Mayor de Blasio Appoints 20 Judges to Family, Criminal and Civil Court

January 4, 2017

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio today announced the appointments of 15 judges to Family, Criminal and Civil Court. The Mayor also reappointed 5 judges to Criminal and Civil Court. Collectively, these judges have years of experience serving New Yorkers in the public, private and non-profit sectors.

“New Yorkers deserve judges who are impartial and who are committed to fighting for justice and fairness,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “I look forward to working with these 15 new judges, and I welcome back the five judges I’ve had the pleasure of working with. I’m confident that they will fight for New Yorkers’ best interests across the five boroughs.”

The Mayor appointed the following judges:

FAMILY COURT

Judge Mildred Negron was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in March 2016 and has been serving in Family Court. She formerly served with The Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division for over 10 years as Assistant and Deputy Attorney-in-Charge of the Manhattan and Queens offices respectively. Judge Negron was also a Court Attorney-Referee for over 13 years in Kings County and Queens County Family Court. Judge Negron graduated from CUNY City College and received her law degree from CUNY School of Law.

Judge Judith Waksberg was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in July 2015 and has been serving in Family Court. She had been with the Legal Aid Society her entire career for 32 years primarily in the Juvenile Rights Appeals Unit where she last served as the Director for 17 years. Judge Waksberg graduated from Brandeis University and received her law degree from New York University School of Law.

CRIMINAL COURT

Judge Phyllis Chu served most of her career with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office for 23 years holding various positions including Senior Assistant District Attorney in the Homicide Bureau. Judge Chu received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and her law degree from Northeastern University School of Law.

Judge Toni Cimino was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in June 2016 and has been serving in Criminal Court. Prior to her appointment, she was a criminal defense attorney in private practice, then served with the New York State Unified Court System for nearly 17 years including as a Court Attorney in Supreme Court, Criminal and Civil Term. She graduated from St. John’s University and St. John’s University School of Law.

Judge Charlotte Davidson was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in June 2016 and has been serving in Criminal Court. Prior to her appointment, Judge Davidson served with the New York State Unified Court System for 13 years holding various positions including as Counsel to the former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Jonathan Lippman. She is a graduate of Harvard University and received her law degree from Columbia Law School.

Judge Eugene Guarino was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in June 2016 and has been serving in Criminal Court. He formerly served with the Queens County District Attorney’s Office, was in private practice and a Principal Court Attorney in Queens County Criminal and Supreme Courts. Judge Guarino received his undergraduate degree from Fordham University and his law degree from St. John’s University School of Law.

Judge David Kirschner was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in June 2016 and has been serving in Criminal Court. He served with the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office for over 17 years, was in private practice and served as a Principal Court Attorney in the Bronx County Supreme Court. Judge Kirschner is a graduate of Florida State University and received his law degree from Hofstra University School of Law.

Judge Michael Kitsis had been a career prosecutor with the New York County District Attorney’s Office for 33 years in various positions including Bureau Chief of the Frauds Bureau and Senior Investigative Counsel of Major Economic Crimes. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and from the University of Virginia, School of Law.

Judge Margaret Martin spent most of her career with the Legal Aid Society for over 21 years including as Senior Staff Attorney in the Capital Division. She was also an Assistant Deputy Counsel in the Office of Court Administration’s Office of Policy and Planning. She graduated from Boston University and the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.

Judge Herbert Moses had been a solo practitioner for 20 years specializing in criminal defense. Prior to that, he was a prosecutor for five years in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office. Judge Moses received his undergraduate degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice and his law degree from CUNY School of Law.

Judge Kim Petersen was most recently the Bureau Chief of Criminal Court of the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office. Prior to that, she served with the Queens County District Attorney’s Office and was a Principal Court Attorney in the Appellate Division, First Department, Departmental Grievance Committee as well as in Supreme Court, Criminal Term in Queens County. Judge Petersen graduated from Queens College and Brooklyn Law School.

Judge Bahaati Pitt was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in June 2016 and has been serving in Criminal Court. She formerly served with The Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense Division for seven years, was a Court Attorney in Bronx County Family and Civil Courts, and a Principal Law Clerk in Bronx County Supreme Court, Civil and Criminal Divisions. She graduated from Morgan State University and received her J.D. from State University of New York at Buffalo.

