NYS courts announce creation of special appointments unit and key appointments
The New York State Courts took a significant step forward in their continued commitment to improving the delivery of justice throughout New York on Tuesday when Chief Administrative Judge Joseph Zayas and First Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Norman St. George announced the formation of a dedicated unit within the Office of Court Administration’s (OCA) Executive Office.
Shane Tela and Jordan Dressler have been appointed to spearhead this restructuring. The newly minted unit is geared toward streamlining the administrative processes tied to the appointments of judges, judicial hearing officers and commissions under the New York State Courts’ purview.
Tela will assume the role of director of the Appointments Unit. In her capacity, she will interact with esteemed offices such as the Governor’s Office, the Mayor’s Office and NYS Board of Elections concerning judicial vacancies and appointments. Her responsibilities will be vast, ranging from monitoring judicial vacancies for compliance to overseeing the intricacies of the Judicial Hearing Officer program.
Dressler will step into the position of special counsel for UCS Advisory Groups. Operating within OCA’s Counsel’s Office, Dressler will serve as the primary bridge between the court system’s leadership and its various commissions and task forces. His primary tasks include attending commission meetings and ensuring alignment between the leadership’s objectives and the operations of these committees.
Judge Zayas expressed confidence in the restructuring and the newly appointed figures.
“The formation of the Appointments Unit and creation of these key positions are pivotal steps as we restructure OCA’s Executive and Counsel’s Offices in our efforts to promote collaboration, increase efficiency and more effectively address the emerging needs of the New York State Courts,” Justice Zayas said.
“Shane and Jordan are experienced attorneys who bring a wealth of institutional knowledge to their respective assignments. I am eager to work closely with them in their new capacities,” he said.
Judge St. George echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the critical nature of these positions in improving the appointment process and advancing justice across New York’s 62 counties.
Both Tela and Dressler expressed gratitude and determination in their statements. Tela, with her extensive background from serving as an assistant deputy counsel and having affiliations with the Legal Aid Society, highlighted her dedication to streamlining appointments in the court system.
Dressler, who joined OCA in 2021 and previously held the title of New York City’s first Civil Justice Coordinator, expressed excitement to advance “fairness, equity, and efficiency” in the courts.
These appointments will become effective on September 28.
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