Fordham Alumna Wins Supreme Court Case

March 17, 2014

On March 5, Fordham Law alumna Lauren Moskowitz ’05 argued and won Lozano v. Montoya Alvarez, an international custody dispute case, before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Moskowitz was part of a team that represented Diana Montoya Alvarez in the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the lower courts’ denial of a petition filed by Montoya Alvarez’s child’s father requesting that the child be returned to her home country of the United Kingdom for custody proceedings. The petition had been twice denied in lower courts because it had been filed more than one year after the child’s removal from the UK, after which time the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction allows for the defense that a child has become settled in its new environment. 

The Supreme Court in 2013 granted the petition for a writ of certiorari over the question of whether the one-year period associated with the “now settled” defense can be equitably tolled. Moskowitz argued that the one-year period could not be extended by equitable tolling before both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Montoya Alvarez’s favor. 

The case was a significant career achievement for Moskowitz, who argued the case before the Supreme Court at only 33 years old, less than a year after making partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.  Moskowitz took on Montoya Alvarez’s case pro bono. She is dedicated to providing pro bono services to clients as a portion of her overall law practice.