Albany Law School will be closed today until 4pm due to the weather.
Michael J. Garcia '89 has been nominated by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to take the bench as an Associate Judge on the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.
“Michael Garcia was valedictorian of his class — we’re as proud of him now as we were then,” said Albany Law School President & Dean Alicia Ouellette. “I’m confident Mr. Garcia will serve the state of New York with the skill, professionalism, and sense of justice that have served him so well in his impressive career.”
Garcia was a member of the Albany Law Review and finished first in his class each year of law school. Garcia, active in the Albany Law alumni network, delivered the keynote at commencement in 2006 and was honored as part of the Government Law Center’s 30th anniversary celebration in 2008. In 2015, Garcia visited campus to speak at a memorial event for his mentor, the late Professor David D. Siegel.
Below is the full press release from the Governor's office.
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Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today nominated Michael J. Garcia to serve as an Associate Judge on the New York State Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. Garcia currently is a litigation partner in the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP and leads the firm’s Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations practice. Garcia previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Earlier in his career he served as a law clerk for the late Honorable Judith Kaye at the New York Court of Appeals.
“Michael Garcia is a talented, experienced, and skilled prosecutor who will make a tremendous addition to the Court of Appeals,” said Governor Cuomo. “From his work in the private sector, to serving with distinction as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and in the Department of Homeland Security, Michael has the kind of broad, well-rounded perspective on the law that our state’s highest court requires. I am pleased to nominate him to serve as an Associate Judge. I am also grateful to the Commission on Judicial Nomination – led by the late Honorable Judith Kaye – for recommending a number of talented and qualified candidates for this position.”
Michael J. Garcia said: “I am deeply honored by the Governor’s nomination to serve on the New York State Court of Appeals. If confirmed, I am committed to continuing the Court’s tradition of justice and fairness for all.”
Garcia has been nominated to fill the vacancy created last year by the retirement of the Honorable Susan Read. He is the sixth person that Governor Cuomo has nominated to serve on the New York State Court of Appeals. The Governor previously appointed Associate Judges Jenny Rivera, Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Leslie Stein and Eugene Fahey to the Court. The Governor’s Chief Judge nominee, Janet DiFiore, is currently awaiting confirmation by the New York State Senate.
As a Partner with Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Garcia has focused on litigation and government investigations, taking the lead in developing this practice area at the firm. He has represented large financial institutions, multi-national corporations and subsidiaries, and business executives on complex regulatory transactions, securities litigation, internal investigations and general commercial litigation. Prior to joining Kirkland & Ellis in 2008, Garcia had a distinguished public service career, serving in various capacities beginning in 1990 as a law clerk for the Honorable Judith Kaye at the New York Court of Appeals. Garcia served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 2005-2008 leading a team of more than 250 lawyers.
Prior to his appointment as U.S. Attorney, Mr. Garcia spent two years as Assistant Secretary for Immigration and Customs Enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security. In this role, he oversaw an agency of 20,000 employees responsible for enforcing a broad range of criminal laws, including the Arms Export Control Act, the International Traffic in Arms Regulations and various money laundering statutes.
From 2001 to 2002, as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Export Enforcement in the Bureau of Industry and Security, he was the top federal official responsible for enforcing the Export Administration Act and related export control regulations. He was also Vice President of the Americas for Interpol, the international police organization. While Vice President, he served on Interpol’s Executive Committee, the body charged with overseeing the budget and strategic direction of the organization.
From 1992 to 2001, Mr. Garcia was a prosecutor with the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. During that time, he personally prosecuted a number of high-profile cases involving national security and complex extraterritorial issues, including the 1993 terrorist bombing of the World Trade Center and the 1998 bombing of U.S. embassies in East Africa. For his work on these cases, he was twice given the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, the Department's highest honor, as well as the Distinguished Service Award.
Mr. Garcia earned his B.A. from SUNY Binghamton, his M.A. from the College of William and Mary, and his J.D. from Albany Law School where he was valedictorian.
Associate Judges to the Court of Appeals serve for a term of 14 years upon their confirmation by the New York State Senate.