A. Vincent Buzard of Harris Beach PLLC in Rochesterand Past President of the New York State Bar Association (2005-06), was selected to chair the Association's Committee to Review Judicial Nominations. The committee is charged with reviewing the qualifications of potential candidates for appointment to the Court of Appeals of the State of New York, and will soon begin the process of evaluating candidates for the position of Chief Judge, due to current Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye's mandatory retirement at the end of December.

"We must be certain that the candidates seeking a position to the highest court in New York State are among the best and brightest legal minds, and that they will work to improve the administration of justice for everyone," said Association President Bernice K. Leber (Arent Fox LLP). "Vince's leadership ability and years of experience as an appellate attorney make him ideally suited to head this important panel, and I am extremely confident that he will lead this committee with distinction."

Mr. Buzard focuses his practice on handling appeals, including arguing cases in the New York Court of Appeals. He chairs the Harris Beach Appellate Litigation and Advocacy Practice Group, and was recently elected to the Executive Committee of the Council of Appellate Lawyers of the American Bar Association. Mr. Buzard also served as President of the Monroe County Bar Association from 1993-1994.

The State Commission on Judicial Nomination is scheduled to release its list of seven candidates for appointment as Chief Judge on December 1. The committee will evaluate the qualifications of those seven candidates and report its findings to Leber as president of the State Bar Association. The president will then submit a report of those findings to the Governor for his consideration. This event will mark the first time in 15 years that a Governor will appoint a new Chief Judge to the Court of Appeals.

Candidates will be rated as "well qualified," "qualified," or "not qualified." In rating a candidate, the committee will consider professional ability and experience, character, temperament and the possession of the special qualities necessary or desirable for the performance of the duties of the office for which the candidate is being considered. The rating "qualified" is reserved for candidates who have affirmatively demonstrated qualifications that are regarded by the committee as necessary for the performance of duties of the office under consideration. The rating "well qualified" is reserved for candidates who, in addition, possess pre-eminent qualifications for the performance of duties of such office.

Other distinguished members of the Association's Committee to Review Judicial Nominations are:

  • Daniel R. Alonso, Esq. (Kaye Scholer LLP);
  • James B. Ayers, Esq. (Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP), Alternate;
  • Lance D. Clarke, Esq. (Cooke and Clarke), Alternate;
  • Hon. Barry A. Cozier, former Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department (Epstein Becker & Green, P.C.);
  • Renaye B. Cuyler, Esq. (Clark, Cuyler, Maffei & Mederos, LLP);
  • Vincent E. Doyle III, Esq. (Connors & Vilardo LLP);
  • David M. Gouldin, Esq. (Levene Gouldin & Thompson, LLP);
  • Cathi A. Hession, Esq. (Flemming Zulack Williamson & Zauderer LLP), Alternate;
  • Roberta A. Kaplan, Esq. (Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP);
  • Hon. Howard A. Levine, former Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals (Whiteman Osterman & Hanna LLP);
  • Linda U. Margolin, Esq. (Bracken & Margolin, LLP);
  • Henry G. Miller, Esq., Past President of the New YorkState Bar Association (Clark, Gagliardi & Miller, PC);
  • James C. Moore, Esq., Past President of the New YorkState Bar Association (Harter Secrest & Emery LLP);
  • Maxwell S. Pfeifer, Esq., Past President of the New YorkState Bar Association (Law Office of Maxwell S. Pfeifer);
  • Sharon M. Porcellio, Esq. (Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP), Alternate;
  • Manuel A. Romero, Esq. (Law Office of Manuel A. Romero);
  • Professor Patricia E. Salkin, Government Law Center , Albany Law School;
  • Hon. Richard D. Simons, former Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals (McMahon Grow & Getty); and
  • Hon. Nancy T. Sunshine, Kings County Court Clerk.

The 74,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, the Association's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.