NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION CONFERS EXCELLENCE IN
PUBLIC SERVICE AWARDS
Four government attorneys have been honored with the Excellence in
Public Service Awards, given by the Committee on Attorneys in Public
Service of the New York State Bar Association.
The annual awards recognize public-sector attorneys who demonstrate a
“higher calling” by an extraordinary commitment to service,
honor and integrity. Recipients received their awards on January 24
during the Bar Association’s Annual Meeting in New York City.
“Public service attorneys improve the quality of life for New
Yorkers every day. Often, their work goes unrecognized,” said
Peter S. Loomis of Albany (retired, New York State Department of
Transportation), chair of the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service.
“We are pleased to again honor an outstanding group of dedicated
The 2012 recipients are:
Stephen G. Brooks of Washington, D.C.: Brooks
recently retired as general counsel to New York’s Interest on
Lawyer Account (IOLA) Fund after nearly 15 years of service. As counsel,
he wrote amendments to state regulations that substantially increased
the interest banks paid on IOLA accounts, educated lawyers about the
IOLA Fund; and adeptly worked with all three branches of government. The
IOLA Fund helps fund organizations that provide civil legal services to
low-income New Yorkers.
Bennett M. Liebman of Albany, deputy secretary to
the governor for gaming and racing: Liebman has devoted his entire
legal career to public service law. He was the executive director of the
Government Law Center of Albany Law School from 2007 to 2011. He
previously was counsel to the state Assembly Racing and Wagering
Committee; commissioner on the state Racing and Wagering Board; and
assistant commissioner for legal affairs to the state Department of
Taxation and Finance. He also served, in various legal capacities, Mario
Cuomo when he was governor, lieutenant governor and secretary of
U.S. Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson of Rochester
(Western District of New York): Payson has been a U.S. magistrate judge
for the Western District of New York since 2003. Previously, she was
assistant state attorney general in charge of the Rochester Regional
Office. Notably, she was involved in the complex negotiations
surrounding the Attica litigation settlements.
Payson was of counsel to the Public Interest Law Office of Rochester;
an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York; an
associate at Debevoise & Plimpton; and law clerk to the Senior
Circuit Judge Wilbur F. Pell, Jr. (U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh
Carol L. Van Scoyoc of White Plains (Corporation
Counsel’s Office, City of White Plains): Van Scoyoc has served the
city of White Plains and Westchester County for more than 25 years. She
began her legal career as assistant county attorney for Westchester
County and steadily moved up the ranks to become the county’s
assistant chief deputy attorney. She has been the chief deputy
corporation counsel for White Plains since 1995.
Her career achievements include serving as counsel in 150 cases, most
significantly, In the Matter of Westchester County Medical Center (Mary
O’Connor) 72 N.Y.2d 517 (1988). As a result of that Court of
Appeals decision, major changes were made to New York’s health
care proxy forms to protect the mentally incapacitated.
The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest
voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION, ONE ELK STREET, ALBANY, NY 12207 PH: (518) 463-3200 SECURE FX: (518) 463-5993