Judiciary Achievements & Appointments 


Honorable Fernando Camacho

Suffolk County Acting Supreme Court Justice Fernando M. Camacho has been appointed to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore for a term ending March 31, 2024.

Justice Camacho is a graduate of Columbia College and Fordham University School of Law. He previously served as judge of the New York City Criminal Court from 1997 to 2008 and as Administrative Judge for Criminal Matters, 11th Judicial District from 2008 to 2012. Justice Camacho was appointed to the Court of Claims in 2009 and has served as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, since 2013.

Justice Camacho began his career in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where he served from 1985 until 1995 when he left to work in private practice.

Justice Camacho succeeds Queens County Supreme Court Justice Leslie Leach who retired from the judiciary at the end of the year.

Additional information on Justice Camacho and the other members of the Commission can be found on the Commission’s website:


Honorable Ben Darvil

Judge Ben Darvil, Jr. was first appointed to the Family Court as an Interim Civil Court Judge in March 2016 and has been presiding in Family Court.  Judge Darvil primarily presides over child abuse and neglect and child custody and visitation proceedings.

Prior to his appointment, Judge Darvil served for several years as a Court Attorney and Law Clerk with Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Second Department   Prior that, Judge Darvil served with the Family Court Legal Services of the New York City Administration for Children's Services.

Judge Darvil received his undergraduate degree from Long Island University and his J.D. from St. John's University, School of Law. 

Judge Darvil serves on the board of the New York State Family Court Judges Association.  Judge Darvil has been selected to service on the Appellate Division Second Department Mental Health Professional Certification Committee, a committee charged with assessing the qualifications of potential court appointed mental health experts.  Judge Darvil is a former President of the Brooklyn Chapter of St. John's University, School of Law Alumni Association. 


Honorable Keisha Espinal

Hon. Keshia Espinal was recently named Supervising Judge of Kings County Criminal Court. Judge Espinal was appointed to Criminal Court in May 2017 and has presided in both Kings and New York County Criminal Courts. Prior to her appointment, Judge Espinal practiced for 16 years in the Queens County District Attorney’s office in the Domestic Violence, Appeals and Supreme Court bureaus, including as a Supervising Assistant District Attorney in the Domestic Violence Bureau.


Honorable Kathryn Paek

Judge Kathryn Paek was designated an Acting Supreme Court Justice in the Supreme Court’s Criminal Term, New York County.  She began her judicial career in February 2015, when she was appointed as a Criminal Court Judge, assigned to New York County.  Prior to her appointment, she served as Principal Court Attorney in Supreme Court, Criminal Term, Kings County, and as Chief of Staff in the Office of Policy and Planning for the New York State Office of Court Administration.  She also worked as a Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society in Nassau County and as a Staff Attorney in the Criminal Defense Practice, Civil Practice, and Immigration Unit at the Legal Aid Society in Kings County.  Judge Paek is an active member of the Asian American Bar Association of New York and the Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York.


Honorable Joanne D. Quiñones

In November 2020, Judge Joanne D. Quiñones was appointed to the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics (ACJE) by Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks. Judge Quiñones was first appointed to the bench in 2010 by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. In 2017, Judge Quiñones was designated an Acting Supreme Court Justice and currently sits in Kings County Supreme Court, Criminal Term. She previously served as a Principal Court Attorney in the Unified Court System and prior to that, as a Senior Staff Attorney with The Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division. She is a graduate of Brown University and Fordham University School of Law, where she was a Louis Stein Scholar in Public Interest Law and Ethics.

Judge Quiñones is an active member of numerous bar associations and legal organizations. She is the Immediate Past President of the Latino Judges Association (2017-2019) and a Past President of the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association (2019) and remains an active member of their boards. She also serves on the boards of the National Association of Women Judges - NY Chapter (Treasurer); the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (Delegate); and the Judicial Section of the New York State Bar Association (Secretary). In 2015, Judge Quiñones was appointed by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts and currently chairs the Commission’s Judicial Mentor Program. In recognition of her service and commitment to the legal and greater community, Judge Quiñones has been recognized with several awards including the Judith S. Kaye Access to Justice Award presented by the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (June 2018), the Amy Wren Award presented by the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association (September 2018),  the Vivian H. Agress Trailblazer Award presented by the Brooklyn Bar Association (December 2018) and the Judiciary Excellence Award presented by the Puerto Rican Bar Association (October 2019).


