Scarpulla Joins Manhattan Commercial Division Bench

, Commercial Litigation Insider

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Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla (See Profile) is the newest judge to join the Commercial Division, the Office of Court Administration confirmed Tuesday.

Scarpulla takes over for Justice Barbara Kapnick (See Profile), who joined the Appellate Division, First Department, bench this week.

A former litigation associate at Proskauer Rose from 1988 to 1993, Scarpulla represented the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation as receiver in federal bankruptcy court from 1993 to 1997 and served as senior vice president and bank counsel to Hudson United Bank from 1997 to 1999.

Scarpulla, a graduate of Boston University and Brooklyn School of Law, was principal court attorney to Justice Eileen Bransten from 1999 to 2001 in the general trial part before Bransten joined the Commercial Division.

Scarpulla's judicial career began in 2002, when she was elected to New York City Civil Court where she handled small claims and no-fault actions among others. She became an acting New York Supreme Court justice in 2009 and was elected to the bench in 2013.

Scarpulla is "an extremely qualified jurist and we're all looking forward to working with her," Administrative Judge Sherry Klein Heitler (See Profile) said in a statement.

Paul Sarkozi, a partner at Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt and commercial litigator, said Scarpulla's appointment "gives confidence" to the commercial bar "to see someone take on the role of Commercial Division justice who has experience with business litigation, who has an understanding of what it's like to litigate business cases and who has the perspective of in-house counsel and the FDIC as well."

Scarpulla inherits a dense docket, including In the Matter of the Application of Bank of New York Mellon, in which Kapnick mostly approved an $8.5 billion settlement between Bank of America and investors in securities backed by Countrywide Bank-issued residential mortgage loans. Appeals are expected.

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