Gerald J. Whelan, first elected to the New York State Supreme Court in 2005, has been promoted to Presiding Justice for the Appellate Division for the Fourth Judicial Department. He was appointed to the Appellate Division in 2012.

Governor Andrew Cuomo, who made the selection, said, “Justice Whalen has always sought to uphold the principles of our justice system and ensure that every New Yorker is treated fairly before it. His strong legal background and even more impressive character is a prime example of what we look for on the bench.”

Justice Whelan stated, “I am grateful to the Governor for this opportunity to serve. It is an honor to accept the position of Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division Fourth Department. I look forward to working with the exceptional Judges and staff in the Fourth Department as we continue providing the people of our state with fair, transparent and accessible courts.”

Some impressive career accomplishments about Justice Whelan, as reported in a press release issued by Governor Cuomo’s office:

Prior to taking the bench, Justice Whalen was in private practice for 21 years, handling complex civil and criminal cases. He was a litigation partner with Hiscock & Barclay, LLP and was the firm’s Associate and Hiring partner for the Buffalo office. He was awarded the Trial Justice of the Year award by the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Western Region Affiliate, in 2012.

Justice Whalen also has been an adjunct professor at Canisius College and was a member of the Canisius Pre-Law Advisory Committee. He has served as President of the Supreme Court Justices Association, Eighth Judicial District, in 2012, and has also served as Chair of the Bar Association of Erie County Judges’ Committee, and on the Fourth Department, Eighth Judicial District Committee on Character and Fitness. He has also lectured at SUNY Buffalo on Constitutional Law and is a frequent lecturer on civil matters at New York State and Erie County Bar Association events. He is a graduate of Canisius College where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979, and earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1983 from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

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