City Bar Issues Evaluations of Candidates for Associate Judge of the NY Court of Appeals

The New York City Bar Association has evaluated candidates recommended by the New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination for appointment as Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, to fill the vacancy created by the mandatory age retirement of Judge Robert Smith.  The Association uses a three-tiered rating system to rate the candidates: exceptionally well qualified, well qualified and not well qualified. Updated December 29th:  Due to a tabulation error, a previous version of this blog showed Rowan D. Wilson as “Well Qualified.” In fact, he was found to be “Exceptionally Well Qualified” as indicated below. The following are our ratings of the seven candidates: Kathy H. Chin – Well Qualified Hon. Eugene M. Fahey – Well Qualified Hector Gonzalez – Well Qualified Hon. Erin M. Peradotto – Well Qualified Mary Kay Vyskocil – Well Qualified Rowan D. Wilson – Exceptionally Well Qualified Stephen P. Younger – Well Qualified The Association’s Executive Committee extensively reviewed the background and qualifications of the candidates.  Representatives of the Association’s Executive, Judiciary and State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction Committees interviewed each candidate and, for all candidates, reviewed their writings, investigated their background, and interviewed judges and lawyers familiar with the candidates.  After considering the candidate’s intellectual ability, knowledge of the law, integrity, impartiality, judicial demeanor and temperament, the full Executive Committee then considered whether to rate each candidate “well qualified,” “not well qualified” or “exceptionally well qualified.” This three-tiered rating was adopted by the Executive Committee in May 2007.  The criteria for each rating are as follows: “Well Qualified”:  Consistent with the term “well qualified” as it is set forth in describing the Commission’s mandate in Judiciary Law Section 63(1) and in Article 6, Section 2 of the Constitution: candidates “who by their character, temperament, professional aptitude and experience are well qualified to hold such judicial office.” “Not Well Qualified”:  Candidates who may be competent lawyers or judges but, in the judgment of the Executive Committee, do not meet the requisite standard for “Well Qualified” in one or more of the constitutional and statutory criteria of “character, temperament, professional aptitude and experience.” “Exceptionally Well Qualified”:  Candidates who are exceptional to the degree that they are superior to others who are “well qualified.”  This rating should be given as an exception and not the norm. Note: To ensure the integrity of the ratings process, the City Bar cannot comment beyond what is provided herein.