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

Date: March 27, 2006

Seal of the Unified Court System
Hon. Lucindo Suarez Named Statewide Coordinating Judge for Summary Jury Trials

NEW YORK - Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced the designation of Hon. Lucindo Suarez as the Statewide Coordinating Judge for Summary Jury Trials. In this newly created position, Justice Suarez will oversee and facilitate the use of this innovative time- and money-saving alternative dispute resolution technique for civil matters throughout the state.

A summary jury trial is a truncated trial, lasting usually one day, with all the elements of a regular trial, including opening and closing arguments and the use of jurors. However, phases in the trial such as voir dire, testimony, arguments and deliberation are shortened. Because the wait for a result in a summary jury trial is significantly shorter than in a regular trial, litigants benefit with savings in time and money. For the court, it helps to relieve calendar congestion and puts less of a demand on limited resources. Additionally, jurors benefit by being able to fulfill their civic duty with a minimum of inconvenience.

“Justice Suarez has been entrusted to head a critical effort in New York State as Statewide Coordinating Judge for Summary Jury Trials,” said Judge Lippman. “Throughout his many years on the bench, Judge Suarez has demonstrated leadership, professionalism and the ability and willingness to take on new challenges and responsibilities. Summary jury trials for civil cases are becoming part of the legal landscape throughout the nation, as more states see the benefits that can be gained for both the public and the courts, through more expeditious case resolution. We are fortunate to have this exciting new project in the capable hands of Justice Suarez.”

Hon. Lucindo Suarez has been serving as the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court, First Department, where he was first appointed as an Associate Justice in 2002. The Appellate Term has jurisdiction over appeals from the New York City Criminal and Civil Courts. Judge Suarez was elected to the State Supreme Court in 1995 after serving on the New York City Civil Court bench in the Bronx for two years. He has been in private practice and has taught law at Bronx Community College and the College of New Rochelle. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Fordham University, Judge Suarez has also served as counsel to various committees of both the New York State Senate and Assembly.

Presiding Justice John T. Buckley, of the Appellate Division, First Department, added, “I want to thank Judge Suarez for his extraordinary dedication to the ongoing success of the Appellate Term, First Department, where he has served with distinction as both an Associate Justice and most recently as the court’s Presiding Justice. I am confident that his talents, focused on this new assignment, will bring a new focus and energy to this important initiative and benefit to the court system and all New Yorkers.”

Web page updated: August 16, 2006