For the Honorable Justice Mazzarelli, the consummate female judge “is highly intelligent, a great lawyer, and most importantly, a compassionate person with deep feelings for all who enter her court room”. Mazzarelli embodies each of these ideals. She is passionate, thorough, thoughtful and fair.
Judge Mazzarelli began her law career in 1971, graduating from Brandeis University with a B.A. with honors in History, and a J.D. degree from Columbia University School of Law, while simultaneously working as a teaching fellow in property law. Holding a wide range of positions between 1971 and 1985, Judge Mazzarelli has worked as a Law Assistant to Board of Justices, Special Referee on Election Law and Principle Law Assistant to the Honorable William McCooe before becoming a partner in the Law Firm of Wresien and Mazzarelli, a civil litigation firm, in 1980.
With this significant background, Mazzarelli was elected in 1985 to the Civil Court of the City of New York, as a judge in the criminal court. In 1988, she was appointed as an Acting Justice to the New York State Supreme Court, where she sat in the criminal term. In 1992, she was elected as a Justice of the New York Supreme Court, where she sat in civil term until December of 1994, when she was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Department. She was redesignated in 1999 and 2004 and in 2006, was re-elected by voters for a 14 -year term. Judge Mazzarelli retired from the court system in December of 2022. She is the third longest serving Appellate Division justice and the longest serving female Appellate Division justice.
Throughout her many career milestones, Mazzarelli candor, assiduousness and thoughtful rulings have helped her advance, so much so that she was appointed by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore to the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct in 2017. As one of only 11 members, Judge Mazzarelli shares the authority of the panel to discipline judges of the New York Courts. During her career, Judge Mazzarelli served on multiple boards and committees, notably : The Association of Women Judges, The Criminal Court Anti-Bias Committee, the Board of the Practicing Law Institute, the Board of Directors for the National Organization of Italian American Women and Co-Vice Chair of the New York Pattern Jury Instructions Committee for over 10 years.
In 2010, despite growing up in Massachusetts as a die-hard Red-Sox fan, Judge Mazzarelli co-authored an article titled “What Legal Challenges Ahead For New Yankee Stadium?” discussing legal aspects of the famed ‘jewel’ of New York City.
Judge Mazzarelli’s contributions to the legal profession have established numerous precedents. Her dedication and service are unsurpassed.
Baker, Rebecca. “Appellate Judge Selected for Judicial Conduct Panel.” New York Law Journal, June 20, 2017.
Hill, Alexis K. Keeping the Promise of Justice: Celebrating 25 Years of the National Association of Women Judges.Turner Pub., 2003, p. 98.
Mazzarelli, Angela M., Robert J. Patchen, Jeffrey D. Ratner, “What Legal Challenges Ahead For New Yankee Stadium?” New York Law Journal, April 2, 2010.
*This biography was written by Charlotte Margolin in July of 2019. At the time of the writing, Charlotte was a rising Junior at Millennium High School in Manhattan, NY.