Richard J. Bartlett Selected to Receive NYSBA's Gold Medal Award
Award is highest honor conferred by State Bar
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January 30, 2004
ALBANY - Richard J. Bartlett, whose distinguished career has spanned more than fifty years as a judge, lawyer, legislator and law school dean, has been selected to receive the New York State Bar Association’s annual Gold Medal Award, announced A. Thomas Levin, NYSBA president.
The Gold Medal is the State Bar’s highest award given to a lawyer or judge and will be presented to Bartlett at the President’s Dinner during NYSBA’s 127th Annual Meeting, January 30, 2004 in New York City.
“Dick Bartlett has had a long and prominent career and has been at the forefront of some of New York’s most significant legal and legislative decisions,” said Levin, a partner in the Mineola law firm of Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, PC. “His work and values personify our profession’s highest standard and his character is revered throughout the legal, legislative and academic communities.”
Over the course of his career Bartlett has served as an attorney in private practice, a justice of the New York Supreme Court, dean and professor of law, and chair of many statewide organizations and committees. He has served since 1986 as a principal in the law firm of Bartlett, Pontiff, Stewart & Rhodes, P.C. in Glens Falls, where he his practice includes litigation in state and federal courts. He is also a past and current member of numerous professional and legal organizations.
A significant milestone in his career came in 1961 when he was appointed by then Governor Nelson Rockefeller to serve as chair of the Temporary Commission on Revision of the Penal Law and Criminal Code. Under Bartlett’s guidance, the Commission completed its first major revision of the state’s criminal laws in more than 80 years. He served in this role until 1971.
He has been a state Supreme Court justice (1973-79), and was the first Chief Administrative Judge (1974-79) charged with the responsibility for administering the New York court system.
He helped establish the Office of Court Administration. In 1985 the Commission on Judicial Nominations nominated him for appointment as Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals.
His unparalleled legal and judicial experience lead to his appointment by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye to chair the state Board of Law Examiners (1998-2001), responsible for preparing and administering examinations for admission to the bar.
Other achievements include positions as chair of the New York Select Committee on Penal Institutions, which was created following the Attica riot in 1971 and chair of the Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. For several years he also served as dean and professor of law at Albany Law School, Union University. A member of the New York State Assembly from 1959-66, he was a delegate to the 1967 Constitutional Convention and vice chair of the Bill of Rights Committee.
His professional affiliations include the Federation of Bar Associations, Fourth Judicial District; NYSBA, former chair of its Criminal Justice Section; life fellow of both the New York State and American Bar foundations; Fund for Modern Courts, and; Historical Society of the Court of the State of New York.
His professional accomplishments have been recognized with these awards: Charles Evans Hughes Award (2002) conferred by the Warren County Bar Association; Herbert Harley Award (1995) from the American Judicature Society, and honorary degrees from Albany Medical College and Union College.
Bartlett began his career in private practice law in Glens Falls, where he served until 1973. From 1951-53 he was a Capt. in the U.S. Air Force, where he served with the 8th Fighter-Bomber Wing, Korea, 1952.
He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and earned his law degree from Harvard Law School.
First awarded in 1952, the NYSBA Gold Medal Award is presented to the judge or lawyer who exemplifies outstanding legal ability and has an active interest in the profession. The recipient of the award also associates his or herself in a constructive way in civic and community matters, and places significant interest in affairs of the New York State Bar Association.
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993