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.
Contact the Judicial Section Liaison
To learn more about this Section, please contact Kirsten Downer
Hon. Barbara Kapnick
Hon. Barbara Kapnick is the 2020-21 Presiding Member of the Judicial Section.
Justice Barbara R. Kapnick sits as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department. She is a member of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, promoting racial and ethnic fairness in the courts, and a member of OCA’s Commercial Division Advisory Council. She was also a member of the Court’s Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics from June 2008-2018, and now serves on its Ethics Faculty.
Justice Kapnick is a long-time member of the New York City Bar Association, where she has served on many of its committees, and is a Master of the New York American Inn of Court. She is a past president of the Jewish Lawyers Guild, a member of the New York Women’s Bar Association and sits on the Board of the New York State Association of Women Judges. In addition, Justice Kapnick is active in the Supreme Court Justices Associations in New York, having served as President of the Citywide Association from 2013-2014, and currently serves as Second VP of the Statewide Association.
The Judicial Dispatch is a publication of the New York State Bar Association’s Judicial Section. Please see the latest edition below. Archives are coming soon!
The Newsletter of the the Committee on Courts and Appellate Jurisdiction.
Judicial Section Committee
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.
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.
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
A combination of valuable benefits – exclusive for New York State Bar Association Judicial Section members – keep you up-to-date on the growing number of issues and concerns that face the judicial system and the legal profession.
Just for Members
As an exclusive benefit for each and every member of the Judicial Section, NYSBA’s CLE Department offers THREE FREE ONLINE CLE programs on an annual basis. Chosing from NYSBA CLE’s online video and audio catalog makes your programs of choice instantly accessible to you, from the comfort of your chambers or home computer. All online course materials are provided in digital form: www.nysba.org/cle-programs/.
JUDICIAL SECTION ONLINE COMMUNITY
The Judicial Section now offers a private online professional community—for Judicial Section members only! Connect with fellow members on the Judicial Section Community, featuring wide-ranging legal discussion topics, document library, and searchable member directory.
FAQ’s and Video Tutorial
ADDITIONAL MEMBER BENEFITS
- The members-only newsletter, “Judicial Dispatch,” exclusively for Judicial Section members, written by and for judges
- A discount to attend the Judicial Section Annual Meeting luncheon
- Unparalleled camaraderie among our State’s guardians of the law
REWARDING OPPORTUNITIES FOR PROFESSIONAL GROWTH
We offer you excellent ways to enhance your knowledge and expertise by participating in Section activities, such as the Judicial Section luncheon held each year in conjunction with NYSBA’s Annual Meeting. The luncheon consists of a program featuring a prominent member of either the New York State government, the judiciary, or another speaker of interest to the judiciary on a current topic. Section members are invited to attend this program at discounted rates.
The Judicial Section also provides forums for representatives of the Council of Judicial Associations to address issues relating to legislation and court procedure. These forums take place five times per year. The activities provide your representatives with valuable ways to network with other judges from across the state, work with those colleagues who share your interests, and share information on effective advocacy techniques and efficient case management.
NEW YORK STATE
- Committee on Open Government
- NYS Administrative Codes, Rules & Regulations
- NYS Court System Web Site
- NYS Government Web Site
- NY Laws
- NYS Legislature | locate Bill Text, Summaries, Sponsor Memos, Floor Votes
- Research & Reports
- NYS Unified Court System
- NYS Commission on Public Integrity
- NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct
- New York Codes, Rules and Regulations
- Eastern District Courts, NY State
- Northern District Courts, NY State
- Southern District Courts, NY State
- Western District Courts, NY State
- Case Law
- Law Library of Congress Resources
- Search the U.S. Code
- U.S. Bills Search by Bill Text / Sponsor (Library of Congress)
- Code of Federal Regulations
- Judicial Branch – U.S. Government Printing Office
- Federal Laws and Regulations (USA.gov)
- U.S. Courts
Resources for Local and County Bar Associations
The Task Force on the Evaluation of Candidates for Election to Judicial Office was appointed in 2018 to review the existing methods of vetting judicial candidates and propose best practices, guidelines and minimum standards for review of candidates. The report and recommendations of the Task Force were adopted at the April 13, 2019 meeting of the NYSBA House of Delegates in Albany.
The Task Force, chaired by Robert L. Haig and Hon. Susan Phillips Read, found that systems utilized by bar associations vary from county to county, and it concluded that a one-size-fits-all approach for screening would not work for New York State. Where existing reviews are effective, the Task Force urged their continuation; in particular, the Task Force noted that existing systems in place in New York City, on Long Island, and several upstate urban counties – which comprise over three-quarters of the state’s population – are currently well served. For those counties not currently served by existing screening entities, the Task Force recommended the establishment of regional or district screening committees.
The Task Force developed a set of best practices to guide local bar and regional screening committees, addressing composition of the committees; use of questionnaires and the conduct of investigations; evaluation criteria; and rating and appeals processes. Several useful resources are linked below.
Thomas Richards, Esq.
Director of Public Interest and Deputy General Counsel
Judicial Ethics Opinions