Marks cited for instrumental leadership in creating veterans' and mental health courts

NEW YORK-Hon. Patricia D. Marks, the presiding judge of the Judicial Diversion Program Court and the Monroe County Veterans Court, was honored with the Excellence in Public Service Award from the New York State Bar Association on January 26 during its Annual Meeting at the Hilton New York in Manhattan. The award, sponsored by the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service, recognizes individuals who demonstrate a "higher calling" in government through their extraordinary commitment to service, honor and integrity in the public sector.

The committee honored Judge Marks for her innovative work to improve the Monroe County court system. As the tireless leader of the community team that created the Monroe County Veterans Court, only the second such court in New York, Marks helped create a system that sensitively addresses the special needs of combat veterans charged with crimes. She also played a key role in establishing the Monroe County Mental Health Court.

"Whether it's advocating for causes that serve the public good, addressing the special needs of our citizens in court, or upholding the highest standards of the legal profession, this year's recipients of our Excellence in Public Service Awards make a difference each day in the lives of New Yorkers," said New York State Bar Association President Michael E. Getnick (Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP of Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick of New York City). "The State Bar is proud to recognize their fine work, and I congratulate Judge Patricia Marks for winning this honor."

Other recipients this year were Diane Bosse of Buffalo, chair of the New York State Board of Law Examiners; and Peter H. Schiff of Albany, senior counsel to the solicitor general's office.

Marks is the presiding judge of the Judicial Diversion Program Court and the Monroe County Veterans Court. She currently serves as supervising judge for the criminal courts in the seventh judicial district and has been an elected County Court Judge for Monroe County since 1985. She previously served as the presiding judge of the Rochester Drug Treatment Court, and the Monroe County Mental Health Court.

"Judge Marks's record of judicial excellence begins with her work as a distinguished jurist and continues with her extraordinary public service.  She is the consummate professional who has had a profound impact on the community through her efforts to address the special needs of veterans and people with mental health issues," said Committee Chair Hon. Peter S. Loomis of Albany (New York State Department of Transportation). "We are pleased to recognize Judge Marks for her selfless dedication to some of our society's most vulnerable citizens."

A graduate of Vassar College and Albany Law School, Marks is a past president of the New York State County Courts Association. She serves as co-chair of the New York State Criminal Jury Instructions Committee and is a member on several committees to improve the court system including Pretrial Services Corporation, Legal Links, Public Safety Sector TQM Committee and Mental Health and the Courts and EDP response team advisory committee.

Last year's award recipients were Anthony J. Annucci of Albany, executive deputy commissioner, New York State Department of Correctional Services; and Denise E. O'Donnell of Buffalo, deputy secretary for public safety and commissioner, New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.

Founded in 1876, the 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. The State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.