Justice Paul J. Yesawich Jr. was appointed a Justice of the Third Department effective January 5, 1981. During World War II, he served as a Naval officer in the Pacific. Justice Yesawich obtained his undergraduate and Master's degrees from Niagara University (1948 and 1950). He graduated from Cornell Law School in 1951. He began his legal career in private practice in New York City. From 1952 to 1953, he was assistant counsel to a subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives. He moved to Cortland in 1955 to become a partner in a law firm. From 1961 to 1970, he was a commissioner of the State Law Revision Commission. In 1970, he was appointed to the Supreme Court; the following year he was elected to that office and he was reelected in 1985. Justice Yesawich also served as a Justice of the First Department (1974 to 1981). He temporarily sat on the Court of Appeals during that Court's March 1992 term. After reaching the mandatory retirement age in 1993, he served on the Third Department as a certificated Justice. He retired in 1999.