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Administrative Directory - Administrative Judges - NYC

Hon. Sherry Klein Heitler

Sherry Klein Heitler grew up in the Bronx and has lived in Manhattan for the past 46 years. She attended the Bronx High School of Science (1961), Hunter College, 1965 (B.A.), New York University, 1966 (M.A.), and Fordham University School of Law, 1976 (J.D.). She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1977.

During the hiatus between graduate school and starting law school in 1973, she was Assistant Director of Admissions at Long Island University, Brooklyn Campus. One of her primary responsibilities was ensuring the diversity of the incoming student body. She was instrumental in developing a special program through which Associate Degree students could matriculate to obtain a B.A. Degree.

In 1977 she became a Law Assistant in the Civil Court of the City of New York. In 1979 she founded the law firm of Heitler & Levy, P.C. She also taught Family Law at Baruch College, City University, and was an Arbitrator for the Civil Court of the City of New York. In addition, she was a Director of the Spingold Foundation and served in numerous matters as either a guardian, conservator or referee.

Justice Heitler was elected as a Judge to the Civil Court of the City of New York in 1994. In January of 1996 she was designated to sit as a New York State Acting Supreme Court Justice in New York County and, after being elected, she began her term in 2001 as a New York State Supreme Court Justice. Initially she sat in a Trial Part. She was then assigned to a Matrimonial Part, which involved cases dealing with the status of the divorce, custody, equitable distribution, child support and maintenance issues of the litigants. She then sat in a Trial Assignment Part where she evaluated, settled and assigned cases to trial. Thereafter, she was responsible for conferencing and settling various cases which were brought by or against the City of New York. She then presided over an Individual Assignment Part in which she tried all types of cases and decided motions thereon, including medical malpractice cases, contract cases, personal injury cases and landlord-tenant disputes. She presided over Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 applications and conducted Mental Hygiene hearings at various hospitals in New York City. Such hearings included issues regarding the administration or withholding of medication, release from or retention by the facility, and electric convulsive therapy. As a trial judge she has evaluated, settled, and tried all different types of cases.

In January 2007 she was appointed to sit as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Term of the New York State Supreme Court, First Department, where she reviewed criminal and civil cases. In addition, in August 2008 she was assigned to the Court’s Center for Complex Litigation to administer all asbestos-related mass tort cases in the City of New York, with an inventory of more than 30,000 cases.

In December 2009 she was appointed as Administrative Judge for Civil Matters, First Judicial District, at which point she left the Appellate Term, but continued to administer asbestosrelated matters.

In March 2015 she was appointed as the Chief of Policy and Planning for the New York State Unified Court System’s Office of Court Administration. She will be providing oversight for the court system’s statewide network of “problem-solving” courts, which include drug, community, domestic violence, mental health, veterans, adolescent diversion and human trafficking courts. In addition, she will be working to develop new case management practices in an effort to reduce case backlogs and promote better case outcomes for litigants, victims and communities.

Justice Heitler has chaired and lectured at various programs established by professional groups. At New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) she has chaired programs on Conservators, Receivers and Referees, Ethics in Government, and Joint Membership for NYCLA and the Puerto Rican Bar Association. She co-chaired the Continuing Legal Education program for the Millennium Women’s Bar Convention, sponsored by the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, and is still active in their Continuing Legal Education Programs. She has given several lectures to different lawyers’ groups, including a symposium on the issue of Parental Relocation.

She is a member of many professional groups, including the Association of the Bar of the City of New York; New York Association of Women Judges; New York County Lawyers Association (currently serving as a Director); New York County Women’s Bar Association (currently serving as a Director); and the New York State Bar Association. She is also a member of the Jewish Lawyers Guild (currently serving on the Board of Governors); the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA); and the National Organization for Women.

Justice Heitler is a member of the Fordham Law Alumni Association (serving as Vice President) and is currently an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law. Because of her strong belief in the value of education, she has employed legal interns from different law schools to work with her as part of their course of study.

She has also served in a leadership capacity for the Auxiliary of Tisch Hospital, the Fordham Law School Advisory Panel and the United Jewish Appeal.

Among the many awards she has received were the Cardozo Award (Jewish Lawyers Guild, 2010), the President’s Special Award (New York Women’s Bar Association, 2010), the Louis J. Capozzoli Award (New York County Lawyers Association, Committee on the Supreme Court, 2012) and the Harlan Fiske Stone Memorial Award (New York State Trial Lawyers’ Association, 2013).


Administrative Judge Sherry Heitler

Information about Justice Heitler
is also available on the Judicial Directory.