Member Spotlight

Feinman to Become New York’s First Openly Gay Male Appellate Judge

With well-understood excitement, Judge Paul Feinman, our immediate past President, shared with the Board of Directors news of his October 1st appointment by Governor Andrew Cuomo to become a member of the New York Appellate Division, First Department.  In Judge Feinman’s words:

This is the first time an openly gay man has been appointed to an appellate court in the New York state courts. The first openly LGBT appellate judges were Rosalyn Richter (1st Department) and Elizabeth Garry (3rd Department), both appointed by Governor David Paterson on the same day in 2008.

According to Governor Cuomo’s press release:

Justice Feinman was elected to the Supreme Court, New York County, in 2007. He previously served as an Acting Supreme Court Justice (2004 – 2007) and a Judge of the Civil Court Judge, first elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2006. Feinman is the Immediate Past President of the International Association of LGBT Judges, and is currently the Presiding Member of the New York State Bar Association’s Judicial Section. He began his legal career at the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, Criminal Appeals Bureau in 1985. From 1987 – 1989, Justice Feinman was a Senior Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in Manhattan. From 1989 to 1996, he was a Principal Law Clerk to Hon. Angela M. Mazzarelli. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1981 and a J.D. from University of Minnesota Law School in 1985. — Governor’s Press Office

The press release continues, “Under the New York State Constitution and Judiciary Law, the Governor has the authority to appoint the Presiding Justice and Associate Justices of each Appellate Division from among those who have been elected as Justices of the Supreme Court. These appointments are not subject to Senate confirmation.”

The New York Law Journal includes additional coverage.

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