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January 26, 2011

COUNTY CLERK OF NEW YORK COUNTY RECEIVES STATE BAR'S EXCELLENCE IN PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD

Hon. Norman Goodman, longest-serving clerk in New York state, cited for developing innovative technology programs for court system

NEW YORK- Hon. Norman Goodman of New York, county clerk of New York County, was honored with the Excellence in Public Service Award from the New York State Bar Association on January 25 during its Annual Meeting at the Hilton New York in Manhattan. The award, sponsored by the Committee on Attorneys in Public Service, recognizes individuals who demonstrate a "higher calling" in government through their extraordinary commitment to service, honor and integrity in the public sector.

The committee presented Goodman with the prestigious award in recognition of his five decades of service to the Office of the County Clerk of New York County. He is widely regarded as the dean of the county clerks throughout the 62 counties of New York, having served longer than any of his colleagues. His accomplishments include developing an efficient and effective means of filing judgment entries, promoting welcome jury reforms, preserving historic court records in digital form, and advancing electronic filing into the New York State courts.

"This year's recipients of the Excellence in Public Service Awards have each contributed to advancing the public interest of New Yorkers through making the courts more efficient and effective for jurors, creating new education opportunities for disadvantaged students, and ensuring the public's right to collective bargaining," said State Bar President Stephen P. Younger of New York (Patterson, Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP). "The State Bar is thrilled to recognize their decades of outstanding work, and I congratulate Norman Goodman on receiving this award."

Other recipients this year were Jerome Lefkowitz of Albany, chair of the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), and Frederick (Rick) P. Schaffer of New York, general counsel and senior vice chancellor for legal affairs at the City University of New York (CUNY).

"Guided by a sense of making the courts system more accessible and responsive to the public, Norman Goodman's technology prowess and unceasing desire for greater efficiency have brought about groundbreaking changes that have transformed our court operations and the conduction of litigation in New York. His transformative work as commissioner of jurors also has made jury service more pleasant for those who serve as jurors and resulted in far less exemptions and disqualifications for potential jurors," said Committee Chair Hon. Peter S. Loomis of Albany (New York State Department of Transportation). "It is our distinct pleasure to honor Norman Goodman for his many years of excellent public service and raising the bar for all who follow him."

A graduate of New York University and New York University Law School, Goodman began his career in private practice and joined the Office of the County Clerk of New York in 1966 as first deputy county clerk. He became county clerk in 1969 and has served in that position ever since.

The county clerk is both the clerk of the Supreme Court and the Commissioner of Jurors in New York County. In his capacity as Commissioner of Jurors, Goodman computerized the juror summons system, which ensured the most accurate, fairest, and efficient implementation of jury summons.

His work on Chief Judge Judith Kaye's Jury Project, furthered his commitment to preserving and promoting hard-won jury reforms and also led him to identify and introduce further jury reforms such as improving voir dire. Goodman previously served as one of the commissioners on Chief Judge Kaye's Commission on Public Access to Court Records and the New Jury Project. He previously chaired the State Bar's Committee on Justice and the Community.

Last year's award recipients were Diane Bosse, chair of the New York State Board of Law Examiners; Hon. Patricia D. Marks of Rochester, the presiding judge of the Monroe County Veterans Court; and Peter H. Schiff of Albany, senior counsel to the solicitor general's office.

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. 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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