Wednesday, August 22, 2012


The panelists were selected or designated by the heads of the various organizations named, such heads acting in their individual capacity and not on behalf of their organization. The organizations are listed for identification purposes only. The panelists do not represent the organizations.

Seventeen (17) applicants [including Surrogate candidate Barbara Jaffe] applied for the four (4) “open” seats this year. The panel, scheduled to make its report as to the “most highly qualified” of the applicants on 28 August 2012, must report at least eight (8) and not more than twelve (12) under the County rules.

In addition, there are five previously screened candidates (Arthur Engoron, Anil Singh, Manuel Jacobo Mendez-Olivero, Saliann Scarpulla, and George Silver) who were reported as most highly qualified twice by prior screening panels in the last four consecutive years.

The panel consists of twenty-three members (now twenty-two as one had to leave because of scheduling conflicts). The heads of forty-two organizations were solicited to contribute a panelist; however, some designees are not on the panel despite timely response because the County office, while having acknowledged receipt of the designees, failed to transmit the names to the panel Administrator! This is a serious issue of the integrity of the panel screening system.

Once again, the County Leader refused to make public the names of the screening panel members, undoing a quarter century of openly known panels. The County judiciary committee twice voted to reaffirm the practice of divulging the panelists' names at their first meeting, and the committee’s co-chair repeatedly requested, but to no avail, that the information be posted on the County’s web site. [This was finally done--six weeks late--on Fri., 24 Aug., just days before the report.]

The judiciary committee members are impressionable. The administrator this year, Randolph Michael Scott McLaughlin, snowed the committee’s members with his impressive credentials. There was concern that he is with a politically connected law firm, Finklestein, Newman, Ferrara. He answered that he was of counsel—but that could mean anything (bringing in millions or simply lending his name—in fact he’s there every day). He said he teaches at Pace Law School, but that’s only one course this summer. His law firm has held fund-raisers for judicial candidates, and the firm’s partners have contributed to judicial candidates. Potential conflicts of interest are imputed to all members, associates, and counsels of a law firm.

Further, Mr. McLaughlin’s panel is screening for County-wide seats, yet the administrator was opposed to such, arguing for judges to be elected from local neighborhood districts so as to avoid vote dilution.

Here are the panelists. Errors and omissions excepted to.

N.Y.C. Mission Society:
Mr. Courtney Bennett
Director, Community & Government Relations
Minisink Townhouse, 646 Lenox Ave., N.Y., N.Y. 10037
(212) 368+8400

MFY Legal Services:
Tamara Jackson Britt, Esq. [Rutgers]
Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen, & Hamilton
One Liberty Plaza
New York, N.Y. 10006
(212) 225+2895

Asian American Bar Assn. of N.Y.:
Yang Chen, Esq. [N.Y.U.]
P.O. Box #3656
New York, N.Y. 10163
(718) 228+7206

Women’s City Club of New York:
Ms. Eleanor Coufos
Business exec.
American Express Travel Agency
World Financial Center
200 Vesey Street
New York, N.Y. 10285
(212) 721+1397

National Employment Lawyers Assn. – N.Y.C. Chapter:
J. Patrick DeLince, Esq. [St. John’s]
30 Broad Street – 14th Fl.
New York, N.Y. 10004
(212) 382+3544

Assn. of the Bar of the City of New York:
Jay Rory Fialkoff, Esq. [Brooklyn]
Moses & Singer
405 Lexington Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10174
(212) 554+7850

New York State Trial Lawyers Assn.:
David Bela Golomb, Esq. [St. John’s]
370 Lexington Avenue – Suite 908
New York, N.Y. 10017
(212) 661+9000

N.Y. Women’s Bar Assn. (N.Y.C. Chapter):
Patricia Ann Grant, Esq. [Touro]
Grant & Applebaum
600 Lexington Avenue – 9th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10022
(212) 308+2200

Jewish Lawyers Guild:
Ida Rae Greer, Esq. [Touro]
Merit Operating Corp.
351 East 83rd Street
New York, N.Y. 10028
(212) 628+0461

New York Law School:
Marcey Lynn Grigsby, Esq. [N.Y.]
New York Law School Faculty
185 West Broadway
New York, N.Y. 10013
(212) 431+2330

West Side S.R.O. Law Project:
Clinton James Guthrie, Esq. [U. Nebraska-Lincoln]
W. Side S.R.O. Law Project
51 West 109th Street
New York, N.Y. 10025
(212) 799+9638

Asian Americans for Equality:
Li Chang-yong (Wendy), Esq. [S.M.U.-Dedman & Beijing School of L.]
Patton Boggs
1185 Sixth Avenue – 30th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10036
(646) 557+5177

South Asia Bar Assn.:
Rena Malik, Esq. [N.Y.]
3149 Wilmarth Place
Wantagh, N.Y. 11793
(516) 679+9602

New York Criminal Bar Assn.:
Malvina Nathanson, Esq. [Columbia]
30 Vesey Street – 2nd Floor
New York, N.Y. 10007
(212) 608+6771

Association of Legal Aid Attorneys:
John Paul (Jack) Newton, Esq. [U. Texas]
The Legal Aid Society (Civil)
260 East 161st Street – 8th Floor
The Bronx, N.Y. 10451
(718) 991+4600

Community Association of Progressive Dominicans:
Ms. Hidelgaida Ortiz [Pace]
Exec. Asst. to the Exec. Director
3940 Broadway
New York, N.Y. 1032
(212) 781+5500

LeGal-L.G.B.T.Bar Assn. of Greater N.Y.:
Wesley Railey Powell, Esq. [Duke]
Willkie, Farr, & Gallagher
787 Seventh Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10019
(212) 728+8264

Puerto Rican Bar Association:
Francisco Laquan Rivera, Esq. [Brooklyn]
315 East 106th Street - #5E
New York, N.Y. 10029

Metropolitan Black Bar Association:
Mirtha Camille Sabio, Esq. [N.Y.]
Kraus [Manages low-income hsg.]
33-01 Vernon Boulevard
Long Island City, N.Y. 11106
(718) 274+5000 ext. 160

Korean Bar Association:
Chad Everette Sjoquist, Esq. [Fordham]
Gallo, Vitucci, & Klar
90 Broad Street
New York, N.Y. 10004
(212) 683+7100

Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem:
Mr. Mike Smith
Chief Operating Officer
Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem
317 Lenox Avenue – 10th Floor
New York, N.Y. 10027
(212) 876+5500

The Fortune Society:
Mr. Casimiro Torres [Mr. Torres was unable to complete the work
because of scheduling conflicts.]
Discharge Planner
The Fortune Society
29-76 Northern Boulevard
Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
(212) 691+7554

N.A.A.C.P. Mid-Manhattan Branch:
Kyndell Ann Reid, Esq. [Fordham]
N.Y.C. Dept. of Education [adjudicates suspensions]
335 Adams Street – 6th Floor
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201
(718) 923+5117 & (917) 601+0839


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