Judge Pfau Honored for Guiding Courts Through Troubled Economy

January 27, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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Brooklyn Judge Receives State Bar’s Stanley H. Fuld Award; Judge Prudenti Also Honored

By Ryan Thompson

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

NEW YORK — As the weeklong New York State Bar Association Annual Meeting wraps up today and tomorrow, two notable jurists from Brooklyn have received awards for their service.

Former New York State Chief Administrative Judge Ann T. Pfau was honored with the Stanley H. Fuld Award on Wednesday and current New York State Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti received the Vincent E. Doyle Award yesterday.

Hon. Pfau, of Brooklyn Heights, left her statewide post several months ago to return to the Brooklyn bench. She was replaced by Hon. Prudenti, who left the Brooklyn bench, where she was the presiding justice of the Appellate Division Second Department in Brooklyn Heights. See Monday’s edition of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle for more on Prudenti’s award.

As for the Stanley H. Fuld Award, it was given to Pfau by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Pfau received wide acclaim for guiding the New York State court system through a difficult economy.

According to the state bar, it was Pfau’s “decisive leadership” that ensured that, despite significant budget cuts, justice was served. She guided the courts through the foreclosure crisis and expanded electronic court filings. She also laid the groundwork for a “long-overdue” pay raise for judges.

“As our state judicial system faced extraordinary budget challenges, Judge Pfau did an outstanding job administering justice and running the courts. The Commercial Division continued to thrive, largely because of her stalwart support,” said David H. Tennant, chair of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section. “We are pleased to recognize her many achievements.”

Former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye appointed Pfau chief administrative judge in May 2007. She oversaw the operations of the state’s court system and administration of the $2.3 billion budget, its 3,600 judges and more than 15,000 employees. She stepped down from the position Dec. 1, 2011.

She now hears medical malpractice cases in Kings County Supreme Court and is the coordinating judge for the pilot New York State Medical Malpractice Program, which aims to settle malpractice cases. In addition, she handles certain commercial cases.

Pfau was appointed interim judge of the New York City Civil Court in 1997 and a judge of the city Criminal Court in 1998. She was named an acting Supreme Court justice in 1999. She previously served as first deputy chief administrative judge and deputy chief administrative judge for management support between 2004 and 2007.

She earned an undergraduate degree from Wells College, a master’s degree from Columbia University and a law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

The award recognizes outstanding contributions to the development of commercial law and jurisprudence in New York. It is named for the late Chief Judge Stanley H. Fuld, who served on the state Court of Appeals from 1946 to 1973.

Also on Wednesday, New York State Bar Association President Vincent E. Doyle III hosted the Presidential Summit at the Annual Meeting held at the Hilton New York in Midtown Manhattan. The two-part, three-hour presentation dealt with state court funding and immigration law matters. Judge Kaye moderated the first panel.

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