Press Releases

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 24, 2014

Pursuant to Part 150 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts, Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions (IJEQCs) have been established in each of the judicial districts of New York State. The IJEQCs are a statewide network of independent screening panels for judicial candidates. Each IJEQC is charged with the responsibility of evaluating the qualifications of candidates, within its respective judicial district, who voluntarily submit a questionnaire and are seeking election to the following New York State Courts: Supreme, County, Surrogate's, Family, New York City Civil, District and City. Each IJEQC has 15 members appointed by the Chief Judge, the Presiding Justices of the Appellate Divisions, the New York State Bar Association, and local bar associations. The IJEQCs are comprised of both lawyers and non-lawyers and represent a wide cross-section of the communities that they serve.

The IJEQCs' role is to determine whether candidates are "Highly Qualified," "Qualified" or "Not Qualified" for the judicial office to which they seek election. The criteria for evaluation include: professional ability; character, independence and integrity; reputation for fairness and lack of bias; and temperament, including courtesy and patience. Candidates found Highly Qualified must be preeminent members of the legal profession in their community; have outstanding professional ability, work ethic, intellect, judgment and breadth of experience relevant to the office being sought; possess the highest reputation for honesty, integrity and good character, including the absence of any significant professional disciplinary record; and either demonstrate or exhibit the highest capacity for distinguished judicial temperament, including courtesy, patience, independence, impartiality and respect for all participants in the legal process.

In the Sixth Judicial District, which encompasses the Counties of Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Madison, Otsego, Schuyler, Tioga and Tompkins, the evaluation process included an investigation of each candidate's background and qualifications, and each candidate participated in a personal interview with the IJEQC. The IJEQC for the Sixth Judicial District today announced the following rating for a candidate for judicial office within the Sixth Judicial District:

Judge of the Ithaca City Court
Richard M. Wallace - Highly Qualified

The IJEQC for the Sixth Judicial District previously announced the following rating for candidates for judicial offices within the Sixth Judicial District:

Justice of the Supreme Court
Robert C. Mulvey - Highly Qualified

Judge of the Family Court of Broome County
Peter P. Charnetsky - Highly Qualified

Judge of the Family Court of Chemung County
Mary M. Tarantelli - Highly Qualified

Judge of the Binghamton City Court
Christian J. Root - Qualified

Judge of the Ithaca City Court
Kristine Shaw - Qualified

For further information regarding the evaluation process, please visit the IJEQC web page at http://nycourts.gov/ad3 and follow the links to the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions or contact Timothy P. O'Keefe, Esq., Director, at the address above, by telephone at (518) 285-8571, or by email at tokeefe@nycourts.gov.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 17, 2014

Pursuant to Part 150 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts, Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions (IJEQCs) have been established in each of the judicial districts of New York State. The IJEQCs are a statewide network of independent screening panels for judicial candidates. Each IJEQC is charged with the responsibility of evaluating the qualifications of candidates, within its respective judicial district, who voluntarily submit a questionnaire and are seeking election to the following New York State Courts: Supreme, County, Surrogate's, Family, New York City Civil, District and City. Each IJEQC has 15 members appointed by the Chief Judge, the Presiding Justices of the Appellate Divisions, the New York State Bar Association, and local bar associations. The IJEQCs are comprised of both lawyers and non-lawyers and represent a wide cross-section of the communities that they serve.

The IJEQCs' role is to determine whether candidates are "Highly Qualified," "Qualified" or "Not Qualified" for the judicial office to which they seek election. The criteria for evaluation include: professional ability; character, independence and integrity; reputation for fairness and lack of bias; and temperament, including courtesy and patience. Candidates found Highly Qualified must be preeminent members of the legal profession in their community; have outstanding professional ability, work ethic, intellect, judgment and breadth of experience relevant to the office being sought; possess the highest reputation for honesty, integrity and good character, including the absence of any significant professional disciplinary record; and either demonstrate or exhibit the highest capacity for distinguished judicial temperament, including courtesy, patience, independence, impartiality and respect for all participants in the legal process.

In the Third Judicial District, which encompasses the Counties of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer, Schoharie, Sullivan and Ulster, the evaluation process included an investigation of each candidate's background and qualifications, and each candidate participated in a personal interview with the IJEQC. The IJEQC for the Third Judicial District today announced the following rating for candidates for judicial offices within the Third Judicial District:

Justice of the Supreme Court
Justin O. Corcoran - Highly Qualified
Margaret T. Walsh - Qualified

Judge of the Family Court of Albany County
Margaret T. Walsh - Highly Qualified

The IJEQC for the Third Judicial District previously announced the following rating for candidates for judicial offices within the Third Judicial District:

Judge of the Family Court of Albany County
Michael Katzer - Qualified

Judge of the Surrogate's Court of Albany County
Stacy L. Pettit - Highly Qualified

Judge of the Troy City Court
Anne L. Coonrad - Qualified
Jill A. Kehn - Qualified
Ian H. Silverman - Qualified

