Justice Stephen G. Crane earned a B.S. degree from Cornell University in 1960 and a J.D. degree from Cornell Law School in 1963. He practiced as an Associate at the firm of Poletti, Freidin, Prashker, Feldman & Gartner from1963 until1966. He then served as Senior Law Assistant for the Appellate Division, First Department from 1966 until 1976, and as Chief Law Assistant from 1976 until1979. From 1979 until 1980, Crane was Counsel to the Office of Court Administration. He was as a Partner at Glass, Howard and Crane from 1980 until 1981.
Crane joined the bench in 1981 when he became a Judge for the Criminal Court of the City of New York, a position he held until 1984. He then held the position of Acting State Supreme Court Justice from 1984 until 1989, during which time he presided over the controversial trial of Bernhard H. Goetz. Goetz was acquitted of the most serious charges against him, attempted murder and assault, and Justice Crane sentenced him to one year in prison for the charge of possessing an unlicensed gun. Crane became a Supreme Court Justice in 1990. He served as Administrative Judge of Supreme Court, Civil Branch for New York County from 1996 until 2001. During that time, in 1997, Crane helped form the Office for the Self Represented at the State Supreme Court in Manhattan to support the needs of pro se litigants. In 2001, he was designated an Additional Justice for the Appellate Division, Second Department and in 2005 he was officially designated as an Associate Justice for that Court. He was promoted to Senior Associate Justice for the Appellate Division, Second Department in 2008 and retired the same year.
Following retirement from the bench, Crane began work in alternative dispute resolution at the New York office of JAMS, The Resolution Experts. His memberships in professional organizations have included the New York State Bar Association, New York County Lawyers’ Association, House of Delegates, Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the City and of the State of New York, Pattern Jury Instructions Committee of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State of New York, New York State Dispute Resolution Association, Commission on Legal Services for the Middle Income, Association of Trial Lawyers of America, and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. He is a past President of the Cornell Law Association and past Chair of the Cornell Law School Advisory Council, Co-Chair of the Institute on Continuing Legal Education, and a former Chair of the Board of Trustees of the New York County Public Access Law Library. He has been a member of the New York Regional Board and Executive Committee of the Anti-Defamation League, the Board of Justices for the First Judicial District, and a Fellow of the New York State Bar Foundation.
“Crane, Stephen G.” Biographical information sheets. Appellate Division, Second Department Library, Brooklyn.
“Goetz is Given One-Year Term on Gun Charge.” New York Times (1923-Current file): 1. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Jan 14 1989. Web. 24 Oct. 2011 http://search.proquest.com/docview/110225603?accountid=8012.
“Hon. Stephen G. Crane (Ret.).” JAMS Arbitration, Mediation, and ADR Services. Web. 24 Oct. 2011. http://www.jamsadr.com/crane/.
“Yourself Esq.” New York Times (1923-Current file): CY3. ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The New York Times (1851-2007). Nov 16 1997. Web. 24 Oct. 2011 http://search.proquest.com/docview/109755827?accountid=8012.