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Judges recognized for promoting pro bono

Five judges are to be honored today by the New York State Bar Association at an event kicking off National Pro Bono Week, Oct. 20 to 26.

The event, “Recognizing Judges Who Support Pro Bono and Access to Justice Initiatives,” will be at the State Bar Center in Albany.

“During National Pro Bono Week, we shine a light on attorneys who do the public good through their volunteer legal services for the poor,” said state bar President David M. Schraver of Rochester (Nixon Peabody). “This year, we also recognize five judges who have facilitated the excellent work done by pro bono lawyers in bankruptcy cases, landlord/tenant matters and domestic violence disputes.”

The honorees are:

• The Hon. George B. Ceresia Jr., justice of the Supreme Court, Rensselaer County, for leading pro bono and access-to-justice initiatives while serving as the administrative judge for the Third Judicial District;

• The Hon. Christine M. Clark, Supreme Court, Schenectady County, for her willingness to refer domestic violence victims to The Legal Project and making the program’s brochures available in her courtroom;

• The Hon. Robert E. Littlefield Jr., chief judge, U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of New York, for strong support and encouragement of pro bono work by bankruptcy attorneys;

• The Hon. George H. Lowe, retired, U.S. magistrate judge, for his role as co-chair on the state bar association’s President’s Committee on Access to Justice and lifelong support of initiatives to expand access to justice; and

• The Hon. Gary F. Stiglmeier, Albany City Court, for his leadership in establishing the Attorney–for-the-Day Program.

The American Bar Association established National Pro Bono Week in 2009.