David S. Ritter



Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, 1990-2008


Justice David S. Ritter is a native of Middletown, Orange County. He earned degrees from Union College in 1956 and Cornell University Law School in 1959, then served as Special Assistant to the Attorney General for the U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division until 1962. For the next three years, he was engaged in the private practice of law. Ritter served as law secretary to Hon. Clare J. Hoyt from 1965 until 1969. From 1970 until 1976 he was employed at the Orange County District Attorney’s Office and from 1976 until 1980 he was District Attorney for Orange County.

Ritter began his judicial career as a judge of the Orange County Court, serving from 1981 until 1984. In 1983, he presided over the highly publicized Brink’s robbery and triple murder trial. He was elected to the State Supreme Court in 1985. In 1986, Justice Ritter was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo as a special judge to preside over the bribery and conspiracy trial of Bronx Democratic leader Stanley M. Friedman and four others. From 1988 until 1990, he served as Administrative Judge of the Ninth Judicial District. He was designated to the Appellate Division, Second Department in 1990. Justice Ritter retired from the Appellate Division in 2008 and from the Supreme Court in 2011. Following his retirement from the bench, he joined the litigation team of Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, LLP, where he also works in arbitration and mediation.

Ritter has been a member of the Middletown, Orange County and New York State Bar Associations and served as Director of the Orange County Bar Association. He has also been a member of the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Criminal Law and Procedure, and was an Executive Committee Member of the New York State District Attorneys’ Association. Ritter has served as an instructor for the Annual Judicial Training Seminar and School for Newly Elected Judges.

He has been married twice and has five children.



Appellate Division, Second Department, 100th Anniversary. 23. The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York, 1996. Web. 15 June 2012. http://www.courts.state.ny.us/history/pdf/Library/Courts/App_Div_Sec_Dept_100th_Anniv.pdf.

“Attorney Profiles: David S. Ritter.” Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, LLP. Web. 15 June 2012. http://www.mid-hudsonlaw.com/Bio/DavidRitter.asp.

Hanley, Robert. “Judge in Brinks Killings: David Smith Ritter.” New York Times (1923-Current file): B2. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008). Aug 29 1983. Web. 15 June 2012.
McFadden, Robert D. “Cuomo Names Special Judge from Upstate in Friedman Case.” New York Times (1923-Current file): B2. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2008). Mar 28 1986. Web. 15 June 2012.

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