Dutchess County Lawyer Receives Honor at Defenders Association Conference

Alex B. Rosen Chosen for Kevin M. Andersen Memorial Award

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (07/24/2018) (readMedia)-- For demonstrating "the unique combination of compassion, tenacity and grit that epitomizes the spirit of a true public defender," Alex B. Rosen was nominated by Dutchess County Public Defender Thomas N.N. Angell for the Kevin M. Andersen Memorial Award. Rosen received the award Monday night during the New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA) Annual Conference.

Support for his nomination came not just from Rosen's office but from a Senior Assistant District Attorney. Michael W. Brady had worked with Rosen in the Office of the Public Defender, seeing first-hand "how tirelessly he worked for his clients during the most difficult circumstances surrounding them and their families." From the perspective of a prosecutor, Brady lauded Rosen as "a skilled negotiator and litigator who is honest and candid with the prosecution and the courts."

These comments echoed those of Nancy B. Garo, Senior Assistant Public Defender. "Alex has always been a zealous advocate for his clients while maintaining a professional working relationship with his adversaries, a skill vital to a public defender, given the volume of cases we have with the prosecution," she wrote.

Rosen also received praise from those most impacted by his work--his clients. Angell included with his nomination letter communications like this. "On behalf of my family, I would like to personally commend Alexander Rosen, senior assistant public defender, for assisting my son .... Mr. Rosen is a great asset to your office and I'm sure he has helped others who needed his guidance." A client wrote directly to Rosen saying he would like to commend Rosen for his work "and for giving me a little hope in my situation." Another wrote to thank Rosen "for your persistence and support."

The Andersen award was established by the Genesee County Public Defender Office to remember and honor its namesake's dedication to the public defense system and his compassion for his clients. This year, the NYSDA Awards Banquet was attended not only by Genesee County Public Defender Jerry Ader, who presented the award, but by Kevin Andersen's widow and children. Because Rosen had a prior commitment, the award was accepted by his parents. NYSDA Acting Director, Susan C. Bryant, herself a recipient of the 2012 Andersen award, commented: "Seeing Kristan, Noel, and Elizabeth [Andersen] here, and Barry and Barbara Rosen, reminds me that the sacrifices of time and energy made by public defenders in the zealous representation of their clients are sacrifices made by family members as well."

For defenders who, like Rosen, have administrative duties in addition to their caseloads, the demands on time and energy are great. Angell noted that Rosen "is continually willing to step up to the plate to undertake whatever challenges come his way" and "continues to volunteer to work on tough cases, as lead or co-counsel." Rosen is "a great colleague to work with," Brady noted from his time at the office with Rosen. And "his sense of humor has often proven invaluable in a job that is highly stressful," Garo added, "I cannot think of a more deserving recipient of this award."