For further information regarding the evaluation process, please visit the IJEQC web page at http://nycourts.gov/ad3 and follow the links to the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions or contact Timothy P. O'Keefe, Director, at the address above, by telephone at (518) 285-8571, or by email at tokeefe@nycourts.gov.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2014


Pursuant to Part 150 of the Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts, Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions (IJEQCs) have been established in each of the judicial districts of New York State. The IJEQCs are a statewide network of independent screening panels for judicial candidates. Each IJEQC is charged with the responsibility of evaluating the qualifications of candidates, within its respective judicial district, who voluntarily submit a questionnaire and are seeking election to the following New York State Courts: Supreme, County, Surrogate's, Family, New York City Civil, District and City. Each IJEQC has 15 members appointed by the Chief Judge, the Presiding Justices of the Appellate Divisions, the New York State Bar Association, and local bar associations. The IJEQCs are comprised of both lawyers and non-lawyers and represent a wide cross-section of the communities that they serve.

The IJEQCs' role is to determine whether candidates are "Highly Qualified," "Qualified" or "Not Qualified" for the judicial office to which they seek election. The criteria for evaluation include: professional ability; character, independence and integrity; reputation for fairness and lack of bias; and temperament, including courtesy and patience. Candidates found Highly Qualified must be preeminent members of the legal profession in their community; have outstanding professional ability, work ethic, intellect, judgment and breadth of experience relevant to the office being sought; possess the highest reputation for honesty, integrity and good character, including the absence of any significant professional disciplinary record; and either demonstrate or exhibit the highest capacity for distinguished judicial temperament, including courtesy, patience, independence, impartiality and respect for all participants in the legal process.

In the Fourth Judicial District, which encompasses the Counties of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Hamilton, Montgomery, Saratoga, Schenectady, St. Lawrence, Warren and Washington, the evaluation process included an investigation of each candidate's background and qualifications, and each candidate participated in a personal interview with the IJEQC. The IJEQC for the Fourth Judicial District today announced the following rating for candidates for judicial offices within the Fourth Judicial District:

Judge of the Family Court of Schenectady County
Ursula E. Hall - Qualified
Patricia L.R. Rodriguez * - Qualified

Judge of the Surrogate's Court of St. Lawrence County
John F. Richey - Highly Qualified

Judge of the County, Family and Surrogate's Courts of Washington County
Catherine A. Burkly - Not Qualified

Judge of the Schenectady City Court
Robert W. Hoffman - Qualified

The IJEQC for the Fourth Judicial District previously announced the following rating for candidates for judicial offices within the Fourth Judicial District:

Judge of the County Court of Schenectady County
Kenneth P. Litz - Highly Qualified

Judge of the Family Court of Schenectady County
Jill S. Polk ** - Qualified

Judge of the County, Family and Surrogate's Courts of Washington County
Timothy M. Bulger - Qualified
Tatiana N. Coffinger - Qualified
James P. Curran - Qualified
Daniel S. Martindale - Qualified
Jeffrey E. McMorris - Highly Qualified

Judge of the Glens Falls City Court
Gary C. Hobbs - Qualified

For further information regarding the evaluation process, please visit the IJEQC web page at http://nycourts.gov/ad3 and follow the links to the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commissions or contact Timothy P. O'Keefe, Director, at the address above, by telephone at (518) 285-8571, or by email at tokeefe@nycourts.gov.

* Due to the fact that the candidate is a former member of the IJEQC in the Fourth Judicial District, in order to avoid a potential conflict of interest, the candidate's qualifications were evaluated by the IJEQC in the Third Judicial District.

** Candidates are deemed qualified for three years in the absence of any new information that may have a negative effect on their qualifications and background. The IJEQC for the Fourth Judicial District issued this candidate's rating in 2013.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2014

Karen K. Peters, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department, announced today that approximately 550 people are scheduled to be sworn in as newly admitted members of the New York State Bar by the Court at a ceremony at noon on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center in Albany, New York.

The members of the Court presiding at the ceremony will include Presiding Justice Peters and Associate Justices Leslie E. Stein, Michael C. Lynch, Eugene P. Devine and Christine M. Clark.

Presiding Justice Peters stated that the Court is very pleased that the Hon. Kathy M. Sheehan, Mayor of the City of Albany, will be in attendance and will address the new attorneys.

Justice Lynch will administer the constitutional oath of office to the applicants.

All of the new attorneys who will be sworn in on June 25 have passed the New York State Bar examination or have satisfied the motion admission requirements and will have been approved for admission by the Third Department's Committees on Character and Fitness.

Based upon their current residence addresses, applicants from at least 33 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and 33 foreign countries will be admitted. Foreign countries represented include Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, and the United Kingdom. The Third Department is responsible for the admission of most out-of-state applicants and applicants from other countries.

The ceremony on June 25 is open to the public and all are invited to attend. For further information, please contact Robert D. Mayberger, the Clerk of the Court (518-471-4777), or Daniel C. Brennan of the Admissions Office (518-471-4734).

