NY State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on July 30th, 2020, announced four appointments to fill vacancies in the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, in the First Department of New York State. The justices selected today to reflect the diversity, talent, and experience present throughout New York’s judicial system.
“New York State’s courts have an enormous impact on the laws that shape citizens’ day-to-day lives, and their judges should display strong commitments to justice and fairness,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am proud to appoint four individuals whose exemplary service qualifies them to serve in the Appellate Division of New York’s Supreme Court and wish them well in their work for New Yorkers in Manhattan and the Bronx.”
Appellate Division-First Department Appointees in Harlem trailblazer Tanya R. Kennedy to fill vacancies on the Appellate Division-First Department. The First Department covers Manhattan and the Bronx.
Justice Kennedy has served as a Justice of the Supreme Court, New York County, since January 2016, after the election in November 2015. She was elected to Civil Court in November 2005 and thereafter served in Criminal Court (January 2006-September 2008), Civil Court (September 2008-December 2009), Family Court (January 2010-December 2010), as Acting Supreme Court Justice (January 2011-December 2012) and as Supervising Judge of Civil Court (January 20l4-December 2015). As an Acting Supreme Court Justice, Justice Kennedy presided over an integrated guardianship and landlord-tenant calendar and conducted bench hearings on a daily basis from January 2012 to December 2013.
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Before her election to Civil Court, Justice Kennedy was a principal law clerk to Hon. Barry A. Cozier both while he was an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department (March 2001-December 2005), and while he was a Justice in the Commercial Division, New York County (May 1999-March 2001). Before her clerkship with Justice Cozier, Justice Kennedy served in the Office of the Corporation Counsel, New York City Law Department, as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the Bronx Family Court Division (August 1992-August 1994) and in the Bronx Tort Division (August 1994-August 1997), where she was promoted to Assistant Deputy Chief. Justice Kennedy earned a J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.
Other new judges include Honorable Martin Shulman, Manuel Jacobo Mendez Olivero, and Saliann Scarpulla.
The Judicial Screening Committee for the First Department, Appellate Division reviewed the applications and conducted interviews of dozens of applicants. Only those applicants deemed “highly qualified” by the Committees were submitted to the Governor for his consideration. To be found “highly qualified,” candidates must display integrity, independence, leadership, intellect, legal ability, judgment, temperament, and experience.
The Governor’s Office will continue to review candidates that successfully advance through the screening process to fill vacancies in the Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court.
Under the New York State Constitution and Judiciary Law, the Governor has the authority to appoint Justices to each Appellate Division from among those who have been elected as Justices of the Supreme Court. These appointments are not subject to Senate confirmation.