My Life As A Litigator

As a litigator who has represented clients in an assortment of complex legal matters including but not limited to international family law matters including divorce or child abduction as well as other civil or criminal matters that require my skills as a litigator, my experience and insight has been invaluable to individuals in crisis. As a Board of Director of the I CARE Foundation, I take great pride in playing an important role in an organization that has helped reunite many children of abduction, protected many others from being kidnapped, and has created multiple outreach initiatives to stop abduction and trafficking.

Monday, December 31, 2012

Stop Child Abduction: The I CARE Foundation's 2012 Year In Review

In 2012, and in our first full year of operations, The I CARE Foundation accomplished many critical components that allow for an organization to continue with it's mission.

Our primary stated objective is to conduct research in the area of child abduction and trafficking, and then to use our findings to help drive new policy in the best interest of children.  This objective was accomplished because of several significant and important studies that the foundation undertook: several reports have been published, others are being written, while additional studies are still underway.

Using data to drive 'best interest' policy initiatives is by far the most important aspect of the long-term goals of the foundation.  On this level, we are pleased with what has been achieved this past year, including passage of SR 543, as well as groundwork for three additional legislative initiatives that we expect to have passed in 2013.

Of course, being an organization dedicated to assisting at-risk children means that on occasion we get involved with individual cases.  Nevertheless, the Foundation did come to the voluntary assistance of dozens of families who directly benefitted from our aid, including playing important roles in the legal recovery of children, preventing the abduction of children, or working with the courts and social service organizations to assist in a developing a strategic plan in the best interest of a child.

Along the way, our team of trained attorneys began to create a steady trail of case law precedence in abduction prevention cases in numerous states, which, we have seen, has begun to help other at-risk children.

Now, some of my friends and family have in the past asked me why am I so deeply involved in helping at-risk children of abduction.  My answer to them is the same I will share with those here: what I and my colleagues at the I CARE Foundation fight for is LIVES.  Children of abduction are not simply taken by one parent to a foreign country: they are abducted by a kidnapper and severely abused.  Some of these children are murdered.  Some eventually commit suicide.  And their targeted parents - their lives become nightmares that, unless you are in it, you can't imagine it.

I invite you to read, 'The I CARE Foundation 2012 Year In Review'.  In doing so you will understand not just how important an issue we fight for, but perhaps, you may be able to one day help a child yourself.

With dozens of children reunited, and dozens of others protected from abduction, 2012 was a very good year for the I CARE Foundation, and one that we will surely build upon going into 2013.

With warm wishes to all for a happy, healthy, and successful New Year -

Happy New Year

Joel Walter, Esq.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

A Book Of Miracles . . . Peter Thomas Senese's Chasing The Cyclone: Warning For Separated Parents: CHRISTMAS IS CHILD ...

Over the next few days a large number of children will be internationally kidnapped.  And this sucks -

A Book Of Miracles . . . Peter Thomas Senese's Chasing The Cyclone: Warning For Separated Parents: CHRISTMAS IS CHILD ...:                                                                                        

Monday, December 17, 2012


As I reflect about the senseless murders of innocent lives that recently occurred in Newton, Connecticut and as I consider my professional career as a lawyer committed to protecting children and fighting for rightful justice, I have seen first-hand the dangers of gun possession.  I have always been in support of stringent gun control laws, including prohibiting the sale of semi-automatic weapons and prohibiting the sale of armor piercing bullets.

Clearly the time has come that our nation's lawmakers must do something.

In my capacity as a Board of Director of the I CARE Foundation, I urge my friends to read this article about how each of us can act today and make gun control laws a reality.

Read the article.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the innocent children, educators, and the mother of the gunman who all lost their lives this past week as well as to all the family and friends of the victims.

Now it is time to act.

- Joel-

Friday, December 7, 2012

U.S. Senate Passes SR 543: Sends Message Condemning International Parental Child Abduction

It is my great pleasure to share that the United States Senate Resolution 543 sponsored by California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxter unanimously passed this past Tuesday, December 4th 2012.  The resolution, referred to as the International Parental Child Abduction Resolution is a fascinating work of our lawmakers because it does so much more than simply condemn child abduction, and it does much more than send a powerful message to our court system that IPCA is a serious criminal offense that should never be treated as a child custody matter.  What SR 543 does is call for a system-wide review of how the American government addresses and protects our children from being kidnapped.  

