The Appellate Division, First Department was honored as an institution by the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) on December 13, 2016 at the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria. The First Department was recognized for its illustrious history and for its court work including the development of precedential legal principles for lower courts to follow, especially in the field of commercial litigation.
The gala was attended by over 100 judges and over 800 attorneys and guests.
Acting Presiding Justice Peter Tom accepted the award on behalf of the First Department. In his remarks, he observed:
In so many respects, we reflect this great city that is our home. We live amidst its blessings and
its problems, and above all, among its people. Our staff and our bench reflect the cultural
diversity of the City. In my earlier years on the First Department bench, I have been joined by
judges having the more traditional Irish, Italian and Jewish backgrounds – and Leo Milonas
proudly represented the Hellenic tradition – but increasingly, up to present, by judges and staff
who have African-American and Hispanic backgrounds and, as is obvious as I stand here now,
also Asians. I think that it is especially remarkable at this point in our city’s history that my
good friend Justice Randy Eng is the Presiding Justice of our sister-court in Brooklyn while I am
Acting Presiding Justice of the First Department. This is the first time in the history of New
York State that two Asians preside over two of the four judicial departments. After a century in
existence, this court is beginning to reflect the diverse population of the city.
AABANY congratulates the First Department on this honor from NYCLA and shares in Justice Tom’s observation that the court, after 100 years, is “beginning to reflect the diverse population of the city.” We hope that it continues to do so.
For the full text of Acting Presiding Justice Tom’s acceptance speech, follow the link in the title. To read more about the event in the New York Law Journal, click here (subscription required).
Photo of Justice Eng (l.) and Justice Tom (r.) at the NYCLA Annual Dinner courtesy of Justice Tom.