Justices Alan Scheinkman and Elizabeth Garry Chosen to Lead the Second and Third Judicial Departments
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today the appointments of the Honorable Alan D. Scheinkman as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department and the Honorable Elizabeth A. Garry as Presiding Justice for the Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department.
The Presiding Justice for each New York Judicial Department, not only leads the Appellate Court, but is also responsible for serving as the Department's Chief Administrator, overseeing the operations of ancillary court functions, including the Committees on Professional Standards and Character and Fitness, Mental Hygiene Legal Services and the Office of Attorneys for Children. Further, the four Presiding Justices, along with Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, comprise the Administrative Board of the Courts, shaping statewide policy throughout New York.
"These tremendously qualified jurists bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to New York's Appellate Court," Governor Cuomo said. "I am honored to appoint these judges to their new roles where they will continue to uphold principles of law and fairness to move New York forward."
Justice Alan D. Scheinkman
Justice Scheinkman was elected to the New York State Supreme Court in the Ninth Judicial District in 2006 and has been serving as the Administrative Judge for that District since June 2009. Since his election to the bench, Justice Scheinkman has presided over Commercial Division matters, Residential Mortgage Foreclosures, and Matrimonial Trials, as well as serving as an Associate Judge on the Appellate Term for the Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts. During his tenure as Administrative Judge, Justice Scheinkman has effectively led several significant achievements involving facility upgrades, technology implementation, and case management all during a time of budgetary constraints.
Prior to his election to Supreme Court, Justice Scheinkman had over two decades of experience as a practicing lawyer, primarily in private practice, although he did serve as Westchester County Attorney from 1998 through 2000 and began his legal career in 1975 as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Matthew Jasen, Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. As a private practitioner, Justice Scheinkman has experience in a wide variety of legal areas with a concentration in commercial and federal litigation. In addition, Justice Scheinkman has also served as an Associate Professor of Law at St. John's University School of Law, authored and co-authored works on appellate practice and New York Law, and has been actively engaged in various Bar Association committees and Statewide Commissions, including the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions, the Commercial Division Advisory Council, and the Judicial Task Force on the State Constitution. Justice Scheinkman graduated from George Washington University in 1972 and received his law degree from St. John's University in 1975.
With this designation by the Governor, Justice Scheinkman will replace the Honorable Randall Eng, who is retiring, to oversee the largest and busiest Appellate Department in the State. The Second Department comprises a ten-county downstate region that includes Kings, Queens, and Richmond counties, Long Island and the lower Hudson Valley, and in which more than half of the State's population resides.
Justice Scheinkman said, "I am deeply honored and humbled that Governor Cuomo has selected me to lead the busiest appellate court in the country. I look forward to working with the dedicated and distinguished judges of the court to advance the cause of judicial excellence in our State."
Justice Elizabeth A. Garry
Justice Garry was elected a New York State Supreme Court Justice in 2006 in the 6th Judicial District, and was appointed to the Appellate Division, Third Department, in 2009. Prior to her election to Supreme Court, Justice Garry was in private practice with the Joyce Law Firm for 13 years as a civil litigator representing clients throughout the central New York region. She has also served as Town Justice for the Town of New Berlin, Mortgage Foreclosure Referee, and "Attorney for the Child" in Family Court proceedings. Her first job after finishing law school was as Law Clerk for the Honorable Irad S. Ingraham, New York State Supreme Court Justice. She has also served as a Volunteer Mediator with the Chenango County Dispute Resolution Center and Program Leader/Facilitator for the Women's Empowerment Project.
Justice Garry was recently appointed by Chief Judge DiFiore as Co-Chair of the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission of the State Courts. She has also held office and been actively engaged with various Bar Associations, Law-related committees, and community service organizations. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984 from Alfred University and her Juris Doctor degree in 1990 from Albany Law School.
Justice Garry's designation by the Governor makes her the first openly LGBTQ Presiding Justice in New York history. She supersedes the Honorable Karen Peters, who when designated by Governor Cuomo to the Presiding Justice position in 2012 became the first woman Presiding Justice in the history of the Third Department, which encompasses twenty-eight counties in the Eastern and Northern portions of Upstate New York, ranging from the mid-Hudson Valley to the Canadian Border and as far west as Schuyler and Chemung counties in the Southern Tier.
Justice Garry said, "I am greatly honored by the Governor's appointment. The precedent of this Court has been my guide throughout my entire legal career. I will always work hard and do my very best to bring its great traditions forward. I look forward to working with our Chief Judge and my colleagues to ensure that the principles of our state judiciary are advanced in service to the people of our State."
Under the New York State Constitution and Judiciary Law, the Governor has the authority to appoint Presiding Justices to each Appellate Division from among those who have been elected as Justices of the Supreme Court and reside in the applicable Department. Both of these candidates were advanced by the Department Judicial Screening Committees as being highly qualified after a thorough review of all eligible applicants for the positions.