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Peradotto among 7 candidates on list for top court

The Hon. Erin M. Peradotto, an associate justice in the Appellate Division’s Fourth Department, is among seven candidates recommended by a state commission to fill the vacancy on the New York State Court of Appeals that followed Judge Susan P. Read’s retirement in August.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is expected to make his nomination from the list, which is Manhattan-dominated and which includes one other associate justice, the Hon. Judith J. Gische of the Appellate Division’s First Department. The other five nominees are attorneys.

All seven were considered well qualified by the Commission on Judicial Nomination, which selected them from 52 applicants.

Four of the attorneys are in private practice. They are Caitlin J. Halligan (Gibson, Dunne & Crutcher LLP), Rowan D. Wilson (Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP), Michael J. Garcia, the former federal prosecutor in Manhattan (Kirkland & Ellis LLP), and Stephen P. Younger, former president of the New York State Bar Association (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP).

All were recent candidates for chief judge at the Court of Appeals, where Cuomo nominated Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore.
Benjamin E. Rosenberg, general counsel for the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, is the seventh candidate.

Justice Peradotto holds an undergraduate degree from SUNY Buffalo and obtained her law degree from SUNY Buffalo Law School in 1984.

From 1985 to 1997 she worked in private practice as a trial attorney, then served for two years as the assistant attorney general in charge of the Buffalo office.

She returned to private practice from 1999 until 2004, when she was elected justice of the New York State Supreme Court. She was appointed to the Appellate Division in 2006.

Justice Peradotto has served on the New York State Ethics Commission for the Unified Court System since 2011. She served as the President of the Bar Association of Erie County from 1997 to 1998.

The governor has 15 to 30 days after receiving the list to make his appointment, which is subject to Senate approval.

The next vacancy on the Court of Appeals will occur Jan. 1, 2017, by which time Associate Judge Eugene F. Pigott, Jr. will have reached mandatory retirement age.