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February 23, 2010

STATE BAR ASSOCIATION COMMENTS ON COURT OF APPEALS DECISION AFFIRMING INCREASE IN JUDICIAL COMPENSATION

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) today issued the following statement in response to the State of New York Court of Appeals decision in the matters of Maron v. Silver, Larabee v. Governor of the State of New York, and Chief Judge of the State of New York v. Governor of the State of New York:

"Judicial salaries reflect the value that society places on the important work that judges perform. Today's decision sends a strong message that judges are entitled to be compensated at a level commensurate with their knowledge and experience, and for the critical role they play in ensuring that justice is served. The decision makes it clear that the historical doctrine of Separation of Powers applies as well to consideration of judicial salaries on their own merits. The New York State Bar Association has long been a strong advocate for measures that provide appropriate compensation for judges. Today's decision is a step in that direction.

 "Hopefully, the decision will be received by our State government as an impetus to break the logjam that has prevented any salary adjustment over the past 11 years. An independent, well-functioning judicial system, accessible to all citizens, is a cornerstone of our democracy, and judges are indispensable to the delivery of justice in our society. The New York State Bar Association supports the Judiciary's proposal to increase judicial salaries and to establish a Quadrennial Commission on Executive, Legislative and Judicial Compensation that would serve as a permanent mechanism for the regular salary review of officials in all three branches of government. The Commission is a fair and reasonable approach to resolving any ongoing salary issues."  

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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. For more information, visit us at our Web site at www.nysba.org.