Honorable Robert R. Reed

Elected to the Supreme Court, New York County in 2016, Justice Robert R. Reed was recently assigned to the Supreme Court’s Commercial Division. Born and raised in Compton, California, Justice Robert R. Reed graduated from Stanford University in 1981, with an A.B. in Political Science, and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1984. Justice Reed was first elected to the bench in November 2007, and has served in Bronx Family Court, Bronx Civil Court, New York County Civil Court, and New York County Supreme Court, Civil Branch. Prior to taking the bench, Justice Reed practiced law for 23 years, in private law firms big and small, and with the New York State Attorney General's Office, where, among other positions, he served as Deputy Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau.

A long-time member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (and former Board Member), Justice Reed was named “Jurist of the Year” at the MBBA’s 35th Anniversary Awards Gala. Justice Reed regularly serves as a panelist for the MBBA’s Annual Theodore T. Jones, Jr. Trial Advocacy Program.

Justice Reed is married to Annette Gordon-Reed, the Carl M. Loeb University Professor at Harvard University, where she teaches both law and history. Justice Reed’s wife is also an acclaimed author – the winner of the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in History for her work, The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family. Justice Reed and Professor Gordon-Reed have two adult children: Susan, a graduate of Harvard College, with a master’s degree from Oxford University; and Gordon, a graduate of Dartmouth College.


Honorable Myrna Socorro

Hon. Myrna Socorro commenced her Judicial term in January 2017 when assigned to Criminal Court. In January 2019 she was assigned to the Civil Court. She was then appointed as the Supervising Judge of Bronx County Civil Court, in January 2020.

Judge Socorro is the youngest of 3 daughters born to Dolores Socorro (nee Rodriguez, born in Seville, Spain) and Anibal Socorro (born in San Juan, Puerto Rico). She was raised in Bronx County, where she attended Sts. Peter and Paul Elementary School (1977). She then graduated from Aquinas High School in 1981 and Manhattan College in 1985. While in college, Judge Socorro worked at a Bronx based law firm in which she later became a partner. It was in early 1998 that she made the decision to continue her education and go to law school, beginning her studies at Pace University Law School in night classes while she worked during the day. Judge Socorro graduated law school in May 2002 and was admitted to the 2nd Department in February 2004. In September 2004, she was offered a partnership with the general practice Bronx based law firm she worked for since the 1980's. Upon the death of her law partner in 2009, she became the sole owner of that same firm. While the law firm was successful, it was in 2016 that Judge Socorro decided to commence the process to run for Civil Court Judge in Bronx County. After being elected in November 2016, she closed the doors to the practice the following month after working in that office for over 30 years.

Judge Socorro believes that her evolution from the young child growing up in the McKinley Projects in the South Bronx to present day show that life places events in your path knowing that you will rise to the challenge presented before you. One must have humility, a generous heart, kind speech, a love for service and empathy for the sake of humanity.


Honorable Gilbert Taylor

In January of 2020, Judge Gilbert Taylor was appointed to serve as Supervising Judge in Queens County Family Court. After graduating law school, Judge Taylor first worked as an associate at a law firm in New York City. He subsequently served as in- house counsel for a non-profit educational placement program. He worked at the New York City Administration for Children’s Services holding various positions including serving as an Agency Attorney in the Family Court Unit, serving as the Deputy Commissioner of Family Court Legal Services and serving as the Executive Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Child Protection overseeing some 3500 staff.

Judge Taylor served as the Attorney-in-Charge and Executive Director of the Children’s Rights Society, in Orange County New York for many years. Before being appointed to the bench in 2016, he served as the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Homeless Services. Judge Taylor is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Illinois College of Law. He is an active member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges; a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and the proud father of his 3-year-old daughter Sorrell.


