Governor Andrew Cuomo will nominate Justice Paul G. Feinman to serve as an Associate Judge on the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. Justice Feinman is currently an Associate Justice on the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court and has served as a judge in New York for more than 20 years.
"Justice Feinman will be an exceptional addition to New York’s highest court," Governor Cuomo said. "He is a talented jurist who has dedicated his career to public service and standing up for a fairer and more just New York. While we continue to mourn the untimely passing of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Justice Feinman will help ensure that the Court of Appeals upholds the highest principles of law and fairness that embody the very best of New York."
"It is a tremendous honor to be nominated to the Court of Appeals," Justice Paul G. Feinman said. "I thank Governor Cuomo for this opportunity to serve on the Court of Appeals and, if confirmed, look forward to working with my distinguished colleagues on the Court to continue to serve New York."
Justice Feinman has been nominated to fill the vacancy created earlier this year by the tragic death of the Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam. He is the eighth person that Governor Cuomo has nominated to serve on the New York State Court of Appeals. The Governor previously appointed Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Associate Judges, Jenny Rivera, Abdus-Salaam, Leslie Stein, Eugene Fahey, Michael Garcia, and Rowan D. Wilson to the Court.
Justice Feinman was elected to the Supreme Court in 2007 and appointed Associate Justice of the Appellate Division by Governor Cuomo in 2012. He previously served as an Acting Supreme Court Justice from 2004 to 2007. Prior to that, he was a Civil Court Judge, first elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2006.
If confirmed, Justice Feinman would be the first openly gay person to serve on the Court of Appeals. He is a member of the Richard C. Failla LGBT Commission, which promotes fair treatment of LGBT issues and LGBT members of the court community. He was the President of the International Association of LGBT Judges between 2008 and 2011, and was President of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York in 2015.
He began his legal career at the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, Criminal Appeals Bureau in 1985. From 1987 to 1989, Justice Feinman was a Senior Staff Attorney for the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in Manhattan. From 1989 to 1996, he was a Principal Law Clerk to Hon. Angela M. Mazzarelli. He received a B.A. from Columbia University in 1981 and a J.D. from University of Minnesota Law School in 1985.