New York City Law Department Special Federal Litigation Chief Patricia Miller Wins Prestigious Municipal Lawyer Award

September 24, 2020

International Municipal Lawyers Association Honors Ms. Miller With Lifetime Achievement Award at Online Event
Corporation Counsel James E. Johnson joined online today with the International Municipal Lawyers Association (IMLA) – one of the major organizations supporting local government attorneys – to celebrate the awarding of IMLA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in Municipal Law to Patricia Miller. Ms. Miller is a longtime Law Department veteran and Chief of the Office’s Special Federal Litigation Division.

The Charles S. Rhyne Lifetime Achievement Award isn’t given every year – and it’s IMLA’s highest honor. The award’s meant to honor the recipient's lifetime achievements in the field of public service and municipal law – and to be a lasting commemorative to Charles S. Rhyne's founding of IMLA and to his life's work.

“Pat Miller has distinguished herself as one of the premier trial lawyers in the United States in defending the interests of the people of New York City in some of the most challenging cases the city has faced,” said ILMA’s Executive Director and General Counsel Charles W. Thompson, Jr. “Throughout the country, attorneys who represent local governments have enjoyed the opportunity to have Pat talk with them about the challenges she faces and ways to overcome those challenges.  I am very proud to say that I know her as someone who embraces all that a public lawyer should be – intense, dedicated and highly ethical.”

Corporation Counsel James E. Johnson said, “At the Law Department, we embrace municipal service and our north star is promoting the common good. Pat contributes to that mission every day – not only as an outstanding trial attorney but as a leader of a division that handles some of our most complex and sensitive cases. Pat has been a longstanding member of the Law Department family whose commitment to the City and the interests of its people are unwavering. She is truly deserving of this award.”

 “A lifetime achievement is not a solo mission. So many of my colleagues and family have played a role in every achievement in my professional life that I have ever gained," said Ms. Miller. "I remain most grateful to the New York City Law Department. When I arrived here during the Trojan War, the Law Department provided a welcoming and supportive workplace where no one really cared who I was dating as long as I was willing to try a bunch of cases. The office remains the same on that score."

About Pat Miller

As Special Fed Division Chief, Ms. Miller, along with her team, are responsible for the defense of NYC law enforcement personnel in Federal Civil Rights actions in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York. Prior to that, Ms. Miller served as the Deputy Chief of Trials for Special Fed. Ms. Miller was also a trial supervisor and senior trial attorney for the office’s Labor &  Employment Division. She has tried to verdict more than 60 cases in federal court and has supervised hundreds more. Ms. Miller was named Top Women in Law 2016 by the New York Law Journal and is a 2017 recipient of the New York State Bar Association Shira Scheindlin Award for Excellence in the Courtroom.

Before arriving here, Ms. Miller clerked for William M. Acker, former U.S. District Judge for Northern District of Alabama, and was an associate at Cahill Gordon & Reindel. She’s also an adjunct professor at Fordham University School of Law. Ms. Miller completed her undergraduate work at Fordham and obtained her law degree from William and Mary in Virginia. She has served as chair of the Law Department's Committee on Diversity Recruitment and Retention, the first member of the LGBTQ+ community to hold that position, and is the 2013 recipient of the Jane M  Bolin Diversity in Leadership Award. Ms. Miller is also the co-Chair of the Federal Bar Council Diversity Committee; a member of the Federal Bar Council Second Circuit Committee; and a member of the FBC Board of Trustees.

More about IMLA here

More about the Law Department here

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