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January 14, 2009

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION APPLAUDS GOVERNOR PATERSON'S CHIEF JUDGE SELECTION

Jonathan Lippman Brings Dynamic Experience and Leadership to New York State Court of Appeals

New York State Bar Association President Bernice K. Leber (Arent Fox LLP) today praised Governor Paterson's decision to appoint Jonathan Lippman as Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals and said his commitment to finding common ground and ability to build a consensus will improve the administration of justice for all New Yorkers.

Leber said, "Judge Lippman brings a contagious optimism, bold innovation and decisive leadership that has already had a positive impact on New York State's justice system and the legal profession. His administrative duties and his experience serving on the bench have given him a wide-ranging and sound perspective on policy matters affecting the legal system. The New York State Bar Association and Judge Lippman have shared a longstanding relationship. He has been instrumental in judicial pay raise issues, the implementation of mandatory continuing legal education and developing advertising guidelines for lawyers. We welcome him to his new position and look forward to his tenure as Chief Judge."

The New York State Bar Association plays an integral role in vetting candidates for the position of Chief Judge of New York State.  Each candidate's background, experience and professional achievements are all taken into account during this exhaustive review process and are given scores according to their qualifications.  Judge Lippman received the highest score of "well qualified." 

The State Bar has been evaluating candidates for the state's highest tribunal since 1967.  The review process is now overseen by A. Vincent Buzard, past-president and chair of the Committee to Review Judicial Nominations.  The committee's recommendations traditionally have been taken into consideration by the state's chief executive. 

The 76,000-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. Founded in 1876, State Bar programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.

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