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WBASNY Releases Ratings for Court of Appeals Vacancy

December 12, 2014, New York, NY

The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) Releases Ratings for Court of Appeals Vacancy

Irene V. Villacci, President of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”) today released the Association’s ratings of the seven candidates nominated  by the New York State Commission on Judicial Nominations to fill the Associate Justice seat on the New York State Court of Appeals being vacated by the Hon. Robert Smith, who is retiring on December 31, 2014.

WBASNY’s Judiciary Committee is comprised of Co-Chairpersons Eileen E. Buholtz, Esq., a past President of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys; Andrea F. Composto, Esq., President–Elect of WBASNY; and Martha E. Gifford, Esq., a past President of WBASNY, and representatives from the Association’s eighteen chapters across the State. The Committee extensively reviewed the qualifications of and interviewed each of the nominees. The nominees can be rated either Approved, Approved as Highly Qualified, or Not Approved according to the following definitions:

Approved. This rating is available for candidates who, in the Committee’s opinion, possess the qualifications for the office.

Approved as highly qualified. This rating is available for candidates who, in the Committee’s opinion, possess exceptional qualifications for the office.

The discretionary rating of Commended is available for those rated Approved or Approved as Highly Qualified:

Commended. This additional rating is discretionary and is available to any candidate found approved or approved as highly qualified who, in the Committee’s opinion, has demonstrated an outstanding sensitivity to issues of gender bias, women, children, and minorities. The “Commended” rating is not an endorsement of any candidate. The “Commended” rating may be given to more than one candidate for any particular judicial office.

The ratings are as follows:

Kathy H. Chin, Esq. – Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP – Approved as Highly Qualified and Commended

Hector Gonzalez, Dechert LLP, Approved and Commended

Hon. Erin M. Peradotto, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, 4th Dept. – Approved as Highly Qualified and Commended

Mary Kay Vyskocil, Esq., Simpson Thatcher & Bartlett, LLP – Approved as Highly Qualified and Commended

Stephen P. Younger, Esq., Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler, LLP – Approved as Highly Qualified

The ratings are as follows for the nominees who were screened in September 2014 and who chose, as provided by the Association’s guidelines, to apply those ratings to their current nominations:

Hon. Eugene M. Fahey, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, 4th Dept. – Approved as Highly Qualified and Commended

Rowan D. Wilson, Esq., Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP – Approved as Highly Qualified and Commended