Nelson Stephen Román




Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, 2009-2013


Beginning his career as a police officer and eventually being appointed by the President of the United States as a U.S. District Judge, Judge Nelson Stephen Román has served at all levels of the justice system and proved himself to be a devoted public servant.

Judge Román was born in 1960 in New York City of Puerto Rican ancestry and was raised in the Bronx. After graduating from Cardinal Hayes High School, he joined the New York City Police Department while attending Fordham University as a political science major. He graduated cum laude in 1984 and went on to Brooklyn Law School, attending classes at night while still working for the Police Department. He received his law degree in 1989 and has since dedicated his career to public service.

In 1989 Judge Román joined the office of the Kings County District Attorney as an Assistant District Attorney. He later served as a Special Narcotics Prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney’s office until 1995, at which time he became a law clerk to Hon. Jose A. Padilla, Jr., of the New York City Civil Court.

Judge Román’s judicial career began in 1998, when the Chief Administrative Judge appointed him to the Housing Court bench of Civil Court. After two years, Román was elected to New York Civil Court, Bronx County. Two years later he was elected to the New York City Civil Bench. In 2002 he was elected to the Supreme Court, Bronx County and served on that bench from 2003 through 2009, at which time Governor David Paterson appointed Judge Román to the Appellate Division, First Department.

After four years on the Appellate Division bench, Judge Román was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as a U.S. District Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, receiving his commission in May 2013.

Judge Román is a past president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association and a founding member of the Cervantes Society.

He resides in the Bronx with his wife Carol and their two children.



President Obama Nominates Two to the United States District Courts, Press Release, September 20, 2012, available at: -states-district-courts

Nelson S. RomÁn, available at:

Appellate Division Justice Recommended for U.S. Bench, New York Law Journal, April 27, 2012, p1.

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