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NYSBA rates COA candidates

Six of seven candidates being considered for an upcoming associate judge vacancy on the state Court of Appeals are rated “well qualified” by the New York State Bar Association.

President Seymour W. James Jr. sent the list in a letter Wednesday to Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who is to designate his choice between Jan. 1 and 15. The nominee then must be confirmed by the state Senate.

To assist with the appointment process, the state bar reviews the qualifications of candidates nominated by the state Commission on Judicial Nomination. Its ratings are as follows:

Rated well qualified are: Associate Justices Sheila Abdus-Salaam and Rolando J. Acosta, Appellate Division, First Department; attorney Kathy H. Chin, partner, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, New York City; Associate Justice Eugene M. Fahey of Buffalo, Appellate Division, Fourth Department; attorney Jenny Rivera, professor of Law, CUNY School of Law, Bronx; and attorney David A. Schulz, Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, New York City.

Attorney Margarita Rosa, executive director, Grand Street Settlement in New York City, is rated “not qualified.”

The state bar considered professional ability, experience, character, temperament and other qualities in arriving at a determination for each candidate. Each candidate’s qualifications and background were thoroughly examined. Personal interviews were also conducted. Possible ratings included “well qualified,” “qualified,” or “not qualified.”

The Dec. 19 letter from James (The Legal Aid Society in New York City) may be viewed at

The state bar association has evaluated candidates for the Court of Appeals since 1967.