With the generous support of Gloria and Barry Garfinkel, the Society has offered annually since 2008 The David A. Garfinkel Essay Contest established in memory of the Garfinkel's son David. This contest targets students from community colleges across New York State, offering them the opportunity to submit essays on topics of New York legal history. The competition seeks to draw students with a wide range of interests in law, history, social science and general research writing. The grand prize is $1,500, and the CUNY & SUNY Community College Prizes are $1,000 each. The winners of the competition are honored on Law Day each year held in the magnificent courtroom of the New York Court of Appeals. Their families and professors are invited for a memorable day at the courthouse for the awards ceremony followed by a luncheon where they are graciously and warmly greeted by the Court of Appeals Judges.




2014 › "Who Watches the Watchers? Free Speech and Free Press in the Electronic Age"


2014 Garfinkel Essay Contest

Watch the 2014 Law Day Ceremony Recognizing the Winners Here!

GRAND PRIZE: Zachary Field, Onondaga Community College: Prof. David Deacon / ESSAY [PDF]

CUNY PRIZE:Lida Ramos Arce, Queensborough Community College: Prof. Leslie Francis / ESSAY [PDF]

SUNY PRIZE: Rhonda Parker, Genesee Community College: Prof. Charles Scruggs / ESSAY [PDF]

HONORABLE MENTION: Claire Albrecht (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Leslie Francis),Wei Bin Bai (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Christine Mooney), Maisey Loucks (SUNY Adirondack, Dr. John Arpey), Eileen McDonagh (Nassau Community College, Prof. Ann Harrison), Ryan Polito (Onondaga Community College, Prof. Rich Jarrett), Amanda Seepersaud (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Christine Mooney), Erwin Soria (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Christne Mooney), Daniela Teshima Valenzuela (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Stephen Hammel), Rebecca Woodruff (Genesee Community College, Prof. Charles Scruggs), Mirkala Zuna (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Christine Mooney

2014 Garfinkel Winners, Faculty and Court Staff

New York State Court of Appeals

Left to Right
Frances Murray (Court of Appeals)
Michael Benowitz (Assistant Director)
Marilyn Marcus (Executive Director)
Prof. David Deacon (Onondaga CC)
Zachary Field (Grand Prize Winner)
Dr. Jonas Falik (Queensborough CC)
Hon. Jenny Rivera (Court of Appeals)
Lida Ramos Arce (CUNY Prize Winner)
Rhonda Parker (SUNY Prize Winner)
Prof. Leslie Francis (Queensborough CC)
Prof. Karen Wicka (Genesee CC)
Judge Jenny Rivera with the 2014 Contest Winners

Winners of the 2014 David A. Garfinkel Contest with Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals Jenny Rivera

L to R: Zachary Field, Judge Rivera, Lida Ramos Arce & Rhonda Parker


page toppage top




2013 › "Cyberspace and the Law: What are Our Rights and Responsibilities?"


Garfinkel Essay Contest / 2013

GRAND PRIZE: Josh Pawlikowski, Mohawk Valley Community College: Professor David Katz / ESSAY [PDF]

CUNY PRIZE: Ruby SIngh, Queensborough Community College: Professor Christine Mooney / ESSAY [PDF]

SUNY PRIZE: Zachary Field, Onondaga Community College: Professor Mary Bogin & Instructor David Hines / ESSAY [PDF]

HONORABLE MENTION: Husni Abdelqader (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Adam Luedtke), Benjamin Berry (Genesee Community College, Prof. Charles Scruggs), Kristi Diaz (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Christine Mooney), Gina DiGiovanni (Westchester Community College, Prof. David Wedlick), Jeinson Espinosa (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Stephen Hammel), Robert Johnson (Monroe Community College, Prof. Elizabeth Clifford), Beatrice LaViscount (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Christine Mooney), Daniel Vincent Marrano (Adirondack Community College, Prof. John W. Arpey), Christian Meyers (Borough of Manhattan Community College, Prof. Andrew Gottlieb), Farah Naz (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Stephen Hammel), Diane Notar (Erie Community College, Instr. Aaron Thomas), Sara Sahibzada (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Christine Mooney), Nicholas Van Nostrand (Fulton-Montgomery Community College, Prof. Stephen Astmann & Instr. Theodore Marotta)

2013 Garfinkel Winners, Faculty and Court Staff

New York State Court of Appeals

Seated (L to R): Hon. Fern Fisher (Deputy Chief Admin. Judge), Ruby Singh (CUNY Prize Winner)

Standing (L to R): Prof. David Katz, III (Mohawk Valley CC), Michael Benowitz (Assistant Director), David Hines (Onondaga CC), Zachary Field (SUNY Prize Winner), Marilyn Marcus (Executive Director), Frances Murray (Court of Appeals Chief Reference Attorney), Dr. Jonas Falik (Queensborough CC), Josh Pawlikowski (Grand Prize Winner), Prof. John Luby (Queensborough CC)
2013 Grand Prize Winner Josh Pawlikowski Receiving his Prize at Law Day

