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

Date: Nov. 29, 2005

Seal of the Unified Court System
Appointments of Supervising Judges
in 9th Judicial District

NEW YORK - Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced two new appointments in the Ninth Judicial District: Hon. Richard A. Molea as Supervising Judge of Criminal Courts and Hon. Jeffrey G. Berry as Supervising Judge of City Courts. The appointments, which take effect immediately, were made with the approval of Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and in consultation with Presiding Justice A. Gail Prudenti of the Appellate Division, Second Department, as well as after discussions with the Administrative Judge for Courts Outside of New York City, Jan H. Plumadore, and the Administrative Judge for the Ninth District, Francis A. Nicolai.

“We are very fortunate to have two candidates with such sterling credentials to name to these important positions of responsibility,” said Judge Lippman. “Judge Molea comes to his new post with 36 years of experience in criminal law, as a judge, law professor and former prosecutor in and around the Westchester area and is a seasoned, highly regarded member of the legal community there. Judge Berry has been an active member of the Hudson Valley bar for three decades and is well respected by his colleagues for his fairness, rigorous work ethic and vast legal knowledge, which spans both civil and criminal matters. Their expertise in their respective fields make them ideal candidates for the challenging new assignments they have agreed to undertake, and I am confident that they will be great assets to court administration in the Ninth District.”

Richard Molea has been an acting New York State Supreme Court Justice since his appointment to the Court of Claims bench in 2000. He presently serves as a felony criminal trial judge in Westchester Supreme Court, having presided over criminal trials in each of the counties in the Ninth Judicial District. He presides over the Drug Treatment Alternatives to Prison part and the newly created Westchester Mental Health Court and has also handled cases in the Integrated Domestic Violence Court. Prior to his ascension to the bench, Judge Molea served for over 30 years in the Westchester County District Attorney’s office in various capacities, including Executive Assistant District Attorney and Chief of the Criminal Courts and Grand Jury Division. A graduate of New York Law School, Iona College and the National College of District Attorneys at the University of Houston, Texas, Judge Molea has held the position of adjunct assistant professor in the Criminal Justice Department of Iona College since 1982. He is past president of the New Rochelle Bar Association and New Rochelle United Way and past board member of the New York State United Way. He is a founding member and on the advisory board of the New Rochelle Youth Court, as well as a board member of Westchester Pre-Trial Services, Inc.

Born and raised in Newburgh, New York, Jeffrey G. Berry began his judicial tenure in 1984 when he became a City Court Judge in the City of Newburgh. He served in that capacity for six years and was then elected to the County Court bench in Orange County. He was appointed an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court in 1994 and continues in that position today. Before becoming a judge, he was in private practice and had also served as an associate at a law firm and a confidential law clerk to a Family Court judge. He graduated from the State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz and the University of Tulsa College of Law. Judge Berry was the former President of the County Judges Association of the State of New York, County Court representative to the New York State Judicial Conference, and former Foundation President of SUNY at New Paltz, where he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1986. He is a Board of Directors member for Hospice of Orange in Hudson Valley and Orange County AIDS Council member, as well as previously serving as a member of the Board of Directors for Johnes Home for Aged Couples. Judge Berry plays competitive tennis, having won numerous championships in singles and doubles, and is an avid fly fisherman who has lectured to many sporting clubs.

In his new position, Judge Molea replaces Hon. Janet DiFiore, who was elected Westchester County District Attorney this November. The title of Supervising Judge of City Courts that Judge Berry takes on is a newly created position.


Web page updated: August 16, 2006