Justice Helen E. Freedman was elected to the New York State Supreme Court in 1988, having served as an acting Supreme Court Justice since 1984, and as a Civil Court Judge since 1979. She served on the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court from 1995-99. Prior to her appointment to the Appellate Division First Department by Governor David Paterson in July 2008, she was in the Commercial Division of the New York County Supreme Court, and had been designated Presiding Judge of the Litigation Coordinating Panel for multi-district litigation in New York State. She also managed many Mass Tort cases on a state wide basis.
Justice Freedman currently serves on the Pattern Jury Instructions Committee of the Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and is a member of the New York State and Federal Judicial Council. Justice Freedman was formerly President of the New York State Association of Women Judges and of Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert and Co-Chair of the Mass Tort Litigation Committee.
Justice Freedman received the Louis J. Capozzoli Gavel Award in 2005 from the New York County Lawyers Association. She also received Civil Court Distinguished Service Award for Accomplishments Enhancing the Status of Women in the Judiciary in 2004 from the New York County Lawyers Association. Justice Freedman received an Award for Judicial Excellence from the State Trial Judges Conference of the American Bar Association in 1998, a Smith College Medal for “Judicial Independence” in 2000, and a “Westy Award” in 2003.
Justice Freedman was an adjunct Professor of Law at New York Law School and has lectured extensively at Judicial Seminars, CLE Programs, national conferences, and law schools on trial and appellate practice, mass torts, ADR, commercial practice and medical-legal issues. She is the author of New York Objections, a book on trial practice and the making of objections, and of Law Review and other articles on mass torts, medical malpractice, ADR, and small claims. She is a graduate of Smith College (1963) and of the New York University School of Law (1967).