Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the appointment of Justice Karen K. Peters to serve as the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the Third Judicial Department. Justice Peters was the first woman elected a Supreme Court Justice in the Third Department and will now be the first woman to serve as a Presiding Justice in the history of the department.
"I am proud to appoint Justice Peters to be the first woman Presiding Justice of the Third Department," Governor Cuomo said. "Throughout her career Justice Peters has displayed incredible judgment and integrity through her public service to New York State. I have no doubt that she will continue to provide justice to New Yorkers with great distinction."
Justice Karen Peters said, "I am honored to be appointed to serve New Yorkers as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the Third Judicial Department. In this new position, I look forward to continuing to ensure New York State's justice system protects all our residents so that everyone gets treated fairly, and is connected to the needs of our state's communities. I thank Governor Cuomo for this appointment."
Former Chief Judge of New York Judith Kaye said, "I am thrilled beyond words at the news of the appointment of Karen Peters as Presiding Justice of the Third Department. These are, of course, enormous shoes to fill, but Justice Peters is an outstanding jurist who has earned the esteem of the legal community and will be a terrific leader in all respects."
Congressman Maurice Hinchey said, "I have known Judge Peters for many years, and I commend Governor Cuomo for this appointment. Judge Peters is an exemplary public servant, having served New Yorkers for decades in our state's justice system. As Presiding Justice, Judge Peters will continue her advocacy and commitment to fairness and justice, and I applaud the Governor on this appointment."
In addition to performing the duties of an Appellate Division Justice, which include deciding appeals from trial courts in the 28-county Third Department, incoming Presiding Justice Peters will be responsible for serving as the Third Department's Chief Administrator. As Presiding Justice, she will help shape statewide judicial policy as a member of the Administrative Board and act as an ambassador for the Court through community and professional outreach. Justice Peters will also oversee the operation of the Courts ancillary agencies, including the Office of Attorneys for Children, the Committee on Professional Standards, the Committee on Character and Fitness and Mental Hygiene Legal Services.
Justice Peters has served on the Appellate Division since 1994. She has also served as a member of the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct since 2000. She previously was a Justice of the Supreme Court, Third Judicial District from 1991-1992 and served on the Family Court, Ulster County, from 1984-1991.
Prior to serving on the bench, Justice Peters worked for the Assembly as the Director of the Standing Committee on Governmental Operations in 1983 and prior to that was Counsel to the State Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse from 1979-1983.
Prior to formerly joining public service, Justice Peters was a visiting Assistant District Attorney in Dutchess County in 1979 and in private practice concentrating on criminal defense and family law from 1973 to 1979 at the law firm Peters and Weiner.
Justice Peters received her Bachelor of Arts degree from The George Washington University in 1969 and her Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law in 1972.
The Third Department Judicial Screening Committee submitted to the Governor all of the candidates who were deemed "highly qualified." Under the New York State Constitution and Judiciary Law, the Governor has the authority to appoint the Presiding Justice of each Appellate Division from among those who have been elected as Justices of the Supreme Court. The Governors appointment is not subject to Senate confirmation.