Today, U.S. Congressman Adriano Espaillat issued the following statement in recognition of the Honorable Rolando T. Acosta, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department of the Supreme Court of the State of New York on becoming the first Dominican-American judge to sit by designation in the highest court of New York State.
“I commend Justice Rolando T. Acosta on the designation by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore to sit as a member of the New York State Court of Appeals to hear the case Kimmel v. State of New York,” said Rep. Espaillat. “Chief Judge DiFiore made an eminently wise decision to select such a well-respected jurist as Justice Acosta for this position, which is itself a recognition of Justice Acosta’s merit.
“Justice Acosta is highly regarded within the New York legal community and has developed a distinguished career within New York’s judicial system as he was first elected to the New York State Supreme Court in 2002 and later appointed to the Appellate Division, First Department in 2008. Every time Justice Acosta has been reviewed for advancement in the judiciary, he has received the highest possible evaluation. In fact, when he was under consideration for a seat on the Court of Appeals in 2012, he was the only one out of seven nominees (including three current Court of Appeals judges) to receive the highest possible rating from four prominent bar associations: The New York State Bar Association, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the Women’s Bar of the State of New York, and the New York City Bar Association.
“Justice Acosta embodies the most important qualities we look for in a judge: He is both well-rounded and well-grounded. Not only does Justice Acosta have the experience to be a great judge, having served on the bench for nearly 20 years, he also possesses the requisite humility. He understands his role as a judge within our judicial system of precedent, applying the law that has been shaped by the judges who came before him and created by the other branches of government that are closer to the people. Justice Acosta has a deep appreciation for the rule of law, and his reputation as one of the most prominent judges in New York State is well-deserved.
“Having immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic at the age of 14, Justice Acosta is a founding member of the Dominican Bar Association and is a leader among the Dominican and Latino legal community. I congratulate Justice Acosta on this latest accomplishment and commend him for his extraordinary leadership in civil and human rights within New York’s judiciary system.”