CIVIL COURT

Judge Beth Beller spent most of her career as a prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney’s Office for 17 years including the Sex Crimes Unit and Child Abuse Bureau. She then became a Principal Court Attorney in Supreme Court, Criminal Division in Bronx County. Judge Beller graduated from New York University and St. John’s University School of Law. Judge Beller has been appointed to Civil Court and has been assigned to Criminal Court.

Judge David Frey served for 19 years with the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office where he last served as Bureau Chief of Investigations and was previously Unit Chief of Computer Crimes and Identity Theft Investigations. He received his B.S. and M.B.A. degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his law degree from Brooklyn Law School. Judge Frey is appointed to Civil Court and has been assigned to Criminal Court.

Judge Frances Wang spent eight years as a prosecutor in the Bronx County District Attorney’s Office in the Criminal Court and Appeals Bureau. She subsequently served as a Principal Court Attorney in Supreme Court, Criminal Term in Bronx County. She received her undergraduate degree from St. John’s University and her law degree from Hofstra University School of Law. Judge Wang has been appointed to Civil Court and has been assigned to Criminal Court.

The Mayor reappointed the following judges:

CRIMINAL COURT

Judge Tamiko Amaker was appointed as a Criminal Court Judge in January 2010. She is currently an Acting Supreme Court Justice and has been serving as the Supervising Judge of New York County Criminal Court since 2013. Judge Amaker spent her entire legal career in the Bronx District Attorney's Office where she last served as Deputy Chief of the Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Bureau. She received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and her law degree from Fordham Law School.

Judge Alexander Calabrese was first appointed to the Criminal Court in April 1997. He currently serves as an Acting Supreme Court Justice and has presided in the Red Hook Community Justice Center since April 2000. He began his legal career with the Legal Aid Society and subsequently served as a court attorney to the Honorable Leslie Crocker Snyder. Judge Calabrese received his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame and received his law degree from Fordham Law School.

Judge Barry Kron, an Acting Supreme Court Justice, was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in August 1988 and subsequently appointed to the Criminal Court in December 1991. Most of his legal career was spent serving with the Supreme Court, Appellate Division’s Second Department as a law secretary. He received his undergraduate degree from Lehman College and graduated from Columbia Law School.

Judge Martin Murphy spent 18 years with the Legal Aid Society where he last served as an Attorney-in-Charge. Prior to that, he served with the New York City Criminal Justice Coordinator's Office. Judge Murphy, currently serving as an Acting Supreme Court Justice, was first appointed to the Family Court in April 1997 but has presided in Criminal Court and the Criminal Term of the Supreme Court. He formerly served as the Supervising Judge of New York County Criminal Court from 2000 to 2005. He graduated from Seton Hall University and received his law degree from Brooklyn Law School.

CIVIL COURT

Judge Ben Darvil, Jr. was first appointed as an Interim Civil Court Judge in March 2016 and has been serving in Family Court. Prior to his appointment, Judge Darvil served with Family Court Legal Services of the New York City Administration for Children’s Services, and as a Court Attorney and Law Clerk with Supreme Court, Appellate Division’s Second Department. He received his undergraduate degree from Long Island University and his J.D. from St. John’s University, School of Law.

About Family Court
The Family Court is part of the New York State Unified Court System and was established to take action in the lives of children, parents and spouses. Family Court judges hear cases related to adoption, foster care, guardianship, custody and visitation, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency and abused or neglected children.

About Criminal Court
Criminal Court handles misdemeanors, lesser offenses and conducts arraignments and preliminary hearings for felonies. The Criminal Courts of the City of New York are located in all five boroughs. The Mayor appoints judges to 10-year terms in the New York City Criminal Court, which is part of the New York State Unified Court System.

About Civil Court
Civil Court of the City of New York has jurisdiction over civil cases involving amounts up to $25,000 and other civil matters referred to it by the Supreme Court. It includes a small claims part for informal dispositions of matters not exceeding $5,000 and a landlord and tenant/housing part for landlord-tenant matters of unlimited amounts and housing code violations.

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