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Biography of Justice Elizabeth Hazlitt Emerson


Justice EmersonJUSTICE ELIZABETH HAZLITT EMERSON graduated magna cum laude from Boston College and magna cum laude from Syracuse University College of Law. She has served as a Supreme Court Judge since 1996.

After spending several years in a general civil part, Justice Emerson was asked to help establish a commercial division in Suffolk County. Consequently, the Suffolk County Commercial Division was established in October 2002. At that time Justice Emerson became the first Commercial Division Justice in Suffolk County and has served in that capacity ever since.

Before coming to the Bench, Justice Emerson was a partner of Shearman & Sterling. Her practice included the representation of domestic and foreign commercial banks, investment banks, and corporations in the structuring, negotiating, and documentation of complex financing transactions. A representative sample of these transactions included acquisition financings, leveraged buyouts, restructurings, project finance, and public offerings.

Justice Emerson began her practice as an associate at White & Case, where, in addition to handling the types of transactions referred to above, she represented corporate clients in a variety of securities litigation, general commercial litigation, bankruptcy, and other complex proceedings.

She is a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and the New York State Bar Commercial and Federal Litigation Section. Justice Emerson is a founding member and co-chair of the Suffolk County Bar Association Commercial Division Committee.

She recently served as a member of the Chief Judge’s Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21St Century. Justice Emerson currently serves as a member of OCA Second Special Commission on Fiduciary Appointments and chaired by Hon. Michael V. Coccoma. Justice Emerson also designed and implemented Project Assist, a program originally located at the John P. Cohalan, Jr., Courthouse in Central Islip, New York, that connects members of the public with programs providing services supporting basic needs.

Since 2004, she has authored Chapter 84, Secured Transactions, in the highly regarded Commercial Litigation in the New York State Courts.

Justice Emerson has served for many years as an adjunct professor at The State University at Stony Brook in the Masters in Business Administration program. She has also taught courses and presented lectures at other universities and law schools within the New York City metropolitan area such as Fordham University School of Law, St. John’s University School of Law, and Dowling College.