Interview with Hon. Vito C. Caruso & Prof. Troy A. McKenzie

Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for the Courts Outside of New York City, Hon. Vito C. Caruso, and Prof. Troy McKenzie


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Hon.Vito C. Caruso was appointed as Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Courts Outside New York City effective July 1, 2019. The appointment was made by Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence K. Marks, with the consultation and approval of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and the Presiding Justices of the Appellate Divisions of the Second, Third and Fourth Judicial Departments. He retired August 31, 2021.

Judge Caruso is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of all trial-level courts in the 57 counties outside of New York City, which includes over 700 justices and over 5,500 nonjudicial employees. He works with local administrative Judges in overseeing implementation of the court system’s programs and initiatives and in optimizing allocation of personnel and other court resources to meet the needs and goals of those courts. Additionally, he is responsible for oversight of New York’s local Town and Village Courts.

Judge Caruso is the son of the late Leonarda and Pellegrino Caruso and was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Economics from SUNY New Paltz and has the distinction of being one of the last lawyers certified and admitted to the practice of law after reading for the New York Bar.

After a successful career in the private practice of law, Judge Caruso was elected to the New York State Supreme Court in 1994, and was re-elected in 2008. He was appointed as Administrative Judge for the Fourth Judicial District in June, 2004 and served in that capacity for fifteen years, in addition to his Supreme Court duties. Several of his more significant opinions have been published in the “Miscellaneous Reports.”

He is a member of the New York State Bar Association, Judicial Section, a member and Past Director of the Schenectady County Bar Association, and a Charter Member and current President of the New York State Greater Capital District Italian American Bar Association. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Schenectady County Community College, is a Past District Deputy of the New York State Elks Association, is a member of the Order of Sons of Italy, the Rotterdam Knights of Columbus, and a former volunteer firefighter.

Judge Caruso is proud to have been the first recipient of the Pro Bono Distinguished Service Award of the Legal Aid Society of Northeastern New York and has been honored by the Schenectady County Bar Association for outstanding service to the community. In 2018, he received the Hon. Anthony V. Cardona Award for Judicial Excellence from the Italian American Bar Association.

Judge Caruso is married to Judith (Juracka) Caruso. They have one daughter, Mary Elizabeth, and reside in Rotterdam, New York. He is a communicant of St. Gabriel’s Roman Catholic Church where he also serves as Eucharistic Minister.

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.

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