The Judiciary Committee of The LGBT Bar Association of New York (LeGaL) is pleased to announce its ratings for judicial candidates in the general election on November 5, 2019. 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 Committee must be satisfied that the candidate, once on the bench, will: 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 must 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.
“The communities that LeGaL serves depend on fair and impartial courts to ensure access to justice for LGBT people,” said Eric Lesh, executive director of LeGaL. “The work of our Judiciary Committee is a vital component to reducing bias, improving fair outcomes, and engendering trust in the courts and legal system.”
“LeGaL’s Judiciary Screening Panel interviewed a twenty-six (26) candidates for New York City and State judicial office this season,” said Janice Grubin, chair of LeGaL’s Judiciary Committee which runs the screening panel. “The sixteen (16) lawyer-members who participated are deeply committed to the careful and thorough review and evaluation of each candidate. LeGaL’s Judicial Screening Committee is one of the few judicial candidate review boards in the country primarily dedicated to ensuring fair, sensitive, and impartial judges who will uphold the rights of LGBT people. We are very proud of our work.”
NEW YORK COUNTY:
Justice of the Supreme Court — 1st Judicial District
Martin Shulman — Highly Approved
Shawn T. Kelly — Highly Approved
Jennifer Schecter — Highly Approved
Judge of the Civil Court — New York County (Countywide)
Ashlee Crawford — Highly Approved
Robert Rosenthal — Highly Approved
Judge of the Civil Court — 3rd Municipal Court District of New York County
Anna Lewis — Highly Approved
Judge of the Civil Court — 4th Municipal Court District of New York County
E. Grace Park — Highly Approved
Justice of the Supreme Court — 12th Judicial District
Wilma Guzman — Failed to Appear
Bahaati E. Pitt — Approved
John R. Higgitt — Highly Approved
Judge of the Civil Court — Bronx County (Countywide)
Matthew P. Raso — Highly Approved
Michael A. Frishman — Approved
Judge of the Civil Court — 1st Municipal Court District of Bronx County
Jessica I. Bourbon — Approved
Judge of the Civil Court — 2nd Municipal Court District of Bronx County
John A. Howard-Algarin — Approved
District Attorney of Bronx County
Darcel D. Clark — Approved
Justice of the Supreme Court — 2nd Judicial District
Reinaldo E. Rivera — Failed to Appear
Esther Morganstern — Approved
Donald S. Kurtz — Failed to Appear
Rosemarie Montalbano — Failed to Appear
Steven Z. Mostofsky — Failed to Appear
Judge of the Civil Court — Kings County (Countywide)
D. Bernadette Neckles — Failed to Appear
Vincent F. Martusciello — Failed to Appear
Judge of the Civil Court — 6th Municipal Court District of Kings County
Caroline P. Cohen — Highly Approved
Surrogate of Kings County
Margarita López-Torres — Approved
Justice of the Supreme Court — 11th Judicial District
Donna-Marie E. Golia — Approved
Maurice E. Muir — Approved
Joseph F. Kasper — Failed to Appear
Phillip Hom — Approved
Daniel Kogan — Failed to Appear
Stephen A. Knopf — Failed to Appear
Wyatt N. Gibbons — Failed to Appear
Lourdes Ventura — Approved
John C. Spataro — Failed to Appear
Judge of the Civil Court — Queens County (Countywide)
Michele R. Titus — Failed to Appear
Kevin J. Hanratty — Failed to Appear
Lumarie Maldonado-Crux — Failed to Appear
District Attorney of Queens County
Melinda Katz — Failed to Appear
Joseph W. Murray — Failed to Appear
About The LGBT Bar Association of New York (LeGaL)
LeGaL is the nation’s first bar association of the LGBT legal community and remains one of the largest and most active organizations of its kind in the country. Over our 40-year history, the lawyers, judges and law student members of LeGaL have been dedicated to promoting justice in and through the legal system for the LGBT community. Through our Foundation, LeGaL provides vital legal services to hundreds of low-income LGBT New Yorkers each year. In addition to ensuring full equality for members of the LGBT community through our impact litigation, education and advocacy work, LeGaL is committed to advancing the expertise of New York’s LGBT legal professionals and students.
LeGaL’s Judiciary Committee works to ensure that NewYork’s courts are staffed by fair and impartial judges who will uphold the rights of LGBTQ people.
For more information on LeGaL, visit le-gal.org.
Members of the Judiciary Committee:
Janice B. Grubin, Esq., Chair
Pamela B. Goldsmith, Esq., Co-Vice-Chair
Michael J. Weiner, Esq., Co-Vice-Chair
Craig A. Convissar, Esq.
Lee Coppage, Esq.
William Crosby, Esq.
Harley D. Diamond, Esq.
Martha L. Golar, Esq.
Michael B. Gallub, Esq.
Linda S. Kagan, Esq.
Jaime B. Leggett, Esq.
Kaegan Marie Mays-Williams, Esq.
Andrew P. Merten, Esq.
Craig M. Notte, Esq.
Ethan D. Boehme Rice, Esq.
Christopher Salloum, Esq.