Today is #LesbianDayOfVisibility, and LeGaL is Celebrating the Incredible Lesbian Justices of the NY Appellate Division
Justice Joanne M. Winslow was designated to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on May 23, 2017. She was elected as a Justice of the Supreme Court for the Seventh Judicial District in 2008. Justice Winslow was assigned to the Matrimonial Part until 2011, when she assumed an assignment to the Criminal Part, where she presided over felony indictments from arraignment through sentencing, as well as handling other legal matters. Prior to her election to the bench, Justice Winslow spent over two decades as an Assistant District Attorney with Monroe County, finishing her tenure at the DA’s office as Bureau Chief for Major Felonies. She has been recognized for both her professional and civic service activities, receiving accolades for distinguished and dedicated service from the Rochester Police Department, Monroe County District Attorney’s Office, Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, and Boy Scouts of America. In December 2017, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore named Justice Winslow to serve on the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission. She graduated magna cum laude from Springfield College in 1981 with a B.S. in Social Studies and Secondary Education, before receiving her J.D. from Albany Law School in 1986.
Justice Rosalyn Richter is an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, New York State Supreme Court. Shortly after graduation from law school, she became Executive Director of Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund, Inc. and also was Lambda’s first staff attorney working on a project on anti-gay legislation. She has worked as an appellate prosecutor in the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office and an Administrative Law Judge for a NYC tribunal. For more than a decade, she co-chaired the Advisory Committee on the Americans with Disabilities Act for the NYS Office of Court Administration. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of Lambda Legal Defense Fund and the NYC LGBT Community Center, and a former member of the Executive Committee of the NYC Bar Association.
Presiding Justice Elizabeth Garry leads the Third Department’s Appellate Court, which has held a session at Albany Law School each year since 1995. She serves as the department’s chief administrator, and oversee the Committees on Professional Standards and Character and Fitness, Mental Hygiene Legal Services and the Office of Attorneys for Children, among other court functions. In addition, she will serve on the Administrative Board of the Courts, comprising New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and the state’s four presiding justices. Justice Garry was elected to the bench of the New York State Supreme Court, 6th Judicial District, in 2006, and was appointed to the Appellate Division, Third Department, in 2009. She previously worked for 13 years in private practice with the Joyce Law Firm, and was a law clerk for New York State Supreme Court Justice Irad S. Ingraham.
Justice Marcy Kahn s a justice on the First Department of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division. She was appointed to the court by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to fill a vacancy in February 2016. Previously, Justice Kahn was a justice for the New York County Supreme Court in the 1st Judicial District of New York. She was first elected to this position in 1995, after having served as an acting justice since 1993. Justice Kahn began her career in 1975 as a Special Assistant Attorney General at the Office of the New York State Special Prosecutor. In 1977, she became an associate of the private law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. She then became a partner of the firm Anderson Kill & Olick in 1980. She worked in this capacity through 1986. Her first judicial appointment was in 1987, when she joined the New York City Criminal Court. She served on this court through 1994, but spent the end of her term (1993–1994) as an acting justice of the New York County Supreme Court. She was elected a justice of this court in 1995. Justice Kahn received her A.B. degree from Stanford University in 1972 and his J.D. degree from the New York University School of Law in 1975.
Justice Cynthia Kern of the First Appellate Department has been a jurist since 2000 when she was first elected to the New York City Civil Court. In 2008, she was designated an Acting Supreme Court Justice for the Civil Branch in New York County and was re-elected to City Civil Court in 2010. The next year she successfully ran to fill a vacancy for New York Supreme Court Justice in the First Judicial District and has continued in that capacity since her election. Prior to taking the Bench, Justice Kern was a practicing attorney for 15 years. She began as a litigation associate with the law firm of Rosenman, Colin, Freund, Lewis & Cohen, before taking a similar position with Moses & Singer. As a civil litigator, she focused on commercial and real estate litigation. In 1992, she became the Principal Court Attorney for the Honorable Joan B. Lobis, New York Supreme Court. Justice Kern graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1982 and received her law degree from New York University School of Law in 1985.