Press Releases



 

PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2016


Pursuant to part 150 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts, Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions (IJEQCs) have been established in each of the judicial districts of New York. The IJEQCs are a statewide network of independent screening panels for judicial candidates. Each IJEQC is charged with the responsibility of evaluating the qualifications of candidates, within its respective judicial district, who voluntarily submit a questionnaire and are seeking election to the following courts in New York: Supreme, County, Surrogate's, Family and City. Each IJEQC has 15 members appointed by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the Presiding Justices of the Appellate Divisions, the New York State Bar Association, and local bar associations. The IJEQCs are comprised of both lawyers and non-lawyers and represent a wide cross-section of the communities that they serve.

The IJEQCs' role is to determine whether candidates are "Highly Qualified," "Qualified" or "Not Qualified" for the judicial office to which they seek election. The criteria for evaluation include: professional ability; character, independence and integrity; reputation for fairness and lack of bias; and temperament, including courtesy and patience. Candidates found Highly Qualified must be preeminent members of the legal profession in their community; have outstanding professional ability, work ethic, intellect, judgment and breadth of experience relevant to the office being sought; possess the highest reputation for honesty, integrity and good character, including the absence of any significant professional disciplinary record; and either demonstrate or exhibit the highest capacity for distinguished judicial temperament, including courtesy, patience, independence, impartiality and respect for all participants in the legal process.

In the Fourth Judicial District, which encompasses the Counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Warren and Washington, the evaluation process included an investigation of each candidate's background and qualifications, and each candidate participated in a personal interview with the IJEQC. The IJEQC for the Fourth Judicial District today announced the following rating for a candidate for a judicial office within the Fourth Judicial District:

Justice of the Supreme Court
Michael D. Violando - Qualified

The IJEQC for the Fourth Judicial District previously announced the following ratings for candidates for judicial offices within the Fourth Judicial District:

Justice of the Supreme Court
Timothy J. Lawliss - Qualified
Mark L. Powers - Highly Qualified

Judge of the County and Surrogate's Courts of Clinton County
Catherine M. Paul - Highly Qualified

Judge of the Family Court of Warren County
Robert Smith - Qualified
Ted M. Wilson - Highly Qualified

For further information regarding the evaluation process, please visit the IJEQC web page at http://nycourts.gov/ad3 and follow the links to the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions or contact Timothy P. O'Keefe, Director, at the address above, by telephone at (518) 285-8571, or by email at tokeefe@nycourts.gov.

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PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 5, 2016


Pursuant to part 150 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts, Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions (IJEQCs) have been established in each of the judicial districts of New York. The IJEQCs are a statewide network of independent screening panels for judicial candidates. Each IJEQC is charged with the responsibility of evaluating the qualifications of candidates, within its respective judicial district, who voluntarily submit a questionnaire and are seeking election to the following courts in New York: Supreme, County, Surrogate's, Family and City. Each IJEQC has 15 members appointed by the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, the Presiding Justices of the Appellate Divisions, the New York State Bar Association, and local bar associations. The IJEQCs are comprised of both lawyers and non-lawyers and represent a wide cross-section of the communities that they serve.

The IJEQCs' role is to determine whether candidates are "Highly Qualified," "Qualified" or "Not Qualified" for the judicial office to which they seek election. The criteria for evaluation include: professional ability; character, independence and integrity; reputation for fairness and lack of bias; and temperament, including courtesy and patience. Candidates found Highly Qualified must be preeminent members of the legal profession in their community; have outstanding professional ability, work ethic, intellect, judgment and breadth of experience relevant to the office being sought; possess the highest reputation for honesty, integrity and good character, including the absence of any significant professional disciplinary record; and either demonstrate or exhibit the highest capacity for distinguished judicial temperament, including courtesy, patience, independence, impartiality and respect for all participants in the legal process.

In the Third Judicial District, which encompasses the Counties of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster, the evaluation process included an investigation of each candidate's background and qualifications, and each candidate participated in a personal interview with the IJEQC. The IJEQC for the Third Judicial District today announced the following rating for a candidate for judicial office within the Third Judicial District:

Judge of the Surrogate's Court of Ulster County
Sara W. McGinty - Not Qualified

The IJEQC for the Third Judicial District previously announced the following ratings for candidates for judicial offices within the Third Judicial District:

Justice of the Supreme Court
Andrew G. Ceresia - Highly Qualified

Judge of the County and Surrogate's Courts of Sullivan County
Frank J. LaBuda - Qualified

Judge of the Surrogate's Court of Ulster County
Peter F. Matera - Qualified

Judge of the City Court of Albany
Joshua L. Farrell - Qualified

For further information regarding the evaluation process, please visit the IJEQC web page at http://nycourts.gov/ad3 and follow the links to the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions or contact Timothy P. O'Keefe, Director, at the address above, by telephone at (518) 285-8571, or by email at tokeefe@nycourts.gov.

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PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2016

Karen K. Peters, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jenifer M. Wharton, Esq., as Chairperson of the Committee on Character and Fitness for the Fourth Judicial District.

Ms. Wharton, a graduate of the State University of New York at Albany and Albany Law School, was admitted to the New York bar in 1995 and is a partner with Gordon, Tepper & DeCoursey in Glenville, Schenectady County.

Ms. Wharton has been a member of the Committee since 2014, is a member of the Unified Court System's Pro Bono Scholars Task Force, serves on the Board of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York, and is a past president of the Schenectady County Bar Association.

The Committee on Character and Fitness is charged with the responsibility of investigating and making recommendations to the Court regarding the character and fitness of applicants to the New York State bar.  Members serve without compensation.

The Third Judicial Department is responsible for the admission of applicants to the New York State bar from the 28 counties in the Department and from other states and countries.  The Court admits over 3,600 applicants annually.  In 2015, the Court admitted applicants representing 48 states (including New York), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 57 foreign countries.

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PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 13, 2016


Pursuant to part 150 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts, Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions (IJEQCs) have been established in each of the judicial districts of New York State. The IJEQCs are a statewide network of independent screening panels for judicial candidates. Each IJEQC is charged with the responsibility of evaluating the qualifications of candidates, within its respective judicial district, who voluntarily submit a questionnaire and are seeking election to the following courts in New York: Supreme, County, Surrogate's, Family and City. Each IJEQC has 15 members appointed by the Chief Judge, the Presiding Justices of the Appellate Divisions, the New York State Bar Association, and local bar associations. The IJEQCs are comprised of both lawyers and non-lawyers and represent a wide cross-section of the communities that they serve.

The IJEQCs' role is to determine whether candidates are "Highly Qualified," "Qualified" or "Not Qualified" for the judicial office to which they seek election. The criteria for evaluation include: professional ability; character, independence and integrity; reputation for fairness and lack of bias; and temperament, including courtesy and patience. Candidates found Highly Qualified must be preeminent members of the legal profession in their community; have outstanding professional ability, work ethic, intellect, judgment and breadth of experience relevant to the office being sought; possess the highest reputation for honesty, integrity and good character, including the absence of any significant professional disciplinary record; and either demonstrate or exhibit the highest capacity for distinguished judicial temperament, including courtesy, patience, independence, impartiality and respect for all participants in the legal process.

In the Sixth Judicial District, which encompasses the Counties of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Madison, Otsego, Schuyler, Tioga and Tompkins, the evaluation process included an investigation of each candidate's background and qualifications, and each candidate participated in a personal interview with the IJEQC. The IJEQC for the Sixth Judicial District today announced the following rating for candidates for a judicial office within the Sixth Judicial District:

Judge of the County, Family and Surrogate's Courts of Chemung County
Christopher P. Baker - Qualified
Scott D. Moore - Qualified

For further information regarding the evaluation process, please visit the IJEQC web page at http://nycourts.gov/ad3 and follow the links to the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions or contact Timothy P. O'Keefe, Director, at the address above, by telephone at (518) 285-8571, or by email at tokeefe@nycourts.gov.

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PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 18, 2016

The Governor appointed Supreme Court Justices Sharon A.M. Aarons and Robert C. Mulvey to fill two vacancies on the Appellate Division-Third Department. The Third Department covers twenty-eight counties in the Eastern and Northern portions of Upstate New York, ranging from the mid-Hudson Valley to the Canadian Border and as far as west as Schuyler and Chemung counties in the Southern Tier.

Honorable Sharon A.M. Aarons
Justice Aarons has been a jurist since 2004 when she was first elected to Bronx Civil Court. In 2009, she was elected as a Supreme Court Justice for the 12th Judicial District, where she currently presides. Before her election to the bench, Justice Aarons served as a Principal Law Clerk for both the Honorable Lee L. Holzman, a Bronx Surrogate Court Judge, and the Honorable Alexander W. Hunter, Jr., a Supreme Court Justice in the Bronx. In addition, she also was an Associate Attorney with Law Offices of William A. Gallina and began her legal career as a Trial Attorney with the Legal Aid Society. Justice Aarons continues to be actively involved in a wide variety of professional and community organizations, including serving as Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Highbridge Advisory Council Family Services, Inc. since 2008 and as past President for the Black Bar Association of Bronx County. She is an Adjunct Professor at both Bronx Community College and Pace University Law School, where she also continues to Coach their Mock and Moot Competition Trial Teams. Justice Aarons received her B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from New York University in 1986 and J.D. from City University of New York School of Law in 1989.

Honorable Robert C. Mulvey
Justice Mulvey was elected a Justice to the New York State Supreme Court for the Sixth Judicial District in 2000, where he currently serves as the Administrative Judge for the district as well. Prior to his election to the bench, Justice Mulvey’s legal experience has been a combination of both private practice and public service. He served as Legislative Counsel for New York State Senator James L. Seward, as an Assistant District Attorney in Tompkins County and as the Tompkins County Attorney. In addition, he was Partner with the Albanese & Mulvey Law Firm and also an Associate with Mulvey Law Firm. Justice Mulvey has been a member of the Advisory Board on Judicial Ethics since 2006.

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PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 6, 2016

Presiding Justice Karen K. Peters announced today that, beginning on January 7, 2016, oral arguments of the New York Supreme Court Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department will be broadcast live on the Internet through the Court's website. This live stream of the Court's oral arguments can be accessed by simply clicking on the icon found on the home page of the Court's website, located at:

http://www.courts.state.ny.us/ad3/

Located in Albany, New York, the Appellate Division, Third Department hears oral arguments in the Robert Abrams Building for Law and Justice, a building which is part of the Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza in the State's capital. This live streaming of the Court's oral arguments on January 7th will take place just shy of 120 years from when the Appellate Division, Third Department heard its first case on January 14, 1896. Oral arguments at the Appellate Division, Third Department are typically scheduled for two weeks every month, with the Court's January term continuing through Thursday, January 14, 2016. There is usually one session of oral arguments each day, beginning at either 9:30 a.m or 1:00 p.m.

According to Presiding Justice Peters, "The Appellate Division, Third Department is pleased to be able to facilitate this access to the public. In a Department as geographically expansive as the Third Department, which includes 28 counties and includes just over one half of the State's land area, being able to provide this live Internet web stream of the Court's oral arguments is especially important and furthers our goal of making the Court accessible to the public we serve."

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