"We commend Governor Cuomo for his selection of Judge Karen K. Peters as presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department," said New York State Bar Association President Vincent E. Doyle III. "Judge Peters has been a model of intellect, fairness and wisdom since she first joined the state bench two decades ago.

"As a member of the court during the long illness of our friend and colleague, the late Judge Anthony V. Cardona, Judge Peters' guidance and leadership have been particularly vital to the administration of justice. The people of the state of New York will continue to be well served with the appointment of Judge Peters," said Doyle of Buffalo (Connors & Vilardo).

Peters takes over the reins of the court from Judge Thomas E. Mercure, who has been acting presiding justice since January 2011, when then-Presiding Justice Cardona took a leave of absence due to illness. Because he had reached the mandatory retirement age of 70, Cardona was scheduled to retire at the end of 2011. He passed away on Dec. 4.

In 1992, Peters became the first woman elected to the Supreme Court in the Third Department and won re-election in 2006. She was appointed to the Appellate Division in February 1994.

A graduate of George Washington University and New York University School of Law, Peters previously served as Ulster County Family Court judge, Dutchess County assistant district attorney, counsel to the State Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse and director of the State Assembly Government Operations Committee. She also is a member of the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct and is a former assistant professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz.

The Appellate Division, Third Department, covers 28 counties in upstate New York: Albany, Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Clinton, Columbia, Cortland, Delaware, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Madison, Montgomery, Otsego, Rensselaer, St. Lawrence, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Schuyler, Sullivan, Tioga, Tompkins, Ulster, Warren and Washington.

The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. It was founded in 1876.


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