The language contained in SR 543 is rather direct: The Untied States of America will no longer tolerate our child citizens being abducted. 

Though the  resolution calls for focussed diplomacy when dealing with all nations, it is clear that countries including the majority in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa will no longer be permitted to shield American children kidnapped to their respective countries without consequence.  

I invite you to read this short but concise analysis of SR 543.  It took a lot of work by advocates everywhere, but this was a tremendous accomplishment that all lawmakers, advocates, and citizens should be proud of. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New York Family Law Attorney Joel Walter: Best Way To Prevent International Child Abduction In Hiigh Conflict Divorce

As a highly experienced criminal defense and family law litigator practicing law in New York for nearly 40 years, I have participated in a wide variety of legal defense cases and challenging, complex family law disputes, including international parental child abduction cases.

Some of my more memorial and important criminal defense cases included representing women who were charged with criminal acts in defense of heinous acts of domestic violence and abuse.  In fact, my area of expertise in this area brought me to make special guest appearances on noteworthy television shows such as the Oprah Winfrey Show and Court TV. Unquestionably, no person, particularly women should ever be imprisoned into a life of abuse.

Speaking of abuse, outside of the brutal acts of physical violence directed at defenseless spouses or partners, which always comes with psychological abuse, I find nothing more repulsive outside of murder than the act of international parental child abduction.

This is why I agreed to join the board of directors of the I CARE Foundation - to stop child abduction!

Now many of you may not be aware of the term 'international parental child abdution' that is defined by the act of one parent illegally removing from the country or wrongfully detaining a child from a partnership or marriage in violation of a court's orders and without the consent of the child's other parent.

in the vast majority of these crimes against children, a parent seeking to typically relocate to another country without the other parent recognizes the legal difficulty associated with international relocation and mobility because the other parent will often not consent to a relocation of the child of the relationship to another country. So they scheme and plot - and internationally abduct the child.

Along the way, parent-abductors will attempt to brainwash the child that the other parent is a threat to both child and the abducting parent.  This occurs because the abductor needs the child to in essence sanction the criminal act of kidnapping!

The impact on the child? Not only are they denied the love of the other parent, but their identity is stolen.  So is their childhood!

Sadly, children of international parental abduction suffer from short and long-term trauma.

With over 100,000 American children alone expected to be internationally abducted by one parent from another over the next 10 years, and many times this forecaster number expected to be targeted for abduction, it is critical that parents be aware of the warning signs of abduction and no how to act if an abduction is in progress.

It is imperative that parents in high-conflict relationships realize that international child abduction is a real and growing threat to the safety of our nation's children.  This is magnified is cases of strained relationships between multi-cultural partnerships and marriages.

Remember, the best way to recover your child from abduction is to prevent it from happening.

If you or a loved one has concerns about a potential international parental child abduction, please contact the Law Offices of Joel Walter & Associates or call 212.566.3900.

~~ Joel Walter~~
Best Criminal Defense Lawyers Joel Walter

Sunday, November 4, 2012

One Week After Hurricane Sandy . . .

It has been nearly a week since Hurricane Sandy rolled into the New York City and Metropolitan area. The thrust of this monster storm literally shut down out beloved city in ways never seen before because of the vast and widespread reach of its maleviolent arms.

Many of us have lost homes, businesses and worst of all .... loved ones.

The devastation many face no words could ever accurately describe.

I hope each of you who read my words are okay, that if there has been any suffering or loss, that it is at a minimal, and should it be greater, that relief is provided in any and all capacities that will help you become whole again.

This video montage of odd behavior during Hurricane Sandy is something I think you may be interested in seeing.

Most of all, please be safe out there.

Kindest wishes to all.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Riis Park, Rockaway Park - Hurricane Sandy Leaves A Path of Destruction

So I'm sitting in my home in Park Slope, Brooklyn fixated to the news focussed on the devastation that has occurred in New York City due to Hurricane Sandy.  In fact, across the street, Prospect Park has been severely damaged, as trees and fixtures have been uprooted or destroyed.

But the loss of trees in the park is nothing in comparison to the loss of life that has occurred.

In all my life, I have never heard the howling winds the way I did last night.  Nor have I seen the type of destruciton that has occurred in a spread-out area the way New York, particularly the beach areas, has been hit over the last 24 hours.

To all my neighbors, friends, family and business associates who live here - I hope each of you are well and that life resumes to normal.

