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Hon. Rolando T. Acosta has been Presiding Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, since May 2017. During his tenure, the Court has modernized its systems—making the administration of justice more efficient and accessible to the public—and has enjoyed its highest level of productivity in recent memory. Justice Acosta serves on the New York City Bar Association’s Council on the Profession and the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on Free Expression in the Digital Age, and is a Fellow of the New York Bar Foundation.
A proud graduate of Columbia College and Columbia Law School, Justice Acosta is the recipient of Columbia University’s Medal for Excellence and Columbia Law School’s Wien Prize for Social Responsibility. In 2008, he was inducted into the Columbia University Athletics Hall of Fame. He currently serves as a Trustee of Columbia University and as a member of the Dean’s Council of Columbia Law School.
Justice Acosta’s judicial career began when he was elected to a countywide Civil Court judgeship in New York County in 1997. He was thereafter designated as an Acting Supreme Court Justice to preside over and spearhead the creation of the Harlem Community Justice Center, a multi-jurisdictional, “problem-solving” court. In 2002, he was elected as a New York State Supreme Court Justice in New York County. In 2008, he was appointed by the governor to the Appellate Division, First Department, and served as an Associate Justice until his current appointment as Presiding Justice.
Justice Acosta served as President of the Latino Judges Association and was awarded the Association’s John Carro Award for Judicial Excellence “in recognition of his leadership and scholarly work as a New York State jurist and his work as a mentor and teacher with the Latino Community.” He was named Judge of the Year by the National Hispanic Bar Association in 2004 and received the Jewish Lawyers Guild’s Golda Meir Memorial Award in 2013.
Prior to his judicial service, he held various posts with the Legal Aid Society, including Attorney-in-Charge of the largest civil trial office and Director of Government and Community Affairs. He also served as First Deputy Commissioner and as Deputy Commissioner for Law Enforcement at the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
Justice Acosta was raised in the South Bronx and Washington Heights, having immigrated from the Dominican Republic at the age of 14, and has long been active in the development of the Washington Heights/Inwood social service infrastructure. For example, he helped found the Latino Commission on AIDS and served as legal adviser to the founding board of Alianza Dominicana. He also served as treasurer and chair of the Policy Committee of the Hispanic Federation. He was a founding board member of the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone in 1995 and has served on that organization’s Executive Committee and chaired its Human Capital Development Committee.
Justice Acosta remains committed to community service and frequently speaks to new attorneys on the importance of giving back.
Hon. Alan D. Scheinkman is the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, appointed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo as of January 1, 2018, and a member of the Administrative Board of the New York State Courts. He has served by designation on the New York State Court of Appeals.
From June 2009 through December 2017, he was the Administrative Judge of the Ninth Judicial District and the presiding justice of the Commercial Division, Westchester County. He has also served an Associate Justice of the Appellate Term, Ninth and Tenth Judicial Districts.
Justice Scheinkman is the co-chair of the Judicial Task Force on the State Constitution formed by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, as well as a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on the State Constitution. He is the Co-Chair of the State Bar’s Task Force on the Bar Examination, a member of the House of Delegates and the Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction. He serves on the Chief Judge’s Advisory Council for the Commercial Division. He is a member of the Pattern Jury Instructions Committee – Civil of the New York State Association of Supreme Court Justices, having formerly served as a Reporter for the Committee for many years.
He obtained his law degree in 1975 from St. John’s University School of Law; from 1975 to 1977, he was law clerk to Hon. Matthew J. Jasen, Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals.
Prior to election to the Bench, he was in private practice, taught law full-time at St. John’s University School of Law, and served as the Westchester County Attorney. He is the co-author, along with the late Professor David D. Siegel, of the New York State Bar Association handbooks on practice in the New York Court of Appeals and in the Appellate Divisions. He is the author of a two-volume treatise on New York domestic relations law and was, for many years, the practice commentator for McKinney’s Domestic Relations Law. He has participated as a speaker and panelist at numerous judicial and bar association programs. He has also taught at Pace University School of Law, and at Rutgers University-Newark School of Law. He presently serves as a member of the Board of Visitors of Pace University School of Law.
Prof. Troy A. McKenzie is Professor of Law at New York University School of Law. His research and teaching interests include bankruptcy, civil procedure, complex litigation, and the federal courts. He studies litigation and the institutions that shape it—particularly complex litigation that is resolved through the class action, bankruptcy, and other forms of aggregation. He serves as a faculty co-director of two NYU centers: the Institute of Judicial Administration and the Center on Civil Justice. He is also a member of the National Bankruptcy Conference and the Council of the American Law Institute.
From 2011-2015, McKenzie served, by appointment of the Chief Justice, as a reporter to the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States. From 2015-2017, he took a leave of absence from NYU to serve in the U.S. Department of Justice as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel.
McKenzie earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 1997 from Princeton University and a law degree in 2000 from NYU, where he was an executive editor of the Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. After law school, he served as a law clerk to Judge Pierre N. Leval of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and Justice John Paul Stevens of the Supreme Court of the United States. Before joining the NYU faculty in 2007, McKenzie was a litigation associate at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York.