January 28, 2010


Chief Judge noted for his role in Commercial Division's expansion and making it a national model

NEW YORK-Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman received the prestigious Stanley H. Fuld Award from the New York State Bar Association on January 27 during its Annual Meeting at the Hilton New York in Manhattan. Sponsored by the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section, the award is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions to the development of commercial law and jurisprudence in New York.

The section honored Judge Lippman for his integral role in the development of New York's commercial courts. As chief administrative judge of the State of New York from 1996-2007, Judge Lippman instituted several key reforms and implemented many new initiatives to improve the efficiency and operation of New York's court system. During his tenure, the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court of New York State expanded to serve 10 different jurisdictions, significantly enhancing the business community's confidence in the court system, thereby improving the state's ability to help attract and retain businesses. Now, through his leadership as chief judge of the State of New York, Judge Lippman continues to maintain the Commercial Division's status as the national model for commercial courts.

"Throughout his career, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's decisive vision and bold innovation have made a tremendous impact on New York's courts' ability to effectively administer justice. Among his many and significant accomplishments, his efforts to expand and strengthen the Commercial Division have made it the ultimate forum for the litigation of complex commercial issues," said President Michael E. Getnick (Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP of Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick of New York City). "We are absolutely thrilled to present the Stanley H. Fuld Award to Judge Lippman, and I thank him for his outstanding leadership throughout his service to the people of the State of New York."

"Chief Judge Lippman's initiatives, particularly his support for the development of the Commercial Division, his forward-thinking ideas and his unique ability to build consensus at all levels of the judiciary have made and continue to make New York's courts a premier forum for the resolution of business disputes.  We are grateful for his enduring support in elevating the standards of commercial law," said Commercial and Federal Litigation Section Chair Vincent J. Syracuse of New York (Tannenbaum Helpern Syracuse & Hirschtritt LLP). "It is our distinct pleasure to present this prestigious honor to the Chief Judge."

A graduate of New York University and New York University School of Law, Lippman was appointed chief judge by Governor Paterson on January 13, 2009 and confirmed by the New York State Senate on February 11, 2009.

Lippman's career in the court system spans four decades, starting as an entry-level court attorney. He was appointed deputy chief administrator for management of the statewide court system in 1989. In 1995, he was appointed by Governor Pataki as a Judge of the New York Court of Claims and was reappointed to a full nine-year term in 1998.

From January 1996 to May 2007, Lippman served, by appointment of then-Chief Judge Kaye, as the chief administrative judge of the State of New York. In May 2007, then-Governor Spitzer appointed him to serve as the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Department. In that capacity, he served on the Administrative Board of the Courts, the policy- and rule-making body of the New York State Court System. He received the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence in 2008.

The Fuld Award is named for the late Chief Judge Stanley H. Fuld, who also served on the New York State Court of Appeals from 1946 to 1973.

Previous award recipients include: Hon. Loretta A. Preska, chief judge, United States District Court for the Southern District of New York; Hon. Albert M. Rosenblatt, retired associate judge, New York State Court of Appeals; Hon. Antonin Scalia, associate justice, U.S. Supreme Court; and Hon. Judith S. Kaye, retired chief judge, New York State Court of Appeals.

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.