January 13, 2009
GOVERNOR PATERSON NOMINATES JUDGE JONATHAN LIPPMAN TO SERVE AS CHIEF JUDGE OF THE NEW YORK STATE COURT OF APPEALS
Governor David A. Paterson today announced the nomination of Judge Jonathan Lippman to serve as Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals is the highest court in the State and the Chief Judge also serves as chief of the State’s court system. Judge Lippman is currently the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department. “Today, I am proud to announce the nomination of Jonathan Lippman as the next Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals. Judge Lippman is currently the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department and has been widely praised for his leadership of one of the most important of the nation’s appellate courts,” said Governor Paterson. “As Chief Administrative Judge from January 1996 to May 2007, Judge Lippman led the implementation of nationally significant reforms, including jury reform, contributed to the creation of problem-solving courts, such as special drug courts and domestic violence courts, and played an integral role in keeping the courts open after the attacks on September 11.”
“I also want to commend Judge Judith Kaye for her outstanding service to the State of New York. Judge Kaye served as an exemplary Chief Judge for nearly 15 years. She made our court system a model for the nation and I know that Judge Lippman will continue her important work,” added Governor Paterson. “In addition, I want to thank Acting Chief Judge Carmen Ciparick who was chosen by her colleagues to fill that role and who has served as a trailblazer for women and Hispanics in this State. I look forward to her continued service as Senior Associate Judge.” “Though I am thrilled to choose Judge Lippman to serve as our next Chief Judge, I firmly believe that we must revise the process for future judicial nominations to ensure that those under consideration represent all New Yorkers,” said the Governor. “That is why I will propose revising the judicial nomination statute.” If confirmed by the New York State Senate, Judge Lippman will preside over a Court that disposed of nearly 4,000 matters in 2007, including 185 appeals. He will lead a State’s judiciary comprised of 1,210 judges, 2,250 Village and Town Justices, and nearly 20,000 non-judicial court personnel. The judiciary handles more than 4 million cases each year.
Jonathan Lippman has served as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Department, since May 2007. He leads one of the most influential appellate courts in the country, which hears approximately 3,000 appeals annually from New York and Bronx Counties. As Presiding Justice, he also sits on the Administrative Board of the Courts, the policy and rule making body of the New York State Court System. From January 1996 to May 2007, he served, by appointment of Chief Judith Kaye, as the Chief Administrative Judge of all New York State Courts, overseeing the administration and operation of a court system with a $2.5 billion budget, 3,600 state and locally paid judges and over 16,000 non-judicial employees in over 350 locations around the State. As the longest serving Chief Administrative Judge in New York State history, Judge Lippman played a central role in many far-reaching reforms of New York’s Judiciary and legal profession, including the establishment of problem-solving community courts, drug courts, and domestic violence courts; creation of specialized commercial and matrimonial parts; opening of Family Court to the public; and extensive reform of the jury system.
In recognition of his efforts in making New York a model for court reform throughout the country, in November 2008 he received the National Center for State Courts’ William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence. Judge Lippman’s career in the court system spans four decades, starting as an entry level court attorney in Supreme Court, New York County. He was appointed Deputy Chief Administrator for Management of the statewide court system in 1989. In 1995, he was appointed as a Judge of the New York Court of Claims and was subsequently reappointed to a full nine-year term on that court in 1998. In 2005, he was elected as a Justice of the Supreme Court. He also served as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Term, Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts.
Judge Lippman resides in Manhattan with his wife, Amy. They have two children, Russell and Lindsay. Judge Lippman is a product of the New York City public school system. He received his B.A. from New York University, from which he graduated Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude, and his J.D. from New York University School of Law. Governor Paterson and Judge Lippman are scheduled to make a joint statement tomorrow morning. The event will be broadcast live via webcast at 10:30 am at the following address: www.ny.gov/governor/webcast. As Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, his salary will be $156,000. This nomination requires Senate confirmation.