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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Gerald Whalen
Gerald J. Whalen was designated today by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo as Presiding Justice for the Appellate Division for the Fourth Judicial Department, which encompasses 22 counties, including Niagara County.

"I am proud to select the Honorable Gerald J. Whalen as the Presiding Justice for the Fourth Judicial Department's Appellate Division," Gov. Cuomo 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."

Whalen said, "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."

Whalen was elected New York State Supreme Court Justice in 2005 in the 8th Judicial District, and was appointed to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department in 2012. 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 served on the firm's Diversity Committee 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 has also been a dedicated advocate to expanding the inclusiveness of the legal profession. He has been an adjunct professor at Canisius College and was a member of the Canisius Pre-Law Advisory Committee. For 25 years, he was a member of the Judge John J. Hillery Memorial Scholarship Foundation and was the Hillery Foundation's Man of the Year in 1997. The Foundation provides scholarships for students in need.

Justice Whalen 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.

Under the New York State Constitution and Judiciary Law, the Governor has the authority to appoint Presiding Justices to each Appellate Division from among those who have been elected as Justices of the Supreme Court. These appointments are not subject to Senate confirmation.

The 22 counties in New York State's Fourth Judicial Department are: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates.

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