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Friday, May 25, 2012

'Highly Qualified' Make List For Top Judicial Post

At Least 8 Found 'Highly Qualified' for Presiding Justice, Sources Say
The New York Law Journal by John Caher  -  May 25, 2012

At least eight judges are apparently in the running for presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, as a screening panel has forwarded to Governor Andrew Cuomo the names of judges it found "highly qualified" to succeed A. Gail Prudenti as leader of the Brooklyn appeals court.  Several sources close to the process said the screening panel has advanced Acting Presiding Justice William Mastro of the Second Department and five of his colleagues: Leonard Austin, Cheryl Chambers, Randall Eng, Robert Miller and Peter Skelos. In addition, at least two First Department justices, Angela Mazzarelli and David Friedman, were recommended, sources said.  The governor's counsel's office has concluded interviewing candidates with an eye toward making an appointment in June, a source said.  The Second Department has been without a permanent presiding justice since last fall, when Prudenti became chief administrative judge and Mastro, as senior associate, automatically took over as acting presiding justice.  The Brooklyn-based court, which is the busiest appellate court in the state, is the only one of the four departments that continues to operate with an acting presiding justice. In early April, Cuomo appointed Karen Peters as presiding justice of the Third Department to replace Acting Presiding Justice Thomas Mercure (NYLJ, April 6).  Meanwhile, all four Appellate Division departments remain shorthanded, especially the Fourth Department in Rochester that is down 25 percent of its judges with three of 12 spots vacant.  The First and Second departments are each down three of their 20 and 22 judges, respectively, and the Third is operating with one short of its full contingent of 12.  Appellate Division justices are selected by the governor from the ranks of elected Supreme Court justices; acting Supreme Court justices are not eligible.  The governor must choose from among the candidates found highly qualified by 13-member screening panels in each department. Douglas Dunham of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom chairs the Second Department screening panel.  John Caher can be contacted at


insider said...

Let the politics continue. Forget who's best. Just find out who Shelly Silver wants. That's who Cuomo will pick.

Anonymous said...

A charade to allow the media to play make believe for the sheeple that the system is honest. Cuomo and Silver have already selected the most venal crony not yet exposed and the other candidates are the window dressing diversion.

Anonymous said...

'Highly Qualified' to accept illicit payments - i.e. read BRIBES

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               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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