Communications Office:
David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
(212) 428-2500

Date: May 5, 2004

Seal of the Unified Court System
www.nycourts.gov
New Administrative Judge in Queens Named

QUEENS, NY - Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced the appointment of Hon. Leslie G. Leach as Administrative Judge of the State Supreme Court in Queens County. The appointment, which is effective immediately, was made with the approval of Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and after consultation with Presiding Justice A. Gail Prudenti, of the Appellate Division, Second Department. He replaces Hon. Steven W. Fisher, who was recently appointed to the Appellate Division, Second Department.

In announcing the appointment, Judge Lippman stated, “Justice Leach is a stalwart in New York State’s judiciary and highly respected in the Queens legal community, having served eleven years as a judge in that county, with nearly a decade sitting on the Supreme Court bench. As a judge, he has been at the forefront of innovation in courtroom practice, presiding over the Queens Treatment Court, which has garnered national attention for its special focus on the rehabilitation of drug-addicted defendants and its success in reducing recidivism. Justice Leach is a forward-thinking, energetic jurist with a formidable intellect who understands the changing role of the courts in a modern society. I have no doubt that he will exercise these essential leadership qualities to the benefit of the court community in Queens and the judicial system as a whole, and I keenly look forward to working with him to that end.”

Justice Leach began his judicial career as a Criminal Court Judge in Queens in 1993 and after two years was elevated to the position of Acting Justice of the Supreme Court in Queens, where he was assigned to the felony part. In 1999, Justice Leach was chosen to be the first judge to preside full-time over the Queens Treatment Court, nationally recognized for its innovative handling of drug related offenses. Since his election to the Supreme Court in 2003, he has been presiding over civil cases in Queens. Judge Leach’s tenure on the bench follows a professional career path dedicated entirely to the practice of law and includes serving on the legal staff for the New York Court of Appeals, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, the State Supreme Court, and New York City Criminal Court, as well as serving as an associate in a private law firm. A graduate of Columbia Law School with a master’s degree in labor relations from the University of Massachusetts and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Queens College C.U.N.Y., Judge Leach is currently an adjunct associate professor of business law at York College C.U.N.Y. and has also taught at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn. He chairs the Committee to Encourage Judicial Service at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and was the former director of the Macon B. Allen Black Bar Association.

Judge Lippman thanked the outgoing Administrative Judge, saying, “Justice Fisher has been an exceptional judicial administrator for the past six plus years, setting the standard for professionalism, integrity, hard work and legal acumen. He oversaw the creation of several specialized courts in Queens during his tenure, including the Drug Treatment Court, Integrated Domestic Violence Court, Probation Violation Part and Gun Part, and under his leadership, Queens Supreme Court has achieved significant reductions to both its pending criminal and civil caseloads. Justice Fisher leaves behind an impressive legacy of productivity and innovation in Queens, and I wish him the best as he approaches this new stage in his judicial career to preside on the appellate bench.”

 

 
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