For those of you who live in Rockaway Park, Riis Park, Breezy Point, and Long Beach - my prayers are with you.  Keep your faith: New York and the citizens of our great city and the nation will stand by all of our sides.

This is a video taken by my friend Peter about just how bad the Queens penninsula got hit, along with a few photos worth sharing.

                                      Watch The Video 


                                                     View The Photographs 

The destruction that hit this beautiful peninsula of Queens was tremendous.  In the coming days there will be an assortment of fundraisers to help those that have lost so much.   Please do what you can to help others.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Canada's Top Blogger Jennifer Cluff Helps Raise Awareness Of International Chid Abduction

Over the past few months, the I CARE Foundation has had the privilege of working with some of the world's top bloggers who have taken up our cause to help stop international parental child abduction by raising awareness of this terrible crime that targeted unsuspecting parents and their children.

In doing so, the I CARE Foundation has been able to actually assist numerous children and parents who reached out to us because they realized they were potential targets of abduciton.

Without the information about warning signs of abduciton being disseminated by these wonderful writers, who incidentailly, are all mothers - it is conceivable that the parents who reached out for assistance would have lost their children.

Today, not one parent who reached out to us concerned about a potential abduction has had their child or children taken.  And I anticipate that will remain. has been voted Canada's #4 Top Blog
One of the incredible writers/parents/bloggers who has come ot the assistance of the I CARE Foundation and parents across the globe by raising awarenss is Jennifer Cluff, who runs the dynamic parenting blogsite

Jennifer has writen numerous articles about IPCA.  In doing so, she has not only raised awareness, but has help protect the lives of children.

Well done, Jennifer!

Here is a recent interview Jennifer conducted with Peter Thomas Senese.  Check it out.

Three More Children Coming Home - And That Is Great News

It is rare that targeted children of international parental child abduction are returned to their country of original jurisdiction.  So when this happens the IPCA community at large has something to celebrate.

Today, we have good news that several children wrongfully detained in a European country and not returned to their home in Pennsylvania are in route home, and into their father's arms.

And this is great news.

I can understand the anxiety that I CARE Foundation director Peter Thomas Senese expressed when he said he feels like he is in birthing labor as the reunification is under way.

I am very happy for the children's father, Bryan, who did not give up when his children were detained. And I tip my hat to Bryan's attorneys Gregg and Larry for a job well-done.

On an equally important note, I hope that this family finds the capacity to heal and work together for the best interest of the children.

Joel Walter, Esq

Friday, October 26, 2012

Top New York Lawyer Joel Walter to Lead The 'I CARE Foundation' Criminal Law Oversight Committee

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
New York (PRWEB) October 26th, 2012
International parental child abduction is expected to see as many as 100,000 to 125,000 American children internationally kidnapped over the next decade.  It appears that part of the problem is that parental child abductors do not fear criminal prosecution for their crime, and are not held accountable for their abusive acts against both targeted child and the other parent.

The International Child Abduction Research and Enlightenment Foundation (I CARE Foundation) is pleased to announce that Mr.Joel Walter, a higly respected 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.

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" He is admitted to practice in numerous United States Federal District Courts around the country, as his professional practice focuses primarily on complex federal litigtion where he has represented a wide variety of clients in an assortment of complex legal matters.  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.

Due to Mr. Walter's extensive and successful litigation experience at the federal level, Mr. Walter was the ideal condidate to chair the foundation's committee investigating how criminal prosectuion of abducting parents may curb child kidnappings.

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 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.

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."

Thursday, October 25, 2012

New York Attorney Joel Walter Women Parenting Bloggers Join Fight To Help Stop Child Abduction

Earlier today I read an essay by Peter Thomas Senese who is down in Washington right now stomping around Capitol Hill probably talking to anyone who will listen, the Capitol Building subway conductor included about two legislative initiatives the I CARE Foundation is working on, when all of a sudden, in the midst of everything, I get an email from him telling me how fortunate the children of this country are that a special group of women/parents/writers have begun to write educational articles about child abduction.  

I agree completely with Peter and would like to express my thanks and appreciation for their help.

But like Peter said, these women are doing so much more than writing about child kidnappings.  In fact they're changing the world.

Kind regards to all,

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Suffolk Country Police Officer Has Child Internationally Abducted

In my capacity as a trial lawyer practicing primarily in the complex United States federal courts, I have seen and been a participant in more than a fair share of unusual, interesting, and at times incredulous legal cases.

However, as I have said previously of numerous occassions, there is nothing more unbelievable when it comes to our legal system than how international parental child abduction cases are handled.

The reality is these cases of criminal child kidnapping are growing expeditiouously; however, the number of children being returned home are dwindling.  And this is wrong.

If you don't think this can happen to you, please read this article about a highly decorated police officer and his horrible journey trying to reunite with his internationally kidanpped daughter.

And CM, if you read this, you know that I and the I CARE Foundation are behind you 100%.

Read about 9-11 Hero CM and his battle to safely bring home his daughter.

If you are a reporter interested in learning more about CM, please contact me at

Thank you,
Joel Walter, Esq.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I Am Honored And Humbled By This American Flag Flown Over The US Capitol In My Honor

To my surprise, this past Friday, October 19th, 2012 at the request of United States Senator Kirsen E. Gillibrand, a beautiful United States of America flag was flown over the United States Capitol building in my honor due to my volunteer advocacy associated with the I CARE Foundation and our effort to help protect children from abduction.

International parental child abduction prevention has become a very important part of my professional and personal life.  The abduction of children is a cruel act to both child and targeted parent.  And it is growing rapidly despite efforts to curtail the number of cases that occur each year.  With over 100,000 American children expected to be stolen abroad over the next 10 years, much needs to be done. 

This American Flag will remind me each day of the importance of my and the I CARE Foundation's volunteer work doing our best to protect children from the horrors of abduction.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Finding Your Voice In The Midst Of Adversity: The Story of Advocate, Author, and Radio Host Patricia McKnight

About a year ago I had the good fortune of coming into contact with social advocate, author, and radio host Patricia McKnight.

My first encounter came by reading the remarkable story 'My Justice' written by Ms. McKnight that dealt with how she survived a great deal of physical, sexual, and psychological abuse during her lifetime, beginning from when she was a child.

As I read about an incredible, brave journey of a women trying to break the chains of abuse, what I realized too was there was a women who was trying to grasp the understanding that she had a voice - an important voice - just like you and me.

Today, and after freeing herself from the type of abuse no person should ever face, Patricia McKnight has become a leading social advocate willing to help those less fortunate than herself, including the plight of victimized children.

There is a great lesson to the life and action of Ms. McKnight.  And that is if we find the courage to stand up to what we believe in - which must be ourselves - then life can and will come to you with all the beauty that it holds.

In Peter Thomas Senese's 'Heroes' series, there is a wonderful introspective about Patricia McKnight.  I think that many will benefit by reading about this woman of courage who is now living 'My Justice' by living in freedom.

Indeed, Patricia McKnight is a hero to many: she stood up to abuse, broke the chains that confined her, and then went back to the battleground to help others.

Surely, that is a hero.

Enjoy the read,

Joel Walter, Esq.

Monday, October 1, 2012

New York International Family Lawyer Joel Walter Releases Child Abduciton Prevention Documentary by Peter Senese

In my capacity as an attorney and Board of Director of the I CARE Foundation, one of the most important challenges facing society when it comes to international  parental child kidnapping is raising awareness and and obtaining accurate information.

The following video series on international child abduction narrated by my fellow I CARE Foundation board member Peter Thomas Senese provides incredible insight on cross-border abduction.

For more information on me, Joel Walter, please visit my official website for criminal defense matters or international family law matters.

Please visit the I CARE Foundation's website to learn more about the foundation's work.

Please check on the official website of Chasing The Cyclone or the official website of Peter Thomas Senese for more information on Peter.

                                                                      CHASING PARENTS 

                 Part I - International Parental Child Abduction Overview by Peter Thomas Senese

         Part II - Warning Signs Of International Parental Child Abduction  by Peter Thomas Senese

              Part III - International Parental Child Abduction In Progress by Peter Thomas Senese

                          Part IV - Reunification & International Parental Child Abduction
                                                                  by Peter Thomas Senese

                  Part V - International Parental Child Abduction Overview by Peter Thomas Senese

              Part VI - New Laws, Policy Modification & Reforms Needed To Protect Children From  
                                International Parental Child Abduction by Peter Thomas Senese

                                           Part VII - The Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative &
               International Parental Child Abduction and Human Trafficking by Peter Thomas Senese