Q&A: Ann T. Pfau

, New York Law Journal


As chief administrative judge in an unusually stormy era, Ann Pfau was renowned for her steely competence, grace under pressure and capacity to handle crisis with dignity, agility and finesse.

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What's being said

  • Jeff Parrella

    Shouldn‘t she be 56 if she was 27 in 1985?

  • Ravi Batra

    Former Chief Administrative Judge Ann T. Pfau, like her predecessor and now-Chief Judge Lippmann, were single minded in advancing the institutional interests of justice at all cost - for they saw, somewhat like the Greeks, that order and law are better for society than law and disorder.

    The Third Branch was ably served by such dedication. Indeed, the lack of judicial pay raise would have probably been for an eternity in Albany, absent the deft delinkage between legislative and judicial pay increase. Remember, it isn‘t easy to get Albany to agree its cold in the winter, let alone getting legislators to give up the cover of getting their pay raise when judges do. (Indeed, the legislators still have not gotten a pay raise since 1999). The Judicial pay raise, then, is the crowning achievement of CJs Kaye, Ciparik and Lippmann and former CAJ Pfau. Of course, the 4 PJs, then and now, played a unique role of demanding constitutional relief - sometimes in constitutional speak. All of the bar associations, the lawyers who sued, and judges who lobbied or became pay raise-plaintiffs played a vital role to create necessary tension, and Albany crumbled. Constitutionally cool.

    I think it fair to say gracefully that while no one is perfect, J. Pfau has well earned her place of honor in New York‘s judiciary, as her intent was always to do right by the Third Branch, a fact I always appreciated. I wish her and Peter honored respite, and a full life ahead.

    Dated: 5/23/14
    Ravi Batra

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