Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced appointments to vacancies in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the First, Second, and Fourth Judicial Departments, including appointing Randall T. Eng to serve as the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the Second Judicial Department. Justice Eng will be the first Asian-American to serve as a Presiding Justice in New York State's history.
"I am proud to appoint such an accomplished and diverse group of jurists to the Appellate Division," Governor Cuomo said. "I am also pleased to appoint Justice Eng to serve as New York's first Asian-American Presiding Justice and lead one of the busiest appellate courts in the country. The experience and dedication of this group will be a tremendous addition to the Courts and our justice system. I am confident that these justices will continue to serve the Empire State with great distinction, and I thank the judicial screening committees for their hard work in presenting me with these outstanding candidates."
Presiding Justice of Appellate Division, Second Department
Incoming Presiding Justice Randall Eng will serve as the Second Department's Chief Administrator in addition to performing the duties of an Appellate Division Justice, which include deciding appeals from trial courts in the ten-county Second Department. As Presiding Justice, he will help shape statewide judicial policy as a member of the Administrative Board and will act as an ambassador for the Court through community and professional outreach. Justice Eng will also oversee the operation of the Court's 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 Eng has served on the Appellate Division since 2008. He previously served on the Criminal Court of the City of New York from 1983-1990, was a Justice of the Supreme Court in Queens County from 1991-2007, and was Administrative Judge in the Criminal Term of the Supreme Court in Queens County from 2007-2008. Prior to serving on the bench, Justice Eng was an Assistant District Attorney in the Queens County District Attorney's Office from 1973 to 1980. He was the Deputy Inspector General of the New York City Correction Department from 1980 to 1981, and then became the Department's Inspector General from 1981 to 1983. Justice Eng was a member of the New York Army National Guard from 1970 through 2004, when he retired as State Judge Advocate holding the rank of Colonel. Justice Eng received his B.A. degree from SUNY at Buffalo in 1969 and his J.D. from St. John's University School of Law in 1972, where he served as an Adjunct Professor of Law from 1997 to 2001.
Appellate Division, First Department Appointments
The Honorable Judith J. Gische
Justice Gische was elected to the Supreme Court, New York County, in 2008. She began her judicial career in May 1990 when she was appointed by the Chief Administrative Judge as a Judge in the Housing Part, Civil Court of the City of New York. Justice Gische was elected a Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York in November 1993, and in 1997 was designated an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court. She began her legal career as a Judicial Clerk in the Law Department of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department, having served from November 1980 to January 1982. From January 1982 to May 1990, Justice Gische was a Senior Attorney with Richenthal Abrams & Moss in New York City, a general practice firm concentrating in complex real estate and commercial litigation in state and federal courts. Justice Gische received her B.A. and J.D. from SUNY at Buffalo in 1977 and 1980, respectively.
The Honorable Darcel Clark
Justice Clark was elected to the Supreme Court, Bronx County, in 2006. She began her judicial career in 1999 as a Judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York. In 2004, Justice Clark was designated an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court. Prior to serving on the bench, Justice Clark worked at the Bronx District Attorney's Office as an Assistant District Attorney from 1986 to 1999. During her time there, she was Deputy Chief of the Criminal Court bureau from 1997 to 1999 and Supervisor of the Narcotics Bureau from 1993 to 1997. Justice Clark is President Elect of the New York State Chapter of the National Association of Women Judges; Past President and Chair of the Black Bar Association of Bronx County; Adjunct Professor at Monroe College School of Criminal Justice and a member of the Board of Trustees at Boston College. Justice Clark received a B.A. from Boston College in 1983 and a J.D. from Howard University School of Law in 1986.
The Honorable Paul Feinman
Justice Feinman was elected to the Supreme Court, New York County, in 2007. He previously served as an Acting Supreme Court Justice (2004 - 2007) and a Judge of the Civil Court Judge, first elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2006. Feinman is the Immediate Past President of the International Association of LGBT Judges, and is currently the Presiding Member of the New York State Bar Association's Judicial Section. He began his legal career at the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, Criminal Appeals Bureau in 1985. From 1987 - 1989, Justice Feinman was a Senior Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in Manhattan. From 1989 to 1996, he was a Principal Law Clerk to Hon. Angela M. Mazzarelli. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1981 and a J.D. from University of Minnesota Law School in 1985.
Appellate Division, Second Department Appointment
The Honorable Sylvia Hinds-Radix
Justice Hinds-Radix was elected to the New York State Supreme Court, Kings County, in 2004. In 2009, she was made Administrative Judge for Civil Matters in Kings County, the position that she still holds today. Justice Hinds-Radix began her judicial career in 2001 when she was elected as a Civil Court Judge in the Second Judicial District. Previously, she worked at District 37, New York's largest public employee union from 1985 to 2001 where she finished as Chief Counsel of the Immigration Program. Justice Hinds-Radix received her B.S. from the University of Massachusetts in 1977, a master's degree in Political Science from Long Island University in 1978, and a J.D. from Howard University School of Law in 1984.
Appellate Division, Fourth Department Appointments
The Honorable Joseph Valentino
Justice Valentino was elected to the New York State Supreme Court, Monroe County, in 2001, and he is currently the Supervising Judge for Criminal Term Courts, Seventh Judicial District, a position he has held since February 2011. Prior to his election to the Supreme Court, Justice Valentino was an Acting County Court Judge from March 2000 to December 2001, an Acting Family Court Judge from June 2001 to December 2001, the Presiding Judge of the Rochester Drug Treatment Court from 1997 to 2001 and Rochester City Court Judge from January 1983 to December 2001. Justice Valentino received a B.A. from Niagara University in 1968 and a J.D. from St. John's University School of Law in 1971.
The Honorable Gerald Whalen
Justice Whalen was elected to the New York State Supreme Court, Erie County, in 2005. Prior to his election, he spent 21 years in private practice, most recently at the law firm of Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, in its Buffalo office as an equity partner. Previously, Judge Whalen was a shareholder in the Williams, Stevens, McCarville & Frizell, P.C. firm and an equity partner at the Offerman, Mahoney, Cassano, Pigott, Greco & Whalen firm. Judge Whalen has been licensed to practice law since 1984 with experience in both criminal and civil litigation. As a sitting judge, Judge Whalen has volunteered for duties in the Medical Negligence Part and also assumed the Cattaraugus County docket after Judge Himelien's reassignment. He has spent time in Special Term on criminal cases and handled post-judgment matrimonial matters in order to broaden his experience as a jurist. Justice Whalen received a B.A. from Canisius College in 1979 and a J.D. from SUNY at Buffalo School of Law in 1983.
The First, Second, and Fourth Department Judicial Screening Committees submitted to the Governor candidates who were deemed "highly qualified." These candidates displayed integrity, independence, leadership, intellect, legal ability, judgment, temperament and experience.
Under the New York State Constitution and Judiciary Law, the Governor has the authority to appoint the Presiding Justice and Associate Justices of each Appellate Division from among those who have been elected as Justices of the Supreme Court. These appointments are not subject to Senate confirmation. Presiding Justices of the Appellate Division earn an annual salary of $172,800, and Justices of the Appellate Division receive an annual salary of $168,600.