Supreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division Second Judicial DepartmentSupreme Court of the State of New York Appellate Division Second Judicial Department
Calendars Decisions

Justices of the Court

Associate Justice Joseph A. Zayas

Judicial Offices

Associate Justice, New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, Appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, May 2021

Administrative Judge for Criminal Matters, Eleventh Judicial District, 2013 to 2021

Justice, Supreme Court, Elected November 2016, Term: 2017 to 2030

Judge, Court of Claims, Appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, 2012 to 2016

Acting Justice, Supreme Court, Queens County, 2010 to 2016

Judge, Criminal Court of the City of New York, Queens County, Appointed by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, 2003 to 2009; Re-appointed by Mayor Bloomberg, 2010 to 2012

Other Professional Experience

Principal Court Attorney for Supreme Court Justice Rolando T. Acosta (NYC Civil Court, Harlem Community Justice Center, Supreme Court), 1998 to 2003

Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society, Capital Defense Unit, 1996 to 1997

Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society, Criminal Appeals Bureau, 1993 to 1996

Senior Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division, 1991 to 1993

Staff Attorney, Legal Aid Society, Criminal Appeals Bureau, 1988 to 1991

Admission to the Bar

NYS, Appellate Division, Second Department, 1989

Education

J.D., Columbia University School of Law, 1988

B.A., Fordham University, College at Lincoln Center, 1985

Publications & Leading Cases

People v George Bell, Rohan Bolt and Gary Johnson, 71 Misc3d 646 (Sup Ct Queens County 2021) (see also Bennett L. Gershman, “Mindboggling” Misconduct by Queens Prosecutors, NYLJ, March 16, 2021 – Commentary);

People v Paul Morant and Santiago Valdez, 70 Misc3d 854 (Sup Ct Queens County 2020);

People v Jermaine Dunbar, 70 Misc3d 734 (Sup Ct Queens County 2020);

People v Derrick Jackson, 69 Misc3d 1054 (Sup Ct Queens County 2020);

People v Samuel Brownridge, 68 Misc3d 583 (Sup Ct Queens County 2020) (see also Jason Grant, As Queens Man is Exonerated After “Monumental” Miscarriage of Justice, Judge and DA Urge Reforms, NYLJ, June 24, 2020 – front page article);

People v Matthew Lustig, 68 Misc. 3d 234 (Sup Ct Queens County 2020);

People ex rel. Diana Nevins on Behalf of William Badillo v Cynthia Brann, 67 Misc3d 638 (Sup Ct Queens County 2020);
People v Shameeka Todd, 67 Misc3d 566 (Sup Ct Queens County 2020);

People v Nichael Allen, 63 Misc3d 969 (Sup Ct Queens County 2019) (see also Michael J. Hutter, Excited Utterances and the Quest for Reliability, Redux, NYLJ, p. 3, February 6, 2020 [discussing the Allen decision]);

People v Jane Doe, 62 Misc3d 574 (Sup Ct Queens County 2018) (see also Andrew Denney, Queens Judge to Lawmakers: “Raise the Age” Sealing Law Needs More Work, NYLJ, December 14, 2018 – front page article; Dan M. Clark, Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Expand Protections in “Raise the Age” Law, NYLJ, January 31, 2019);

People v John Doe, 61 Misc3d 996 (Sup Ct Queens County 2018) (see also Andrew Denney, Queens Judge to Lawmakers: “Raise the Age” Sealing Law Needs More Work, NYLJ, December 14, 2018 – front page article);

People v Karla Barba, 60 Misc3d 1074 (Sup Ct Queens County 2018);

People v Hakem Baldea, 53 Misc3d 778 (Sup Ct Queens County 2016);

People v Joseph Mulero, 47Misc3d 274 (Sup Ct Queens Co 2014);

People v Stephanie Malone, 46 Misc3d 918 (Sup Ct Queens Co 2014) (see also Joel Stashenko, Judge Rejects Defendant's Claim of Unfair Prosecution, NYLJ, p. 2, December 8, 2014);

People v Robert C., 46 Misc3d 382 (Sup Ct Queens Co 2014) (see also Ben Bedell, Judge Shifts Juvenile's Robbery Case From Adult to Family Court, NYLJ, October 8, 2014-front page article)

People v Robert Jones, 45 Misc3d 1201(A) (Sup Ct Queens Co 2014);

People v Robert Jones, 43 Misc3d 794 (Sup Ct Queens Co 2014);

