LeGaL’s Ratings for NYC Civil Court Judicial Candidates in the 2020 Primary Elections

Eric Lesh
3 min readJun 9, 2020

The Judiciary Committee of The LGBT Bar Association of New York (“LeGaL”) is pleased to announce its ratings of candidates for Judge of the New York City Civil Court (“Civil Court”) in the following contested primary elections: the Second Municipal Court District of Bronx County; the Third Municipal Court District of Kings County; the First Municipal Court District of New York County; Queens County — Countywide; and the Sixth Municipal Court District of Queens County.

Candidates were eligible to receive the following ratings: “Highly Approved,” “Approved,” “Not Approved,” or “Failed to Appear.”

In order to obtain an “Approved” rating, the Judiciary Committee had to be satisfied that the candidate, once on the bench, would: 1) demonstrate a commitment to the equality of rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people; 2) possess the integrity, intellect, experience, and temperament required of judicial office; and 3) perform judicial duties without bias or prejudice against or in favor of any person and will not permit discrimination against any minority in his or her courtroom.

In order to obtain a rating of “Highly Approved,” the candidate had to demonstrate that they possess all of the characteristics required for an “Approved” rating to an outstanding degree, and in addition must have demonstrated a commitment to the equality of rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

Bronx County

Civil Court — Second Municipal Court District

Linda Poust Lopez — Highly Approved

Wanda Y. Negron — Failed to Appear

Kings County:

Civil Court — Third Municipal Court District

Maria Aragona — Approved

Stephen Serge Burzio — Approved

New York County:

Civil Court — First Municipal Court District

Eric Schumacher — Highly Approved

John Zhuo Wang — Highly Approved

George Marc Santana — Failed to Appear

Queens County:

Civil Court — Countywide

Jessica Earle-Gargan — Failed to Appear

John J. Ciafone — Not Approved (Period for Appeal Has Not Expired)

Civil Court — Sixth Municipal Court District

Leigh K. Cheng — Failed to Appear

Juan Hong — Failed to Appear

The Judiciary Committee

Janice B. Grubin, Esq., Co-Chair

Michael J. Weiner, Esq., Co-Chair

Pamela B. Goldsmith, Esq., Vice-Chair

Craig A. Convissar, Esq.

Lee Coppage, Esq.

William Crosby, Esq.

Harley D. Diamond, Esq.

David S. Flugman, Esq.

Michael B. Gallub, Esq.

Martha L. Golar, Esq.

Alexandra P. Kolod, Esq.

Kaegan Marie Mays-Williams, Esq.

Craig M. Notte, Esq. (On sabbatical 2020.)

Andrew P. Merten, Esq.

Ethan D.B. Rice, Esq.

Christopher Salloum, Esq.

About The LGBT Bar Association of New York (LeGaL)

LeGaL was one of the nation’s first bar associations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) legal community and remains one of the largest and most active organizations of its kind in the country. Serving the New York metropolitan area, LeGaL is dedicated to improving the administration of the law, ensuring full equality for members of the LGBT community, and promoting the expertise and advancement of LGBT legal professionals.

Through the LeGaL Foundation, the organization provides vital legal services to hundreds of members of the LGBT community each year and hosts a network of free weekly walk-in legal clinics, anchored by the flagship at Manhattan’s LGBT Community Center. The Foundation also publishes LGBT Law Notes, the most comprehensive monthly publication summarizing legal developments affecting the LGBT community here and abroad, sponsors the Dr. M. L. “Hank” Henry, Jr. Judicial Fellowship Program, and runs the area’s only career fair dedicated to first-year LGBT law students.

For more information on LeGaL, visit

The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York is dedicated to promoting justice in and through the legal system for LGBTQ people.



Eric Lesh

Executive Director, LeGaL @lgbtbarny. Attorney promoting justice in & through the legal profession for the #LGBT community. 40 Best LGBT Lawyers Under 40.