Paul G. Feinman, Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals, was born in 1960 in Hempstead, New York, the third of five children. He was raised in Merrick, where he attended public schools. Judge Feinman graduated from Columbia College, Columbia University (A.B. 1981) and the University of Minnesota Law School (J.D. 1985), attending both on scholarship. He also studied at the Université de Paris VII (Jussieu),the Université de Paris II (Assas) and the Université de Lyon III.
He began his legal career as a Staff Attorney for the Appeals Bureau of the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County and then worked for the Legal Aid Society, Criminal Defense Division in Manhattan. From 1989 to 1996, he clerked for Justice Angela M. Mazzarelli in Supreme Court, Criminal and Civil Branches, and in the Appellate Division, First Department.
In November 1996, Judge Feinman was elected to the Civil Court of the City of New York; he was re-elected in 2006. From 1997 – 2001, he was assigned to the Criminal Court. He was designated an Acting Supreme Court Justice in Manhattan in 2004 and elected a Justice of the Supreme Court in 2007. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo appointed him to the Appellate Division, First Department in October 2012.
Governor Cuomo nominated Judge Feinman to the Court of Appeals on June 16, 2017. The State Senate unanimously confirmed his nomination on June 21, 2017. On March 23, 2021, Judge Feinman retired from the Court, citing health health issues.
He previously served as President of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York, Inc. (2013), President of the International Association of LGBT Judges (2008 – 2011), Presiding Member of the Judicial Section of the New York State Bar Association (2012 -2013), and President of LeGaL, the LGBT Bar of Greater New York (1996).
He resided in New York City with his husband, Robert Ostergaard. He passed away on March 31, 2021.