People v Shaun Mullally, 38 Misc3d 1002 (Sup Ct Queens Co 2013) (see also Andrew Keshner, Unoccupied “Dwelling” Supports Trespass Conviction, Court Finds, NYLJ, January 8, 2013 – front page article);

People v Zheng Qian, 35 Misc3d 647 (Sup Ct Queens Co 2012);

People v Chet Turnquest, 35 Misc3d 329 (Sup Ct Queens Co 2012) (see also Laura Haring, Recanting Witness “Unavailable” to Prosecution Court Concludes, NYLJ, February 3, 2012 – front page article);

People v MB, 32 Misc3d 201 (Crim Ct Queens Co 2011) (see also Andrew Keshner, Mother's Conviction Vacated After Son Recants Testimony of Sex Abuse, NYLJ, May 4, 2011 – front page article);

People v Constantine Cristache, 29 Misc3d 720 (Crim Ct Queens Co 2010) (see also Noeleen G. Walder, Judge Finds Broader Deportation Warning Appropriate, NYLJ, September 21, 2010);

People v Hillary Best, 19 Misc3d 561 (Crim Ct Queens Co 2008) (see also Mark Fass, Defendant "Forfeited" Counsel Right, NYLJ, March 6, 2008 – front page article);

People v Ricardo C. James, 17 Misc3d 623 (Crim Ct Queens Co 2007);

People v Kenneth Becker, 9 Misc3d 720 (Crim Ct Queens Co 2005) (see also Mark Fass, Hearing to Weigh if Legal Advice led to Harmful Plea, NYLJ, August 9, 2005 – front page article);

People v Hakim Whiting, 5 Misc3d 802 (Crim Ct Queens Co. 2004);

People v Robert E. Leonard, 4 Misc3d 814 (Crim Ct Queens Co. 2004);

People v Shuying Carrabotta, 2 Misc3d 685 (Crim Ct Queens Co 2003);

People v Zachary Cobb, 2 Misc3d 237 (Crim Ct Queens Co 2003).

Lectures/Presentations/Teaching Programs

The Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission’s “Jury Summit Program,” on the CLE-eligible topic of Batson Challenges (June 2021);

The New York Criminal Bar Association CLE Program at the US District Courthouse in Manhattan, An Update on Sealing, Expungement, Certificates of Relief, Reentry Services, and the Laws Protecting Those with Dismissed and Pending Cases and Criminal Convictions, on the recently enacted Sealing Statute (CPL 160.59) (February 2020);

Governor Cuomo’s Statewide Education Campaign on the “Red Flag Law” (the Emergency Risk Protection Order Statute, CPLR 6341), Keeping New York’s Schools Safe, at the Educational Alliance in NYC (October 2019);

The Brennan Center for Justice forum on the topic of Building a Diverse Bench, at New York University School of Law (October 2019);

The Puerto Rican Bar Association’s (PRBA’s) Trial Advocacy CLE Seminar, Civil and Criminal Motion Practice, on the topic of Motion Practice in Criminal Litigation (PowerPoint Presentation), at Brooklyn Law School (August 2019);

The New York State Judicial Institute’s Seminar for New Administrative Judges, on the topic of Managing the Administrative Workload and Using Technology Effectively (March 2019);

The Academy for Justice Informed Practices on the topic of Cross Systems Collaboration: Supporting Mandated Clients In Mental Health Treatment Courts (November 2018);

The PRBA’s Trial Advocacy CLE Seminar at Brooklyn Law School, The Nuts and Bolts of Trying a Case, on the topics of Jury Selection in Criminal Cases: The Basics (PowerPoint Presentation), The Trial Judge Conference, and A View from the Bench (November 2018);

The CLE program, Criminal Discovery Reform in New York: a Debate, at the NYC Bar Association (October 2018);

The Keynote Address on the topic of Judicial Diversity at the Long Island Hispanic Bar Association Annual Gala Dinner in Commemoration of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 2018) (see also Joseph A. Zayas, Lack of Latino Representation on the Bench, NYLJ, October 3, 2018, “Perspective” Column, p. 6) (adapted for written publication);

The Clergy Roundtable Program (Sponsored by OCA’s Office of Justice Initiatives), Connecting the Courts and the Community, on the topic of Introduction to the Legal System (May 2018);

