Cuomo Fills 4 Appellate Division Vacancies

, New York Law Journal

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Top, L-R: Justices Kapnick and Duffy, Bottom: Justices LaSalle and Maltese
Top, L-R: Justices Kapnick and Duffy, Bottom: Justices LaSalle and Maltese

Duffy, 53, was appointed an acting Family Court judge in 2003 and won election to a full term in 2005. She was appointed to Supreme Court in 2010 and was subsequently elected.

A former Mount Vernon councilwoman, Duffy has a degree in English and communication arts from the College of New Rochelle School of Arts & Sciences, a master's degree in international public relations and public affairs from Boston University and a law degree from New York University School of Law.

LaSalle, 45, is a former Suffolk County prosecutor, assistant attorney general and associate with the Mineola firm of Ruskin, Moscou, Faltischeck. Prior to his 2008 election to Supreme Court, LaSalle was lead gang prosecutor and deputy bureau chief of the special investigations bureau in the Suffolk County District Attorney's office. He has served on the Appellate Term for the 9th and 10th judicial districts since 2012.

LaSalle has a bachelor's degree in political science from Penn State University and a law degree from the University of Michigan School of Law.

Maltese, who was elected to a Staten Island Supreme Court position in 2011, holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and government from John Jay College, a law degree from New York Law School and master's degrees from New York University, the University of Nevada and Touro College.

Early in his legal career, Maltese clerked for a judge and worked as an attorney with the Second Department's Mental Hygiene Legal Services unit. He was in private practice in New York and New Jersey for 15 years before returning to the public sector.

The 65-year-old jurist has been on the bench since his 1991 election to the New York City Civil Court. He was appointed the following year to Criminal Court and was later named to a Court of Claims position, serving as an acting Supreme Court justice until his election.

Maltese spent more than 30 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, including service as a member of the JAG Corps and as a military judge for the U.S. Army Trial Judiciary. He is currently an adjunct law professor at New York Law School and a faculty member of the National Judicial College.

The appointments, which do not require Senate confirmation, are effective immediately. With their promotions, the new appellate judges will get a $9,000 raise. Appellate Division justices are paid $176,000 while their colleagues on the trial court make $167,000 annually.

Maltese is a Republican. The other three appointees are, like the governor, Democrats.

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    Governor Cuomo’s excellence in judicial picks, and bipartisan at that, is a gift to all hardworking New Yorkers who wish to have merit-based resolution of their disputes in a fair and impartial court. That each of these justices have earned their loftier appointment, with hard work and dedicated public service, serves to buttress the well-earned reputation of the appellate bench they have been appointed to. A hearty and heartfelt congratulations to each is due, and given.Luckily, when Governor Cuomo is ready to make more appointments, a statewide judicial team of excellence awaits in the “dugout.”Every time an executive appoints or nominates a judge, democracy’s latent gift, judge-birth, is visible, albeit, forgotten at the ballot box. When in fact, the type of judges appointed or nominated and confirmed ought to be remembered by every voters when casting their ballot to elect or re-elect the executive and the senate-confirmators, as the case may be. After all, it is the Third Branch of government that touches each citizen in a most personal way, seeking to give a full measure of justice for all - the core of American exceptionalism.Dated: 1/19/14/s/Ravi Batra

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