Justices of the Court

Paul G. Feinman
Associate Justice 2012 - 2017
Born January 26, 1960 -

In June 2017, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo nominated Justice Paul G. Feinman to serve as an Associate Justice on the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, making Justice Feinman the first openly gay person to serve on that court.

Upon Justice Feinman’s confirmation, Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan and the only openly gay member of the chamber said, “The fact that we are promoting someone who is the first openly gay LGBT person in the 170-year history of the Court of Appeals is a historic event we have to make note of.”

The vacancy on the Court of Appeals bench was created by the death of the Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam.

Justice Feinman received his J.D. degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1985 and his A.B. in French Literature and Language from Columbia College, Columbia University in 1981. He also studied at the Université de Paris VII (Jussieu), the Université de Paris II (Assas) and the Université de Lyon III in conjunction with his undergraduate and law school studies.
Paul G. Feinman was first elected to the Civil Court of the City of New York from the 1st Municipal Court District (lower Manhattan) in November 1996 and was re-elected in November 2006. He sat in both the Criminal Court and the Civil Court in New York County prior to his January 2004 designation by then-Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman to serve as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Civil Term in New York County. He was elected a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York from the 1st Judicial District in November 2007. In October 2012, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo appointed Justice Feinman an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department.

Immediately before taking the bench, Justice Feinman served as Principal Court Attorney to the Hon. Angela M. Mazzarelli for seven and one-half years both at the Appellate Division, First Department and in trial courts. Prior to joining the court system, Justice Feinman was a Staff Attorney for The Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in New York County. He began his legal career as a Staff Attorney for the Appeals Bureau of the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, Long Island.


American Judges Association
• Formerly New York representative to Board of Governors
Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York
• President, 2015
Board of Justices, First Judicial District
• Treasurer, 2010-13
Citywide Association of Supreme Court Justices
• 2nd Vice President, 2015-2016
International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges
• Past President, 2008-11
New York State and City Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges


American Bar Association
American Constitution Society
Jewish Lawyers’ Guild
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association of Greater New York ["LeGaL"]
• Past President, 1996
National LGBT Bar Association
New York City Bar Association
New York County Lawyers’ Association
New York State Bar Association
• Judicial Section, Presiding Member, 2012-13
Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, New York County Chapter