(New York, NY, Thursday, April 23, 2021) – Joy A. Thompson, President of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (“WBASNY”), today released WBASNY’s ratings of the seven nominees 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. Leslie Stein, who is retiring.
WBASNY’s Judiciary Committee is composed of Co-Chairs Eileen E. Buholtz, Esq., a past president of the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys; Deborah Weisman-Estis, Esq., a past president of WBASNY; and Sujata Sidhu Gibson, Esq., a past president of the Finger Lakes Women’s Bar; and representatives from WBASNY’s twenty 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.
Not Approved. This rating shall be applied to any candidate who, in the Committee’s opinion, does not possess the qualifications for the office.
The discretionary rating of “Commended” is available for those rated Approved or Approved as Highly Qualified: Commended. This discretionary rating is available for those candidates rated as “Approved” or “Approved as Highly Qualified” who, in the Committee’s opinion, have demonstrated an outstanding sensitivity to issues of gender bias, women, children and minorities. The “Commended” rating is not an endorsement of any candidate and may be given to more than one candidate for any particular judicial office.
The ratings are as follows:
Hon. Ellen Nachtigall Biben, Administrative Judge, Criminal Matters, First Judicial District – Approved and Commended
Kathy Hirata Chin, Esq., Crowell & Moring, LLP – Approved as Highly Qualified and Commended
Caitlin J. Halligan, Esq., Selendy & Gay, LLP – Approved as Highly Qualified and Commended
Hon. Valerie Brathwaite Nelson, Appellate Division, Second Department – Approved as Highly Qualified and Commended
Hon. Erin M. Peradotto, Appellate Division, Fourth Department – Approved as Highly Qualified and Commended
District Attorney Madeline Singas, Nassau County District Attorney – Approved
Hon. Shirley Troutman, Appellate Division, Fourth Department – Approved as Highly Qualified and Commended
The Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York (WBASNY) is the professional membership organization of choice for more than 4,000 attorneys throughout New York State, and the largest statewide women’s bar association in the country. For four decades, WBASNY has been a singularly important resource for women lawyers, with professional networking, continuing legal education programming, leadership training, and advocacy for the rights of women, children, and families. Through involvement with WBASNY’s 20 regional chapters and its 40-plus substantive law committees, WBASNY’s members collaborate with one another on a variety of issues and perform public and community service, in furtherance of its mission to promote the advancement of the status of women in society and women in the legal profession; to promote the fair and equal administration of justice; and to act as a unified voice for its members with respect to issues of statewide, national and international significance to women generally and women attorneys in particular. WBASNY holds United Nations NGO status with the U.N.’s Department of Public Information, and Special Consultative status in association with the U.N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). WBASNY is also a founding member of the National Conference of Women’s Bar Associations.