Born in New York City, Justice Barbara R. Kapnick received her bachelor's degree cum laude from Barnard College and her juris doctor from Boston University School of Law.
Between 1980 and 1991, Justice Kapnick worked as a Law Clerk to both the Hon. Ethel B. Danzig and the Hon. Michael J. Dontzin in Supreme Court, New York County.
Justice Kapnick was elected to the Civil Court in 1991, appointed an Acting Supreme Court Justice in April 1994, and was elected to the Supreme Court, New York County in 2001. She was assigned to the Commercial Division in 2008, where she handled many high profile cases, and was appointed to the Appellate Division, First Department by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in January 2014. She has been a member of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics since 2008 and also served as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the New York County Public Access Law Library from 2008 to 2014. She is an active member of the New York State Bar Association: Judicial, and Commercial and Federal Litigation Sections, and the New York City Bar Association, where she has served on numerous committees.
Justice Kapnick is a Master of the New York American Inn of Court and past president of the Jewish Lawyers Guild, where she remains active as a member of the Board of Governors. She is a longstanding member of the New York Women’s Bar Association, where she served as Co-Chair of the Litigation Committee.
She sat on the Board of Directors of the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert for over a decade, and continues to sit on the Board of the New York State Association of Women Judges. She is also active in the Supreme Court Justices Associations in New York, having served as President of the Citywide Association from 2013-2014, and is a member of the Executive Committee of the Statewide Association.
A frequent lecturer for many Bar Associations, Justice Kapnick has also received numerous awards, including the Benjamin N. Cardozo Award from the Jewish Lawyers Guild, the Harlan Fiske Stone Memorial Award from the New York City Trial Lawyers Association, the Women’s History Month Flor de Maga Award from the Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Distinguished Jurist Award from the Defense Association of New York.