Two Renowned Members of the Bench To Receive Judicial Section Awards at The New York State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting

By David Alexander

January 9, 2024

Two Renowned Members of the Bench To Receive Judicial Section Awards at The New York State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting


By David Alexander

Justice Deborah H. Karalunas, Advancement of Judicial Diversity Award, and Justice James P. Murphy (right), Distinguished Jurist Award.Two beloved judges who have dedicated their careers to selflessly improving the lives of New Yorkers will be honored at a luncheon at the New York Hilton Midtown on Friday, Jan. 19, during the New York State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting.

The association’s Judicial Section will recognize Justice James P. Murphy with its Distinguished Jurist Award and Justice Deborah H. Karalunas with its Advancement of Judicial Diversity Award.

“Justices Murphy and Karalunas have dedicated their careers to ensure that all New Yorkers are treated equally by the state’s judiciary and have elevated the standards of delivering justice,” said New York State Bar Association President Richard Lewis. “They embody the association’s commitment to serving the public. I am personally acquainted with both of these judges, and they are extremely passionate about the state of the judiciary and legal profession.”

“Justices Murphy and Karalunas both care deeply about people and have devoted their careers to public service. Both have provided exemplary service within the New York State Bar Association as past chairs of the Judicial Section. They are well-known, respected and distinguished trial judges in addition to being knowledgeable mentors and colleagues to many,” said Justice Gregory R. Gilbert, chair of the Judicial Section.

Justice Murphy is a member of the New York State Bar Association’s Executive Committee and its House of Delegates.

He served as administrative judge of the Fifth District for nearly four years prior to his historic appointment as the first central New York judge to be appointed deputy chief administrative judge for all courts outside of New York City. The Onondaga County Bar Association recently presented him with its 2023 Ruger Award, an honor bestowed on only a few local judges.

Justice Murphy was elected to the Onondaga County Legislature three times and chaired its Ways and Means Committee.

The Distinguished Jurist Award recognizes judicial excellence and extraordinary commitment to the rule of law.

Justice Karalunas served as the presiding justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Fifth District, Commercial Division, since 2007.  She has been a proponent of diversity and inclusion statewide for many years and has served on the Pattern Jury Instructions Committee, which works to promote a respectful, inclusive and welcoming court environment.

Her attributes and character led to her historic appointment as the first female administrative judge in the fifth district this past summer.

Justice Karalunas is a past president of the Central New York Women’s Bar Association and is the second vice president of the Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Justice Karalunas, who was the 2022 recipient of the Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York’s Justice Martin J. Evans Award for Judicial Excellence and Leadership in the judiciary, is the former editor of the NYSBA Judicial Dispatch. She is a longstanding faculty member of the association’s Young Lawyers Trial Academy and lectures frequently on trial practice topics.

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.

For more information on NYSBA’s Annual Meeting, click here. Media are invited to attend programs, but please notify Susan DeSantis at [email protected] or 201-575-5756.

Related Articles

Six diverse people sitting holding signs
gradient circle (purple) gradient circle (green)


My NYSBA Account

My NYSBA Account