Date: March 11, 2009
Hon. Ann Pfau
Chief Judge Lippman Announces Restructuring of Judicial Administrative Leadership in New York State Courts
NEW YORK – Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced that he is restructuring the judicial leadership structure of the New York State court system to provide for a more streamlined administration focused on the operational needs of the trial courts.
Chief Judge Lippman reappointed Hon. Ann Pfau as the Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Courts, a position she has held since May 2007. He also appointed Hon. Fern Fisher as the new Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the Courts in New York City.
Under the new organizational structure, the number of Deputy Chief Administrative Judges is being reduced from five to two; one each for the courts in New York City and for the courts outside of New York City. Each Deputy Chief Administrative Judge will oversee the day-to-day management of the trial courts. In announcing the reduction in the number of Deputies, Judge Lippman stated, “It is vitally important to me, and to Judge Pfau, that we have an administrative structure in place that is focused on the judges in the trial courts and works well for the Administrative Judges of our districts and courts. At a time when judges are facing growing caseloads with limited resources, we need to support the operational needs of the trial courts. Streamlining our organizational structure will help us achieve these goals.”
Judge Fern Fisher will succeed Judge Joan B. Carey as the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the Courts in New York City. Judge Carey, who held that position since 1996 and was also serving as the interim Administrative Judge for the Civil Branch of the New York County Supreme Court, will remain as the Administrative Judge of that court until the end of the year, when she must retire. Judge Fisher has served as the Administrative Judge of the New York City Civil Court since 1997, overseeing both the Housing Court and the Civil Court in all five boroughs. In addition to her new management responsibilities, she will lead the judiciary’s statewide Access to Justice Program. Judge Lippman said, “I want to thank Judge Carey for her many years of outstanding service as the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the Courts in New York City. Throughout more than a decade of constant challenges and change, she was a beacon of strength for the City’s courts, including after the 9/11 attacks. I am so grateful that she is willing to continue serving as the Administrative Judge at 60 Centre Street.” In regard to Judge Fisher, Judge Lippman said, “I am very pleased to welcome Judge Fisher to her new role. She has long been one of our most outstanding judges and administrators. She has the experience and leadership qualities necessary to manage the New York City courts and oversee our critically important statewide access to justice efforts. I am grateful for her willingness to take on these responsibilities.”
Chief Judge Lippman also announced the appointment of Hon. Juanita Bing Newton as the Dean of the New York State Judicial Institute, the court system’s center for judicial training, research and innovation. Judge Newton assumes her new position after serving as the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives and the Administrative Judge of the New York City Criminal Court. She succeeds Robert G.M. Keating, who last November joined Pace University as Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. As Dean of the Judicial Institute, Judge Newton will oversee the education and training of all New York State judges, including town and village justices, as well as nonjudicial staff. In addition, the Judicial Institute will oversee the education, training and mentoring of matrimonial judges statewide, a function previously performed by the Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Matrimonial Matters. Judge Lippman stated, “Judge Newton’s long and varied experience as a sitting judge and judicial administrator, together with her commitment to excellence and innovation, have prepared her to head the Judicial Institute and lead our statewide professional education and development efforts.”
A new Office of Policy and Planning headed by Judge Judy Harris Kluger will work with judges throughout the state to study and develop strategies to improve the delivery of justice in New York, as well as continue to provide training and support for Problem- Solving Courts. The day-to-day operation of these courts will now be under the direct supervision of the Administrative Judges in each district. Judge Lippman stated, “Judge Kluger has extensive experience in developing policies to meet the changing needs of New Yorkers. It is clear to me from her demonstrated success in working with judges and other justice system participants to improve the judicial process that she is exactly the right person to take on these new responsibilities as Chief of Policy and Planning for the State Courts.”
The new appointments, which were made in consultation with the Presiding Justices of the Appellate Division, take effect immediately.