Judge Advisory Panel

Judge Advisory Panel

Attendees at the recent NYLAT JUDGE ADVISORY PANEL meeting included, L-R (seated) Hon. Thomas VanStrydonck; Hon. John Rowley (Chair); Hon. Sharon Townsend; David R. Pfalzgraf (NYLAT Chair); (standing) Barbara Smith (NYLAT Director); Hon. Marguerite Grays; Hon. Sheryl Parker; Paul Curtin (NYSBA LAP Staff); Hon. Charles McFaul; Hon. Karen Peters; Hon. John Owens, Hon. A. Gail Prudenti, Hon. Tanya Kennedy; Hon. David Gideon; Eileen Travis, NYC LAP Director; Hon. Vincent Reilly, and Hon. Sallie Krauss.  Absent when the photograph was taken were Hon. Ernest Cavallo, Hon. Robert Keating; Hon. Anthony Marano; Hon. George Marlow, Hon. James McLeod; Hon. John Nesbitt and Patricia Spataro, NYSBA LAP Director.




It is with great pleasure that we present the Final Report of the New York Lawyer Assistance Trust's Judge Advisory Panel. The Report is the culmination of nearly three years of work by the Panel, which consists of eighteen members of the State judiciary.

            NYLAT supports the New York bar association programs that serve judges, lawyers and law students coping with alcohol or other substance abuse or mental health issues. 

            The Panel makes recommendations:

              --that a Judicial Assistance Program be available, in partnership or association with the Lawyer Assistance Programs of the New York State and New York City Bar Associations, to provide confidential assistance for judges in distress;

            --that a Judicial Life Program be created within the Judicial Institute to assist members of the judiciary with a spectrum of other issues affecting their well-being and thereby their effectiveness; and

            --that the Office of Court Administration appoint persons to oversee implementation of the foregoing recommendations.

            The Trustees are grateful to the Panel members for their efforts and join with them in hoping that the report and its recommendations will assist the entire judiciary in addressing these issues, which so vitally affect their health and well being.

July 2010

Michael A. Cooper, NYLAT Chair



Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye has named a panel of judges to advise the Board of the New York State Lawyer Assistance Trust, Chair David R. Pfalzgraf announced.

“This Advisory Panel represents an important component in the Trust’s efforts to bring outreach and help on lawyer assistance-related matters to the judicial community in New York, and we look forward to their input,” commented Pfalzgraf.

In naming the panel, Chief Judge Kaye noted that the judicial outreach initiative “has two purposes – one is to educate judges about the signs and symptoms of substance abuse and mental health problems in the lawyers who appear before them, and about resources available to help.  The other is to reach judges who may themselves be experiencing a problem and feel they have nowhere to turn.”

Hon. John Rowley (Tompkins County Court), a member of the Trust, has been named to serve as the initial Chair for the group.  Judge Rowley brings the perspective of service as the Chair of the LAT’s Strategic Planning Committee and Secretary to the New York State Bar Association’s Lawyer Assistance Committee.

The members of the panel are:  Hon. John C. Rowley, Tompkins County Court, Chair; Hon. Robert G. M. Keating, Dean, NYS Judicial Institute, ex officio; Hon. George D. Marlow, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, First Department; Hon. A. Gail Prudenti, Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department; Hon. Karen K. Peters, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Third Department; Hon. Sharon S. Townsend, Supreme Court, Eight Judicial District; Hon. Vincent Reilly, Supreme Court, Fourth Judicial District; Hon. Sheryl L. Parker, Criminal Court of the City of New York; Hon. James A. McLeod, Buffalo City Court; Hon. Earnest J. Cavallo, Civil Court of the City of New York; Hon. Marguerite Grays, Supreme Court, Jamaica; Hon. Tanya R. Kennedy, Criminal Court of the City of New York; Hon. John Nesbitt, Wayne County Court; Hon. John M. Owens, Supreme Court, