in both civil and forensic facilities. She maintained a private solo elder law practice for 15 years before co-founding Finkel & Fernandez with Fern J. Finkel.
Julie skillfully analyzes the myriad issues which arise when a person’s legal capacity is in question, and she excels in creative solutions - effectively negotiating agreements between oppositional family members in contested cases.
Julie is certified as an Elder Law, Family and Divorce mediator and offers services to parties who seek workable solutions to conflicts, without litigation. As an advocate for persons with dementia, mental illness, traumatic brain injury and developmental disabilities, Julie has assisted hundreds of clients – protecting housing benefits, individual liberties and patients’ rights in institutional settings through litigation, advocacy and special needs planning.
Julie is the Co-Chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Elder Law and Special Needs Section’s Committee on Elder Abuse. She is a member of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the New York City Bar Association, the Brooklyn Bar Association, and the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association. She is a mentor attorney at the New York Law School Elder Law Clinic. As a volunteer attorney at the Brooklyn Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyer’s Project – LEAP, Julie lectures regularly at community forums, senior centers, housing groups and churches, advising seniors of practical planning opportunities to remain at home. Julie lectures for various bar associations on advance directives, elder abuse, and guardianship.
A graduate of Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985, earned her Juris Doctor in 1992 from Northeastern University Law School and was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York in November, 1993.
Prior to law school, Julie worked for four years as a counselor to the homeless, and ultimately as the Associate Director of a 500-bed emergency overnight shelter for homeless men in Boston, forging a permanent bond with those in need of protection and advocacy.
back to top
ROBIN GOEMAN, ESQ.
Robin Goeman is an elder law attorney in Brooklyn with a practice focused on Medicaid and Guardianship.
Robin has been admitted to practice law in New York since 2006, and her practice has been concentrated in elder law, benefits, and special needs planning--as an associate in the elder law firm Freedman Fish and Grimaldi, LLP, as a staff attorney at MFY Legal Services in their Manhattan Legal Aid to Seniors Project, and as a sole practitioner. She is the 2012 recipient of the Brooklyn Bar Association’s Distinguished Service Award, and the 2013 recipient of the TD Bank Champions of Justice Award.
Robin received her law degree from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2006, and her bachelors degree in Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan in 2002. Prior to opening her own practice in 2009, she was an associate at Freedman, Fish & Grimaldi LLP and then a staff attorney at MFY Legal Services, Inc.
Robin’s pro bono activity includes outreach to senior centers through the Brooklyn Bar Volunteer Lawyers Project Senior LEAP Project, for which she is committee vice-chair and regular lecturer. Following Hurricane Sandy, Robin organized legal volunteer efforts in her Red Hook neighborhood, including door-to-door outreach to the homebound. Robin has a history of extensive pro bono work in housing court, where she was a volunteer in the Access to Justice Guardian ad Litem program.
Robin is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), New York City Bar Association, Brooklyn Bar Association, and the Brooklyn Women’s Bar. Robin is currently serving on the Issues of the Aging Committee of the New York City Bar. She is a member of the NYSBA Elder Law & Special Needs Section. Robin is a member of the Foundation Law Committee, Elder Law Committee, and Young Lawyer’s Section of the Brooklyn Bar Association. She is a past chair of the Young Lawyer’s Section of the Brooklyn Bar.
back to top
ABBY C. ZAMPARDI, ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY
Abby C. Zampardi has been with Finkel & Fernandez, LLP since 2015, assisting clients in the drafting of all advance directives and drafting petitions and motions for guardianship litigation.
Prior to becoming the associate attorney at Finkel & Fernandez, Abby worked in the Foreclosure Part of the Nassau County Supreme Court, specializing in preparing orders and other documentation to assist with the adjudication of foreclosure cases.
Abby received her Juris Doctor degree from The George Washington University School of Law in 2014 and has been admitted to practice law in both New York and New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science from Binghamton University in 2011.
In law school, Abby was a Notes Editor and the Technology Editor of the Public Contract Law Journal, a publication of The George Washington University Law School in conjunction with the Public Contract Law section of the American Bar Association.
Abby is a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association.
back to top