Alumni Spotlight

In Historic Appointment, Hon. Elizabeth Garry ’90 Named Presiding Justice of Appellate Division, 3rd Department

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The Honorable Elizabeth A. Garry ’90 made history on New Year’s Day 2018 when she was named Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division for the Third Judicial Department, becoming the first openly LGBTQ presiding justice in New York State.

"These tremendously qualified jurists bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to New York's Appellate Court," Gov. Cuomo said in a statement. "I am honored to appoint these judges to their new roles where they will continue to uphold principles of law and fairness to move New York forward."

As Presiding Justice, Garry will lead the Third Department’s Appellate Court, which has held a session at Albany Law School each year since 1995. She will also serve as the department’s chief administrator, and oversee the Committees on Professional Standards and Character and Fitness, Mental Hygiene Legal Services and the Office of Attorneys for Children, among other court functions. In addition, she will serve on the Administrative Board of the Courts, comprising New York Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and the state’s four presiding justices.

Justice Garry was elected to the bench of the New York State Supreme Court, 6th Judicial District, in 2006, and was appointed to the Appellate Division, Third Department, in 2009. She previously worked for 13 years in private practice with the Joyce Law Firm, and was a law clerk for New York State Supreme Court Justice Irad S. Ingraham.

"I am greatly honored by the Governor's appointment,” said Justice Garry, who succeeded the now-retired Justice Karen Peters. “The precedent of this Court has been my guide throughout my entire legal career. I will always work hard and do my very best to bring its great traditions forward. I look forward to working with our Chief Judge and my colleagues to ensure that the principles of our state judiciary are advanced in service to the people of our State."

She has also served as a volunteer mediator and is involved with various bar associations, law-related committees, and community organizations. In December 2016, Justice Garry was appointed Co-Chair of the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission of the State Courts by Chief Judge DiFiore.

Justice Garry is active in the Albany Law School community. A member of the National Alumni Association Board of Directors, she has participated in numerous law school events, notably the inaugural LGBT Law Day in March 2015. Last year she was a panelist for “The State of LGBT Rights” and “Running with Pride,” a discussion on running for elected office and identifying as LGBTQ+, and served as a judge for the Domenick L. Gabrielli National Family Law Moot Court Competition. She was named an Albany Law School Kate Stoneman Award honoree in 2012 for demonstrating a commitment to actively seeking change and expanding opportunities for women in the legal profession.

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