Justice Robert A. Lifson graduated from Huntington High School in 1967 and the State University of New York at Albany in 1971. He then earned his Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law in 1974, and later, a Masters of Public Affairs from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1981. He was admitted to the bar in 1975. In 1977, he was counsel to State Assemblyman John Flanagan for the Committee on Higher Education. Then, from 1978 to 1989, Lifson served as Confidential Law Secretary to Justice Paul J. Baisley of the State Supreme Court for Suffolk County. From 1989 to 1994, Lifson was chairman of the Huntington Republican Committee, and in this period also served as co-counsel for the Commission on Water Resource Needs of Long Island. From 1993 to 1994, he was Chief Counsel to State Senator Norman Levy.
Lifson joined the bench in 1994 when he was elected to the State Supreme Court for the Tenth Judicial District. He was assigned to the Matrimonial Part of the Supreme Court in 1995 and served as its Supervising Judge from 1997 to 2001. He was also assigned to the Civil Trial Parts Supreme Court from 2001 to 2004 and the Tax Certification & Condemnation Part from 2000 to 2004. Lifson was appointed to the Supreme Court Appellate Term in 2003 and to the Appellate Division, Second Department in 2004. As a Republican, he failed to secure a second term on the Second Department bench when the 2008 election was swamped by Democratic votes.
In addition to his judicial career, Lifson was an adjunct professor at SUNY Stony Brook, trustee of the Huntington Historical Society, past president and member of the Kiwanis Club of Huntington, and a Captain in the New York State Guard. His memberships in professional organizations include the Suffolk County Bar Association.
“Justices of the Court: Associate Justice Robert A. Lifson.” Center for Judicial Accountability. New York State Unified Court System Appellate Division Second Judicial Department. Web. 29 Mar. 2012. http://www.judgewatch.org/lawsuit-nyt/App-Div-appeal/appellate-panel/oca-bio-lifson.pdf.
Stashenko, Joel. “Appellate Judges Swamped in Democratic Vote Surge.” New York Law Journal 6 Nov. 2008: 1. Print.