New York City Bar Association Issues Evaluations of Candidates for Associate Judge of the New York 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 untimely death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam. The Association uses a two-tiered rating system to rate the candidates: Well Qualified and Not Well Qualified. The following are the City Bar’s ratings of the seven candidates:

  • Eric O. Corngold  – Well Qualified
  • Hon. Paul G. Feinman – Well Qualified
  • Hon. Judith J. Gische – Well Qualified
  • Hon. Rosalyn H. Richter – Well Qualified
  • Hon. Mary Kay Vyskocil  – Well Qualified
  • Hon. Troy Karen Webber – Well Qualified             
  • Hon. Gerald J. Whalen  – Well Qualified

The City Bar’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. The Executive Committee then considered whether to rate each candidate “Well Qualified” or “Not Well Qualified” for the position of Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals after considering the candidate’s intellectual ability, knowledge of the law, integrity, impartiality, judicial demeanor and temperament.

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.”

Note: To ensure the integrity of the ratings process, the City Bar cannot comment beyond what is provided in this release.

About the Association
The New York City Bar Association, since its founding in 1870, has been dedicated to maintaining the high ethical standards of the legal profession, promoting reform of the law and access to justice, and providing service to the profession and the public. The Association, through its 24,000 members, continues to work for political, legal and social reform, while implementing innovative means to help the disadvantaged. Protecting the public’s welfare remains one of the Association’s highest priorities.