Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department
Appointed January 25, 2008 by Gov. Eliot Spitzer; redesignated January 1, 2009; retired December 31, 2020
Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Second Judicial District, Brooklyn, New York (elected November 1994) June 1996-January 2008: Presided over the nation’s first dedicated felony Domestic Violence “Court”; 2001-January2008: Presided over Article 81 Guardianship proceedings.
Other Professional Experience
Rosenthal, Vallario, Leventhal & Coffinas, Esqs., Brooklyn, New York
Partner (August 1989 – December 1994)
Law Office of John M. Leventhal
Private Practitioner (September 1982 – August 1989)
Criminal Court of the City of New York, Kings County, Brooklyn, New York
Law Assistant to Civil Court Judge sitting in Criminal Court (January 1980 – September
Admission to the Bar
New York State Bar, February, 1980 (Second Judicial Department)
United States District Court: E.D.N.Y., May 1980; S.D.N.Y., June 1980
United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, May 1988
Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, NY
J.D., June 1979
Hunter College of C.U.N.Y., New York, NY
M.S. in Urban Affairs, August 1974
Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH
B.A. in Psychology, June 1970
Publications & Leading Cases
As author or co-author:
My Partner, My Enemy, a book about presiding over the Nation’s First Felony Domestic Violence Court, domestic violence cases and suggesting ways to protect the victims, Rowman & Littlefield (2016).
“Is Bruton On Life Support in the Aftermath of Crawford v. Washington?” 43 Am. J. Crim. L. 1 (Fall 2015) (University of Texas at Austin School of Law).
‘The Trials, Tribulations, and Rewards of Being the First Felony Domestic Violence Court,” American Bar Association Judges’ Journal, Vol 53 No. 2 (Spring 2014)
“A Survey of Federal and State Courts’ Approaches to a Constitutional Right of Actual Innocence: Is There A Need for a State Constitutional Right In New York in the Aftermath of CPL §440.10(g-1)?” 76Albany L. Rev.1453 (2013)
“Punitive Damages: Public Wrong or Egregious Conduct?: A Survey of New York Law,” 76 Albany L. Rev. 961 (2013)
“New York State Consumer Law and Class Actions:2011-2012,” 84 New York State Bar Association Journal 41 (2012)
“Perspective: John Adams: His Relevance Then and Now,” New York Law Journal, May 11, 2011, p. 6
“New York State Consumer Protection Law and Class Actions in 2010,” 83 New York State Bar Association Journal 4 (2011)
“Spousal Rights Or Spousal Crimes: When And Where Are the Lines To Be Drawn?” 2006 Utah L. Rev. 351 (2006) (Cited by the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women as a resource at the United Nations 2013 Women & Justice Conference)
“The Admission of Evidence in Domestic Violence Cases after Crawford v. Washington: A National Survey,” 11 Berkeley J. of Crim. Law 77 (2006).
“Observations of a New Country In An Old World and A New Way of Dealing With An Old World Problem,” The Jurist, Summer 2004, p.1
“Perspective: State’s Bail Statute Must be Amended,” New York Law Journal, March 17, 2004, p.2, col. .2
“Judicial Selection System Under Attack: An Overview of France v. Pataki”, The Jurist, Spring 1996, p. 11.
“Do Not Open Unless . . . Review of Civil Rights Law §50-1,” New York Law Journal, September 6, 1995, p. 1, col. 1; The Jurist, Fall/Winter 1995, p.5 (Outside Counsel).
“Renunciation of Property Interests Under EPTL §2-1.11 ,” New York Law Journal, March 23, 1995, p. 1, col. 1(Outside Counsel).
“Courtroom Show-Ups: Identification of the Worst Kind,” New York Law Journal, April 27, 1994, p. 1, col. 1 (Outside Counsel).
“Public Trial: Keeping the Undercover ‘Undercover,’” New York Law Journal, November 3, 1992, p. 1, col. 1 (Outside Counsel).
“Verdict Sheets – Objection and Appeal,” Kings County Criminal Bar Journal, June 1990, vol. 6, no. 1.
“A Recipe for Understanding a Defendant’s Speedy Trial Rights: Worley, Anderson, and a Touch of Gaggi,” 37 Barrister 101 (1986).
“Burden of Proof and Defenses in Drug Related Forfeiture Proceedings,” Kings County Criminal Bar Journal, January 1986, vol. 2, no. 1
“Standing of a Passenger to Suppress Evidence and the New York Presumption,” 35 Barrister 145 (1984).
“Alibi Witness’ Failure to Come Forward: The New York Rule,” 34 Barrister 104 (1983); Veritas, Spring 1983, vol. 13, no. 1.
“Photographs, Fingerprints and Suppression: Failure to Comply with 160.50 of the Criminal Procedure Law,” Veritas, Spring 1981, vol. 10, no. 3
“Crime Prevention in New York City,” Rand Institute Working Paper (1974).
Professional & Civic Activities
National Courts and Science Institute for Judges – Ex Officio Director, Resource Judge and Co-Chair in Genetic Engineering Concentration (2014 to present)
Second Judicial Department 18b Oversight Committee: Chair (2018 – present)
Chief Judge’s Committee on New York Evidence: Member (2016 – present)
National Courts and Science Institute for Judges; Director and Member: (2014 – present)
ASTAR Fellow- Completed 120 hours of science and technology education for Judges (April 2013)
Judicial Advisory Group (Appellate), New York State Judicial Task Force on Wrongful Convictions: Member (2009 – present)
Gender Fairness Committee, Second Judicial District: Chair (1999 – 2002)
The National Conference of Specialty Court Judges, American Bar Association: Delegate (1999 – 2003)
Assigned Counsel Committee for Appellate Division, Second Department, 2nd and 11th Judicial Districts: Member (1999 – 2008)
Oversight Committee for Criminal Defense Organizations, for the Appellate Division, Second Department: Member (1997 – 1999)
Second Judicial District Task Force on Reducing Litigation Cost and Delay: Member (1996 – 1997)
Evidence Curriculum Committee, Judicial Seminars: Member (1996 – 2005)
Barrister, the legal quarterly publication of the Brooklyn Bar Association: Editor-in-Chief (1982 – 1994)
Veritas, the legal publication of Brooklyn Law School Alumni Association: Editor-in-Chief (1982 – 1984)
Brooklyn Law School Alumni Association: Director (1983 – 2004); Member (1980-present)
Brooklyn Bar Association: Trustee (1987 – 1994); Member(1980-present)
Brooklyn Bar Association Grievance Committee: Member (1991 – 1994)
Association of the Bar of the City of New York: Member (2006-2007)
Association of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the City of New York: President (2012); Member (1995-present)
Association of the Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York: Member (1995-present)
Commissioner of Appeals of the Grand Lodge of the State of New York (1997 – 2016)
Grand Representative of the Grand Lodge of South Carolina, A.F.M. near the Grand Lodge
of New York (1997 – Present)
2nd Manhattan Masonic District Blood Drive: Co-Chair (1996 – 2005)