Judge Richard Sise appointed presiding judge of NY Court of Claims

June 25, 2024 Robert Abruzzese, Courthouse Editor
Gov. Kathy Hochul.
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Gov. Kathy Hochul has appointed Judge Richard Sise as the presiding judge of the New York State Court of Claims, a court responsible for civil claims against the state and certain state-related entities. 

This appointment, announced on Monday by Chief Administrative Judge Joseph Zayas and First Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Norman St. George, marks a return for Judge Sise, who previously held this position from 2004 to 2013 and has served as the acting presiding judge since then.

“Judge Sise’s distinguished performance over the past two decades on the Court of Claims bench, including his tenure since 2013 as acting presiding judge, makes him the perfect selection for this important role, and I thank Gov. Hochul for making this appointment,” said Chief Administrative Judge Zayas. 

“Judge Sise is an exemplary court administrator; indeed, he is one of the most effective court leaders I have ever had the pleasure of working with,” Judge Zayas continued. “He possesses all the skills and values that are important to UCS leadership: a willingness to collaborate, empathy, emotional intelligence, humility and diplomacy.”

Gov. Kathy Hochul appoints Judge Richard E. Sise as the presiding judge of the New York State Court of Claims during a ceremony in Albany. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor
Gov. Kathy Hochul appoints Judge Richard E. Sise as the presiding judge of the New York State Court of Claims during a ceremony in Albany. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Governor

Judge Sise, appointed to the New York State Court of Claims by Gov. George Pataki on July 5, 2000, graduated from Siena College in 1978 and earned his law degree from Albany Law School of Union University in 1982. 

In August of 1982, he began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in Bronx County under District Attorney Mario Merola. During his five-year tenure, he served in the Juvenile Offense, Supreme Court, Major Offense and Homicide Bureaus, prosecuting hundreds of serious felony cases.

In October 1987, Judge Sise transitioned to the private sector, initially joining the New York City firm Dienst & Cahn, where he focused on plaintiffs’ personal injury cases. He later practiced personal injury defense with Rivkin Radler Dunne and Bayh in Uniondale, Long Island. 

In June 1989, he returned to Amsterdam, New York, to co-found the family firm of Sise & Sise with his brother Thomas, later joined by their father and brother John. Judge Sise headed the firm’s litigation department until his judicial appointment.

Gov. Pataki reappointed Judge Sise for a full nine-year term in June 2004 and, on July 6, 2004, designated him as the presiding judge of the Court of Claims. Judge Sise has been a longstanding member of the New York State Bar Association, the Florida State Bar Association and the bar associations of Montgomery, Schenectady, Fulton and Albany counties.

In accepting the appointment, Judge Sise expressed his commitment to serving the court and the people of New York.

“I am greatly honored to have been appointed by Gov. Hochul to lead New York’s Court of Claims. I look forward to continuing to serve the court and New Yorkers across the State in my capacity as presiding judge,” said Judge Sise.


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