The Joint Diverse Bar Association Judicial Screening Panel (the “Panel”) has interviewed and rated judicial candidates nominated by the New York State Commission on Judicial Nominations to fill the vacancy on the New York State Court of Appeals, which was created by the retirement of Associate Judge Carmen B. Ciparick. The Panel was comprised of members of various affinity bar associations including the Asian American Bar Association of New York, the Association of Black Women Attorneys, the Black Bar Association of Bronx County, the Dominican Bar Association, the Korean Lawyers Association of Greater New York, the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Puerto Rican Bar Association, and the South Asian Bar Association of New York.
Last week, the Panel was convened to determine whether the candidates were qualified for the judicial office using a three-tiered rating system of “qualified,” “well qualified,” and "exceptionally well qualified."
A candidate was rated “Qualified” if found to meet the basic criteria required for the judicial position sought; a rating of “Well Qualified” was given if the candidate met the basic criteria and demonstrated a level of skill, experience, sound judgment, and excellence in his or her professional career, which would sustain or improve the quality of the bench or judicial position sought; and an “Exceptionally Well Qualified” rating was given to candidates fulfilling the requirements necessary for a “Well Qualified” rating and further demonstrating outstanding accomplishments.
The ratings were decided during a closed-door vote after review of the each candidate’s background, professional ability, experience, character, judicial temperament, and other pertinent qualities. The Panel’s findings were as follows:
• Hon. Sheila Abdus-Salaam – Exceptionally Well Qualified
• Hon. Rolando Acosta – Exceptionally Well Qualified
• Kathy Chin, Esq. – Exceptionally Well Qualified
• Hon. Eugene Fahey – Exceptionally Well Qualified
• Jenny Rivera, Esq. – Exceptionally Well Qualified
• Margarita Rosa, Esq. – Well Qualified
• David Schulz, Esq. – Exceptionally Well Qualified