Judge Slobod grew up in Orange County. She is the youngest of three children
born to Frances and Isidore Zaritsky. Her parents worked
together running a manufacturing business in Middletown, while raising
their family. They instilled in Judge
Slobod a strong work ethic and sense of responsibility to her family and
to her community.
After graduating from Middletown High School, Judge Slobod went
on to college, majoring in clinical psychology. After graduating
from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C., Judge Slobod
enrolled at New York University School of Law. Upon graduating
from law school, Judge Slobod and her husband Jack moved to the
Washington, D.C. area, where her husband completed his education at the
George Washington University Law School. In 1974, after
the birth of their two children, the Slobods decided it was time to
come home. Judge Slobod's widowed mother and both of her brothers
and their families still lived in Middletown.
Upon coming home, Judge Slobod and her husband
together in downtown Middletown. They not only worked hard
in their practice but also became active in their community. They
were and still are tireless workers for charitable causes. In
addition, they made sure there was always time for their young family.
In 1979, Judge Slobod was tapped to be Middletown City Court Judge.
She was the first woman to ever serve in that position. She
was initially appointed by Mayor Myron Perry. That same year, she
ran for and was elected to a full term as Middletown City Court
Judge. As a City Court Judge, she started a Community Service
Program for youthful offenders and encouraged the formation of the
alternative dispute program in that Court. She served in the
Middletown City Court with distinction for five years before
being elected to the Orange County Family Court in 1983.
Judge Slobod was the first woman to be elected to a county wide
judicial office in Orange County. What she found when she was elected to the
Family Court bench was a court with few services for the litigants that
came before the court. Judge Slobod was instrumental in the
formulation of a Mental Health Assessment Team for the Family
Court, a forensic team knowledgeable in the issues relevant to custody
evaluations, the Court Appointed Special Assistant program, a program
designed to prevent children from falling through the cracks while in
foster care, and a parental educational program to inform parents about
the legal process and how it effects their children.
In addition, Judge Slobod was a moving force in obtaining for the Court
a children's nursery for children whose parents are waiting to be heard
in the Court. That area provides supervised play for children
away from the stress of the Family Court waiting room.
In 1994, Judge Slobod was elected Surrogate Judge of Orange
In addition to her duties as Surrogate Judge, she also carries a 100%
caseload of matrimonial matters and an 80% caseload of all other
Supreme Court matters. She is the only county level judge in
Orange County to be assigned such a heavy load of Supreme Court
matters. She has a well deserved reputation for disposing of her
cases fairly and expeditiously.
Both the Orange County Bar Association and the Orange-Sullivan
Women's Bar Association have recognized Judge Slobod for her
service to the community. She was awarded the
Liberty Bell Award for her dedication and long standing service
to the people of Orange County. She was awarded the Rose Rosen
Award by the Women's Bar Association for her outstanding service and
dedication to the legal profession.
For more than 27 years, Judge Slobod has been a frequent lecturer to
judges, attorneys and the public on a variety of legal issues.