Honorable Lillian Wan

Judge Wan was appointed to the New York State Court of Claims by Governor Andrew Cuomo on June 20, 2018. Judge Wan is currently designated as an Acting Supreme Court Justice in Kings County Supreme Court, Civil Division. Prior to that, Judge Wan presided over an Integrated Guardianship Part, in New York County Supreme Court, where she heard cases involving tenants who are the subject of both a Civil Court, Housing Part case and a Supreme Court Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 case. Judge Wan was originally appointed to the bench by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2012, and served in both Bronx County Family Court and Kings County Family Court hearing cases involving child abuse and neglect, custody, visitation, family offenses and juvenile delinquency. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Wan was a Court Attorney-Referee in Kings County Surrogate's Court where she handled adoption, guardianship, and trusts and estates matters. In this capacity, Judge Wan conducted pre-trial and settlement conferences with attorneys and self-represented litigants and presided over guardianship hearings involving disabled adults and kinship hearings to determine who inherits an estate. Judge Wan also served for nine years as a trial attorney at the Administration for Children's Services (ACS) in the Family Court Legal Services Division, where she tried and supervised hundreds of abuse and neglect trials.

Judge Wan earned her undergraduate degree from Binghamton University and her law degree from Albany Law School, where she served on the Albany Law Review. Judge Wan formerly chaired the Family Court and Family Law Committee at the City Bar, served on the City Bar’s Nominating Committee, and is now serving on the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Judge Wan is the current president of the Asian American Judges Association of New York. Judge Wan was also appointed to serve on the New York State Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics. Judge Wan also serves as a board member for the Brooklyn Women's Bar Association and is a member of the Brooklyn Bar Association Diversity Committee. Judge Wan previously served on the board of the New York State Family Court Judges Association and was the past Vice President and Secretary of the New York City Family Court Judges Association.

Judge Wan also served on the Unified Court System’s Advisory Committee on Court Interpreting for many years and continues to serve on the Appellate Division Second Department Mental Health Professional Certification Committee, a committee charged with assessing the qualifications of potential court appointed mental health experts. Judge Wan is the former co-chair of the Government and Public Sector Committee for the Asian American Bar Association of New York. Judge Wan has been an active participant in the National Association of Women Judges “Color of Justice” Program, which has been geared towards introducing NYC high school students to the legal profession. Judge Wan regularly participates in various “Meet the Judges” events in the community and has presented on career panels at various NYC schools.


Honorable Wavny Toussaint

On January 1, 2020, Wavny Toussaint began service, as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Term for the 2nd Department, hearing appeals from the New York City Criminal, Civil and Housing courts in Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. She simultaneously serves as an elected Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Kings County (Civil Branch). Upon election in 2002 to the New York City Civil Court, Kings County, she became the first Trinidadian-American elected as a judge in New York State. During her tenure as a Civil Court Judge she was assigned to serve in New York City Criminal and Civil Courts as well as New York State Family Court, in Kings County.

Her community and bar association service includes, board member of the New York City Supreme Court Justices Association, and the Caribbean American Lawyers Association; Nomination Committee Chair of the Judicial Friends Inc., life member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, member of the National Bar Association, the Brooklyn Womens Bar Association, and the Brooklyn Bar Association. She is a decades long member of the Association of Black Women Attorneys, previously serving as both president and board member. Justice Toussaint was recently elected to the General Board of the Church of the Nazarene, and is currently a member of the District Advisory Board of the Metro New York District Church of the Nazarene. At her local church, she serves on the Scholarship Committee, and as board chairperson of a church affiliated compassionate ministry.


Honorable Paul Wooten

The Honorable Paul Wooten is an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department. He was appointed to the Appellate Division by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in 2019. Justice Wooten was previously a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court sitting in the Civil Term in Kings County and New York County. He was appointed to the Supreme Court by former Governor David Patterson in 2008. In 2009, he was elected as a Justice to the Supreme Court.

Justice Wooten began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. He then became the principal and owner of Paul Wooten & Associates, which specialized in federal and state civil litigation in the areas of civil rights and ballot access. In his private practice, he represented many candidates for public office as well as elected and appointed city, state, and federal officials, community leaders, and not-for-profit organizations.

Justice Wooten was a former Counsel to the New York State Black and Puerto Rican Legislative Caucus, Special Assistant to the New York City Board of Education Members, First Deputy Counsel to the New York City Charter Revision Commission, and former Chief of Staff to the Vice Chairman of the New York State Democratic Party at the National Convention.

Justice Wooten also served as Counsel to the Coalition for Community Empowerment, Chief of Staff Counsel to Assemblyman Albert Vann, and Counsel to the New York State Assembly Committee on Children and Families. He is a Founding Member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association and a Member of the Board of Directors of the Judicial Friends Association. Justice Wooten received his B.A. in political science from the University of Hartford in 1974 and his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law in 1977.


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