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Justice Lillian Wan to be honored by NYS Bar Association’s Judicial Section

Justice Hector LaSalle to receive the Distinguished Jurist Award

January 20, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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The New York State Bar Association’s Annual Meeting has been taking place all this week at the New York Hilton Midtown in Manhattan where the Judicial Section will honor four judges including Brooklyn’s Hon. Lillian Wan and Hon. Hector LaSalle.

Justice Wan will receive the Advancement of Judicial Diversity Award with two other judges — Hon. Erika Edwards, who sits in the New York County Supreme Court, Civil Term, and Hon. Sallie Manzanet-Daniels, who sits in the Appellate Division, First Judicial Department.

LaSalle, who is the presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department will receive the Distinguished Jurist Award.

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The event to honor Justice Wan and the others will take place during the Judicial Section’s Luncheon on Friday starting at 12:30 p.m.

The event will open with remarks by Hon. Joanne Quinones, presiding member of the NYSBA Judicial Section, and President Sherry Levin Wallach. The group will then swear in its officers for the 2023-2024 year including Hon. Gregory Gilbert, who will take over as the presiding member, Hon. Tanya Kennedy, assistant presiding member, Hon. Brian Burns, secretary, and Hon. Karen Cortes as treasurer.

Following the swearing-in ceremony, The awards will be presented to the four judges, and Hon. Bernice Donald will give a keynote speech that is titled, “Lawyers as Leaders in Times of Challenge, Controversy, and Opportunity.”

Justice Donald is a judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She was the first Black woman to serve as a judge in that court when she was appointed there in 2010 by President Barack Obama. She had previously been appointed as a federal judge in Tennessee by President Bill Clinton in 1995.

Justice LaSalle, whose nomination to be the State’s next Chief Judge was rejected by the State Senate on Thursday, will be honored for his work as the presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, which is the busiest in the country. Justice LaSalle is a former Suffolk County District Attorney, where he served as a Bureau Chief of the Special Investigations Bureau, and was head of the Anti-Gang Unit. He also served as an assistant Attorney General from 1999 to 2001.

Justice Wan is currently sitting in the Appellate Division, Second Department. She was the first Asian American woman appointed to the Appellate Division in New York and was previously the first Asian American to be elected to the Kings County Supreme Court.

Justice Wan had previously been appointed to the Family Court and the Court of Claims by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in 2018. She presided over the Integrated Guardianship and Landlord/Tenant Part in New York County Supreme Court until 2020 and presided over Mental Hygiene Law Article 9 hospital proceedings in Kings County.


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