Judicial Section

The Judicial Section is pleased to welcome Section members and visitors. The Judicial Section is a resource offering opportunities for valuable interaction with peers. Making contacts through Judicial Section membership is not limited to the courtroom. Networking with colleagues is an important part of achieving success, enhancing the professionalism of the judiciary and striking a healthy work-life balance. Join us and lend your voice to ensure your opinions are represented. The Judicial Section committees address unique issues facing the duties, responsibilities, and welfare of the judiciary. The Section also provides a forum for representatives of the Council of Judicial Associations to address issues relating to legislation and court procedure.

Membership in the Judicial Section is open to a registered NYSBA member who is or has been a judge or justice of any court of the State of New York, or who resides in New York State and is or has been a judge or justice of a United States Court.

Contact the Judicial Section Liaison

To learn more about this Section, please contact Kirsten Downer
[email protected]
(518) 487-5552

Please do not contact the Section liaison with a request for legal advice or an attorney referral. You can instead visit our ‘Public Resources’ or ‘Lawyer Referral Service’ page for this type of request.

Hon Tanya Kennedy

Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy

NYSBA Judicial Section Presiding Member for the 2024-2025 term, Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, is an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, appointed to the court in July 2020. Her eighteen-year career as a jurist commenced in January 2006, serving in the Criminal Court, Civil Court (including service as Supervising Judge in New York County), Family Court, and Supreme Court. Justice Kennedy’s commitment to legal education is evident in her tenure as a former Adjunct Professor at Fordham University School of Law, where she taught a Juvenile Justice seminar for ten years and participated in various continuing legal education panels, which is ongoing.

Justice Kennedy’s service extends beyond the courtroom, including her past membership on the Board of Directors of the New York City Bar Association, past chair of the organization’s Special Committee to Encourage Judicial Service, a past Executive Committee member of NYSBA’s Women in Law Section and a former member of the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York. She is also co-chair of the Appellate Division, First Department Wellness Committee, a member of the Board of Overseers of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, where she received her law degree, a life member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA) and former MBBA board member, and a past Advisory Board Member of Penn State Law.

As a former President of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ), Justice Kennedy organized a Legislative Caucus on Capitol Hill focusing on ensuring a healthy work environment free of sexual harassment and led NAWJ in trademarking “#WETOO IN THE LEGAL WORKPLACE, which NAWJ continues to use.

Justice Kennedy is a sought-after speaker at various conferences and the recipient of various professional achievement awards, including the 2024 Professor William Hamilton Leadership Award from the University of Florida 11th Annual E-Discovery Conference; the 2023 MBBA Jurist of the Year Award; the 2022 Award of Recognition from the New York Women’s Bar Association; the 2022 Champion for Justice Award from the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Center for Elder Justice; the 2021 Distinguished Alumna Award from Penn State University; the 2021 NYSBA John E. Higgins, Esq. Diversity Trailblazer Award; the 2020 Inspiration Award from the NY Coalition of Women’s Initiatives in Law; the 2018 Brooklyn Technical High School Hall of Fame Designation; the 2017 Diversity Leadership Award from Penn State Law; and the 2015 Alumni of the Year Award from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

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Judicial Dispatch_Spring2024_Cover

Judicial Dispatch

The Judicial Dispatch is a publication of the New York State Bar Association’s Judicial Section.



The Newsletter of the the Committee on Courts and Appellate Jurisdiction.

Author Guidelines

NYSBA has created comprehensive author guidelines, with information regarding our reprint policy, style guidelines, and obtaining MCLE Author Credits.


Advancement of Judicial Diversity
The NYSBA Advancement of Judicial Diversity Award serves to recognize individuals for their efforts to promote diversity on the bench throughout New York State. Recipients will embody the New York State Bar Association’s commitment to diversity and inclusion at all levels of the judiciary.

2024 recipient: Hon. Deborah H. Karalunas
2023 recipients: Hon. Erika M. Edwards; Hon. Sallie Manzanet-Daniels; and Hon. Lillian Wan
2022 recipient: Hon. Kathie E. Davidson
2021 recipient: Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission (awarded to its co-chairs, Hon. Shirley Troutman and Hon. Troy K. Webber on the occasion of its 30th Anniversary)
2020 recipient: Hon. Rosalyn H. Richter
2019 recipient: None
2018 recipient: Hon. George Silver
2017 recipient: Hon. William C. Thompson (ret)
2016 recipient: Hon. Edwina Richardson Mendelson
2015 recipient: Hon. Karen K. Peters

Distinguished Jurist Award
To honor a jurist who embodies the highest ideals of the Judicial Section and recognize judicial excellence and extraordinary commitment to the rule of law.

2024 recipient: Hon. James P. Murphy
2023 recipient: Hon. Hector D. LaSalle
2022 recipient: Hon. Robert G. Main, Jr.
2021 recipient: Hon. Rolando T. Acosta
2020 recipient: Chief Judge Janet M. DiFiore
2019 recipient: Hon. Raymond Lohier, Jr.
2018 recipient: Hon. Paul Feinman
2017 recipient: Hon. Lawrence K. Marks
2016 recipient: none
2015 recipient: Hon. Betty Weinberg Ellerin
2014 recipient: Hon. Judith S. Kaye

Lifetime Achievement Recognition:
2018 recipients: Hon. Karen Peters; Hon. Randall Eng
2017 recipient: Hon. Milton Mollen

Merit Award Honorees:
2019 recipients: Hon. Elizabeth Garry; Hon. Alan Scheinkman

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Judicial luncheon awards (17 of 122)
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