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

Date: December 14, 1998

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Hon. Luis Gonzalez to Succeed Hon. Burton Roberts as Administrative Judge of the Bronx Supreme Court
BRONX - Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman today announced the appointment of Supreme Court Justice Luis A. Gonzalez as Administrative Judge of the State Supreme Court in the Bronx, to replace Justice Burton B. Roberts who is retiring at the end of the year. The appointment was made with the approval of Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and after consultation with Presiding Justice Alfred Lerner of the Appellate Division, First Department.

In conjunction with this announcement, Judge Lippman today also named Hon. John P. Collins as Supervising Judge of the Supreme Court, Criminal Division, in the Bronx.

"Judge Gonzalez is an outstanding and highly qualified candidate to take on the critical tasks of Administrative Judge," said Judge Lippman. "His excellent reputation for fairness and his strong work ethic recommend him for this added responsibility and recognition. Judge Gonzalez is a native of the Bronx who possesses an intimate knowledge of the Bronx justice system, having served in that borough on the Civil Court, the Supreme Court and the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court for the last 14 years. I look forward to working with him in the years ahead, and I am confident that the relationship will be a productive one."

Judge Lippman added, "I am also pleased to appoint Judge Collins to the position of Supervising Judge for the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court. Under the direction of Judge Gonzalez, Judge Collins will supervise the daily operations of the Criminal Term in Bronx County. I have no doubt that this new partnership will be a source of new ideas and energy for the court community in the Bronx."

Judge Gonzalez has been on the Supreme Court bench in the Bronx since 1992, and presently is an Associate Justice for the Appellate Term of the First Department, hearing appeals from the lower civil and criminal courts. Judge Gonzalez was elected to the Civil Court in the Bronx in 1987, having served as a Housing Court Judge for the prior two years. After receiving his law degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1975, he entered private practice and later served as the legal counsel to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, becoming a hearing officer for the State Division of Housing and Community Renewal in 1981. Judge Gonzalez teaches civil practice part-time at Lehman College and is a long-time resident of the Bronx.

Judge Collins was appointed to the New York City Criminal Court in 1978 and was a judge on that court until he became an Acting Supreme Court Judge in 1982. Since then, he has been serving in the Criminal Division of the Bronx Supreme Court. Before ascending to the bench, he was an Assistant District Attorney and later became Bureau Chief in the District Attorney's Office in Manhattan. Judge Collins graduated from Fordham University and New York University Law School. He lives in the Bronx with his wife.

Judge Roberts, who retires at the mandatory age of 76 after a judicial career that spanned over a quarter of a century, was praised for his dedication and long service to the court system. Judge Lippman said, "Judge Roberts has had a monumental impact on the Bronx courts and the entire Unified Court System. We are greatly in his debt for his legendary work ethic, unmatched knowledge of the justice system and his total dedication to those who serve the courts. He set the standard for court administration in the Bronx, and his illustrious career leaves an outstanding legacy for his successors. I wish him the very best in all his future endeavors and have no doubt that even in retirement Judge Roberts will continue to be a formidable voice in the legal community."

The appointments of both Judges Gonzalez and Collins are effective January 1, 1999.

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