Cindy S. Lederman, J.D.
Elected to the bench in 1988, Judge Cindy S. Lederman has served in the Miami-Dade Juvenile Court since 1994, including a decade as the court’s presiding judge. Judge Lederman’s interest in bringing science and research into the courtroom results from her 10-year involvement with the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine at the National Academy of Sciences. She was a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Family Violence Interventions and Panel on Juvenile Crime, Treatment and Control. She served on the Board of Children, Youth and Families of the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine from 1996 to 2004. Judge Lederman has served as president of the National Association of Women Judges, faculty member of the National Judicial College, member of the ABA House of Delegates, and member of the Board of Trustees of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Judge Lederman’s recent book, Child-Centered Practices for the Courtroom and Community: A Guide to Working Effectively with Young Children in the Child Welfare System, was co-written with Lynne Katz, Ed.D., and Joy Osofsky, Ph.D. Judge Lederman graduated with high honors from the University of Florida in 1976 with departmental honors in political science and received a juris doctor degree from the University of Miami Law School in 1979. She is licensed to practice law in Florida and New York.
From Lab Bench to Court BenchUsing Science to Inform Decisions in Juvenile Court
Juvenile court judges are asked to determine what is in the best interest of the child in every case they hear. Until about a decade ago, court decisions were routinely made without taking into consideration the needs of toddlers and infants. The Miami Child Well-Being Court™ (MCWBC) program, a partnership of clinicians and judges, has brought science into the courtroom, making it integral to the decision-making process and working to ensure that the needs of the child are met. Complementary article to "Effects of Stress on the Developing Brain"