Communications Office:
David Bookstaver, Director
Mai Yee, Assistant Director
(212) 428-2500

Date: March 23, 2004

Seal of the Unified Court System
Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Leaves to Help Establish Judicial Systems in Developing Countries

NEW YORK - Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman announced today that Hon. Joseph J. Traficanti, Jr., will leave his dual positions as Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Courts Outside New York City and Statewide Director of Drug Treatment Court Programs to pursue a career in international legal consulting. Judge Traficanti will assist developing countries in establishing and strengthening their judicial infrastructure and rule of law.

“Joseph Traficanti has embodied the spirit of public service during his over two-decade career with the New York State Unified Court System,” said Chief Judge Judith Kaye. “Among his many contributions, as New York’s first Statewide Director of Court Treatment Programs, Judge Traficanti was entrusted with the critical responsibility of providing centralized direction for the statewide roll-out of New York’s landmark court-mandated drug treatment initiative. He served admirably in this regard, overseeing the implementation of a new protocol in which all criminal cases would be screened for substance abuse, as well as the establishment of drug courts in jurisdictions across the state. I am immensely grateful for Judge Traficanti’s commitment and service on behalf of New York’s judiciary and have no doubt that his vast experience in court administration will be a great asset to other nations in the fledgling stages of democracy and in modernizing their judicial systems.”

Chief Administrative Judge Lippman stated, “For the past 13 years, Judge Traficanti has been a central figure in New York’s judiciary, as well as a trusted colleague. Sterling character, keen intellect and tireless enthusiasm have been his trademarks. For this he has been rewarded with more work and responsibility, which he has always cheerfully and generously taken on. In his various supervisory positions, Judge Traficanti has demonstrated exceptional leadership ability and can be credited with the establishment of numerous new programs and operational improvements throughout the state. Despite having a prodigious area of oversight encompassing 57 counties throughout New York, Judge Traficanti successfully fostered a true cohesiveness among court administrators, and his impact on the state’s judicial system will be long lasting. I have tremendous respect for Judge Traficanti and wish him only the best in his new career of public service.”

In 1991, Judge Traficanti was appointed the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for all state trial courts outside of New York City, a position that oversees court operations in 57 counties, staffed by over 3,000 judges and 6,000 court personnel. During his tenure, he spearheaded projects resulting in sharp reductions in criminal and civil caseload backlogs, as well as implementing alternative dispute resolution initiatives across the state. In addition, Judge Traficanti became the first Statewide Director of Drug Treatment Courts when that office was originally created four years ago to steer implementation of New York’s sweeping drug screening and court-mandated treatment initiative, serving in that capacity to the present. Judge Traficanti ascended to the bench in 1982 as Ulster County Surrogate and has served concurrently as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, Third Judicial Department, Acting County Court Judge and Acting Family Court Judge. Judge Traficanti began his legal career as Town Attorney of the Town of Rochester, as well as serving in the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office and conducting a private practice. He received his Juris Doctor Degree at New York Law School and a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Siena College.

Judge Traficanti has contracted to participate in two projects initially, the first a U.S. Agency for International Development program in Russia, where he will present on commercial courts, small claims, and arbitration and mediation, and the second a World Bank project, where Judge Traficanti will lead a team in Armenia to analyze court operations and recommend improvements, evaluate case processing procedures, create effective management systems, develop needs assessments and budget strategies as well as automation and technology improvements in the courts. He will leave his present positions with the New York State court system in May of this year.

Web page updated: August 16, 2006