Attention: open in a new window. PrintE-mail

High Quality Judiciary/Judicial Salaries

The citizens of New York must have access to the high quality judges they deserve and expect. An important step in improving access to high quality judges requires the Legislature to increase salaries for state judges. The City Bar supports increasing the salaries of all state judges, including housing court judges, who had been excluded in past proposals. Our State’s hard-working and dedicated judges adjudicate citizen disputes on a daily basis and handle many of society’s most pressing concerns. Yet they have not received a salary increase since 1999, and many judges are compensated at a level less than the salary of first year law firm associates. While we cannot expect judges to be paid the top dollars they could earn in the private sector, we must provide enough compensation to attract outstanding lawyers and retain them as judges, and to make clear the respect with which we hold this branch of government. By contrast, our current approach does not even provide salary increases that match inflation. In addition, the City Bar advocates for a set mechanism to periodically review and increase judicial salaries.

In addition, the City Bar supports legislation that allows criminal defendants appearing in Town and Village Courts to elect to appear before a justice who is admitted to practice law in New York State. This is necessary in order to protect the due process rights of defendants while ensuring that justices hearing criminal matters fully understand the complexities and ethical considerations of each case.


Judicial Salaries

Report in Support of the Judiciary’s 2012-2013 Budget Request, January 2012.

_____________________________________


Recommendations
 of the Council on Judicial Administration to the NYS Judicial Compensation Commission, July 2011.

  • Press Release: "New York City Bar Recommends $195,000+ for State Supreme Court Justice Salaries: Urges Proportionate Raises for Other State Judges" - July 13, 2011

_____________________________________


Testimony
of Council on Judicial Administration Chair before the NYS Judicial Compensation Commission, July 20, 2011.

_____________________________________

Statement of Samuel W. Seymour, President of the New York City Bar Association, on the New York State Judicial Compensation Commission’s Announcement - August 26, 2011

_____________________________________

A.42010 / S.68010 (Governor Program Bill #333) - Establishes a special commission on judicial compensation, and provides for their powers and duties and provides periodic salary increases to state officers. (2009/2010 Legislative Sessions)

  • Letter to Governor Paterson from President Sam Seymour in support of legislation, November 24, 2010.
  • Press release: "Statement by New York City Bar Association President Samuel W. Seymour on Legislation Establishing a Commission to Review and Adjust Judicial Salaries" - November 30, 2010
  • 44th Street Blog: "Judicial Salary Commission Bill Becomes Law" - November 30, 2010
  • Signed by the Governor, Chp. 567 - December 10, 2010
  • Statement of Samuel W. Seymour, President of the New York City Bar Association, on the New York State Judicial Compensation Commission’s Announcement - August 26, 2011


Justice Courts

A.5899 (AM O’Donnell) / S.4091 (Sen. Sampson) – would grant defendants in misdemeanor or felony cases in Town and Village Courts the right to have such matter appear before a judge or justice admitted to practice law in New York. (2009/2010 Legislative Sessions)

  • Report in support of legislation, November 2009.