Chief Judge Rowan Wilson Receives High Honor From the New York State Bar Association

By Rebecca Melnitsky

January 17, 2024

Chief Judge Rowan Wilson Receives High Honor From the New York State Bar Association


By Rebecca Melnitsky

Chief Judge Rowan Wilson receives the 2024 Stanley H. Fuld Award. From left to right, Michael Cardello III, chair elect of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section; Judge Wilson, Helene Hechtkopf, Vice Chair and Maryann Stallone, Treasurer. Credit: David Handschuh/OCA

Judge Rowan D. Wilson, the chief judge of New York State and its Court of Appeals, received the Stanley Fuld Award today, the highest honor of the New York State Bar Association’s Commercial & Federal Litigation Section.

“In his first year as the leader of the New York court system, Chief Judge Rowan Wilson has gone above and beyond in serving the people of our state,” said Richard Lewis, president of the New York State Bar Association. “He has revitalized the court and led the state’s court system into a new era. The Commercial & Federal Litigation section is especially impressed by his background in complex commercial litigation. We are proud to recognize his groundbreaking tenure with this honor named after one of his predecessors.”

Wilson, a graduate of Harvard Law School, became New York State’s first Black chief judge in the court’s 176-year history on April 18, 2023, after being confirmed by the state Senate. He had been an associate judge of the Court of Appeals since 2017. Before that, he was a litigation partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore for nearly 30 years, where his caseload included antitrust, intellectual property, securities fraud, civil rights, and complex commercial cases.

He received the honor at the Commercial & Federal Litigation Section’s luncheon during the New York State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting at the Hilton Midtown in New York City.

The award is named in honor of the late Stanley Fuld, who served as chief judge from 1967 to 1973. It recognizes a member of the legal profession who has significantly contributed to the practice of commercial law and litigation in New York.

Honoring attorneys who render extraordinary service to the public and the profession is part of NYSBA’s Annual Meeting tradition. This year’s event promises to be dynamic and informative, featuring a wide range of sessions and activities tailored to the diverse interests and needs of lawyers practicing in New York. The 147th Annual Meeting takes place Jan. 16 to 20 at the New York Hilton Midtown.

The Presidential Summit, the marquee event of the New York State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting, is on Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The summit, entitled “AI and the Legal Landscape: Navigating the Ethical, Regulatory and Practical Challenges,” will focus on harnessing the technology that is transforming the practice of law and bringing ethical and regulatory challenges to the forefront of its deployment.

Other highlights include the Presidential Gala, where former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will be honored with the association’s most prestigious award, the Gold Medal. The gala is Thursday, Jan. 18, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., at the Museum of Modern Art. Chief Judge Rowan Wilson will deliver the keynote address at the Justice for All Luncheon earlier that day, while the Constance Baker Motley Symposium and Diversity Awards Program takes place Wednesday, Jan. 17, from 4:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. The President’s Reception will immediately follow.

Credit: David Handschuh/OCA

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