The Clinical Seminars at Columbia University School of Law, entitled, “Challenging the Consequences of Mass Incarceration,” on the topic of Bail Reform (April 2018, November 2017);

The 2018 Winter Educational Broadcasts (Live and Video-Taped PowerPoint Presentation) at the Judicial Institute on the topic of Addressing Identification Issues In Criminal Cases (February 2018);

The New Judges Seminar at the Judicial Institute on the topic of The Black Robe: Your Life in (and Out of) the Courtroom (January 2018 and 2017);

The PRBA’s Trial Advocacy CLE Seminar at Brooklyn Law School, The Nuts and Bolts of Trying a Case, on the topic of Jury Selection In Criminal Cases: The Basics (PowerPoint Presentation) (July 2017);

The New Judges Seminar at the Judicial Institute on the topic of Controlling Your Courtroom Calendar and Your Motion Calendar: Principles of Case Management (June 2016);

The Practicing Law Institute conference on the topic of Mental Health Issues & the New York State Courts 2016: Coercion, Treatment & Procedural Justice (June 2016);

The Raise the Age: Protecting Our Youth session at the MetroLALSA Annual Conference, Fordham Law School (March 2016);

The Court-Involved Youth Roundtable discussion, sponsored by the Osborne Association and the New York City Employment and Training Coalition (December 2015);

The DWI Seminar at CUNY Law School for State Judges assigned to the specialized DWI courts (September 2015);

The CLE Session, sponsored by the Puerto Rican Bar Association, at the Civil Court of the City of New York in Queens County on the topic of Paths to the Judiciary (July 2015);

The Criminal Law Update at the Queens County Bar Association on the topic of Youthful Offender Adjudications and Practicing Before the Youth Court in Queens County (PowerPoint Presentation (March 2015);

The New Judges Seminar at the Judicial Institute on the topic of Controlling Your Calendar and Courtroom (January 2015, January 2014);

The 2014 Fall Educational Broadcasts (Live and Video-Taped PowerPoint Presentation) at the Judicial Institute on the topic of The Missing Witness Charge (Criminal Matters) (November 2014);

The New Judges Seminar at the Judicial Institute on the topic of Wade/Huntley/Dunaway Hearings (July 2014);

The Academy for Justice Informed Practices on the topic of The Use of Risk and Need Assessment Information for Adjudicating Offenders with Mental Illness: Opportunities and Challenges (June 2014);

The Academy for Justice Informed Practices on the topic of Best Practices in Working with People with Mental Illness in Criminal Proceedings (April 2014);

A Training of Criminal Court Judges in New York City addressing Mental Health Topics (March 2013);

The Vance Center’s Latin American Judicial Exchange Program, on the topic of Pretrial Services in State Courts to a group of Latin American judges and practitioners (February 2013);

The Criminal Court Judges Association’s Annual Seminar, on the topic of Drug Treatment Courts and the Recent Revision of the Drug Sentencing Laws in New York (June 2009);

A City Hall Forum (sponsored by the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission on Minorities) entitled, How to Become a Criminal or Family Court Judge in New York City (April 2008).

Professional & Civic Activities

Council of State Governments Justice Center, Board Member (2016 to Present).

Committee on Publications of the Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, which edits and publishes the Bench Book for Trial Judges – New York (2021 Edition), Member (2020 to Present).

NYC Mayor’s Justice Implementation Task Force, Member (2017-2020).

OCA’s Raise the Age Implementation Committee, Member (2017-2019).

New York State Permanent Commission on Sentencing, Member (2016 to 2018).

Office of Court Administration’s Working Group on Domestic Violence and Integrated Domestic Violence Courts, Member (2016-2017).

Judicial Institute’s Advisory Committee on Criminal Law, Member (2015).

Commission on the Future of Criminal Indigent Defense Services, Member (2004-2007).

Queens County Bar Association, Member (2003-2009, 2013 to Present).

Queens Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc., Board Member (2013 to 2021).

Latino Judges Association, Member, Secretary and Board Member (2003 to Present).

Puerto Rican Bar Association, Member (1998 to Present).

Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County, Member and Advisory Board Member (1999 to Present).

Cervantes Society, Member (2001 to Present)

Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of NYS, NYC and Queens Co., Member (2017 to Present).

Association of Judges of the Court of Claims, Member (2012 to 2016).

Association of Judges of the Criminal Court of the City of New York, Member and Queens Representative (2003 to June 2012).

Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Member (1991-2010)