Leo F. Hayes graduated from LeMoyne College in Syracuse and the Albany Law School, class of 1959. While at law school, Justice Hayes was an intern at the Attorney General's Office and, upon graduation, returned to Syracuse to practice law. Justice Hayes was appointed to the staff of the New York State Senate by the Hon. John Hughes, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Later, Justice Hayes was appointed an Assistant District Attorney of Onondaga County where he worked for ten years. In 1970, Justice Hayes was appointed District Attorney of Onondaga County by Hon. Nelson Rockefeller, Governor of the State of New York. Justice Hayes was later elected to a full term as District Attorney. In 1973, Justice Hayes ran for and was elected to his present position as a Supreme Court Justice of the Fifth Judicial District. During his many years on the Supreme Court trial bench, Justice Hayes was honored by the New York State District Attorney's Association and has received several commendations by the New York State Trial Lawyers' Association. In 1983, he was awarded the annual "Certificate of Merit" by the Trial Lawyers' Association. Justice Hayes was appointed to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, in August of 1997 by Hon. George Pataki, and was recertified on several occasions. Justice Hayes was a member of the Onondaga and Oswego County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. Justice Hayes retired effective August 31, 2006. He died March 16, 2007.