New York Courts dot gov
New York StateUnified Court System

Employee Awards


Judicial Excellence Award | Merit Performance Award

 

The Judicial Excellence Award Program

In recognition and support of excellence in the administration of justice in the New York State Unified Court System, two outstanding judges are acknowledged with the Distinguished Jurist Award and the Lifetime Achievement Award. The awards are presented every year during the Law Day ceremony at the Court of Appeals.

Learn more about past honorees.

The Distinguished Jurist Award nominees should meet the following criteria:

  • Exemplifies the highest standards of judicial excellence
  • Unquestioned integrity, high ideals and personal character
  • Possesses a demeanor and attitude that makes the courts accessible to all
  • Recognized as respectful, even handed and in firm control of the courtroom
  • Respected by and has the confidence of the public, judges, court staff and lawyers
  • Efficiently, expeditiously, and objectively manages cases
  • Displays leadership in advancing the quality of justice, judicial education, innovative programs, and community service
  • Displays extraordinary courage, energy, and tenacity in the handling of high profile, controversial or difficult cases

The Lifetime Achievement Award nominees should meet the following criteria:

  • Exemplifies the highest standards of judicial excellence throughout a distinguished career
  • Unquestioned integrity, high ideals, and personal character
  • Possesses a demeanor and attitude that makes the courts accessible to all
  • Recognized as respectful, even handed and in firm control of the courtroom
  • Respected by and has the confidence of the public, judges, court staff and lawyers
  • Displays leadership in advancing the quality of justice, judicial education, innovative programs, and community service

 

The Merit Performance Award Program

Each year, the Unified Court System seeks to recognize those employees who have distinguished themselves by exceptional acts of heroism, outstanding performance in the workplace, community service and educational efforts. The Merit Performance Award Program honors individuals who have met the highest standards of public service.

Nominations can be submitted online at www.nycourts.gov/meritaward

Learn more about past honorees.

The Merit Performance Award Program honors non-judicial members of the Unified Court System (UCS) workforce who have dedicated their lives to public service.

Unified Court System employees, members of the bar, community and civic groups, and members of the public are invited and encouraged to nominate UCS employees in any of the following four categories for special recognition:

Heroism: Employees who have performed acts of heroism in the courts or the community

Outstanding Performance in the Workplace: Employees who are outstanding because of their sustained superior work performance, courtesy toward co-workers and the public, initiative or creativity

Community Service and Humanitarian Pursuits: Employees who have especially benefitted the community in which they live through their involvement in community service or humanitarian pursuits

Outstanding Educational Efforts: Employees who have made substantial contributions in educating youth or the community about the law and our courts

Selection Process

Nominations are valid for two award years.

Selection Process: A Committee chaired by the Administrative Director of the Office of Court Administration reviews the nominations and makes recommendations to the Chief Administrative Judge for review and final selection. Once the honorees are selected, the Program Coordinator notifies each individual and his or her court or agency of the award.

Award: Each Merit Performance Award recipient is recognized in a ceremony on Law Day at the Court of Appeals. A press release is issued to local media.

Learn More About the Award Winners: