Press Releases

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 retirement of Judge Leslie Stein. 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:

• Hon. Ellen Nachtigall Biben – Well Qualified
• Kathy Hirata Chin – Well Qualified
• Caitlin J. Halligan – Well Qualified
• Hon. Valerie Brathwaite Nelson – Well Qualified
• Hon. Erin M. Peradotto – Well Qualified
• Madeline Singas – Well Qualified
• Hon. Shirley Troutman – Well Qualified

The City Bar’s Board of Directors extensively reviewed the background and qualifications of the candidates. Representatives of the Association’s Board, Judiciary Committee and State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction Committee interviewed each candidate and, for all candidates, reviewed their writings, investigated their background, and interviewed judges and lawyers familiar with the candidates. The Board 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 Board of Directors, 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.”

The Governor must appoint one of the candidates between April 23 and May 8, and the State Senate must confirm or reject the Governor’s appointee no later than 30 days after receipt of that appointment.

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