The 2013 Grand Prize Winner Josh Pawlikowski receiving his prize at the Court of Appeals. (Seated are Chief Admin. Judge A. Gail Prudenti and First Deputy Chief Admin. Judge Lawrence K. Marks)


page toppage top




2012 › "The Blue and the Gray: New York during The Civil War"


Garfinkel Essay Contest / 2012



1ST PRIZE: Rodney Schuyler, Fulton-Montgomery Community College Mentor: Professor Theodore Marotta / ESSAY [PDF]

2ND PRIZE: Mary E. Erckert, Erie Community College Mentor: Professor Robert J. Caputi / ESSAY [PDF]

3RD PRIZE: Amanda Griffin, Genesee Community College Mentor: Professor Charles L. Scruggs / ESSAY [PDF]

HONORABLE MENTION: Jeremy Michael Fletcher (Onondaga Community College, Prof. Michele Ley), Cassandra L. Grice (Genesee Community College, Prof. Charles L. Scruggs), Megan Henry (Queensborough Community College, Prof. Christine Mooney), Rebekah Kimble (Schenectady County Community College, Prof. Evelyn Rybaltowski), Rachelle Lear (Onondaga Community College, Prof. David Hines), Jordan Valerino (Onondaga Community College, Prof. David Hines), Alexandra Woodruff (Jefferson Community College)



Garfinkel Winners in Richardson Courtroom

NY Court of Appeals Courtroom

L to R Bottom Row: Amanda Griffin (3rd Place
Genesee CC), Mary Erckert (2nd Place,Erie CC),
Rodney Schulyer (1st Place Fulton-Montgomery CC)

L to R Top Row: Michael Benowitz (Assistant Director),
Marilyn Marcus (Executive Director), Frances Murray
(Court of Appeals Chief Reference Attorney)
Law Day Luncheon

Historical Society luncheon for Court of Appeals staff
contest judges and contestants with their families and
professors. Greeted by Hon. Carmen Beachamp
Ciparick and Hon. Susan Phillips Read


page toppage top





2011 › "The Legal Legacy of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire"


Garfinkel Essay Contest / 2011



1ST PRIZE: Amelia Weimar, Onondaga Community College / ESSAY [PDF]

2ND PRIZE: Kevin Volk, Genesee Community College / ESSAY [PDF]

3RD PRIZE: James Gerber, Borough of Manhattan Community College / ESSAY [PDF]

HONORABLE MENTION: James Clark (Onondaga Community College), Phyllis Washburn (Genesee Community College), Alysha Barker (Fulton-Montgomery Community College), Lana Medina (Hudson Valley Community College), Tammi Douglas (Jefferson Community College), John Wilkinson (Queensborough Community College), Maykel Farronay (Borough of Manhattan Community College), Elisha Zarpentine (Genesee Community College), Terrhon Vaughn (Queensborough Community College)



page toppage top





2010 › "The Evolution of Justice Along the Erie Canal"


Garfinkel Essay Contest / 2010



1ST PRIZE: Leah Marie Reino, Genesee Community College / ESSAY [PDF]

2ND PRIZE: Kerri Pickard-DePriest

FINALISTS: Ese Peter Abohwo (Queensboro Community College), Kerri Pickard-DePriest (Onondaga Community College), Leah Marie Reino (Genesee Community College), Phyllis A. Washburn (Genesee Community College)

HONORABLE MENTION:, Christina Basdeo (Queensboro Community College), Kristen Casper (Genesee Community College), Shannon Kilner (North Country Community College), Genevieve Oliveira (Genesee Community College), John Sambucci (Queensboro Community College), Cheuk W. Shum (Queensboro Community College)



page toppage top





2009 › "The New Netherland Legal System and the Law of 21st Century New York"


Garfinkel Essay Contest / 2009



1ST PLACE: Dawar Jamal, Queensborough Community College / ESSAY [PDF]

2ND PLACE: Courtney Malewicz, Schenectady County Community College

HONORABLE MENTION: Tanea S. Bakare, Alexandra Dorga, Christina A. Edmunds, Carlos G. Marin, Kimberly Molina, Meela Neebar



page toppage top





2008 › "The Courts and Human Rights in New York: The Legacy of the Lemmon Slave Case"


Garfinkel Essay Contest / 2008



WINNER: Elijah Fagan-Solis, Hudson Valley Community College / ESSAY [PDF]

Jury Pool News Article: "Meet Elijah Fagan-Solis" [PDF]



page toppage top








The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York        140 Grand Street, Suite 701 White Plains, N.Y. 10601        914.824.5717