Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has nominated Rowan D. Wilson to serve as an Associate Judge on the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. Mr. Wilson is a litigation partner in the New York office of Cravath, Swaine & Moore, where he has worked for the past 30 years, and leads the firm’s pro bono work. The nomination was sent to the State Senate late Sunday, January 15.
“The New York State Court of appeals embodies the highest values of government service, and I am confident Rowan Wilson will continue to articulate and uphold the principles of law and fairness that embody the best of New York,” Governor Cuomo said. “With decades of experience in complex commercial litigation and his leadership role in the firm's pro bono work, I am confident he has the intellect, integrity, and compassion we need to continue moving New York forward. I am proud to nominate him to serve as an Associate Judge, and I look forward to his swift confirmation by the State Senate.”
“I am both humbled and honored to be nominated by Governor Cuomo to serve as an Associate Judge on the state’s highest court,” Rowan D. Wilson said. “My entire career has been dedicated to the pursuit of justice and there is no better place to continue those efforts than on the New York State Court of Appeals. I thank Governor Cuomo for this opportunity and look forward to working together to create a stronger, fairer New York for all.”
Mr. Wilson has been nominated to fill the vacancy created last year by the retirement of the Honorable Eugene Pigott. He is the seventh person that Governor Cuomo has nominated to serve on the New York State Court of Appeals. The Governor previously appointed Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Associate Judges Jenny Rivera, Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Leslie Stein, Eugene Fahey and Michael Garcia to the Court.
Governor Cuomo thanked Judge Pigott for his work on the Court of Appeals and his dedication to public service to New York State.
The Governor also thanked the Commission on Judicial Nomination for recommending an exceptionally talented and highly qualified group of potential nominees.
While being considered for nomination to the Court of Appeals, Mr. Wilson received the highest rating from the New York State Bar Association, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, the Women’s Trial Lawyers Caucus, the Albany County Bar Association, the Broome County Bar Association, New York City Bar Association, and the Tri-County Bar Association (which includes Erie, Monroe and Onondaga counties).
About Rowan D. Wilson
Mr. Wilson has a breadth of commercial litigation experience, including antitrust, intellectual property, contract, securities fraud, entertainment and media. Over the course of his career he has represented multinational financial services corporations, Fortune 500 companies, and other major organizations on high-profile issues throughout the United States and in a variety of venues including the United States Supreme Court and federal and state appellate and trial courts nationwide.
Wilson has also led Cravath’s pro bono work where he advocated for the expansion of civil rights, and has been involved in high-level litigation matters. He has been actively engaged in an ongoing lawsuit in Jefferson County, Alabama on behalf of classes of employees alleging non-compliance with consent decrees designed to assure fair hiring practices and advancement opportunities for women and minorities.
In addition, Mr. Wilson has served as Chair of the Neighborhood Defender Services of Harlem since 1996 which provides legal services to residents of upper Manhattan. He also serves on the board of Wide Horizons for Children, an organization dedicated to the well-being and security of vulnerable and orphaned children worldwide.
Mr. Wilson earned an A.B. in Government from Harvard University in 1981, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1984, both cum laude. Following law school, Mr. Wilson spent two years as law clerk for the Honorable James R. Browning, Chief Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
If confirmed by the New York State Senate, he will be the first Long Islander to serve on the Court in over two decades, joining a panel that includes jurists from Albany, Buffalo, the Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester. In addition to reflecting New York’s geographic diversity, the legal experience of the Court encompasses a broad spectrum of legal areas ranging from appellate and trial court jurists to commercial practitioners to prosecutors to legal aid attorneys to law professors.
The Court, for the first time in its history, would have two African American jurists sitting simultaneously, complementing a panel that includes two Hispanic jurists and comprises a majority of women jurists; truly reflective of the great diversity of our State.
Associate Judges to the Court of Appeals serve for a term of 14 years upon their confirmation by the New York State Senate.
Mr. Wilson is 56 years old. He lives in Port Washington, Nassau County, with his wife and three daughters.