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Gov. Cuomo appoints four new judges to the Appellate Division, First Department

July 17, 2020 Rob Abruzzese
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Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this week that he has appointed four new judges to the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department to fill the court’s vacancies.

The four judges include Hon. Saliann Scarpulla, Hon. Manuel Jacobo Mendez Olivero, Hon. Martin Shulman, and Hon. Tanya Kennedy.

“New York State’s courts have enormous impact on the laws that shape citizens’ day-to-day lives, and their judges should display strong commitments to justice and fairness,” Cuomo said. “I am proud to appoint four individuals whose exemplary service qualifies them to serve in the Appellate Division of New York’s Supreme Court and wish them well in their work for New Yorkers in Manhattan and the Bronx.”

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The First Judicial Department courthouse is located within Manhattan. It covers that borough as well as the Bronx and has been presided over by Justice Rolando Acosta since 2017. The Appellate Division hears appeals that come out of the Manhattan and Bronx County Supreme Courts.

Justice Scarpulla attended Brooklyn Law School before she clerked for Hon. Alvin Klein in the New York County Supreme Court. Following her clerkship, Justice Scarpulla joined Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn as a litigation associate and then worked for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as a senior counsel.

After serving as the principal court attorney for Hon. Eilleen Bransten, she was elected to the Civil Court in 2001, appointed to the Supreme Court in 2009 and elected to that same court in 2012. Since 2014, Justice Scarpulla has sat in the New York County Commercial Division.

Justice Tanya Kennedy, a graduate of Brooklyn Technical High School and Cardozo School of Law, became a judge in 2005 when she was elected to the Civil Court. She later served in the Criminal Court until 2008, the Civil Court until 2009, the Family Court in 2010 and was an acting Supreme Court justice in 2011-12. In 2014, she became the supervising judge of the Civil Court. In November 2015, she was elected to the New York County Supreme Court.

Justice Shulman became a court attorney for Hon. Eugene Nardelli in 1981, left and went to work for the NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal. In 1987 he joined the firm Shaw & Binder, where he became a partner in 1993. In 1995, Justice Shulman was appointed to the Civil Court and in 2000 he became the supervising judge of the Manhattan Civil Court. In 2006, he was elected to the Supreme Court and he joined the Appellate Term, First Department, in 2009.

Justice Mendez graduated from the Universidad Central Del Este School of law in the Dominican Republic and worked at the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Division in the Bronx from 1990 until 1993. After working for Kwasink & Mendez until 1998, he became a solo practitioner until 2003. Elected to the Civil Court in Manhattan in 2004, he served that court until he presided in the Bronx Criminal Court from 2008 until 2010. He was named acting Supreme Court justice in 2010 and was elected to that position in 2012. Since that time, he has served as the coordinating judge of the NYC Asbestos Litigation.

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