New York State Bar Association President Seymour W. James, Jr. (The Legal Aid Society in New York City) issued the following statement today on the untimely passing of Hon. Theodore T. Jones, Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals.
"On behalf of the New York State Bar Association, I offer my deepest condolences on the death of Court of Appeals Judge Theodore T. Jones, who worked tirelessly throughout his 40-year career to promote the cause of justice, both as a practicing attorney and a member of the Judiciary.
"A skilled and thoughtful jurist, known for his scholarship, integrity and genuine commitment to the community, he administered justice with wisdom and compassion. As a defense attorney with The Legal Aid Society and in private practice, he fought tirelessly for underrepresented individuals.
"Judge Jones was a ground-breaking leader in state Supreme Court and later the state Court of Appeals, where he served as only the fourth African-American judge in the court's 167-year history. On the state's highest court, he served as co-chair of its Justice Task Force, which studied the causes and effects of wrongful convictions.
"Throughout his career on the bench, he was a leader in the promotion of diversity and equality in the state court system and throughout the legal profession. On the high court, he chaired the Diversity Committee.
"For his decades of unwavering commitment to the cause of justice and diversity, the State Bar Association in 2011 presented him with its Lifetime Achievement Award from the Committee on Diversity.
"On a personal and professional level, I knew Judge Jones to be passionate, kind and deliberate in his pursuit of equality for all. I will miss his friendship, his warmth and his endearing personality."
The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the country, with 77,000 members. It was founded in 1876.
Contact: Mark Mahoney
Associate Director, Media Services and Public Affairs