Featured Spotlight: Hon. Robert E. Torres


Judge Robert Torres started his legal career as a paralegal working for a small personal injury law firm in Washington Heights in late 1974. After clerking for several years, he was admitted to the bar in 1978. After a few years in private practice, he went to work for the New York City Department of Transportation. In 1984, he entered the court system, in the Bronx, as a principal law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Elbert C. Hickson. In 1995, he was appointed an interim Civil Court Judge and was assigned to Bronx Criminal Court. Seven months later, he was appointed a Criminal Court Judge and was then elected to the Civil Court. He remained in Bronx Criminal Court until 1999 when he volunteered for an assignment to Family Court. There he managed one of the highest inventories of abuse and neglect cases in the city. A year later he returned to Criminal Court where he instituted a system which greatly increased the trials conducted, thereby reducing the overall back log of cases.

In 2004, he presided over the first court specifically designed to resolve misdemeanor cases immediately after arraignment. Shortly thereafter, now as a Justice of the Supreme Court, he was assigned to a trial part. In the trial part, he proved to be one of the most productive judges in the Bronx. His record on appeal was outstanding including being affirmed by the Court of Appeals three times. In 2009, he was appointed to the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission. In 2010, he was assigned to the Civil Term where once again he was given some of the most complex cases to resolve. He was appointed to the Appellate Term, First Department, that same year.

In January 2013, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman appointed Judge Torres as Deputy Administrative Judge of both the Civil and Criminal Terms in the Bronx. With the appointment, he was assigned to a team to address a historic backlog of felony cases. By the end of the year, he was elevated to Administrative Judge for the Criminal Term. At that time, the Criminal Term, Bronx County, was considered the most difficult assignment in the state. Under his leadership, the court became one of the most efficient and productive courts and many of his programs were successfully repeated in other courts. Upon reaching the age of 70, he stepped down as Administrative Judge and returned to his roots in the Civil Term.

In addition to his regular judicial duties, over the years Judge Torres has been involved with various professional and community groups and has been a panelist at the Judicial Institute and a guest lecturer at several colleges. His most recent endeavor is as a member of the board for the South Bronx Classical Charter School. His free time is spent as full-time grandpa and a Tai Chi/Qigong instructor.

Judge Robert E. Torres retired at the end of 2020.


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