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 10, 2014

Presiding Justice Karen K. Peters of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department, is pleased to announce recent appointments to its Committees on Character and Fitness.
The Third Judicial Department is responsible for the admission of applicants to the New York State Bar from other states and countries. The Court admits over 4,000 applicants annually. In 2013, the Court admitted applicants representing 45 states (including New York), the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and 64 foreign countries.
The Committees on Character and Fitness are charged with the responsibility of investigating and making recommendations to the Court regarding the character and fitness of applicants for admission to the New York State Bar. Its members are appointed for five-year terms. All members of the Committees serve without compensation.

Presiding Justice Peters is pleased to announce the appointment of the following attorneys to the Committee on Character and Fitness for the Third Judicial District.

Michael S. Barone, Esq., Albany County: Mr. Barone maintains an office for the practice of law in Albany. He is also a Lieutenant with the City of Albany Police Department. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2002 and is a graduate of Western New England College School of Law.

Murray S. Carr, Esq., Albany County: Mr. Carr maintains an office for the practice of law in Albany. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1980 and is a graduate of Albany Law School.

Hermes Fernandez, Esq., Albany County: Mr. Fernandez is a member of Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC, Albany. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1982 and is a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law.

John C. Florsch IV, Esq., Rensselaer County: Mr. Florsch is a member of Fowler, Doyle, Spain, Spiess & Florsch, PLLC, Troy. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2008 and is a graduate of Albany Law School.

Christine A. Caputo Granich, Esq., Rensselaer County: Ms. Granich is Associate General Counsel, New York State Law Enforcement Officers Union. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1994 and is a graduate of Albany Law School.

Olivia T. Karis-Nix, Esq., Columbia County: Ms. Karis-Nix is law clerk to Hon. Andrew G. Ceresia, Acting Supreme Court Justice and County Court Judge, Troy. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2008 and is a graduate of Albany Law School.

Mark A. Kassner, Esq., Schenectady County: Mr. Kassner maintains an office for the practice of law in Schenectady. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1994 and is a graduate of Albany Law School.

James C. Knox, Esq., Rensselaer County: Mr. Knox is an associate attorney with E. Stewart Jones Law Firm, PLLC, Troy. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2010 and is a graduate of Lewis & Clark Law School in Oregon.

Arun Kumar Lahiri, Esq., Ulster County: Mr. Lahiri is a partner with Lahiri & Nori, Esqs., Kingston. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1999 and is a graduate of Pace University School of Law.

Adam T. Mandell, Esq., Ulster County: Mr. Mandell is an associate attorney with Maynard, O'Connor, Smith & Catalinotto, LLP in Saugerties and Albany. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2008 and is a graduate of Western New England College School of Law.

Thomas Melanson, Esq., Ulster County: Mr. Melanson maintains an office for the practice of law in Kingston. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2005 and is a graduate of Emory University School of Law in Georgia.

Rekha Nori, Esq., Ulster County: Ms. Nori is a partner with Lahiri & Nori, Esqs., Kingston. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1999 and obtained her LLM from the University of Miami in Florida and her LLB from the University of the West Indies in Barbados.

Gilda P. Riccardi, Esq., Ulster County: Ms. Riccardi is principal court attorney for Hon. Anthony McGinty, Acting Supreme Court Justice and Ulster County Family Court Judge, Kingston. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1989 and is a graduate of New York Law School.

Dana L. Salazar, Esq., Albany County: Ms. Salazar is an associate with Tabner, Ryan & Keniry, LLP, Albany. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2006 and is a graduate of Albany Law School.

Margie A. Soehl, Esq., Albany County: Ms. Soehl is associate attorney, Powers & Santola, LLP, Schenectady. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2009 and obtained her LLM from Albany Law School and her JD from the Universidad Espirito Santo in Ecuador.

Lanny E. Walter, Esq., Ulster County: Mr. Walter maintains an office for the practice of law in Saugerties. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1971 and is a graduate of Rutgers University Law School in New Jersey.

Presiding Justice Peters is also pleased to announce the appointment of the following attorneys to the Committee on Character and Fitness for the Fourth Judicial District.

Christine E. Nicolella, Esq., Schenectady County: Ms. Nicolella maintains an office for the practice of law in Delanson. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1993 and is a graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan.

Kyran D. Nigro, Esq., Saratoga County: Mr. Nigro is owner, Law Office of Kyran D. Nigro, Esq. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1993 and is a graduate of Albany Law School.

Paul Pelagalli, Esq., Saratoga County: Mr. Pelagalli maintains a law office in Ballston Spa. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1984 and is a graduate of Albany Law School.

Presiding Justice Peters is also pleased to announce the appointment of the following attorney to the Committee on Character and Fitness for the Sixth Judicial District.

Kenneth F. Tomko, Esq., Broome County: Mr. Tomko is a partner with Hinman, Howard & Kattell, LLP, Binghamton. He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1985 and is a graduate of Albany Law School.

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