Justice Patria Frias-Colón takes helm as co-chair in court modernization drive

February 22, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Justice Patria Frias-Colón has been appointed as co-chair of the Court Modernization Action Committee (CMAC) to enhance New York's court system efficiency and accessibility.Photo courtesy of Office of Court Administration
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In an attempt to enhance the efficiency and accessibility of New York’s court system, Chief Judge Rowan Wilson and Chief Administrative Judge Joseph Zayas announced the appointment of Hon. Patria Frias-Colón as co-chair of the Court Modernization Action Committee (CMAC). 

Joining an esteemed group of leaders, including CMAC Chair Hon. Craig Doran and Co-Chairs Scott Reents and William Silverman, Justice Frias-Colón’s role will be pivotal in guiding the CMAC’s strategic initiatives. Her appointment coincides with the release of the committee’s first progress report, which outlines the significant strides made in court modernization and the path forward in the post-pandemic landscape.

“Justice Frias-Colón’s energetic leadership and broad-based experience will be an asset to this diverse, distinguished panel, which has already made significant headway in its study and guidance of the court system’s modernization efforts, as documented in the committee’s inaugural report,” said Chief Judge Wilson. “I am thankful to Justice Doran, CMAC Co-Chairs Reents and Silverman, and the CMAC members for their outstanding efforts leading up to today’s report and eager to work with them and Co- Chair Frias-Colón as CMAC continues to help lead the  court system into the future.”

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Chief Administrative Judge Zayas echoed this sentiment, referred to the justice as the “ideal choice” and highlighted Justice Frias-Colón’s collaborative approach and dedication to improving court accessibility. 

“I also want to express my gratitude to CMAC for their excellent report and all their hard work to date,” Justice Zayas said. “Of course, we also are greatly indebted to the court system’s Division of Technology and Division of Court Modernization for their respective roles –– and herculean efforts — as they build on pandemic-related innovations to create a more efficient, effective, and user-friendly court system that embraces today’s changes and better prepares us for tomorrow’s challenges.”

Justice Patria Frias-Colón, currently serving on the State Supreme Court bench in Kings County since her election in November 2022, has held various significant roles within the New York judicial system. Her journey began with her election to the New York City Civil Court in 2017, leading to her service as an acting Family Court judge in Manhattan until 2020. She then returned to Brooklyn, serving in the Kings County Civil Court and later as supervising judge in Queens County’s Civil Court before her State Supreme Court appointment. 

Prior to the bench, Frias-Colón was deeply involved in legal and educational roles, including as a borough chief in the NYC Law Department and assistant deputy counsel for the NYC Department of Education, and even as an adjunct professor at St. John’s University School of Education. Starting her legal path as an Assistant District Attorney in Brooklyn, she is a Hofstra Law School alumna and actively contributes to the community through various associations and as chair of the Advisory Board for Medgar Evers College Preparatory School.

“Critical to our system of justice is ensuring equal and equitable access,” Justice Frias-Colón said. “I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing and dedicated team. With the uncompromising support of our current leadership, our work continues to make a difference. I am thankful to Chief Judge Wilson and Chief Administrative Judge Zayas for this opportunity, as well as to Presiding Justice LaSalle for having the foresight to nominate me for the committee from its inception. I look forward to continuing the necessary work in this role.”

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