Justices of the Court


Associate Justice David Friedman
1999 - Present

Mishpacha Jewish Family Weekly called Justice David Friedman “the highest ranking Orthodox Jewish judge in the state” and how fitting a title. Associate Justice Friedman is more than just highly esteemed, though. He is dedicated, steadfast, and a collected justice in the face of chaos. Friedman had this to say about the Appellate Division First Department- “It’s… a very passionate place in which judges come to believe very strongly in their respective legal positions in cases.”  Friedman truly embodies the impassioned spirit he described.

Justice Friedman graduated from Brooklyn College in 1971 with a degree in mathematics after being awarded a New York State Regents scholarship. Friedman graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors and a highly coveted spot on the Dean’s list from 1968-1971. Following, Justice Friedman went on to graduate from NYU Law School Cum Laude, while having been the associate editor for the NYU Law Review.

Justice Friedman began his career in the legal system in April 1974, when he became a student clerk for the New York State attorney general’s office in the Bureau of Securities. From this point on, Friedman took the legal stage by storm. He moved up from being a student clerk to become a law assistant in the second division of the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division and then became a law secretary for both Appellate Division Justice Henry Martuscello and Supreme Court Justice Nicholas A. Clemente.

Kings County became Friedman’s home for the next few of years, when he became Judge of the Civil Court there in 1990. In 1994, he moved on to become Acting Justice of the Supreme Court in Kings County, where he presided over a criminal part of the Supreme Court and later medical malpractices. However, David Friedman was ready to move on to a bigger role, where is knowledge of law would be even more meaningful.  In March 1999, George E. Pataki appointed Friedman to his new role: Associate Justice of the Appellate Division First Department.  Justice Friedman has thrived there ever since.

Justice Friedman is known for doing his job by order of the law of nothing else but the law. He had this to say in response to his critics- “We can’t respond to newspaper headlines. Can you imagine a neurosurgeon having someone behind him saying: ‘Cut more to the right. No, cut to the left.’” Friedman passionately believes that all cases must be decided strictly by the law and his ability to produce non-biased and fair opinions is admirable and greatly respected.

SOURCES

Haberman, Clyde. “NYC; Under Fire Judge Decides to Fire Back”, The New York Times, 1996.

Kobre, Eytan. “Court Jews in the Big Apple”, Mishpacha Jewish Family Weekly, July 13, 2011.

*This biography was written by Jordan Goldberg in July of 2019. At the time of writing, Jordan was a rising senior at the High School of American Studies at Lehman College in the Bronx, NY.


Kobre, Eytan. “Court Jews in the Big Apple”, Mishpacha Jewish Family Weekly, July 13, 2011.

Ibid.

Haberman, Clyde. “NYC, Under Fire Judge Decides to Fire Back”, The New York Times, February 27, 1996, p. B1.