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FMC Staff

Dennis R. Hawkins, Executive Director
Dennis joined Modern Courts in November 2005. Previously, he was the Regional Anti-Corruption Advisor in Eurasia for the American Bar Association's Central European and Eurasian Law Initiative (CEELI), a public service project that advances the rule of law by supporting the legal reform process. Until 2001, Mr. Hawkins served as the Deputy District Attorney in charge of the Rackets Division in Kings County, New York. Prior to that he was a Special Assistant Attorney General in the Office of the Special Prosecutor for the New York City Criminal Justice System, Counsel to The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Counsel to the New York City Fire Department and Counsel to the New York State Assembly Education Committee. 

Denise Kronstadt

Deputy Executive Director and

Director of Advocacy
Denise joined Modern Courts in January 2006. Ms. Kronstadt has legal and political experience advocating for economic and democratic reforms. As a Legislator in Rockland County, she chaired the Multi-Services Committee and focused attention on issues of housing, the living wage and open government. She also chaired the Special Citizens Committee on HAVA (Help America Vote Act). Formerly a Senior Attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Rockland County, Homelessness Prevention Program, she represented tenants before town and village justice courts. Ms. Kronstadt has taught courses on women and politics and American political parties. She received her J.D. in 1986 from Brooklyn Law School and began her career as a staff attorney with District Council 37. Before going to law school, she was a paralegal with the New York State Attorney General's office. As Director of Advocacy, she is responsible for advancing the Fund's legislative agenda.

Ivan Helfand , Director of Development

Ivan joined Modern Courts in October 2006. He has over 20 years experience in nonprofit management and fundraising, including leadership roles with the Development Corporation for Israel , Canine Companions for Independence and the Jazz Foundation of America. Ivan received a BA from the University of Wisconsin and an MBA from New York University. As Director of Development, he is responsible for all fundraising activities at Modern Courts, including special events, direct mail, grant writing, individual solicitations and planned giving.


Lee Chabin, Director of the Citizens Jury Project
Lee joined Modern Courts in April 2007. Mr. Chabin is a family and divorce mediator. He has been a Presenter for the Assisting Children through Transition (A.C.T) Program, a program that helps reduce the impact and long-term effects of divorce or separation on children by teaching their parents how to contain conflict and act in the best interest of their children. He has written articles on mediation and parenting issues, and has spoken at libraries, public schools and support groups on Alternative Dispute Resolution and Helping Children of Separation and Divorce. Mr. Chabin received his JD, from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law and his BA from Brandeis University. As Director of the Citizens Jury Project, Mr. Chabin coordinates and oversees the operation of the jury ombudservice booths located within the courts, analyzes the data collected from jurors, and writes reports and recommendations for improving jury service.


Maurice Lauriano, Assistant Director, Citizens Jury Project
Maurice Lauriano joined Modern Courts in March 2008. He has worked as an administrator for more than 15 years in the public sector and multi-sized private corporations. Mr. Lauriano was a law enforcement officer and Watch Commander for the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management, where he assisted in the allocation of resources, recovery efforts and facilitated dialogues about lower Manhattan's redevelopment after the World Trade Center collapse.

Mr. Lauriano holds a degree in Police Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York. He also studied conflict resolution at the CUNY Graduate Center. As Assistant Director, Mr. Lauriano coordinates and oversees the operation of the jury ombudservice booths located within nine courts in New York City, analyzes the data collected from jurors, writes reports and submits recommendations for improving jury service.

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