Communications Office:
David Bookstaver, Director
Kali Holloway, Deputy Director
(212) 428-2500

Date: February 4, 2010

Hon. Ann Pfau
Chief Administrative Judge

Seal of the Unified Court System

Matthew G. Kiernan Named Clerk of the Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department

NEW YORKPresiding Justice A. Gail Prudenti of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, today announced the appointment of Matthew G. Kiernan as Clerk of the Court. The appointment was made with the unanimous approval of the Associate Justices of the Court. In his new role, Mr. Kiernan will hold the highest ranking non-judicial position in the Appellate Division. He replaces James Edward Pelzer, who is retiring after ten years as Clerk of the Court and 39 years of service to the New York court system.
In announcing the appointment, Presiding Justice Prudenti said, “The people of the Second Judicial Department will be well served by this appointment. Throughout his distinguished career, Mr. Kiernan has continually demonstrated his unique talents as both a lawyer and administrator. As an Associate Deputy Clerk, he has been highly regarded for his hands-on, innovative approach to management, which earned him the respect and admiration of both the judicial and non-judicial personnel of the court. His legal background in both civil and criminal law, coupled with his strong management and interpersonal skills, will greatly assist him in this appointment. Mr. Kiernan has the court’s complete confidence that he will succeed in this new challenge. He will be an integral component of our continuing efforts to meet the complex and varied needs of all those who come to the court seeking justice and assistance.”

Mr. Kiernan graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1982 and Villanova Law School in 1986. He began his legal career as an associate with the Philadelphia law firm Connor and Weber, P.C. After returning to New York in 1988, he worked in a private firm where he concentrated in insurance defense. In November 1989, Mr. Kiernan was named the Assistant Town Attorney for the Town of Southold where he counseled the Town Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board. Concurrently with that position, he also served as a Special Assistant District Attorney for Suffolk County. In March 1994, Mr. Kiernan was appointed Principal Law Clerk to the Surrogate of Suffolk County. He remained in that position until January 1998, when he was appointed Public Administrator of Suffolk County. In December 2002, Mr. Kiernan became an Associate Deputy Clerk of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, as well as its Director of Professional Services. He has served as co-chair of the Guardianship Task Force, Director of the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Committee and is a member of the Appellate Court Committee of the Suffolk County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.

Justice Prudenti added, “The Appellate Division owes a tremendous debt of gratitude to James Edward Pelzer for his loyal and dedicated service to the court over the last 39 years. As a result of his wisdom and foresight, the Appellate Division progressed from index cards and handwritten docket books to a modern, automated case management system and a useful presence on the Internet. His devotion to a life of public service and commitment to the highest ideals of the law has enabled the court to maintain its long tradition of excellence.”

Mr. Kiernan’s appointment is effective on or about April 30, 2010.


Web page updated: June 14, 2010