Court of Appeals Judge Retires for Health Reasons

By Christian Nolan

March 23, 2021

Court of Appeals Judge Retires for Health Reasons


By Christian Nolan

Good afternoon Members,

The New York State Court of Appeals has announced that Judge Paul G. Feinman has retired due to health concerns. His retirement is effective today.

“Judge Feinman is an exceptional judge and a magnificent human being who has made an extraordinary contribution to this institution during his tenure,” Chief Judge Janet DiFiore said in a statement. “He will be greatly missed.”

Feinman joined the Court of Appeals as an associate judge on June 21, 2017 after the state Senate confirmed his appointment from the governor. His nomination was historic, as he was the first gay judge on the state Court of Appeals. Feinman had succeeded Associate Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, who died in April 2017.

“The New York State Court of Appeals suffered a tremendous loss today with the sudden and unexpected retirement of Judge Paul Feinman – an exceptional judge, magnificent human being, and a champion of the LGBTQ community,” said NYSBA President Scott M. Karson. “He has been a wonderful colleague to so many of us at the New York State Bar Association, and we are saddened that his tenure on the state’s highest court will be so brief. I join with his family, friends and admirers throughout the state in wishing him a speedy recovery.”

Prior to his nomination to the Court of Appeals, a 17-member committee of the State Bar Association found Feinman “well qualified,” its highest rating, after examining his “professional ability and experience, character, temperament, and possession of the special qualities necessary or desirable for the judicial office sought.”

Feinman also spent 20 years on the bench with the state Supreme Court, the Civil Court of New York City and as an associate justice of the Appellate Division, First Department. He also was principal law clerk to Appellate Division Associate Justice Angela Mazzarelli and a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society.

Feinman has also been active in the New York State Bar Association. He was the presiding member of its Judicial Section in 2012-2013 and a member of its House of Delegates in 2013-14.

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