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Justice Whalen among Court of Appeals nominees

By: Daily Record Staff//June 2, 2017

Justice Whalen among Court of Appeals nominees

By: Daily Record Staff//June 2, 2017//

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Gerald J. Whalen, the presiding justice of the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, Fourth Department, is among the seven candidates nominated to fill a vacancy on the state Court of Appeals.


The state Commission on Judicial Nomination prepared the list to help Gov. Cuomo select a replacement for Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, who was found dead in the Hudson River on April 12.

There were 40 applications for the vacancy, including 17 women and 13 “from diverse backgrounds,” according to a news release from the Commission. The Commission interviewed 16 candidates, including 10 women and four candidates who are ethnic minorities.

“The members of the Commission were deeply saddened when we learned of Judge Abdus-Salaam’s passing in April, and in her honor and memory, we reached out to the legal community to expeditiously fill her seat on the Court,” interim Commission Chair E. Leo Milonas, a former First Department justice and former chief administrative judge of the state, said in the news release.

In addition to Whalen, the nominees are:

  • Eric O. Corngold, attorney in private practice at Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP.
  • Paul G. Feinman, associate justice, First Department.
  • Judith J. Gische, associate justice, First Department.
  • Rosalyn H. Richter, associate justice, First Department.
  • Mary Kay Vyskocil, U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge for the Southern District of New York.
  • Troy Karen Webber, associate justice, First Department.

By law, Gov. Andrew Cuomo is required to appoint someone from the list. The state Senate must confirm or reject the appointment.

The next vacancy on the Court of Appeals will be on Jan. 1, 2022, when Judge Eugene M. Fahey will face mandatory retirement when he reaches age 70.

Whalen, who was interviewed by the Commission on Tuesday, received his undergraduate degree at Canisius College in 1977, and his law degree from the University at Buffalo Law School in 1983.

His started his legal career as an associate at Offerman, Mahoney, Cassano, Pigott, Greco & Whalen, where he became a partner in 1988.

From 1993 to 2001, as a shareholder at Williams, Stevens, McCarville & Frizzell, P.C., Whalen was principal trial counsel in the defense and prosecution of personal injury, labor law, products liability, complex commercial, and criminal matters.

Later he practiced with Hiscock & Barclay LLP, where he was a partner until 2005.

In 2006, Whalen was elected to the state Supreme Court in the Eighth Judicial District and was appointed to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, in 2012. He has been presiding justice since 2016.

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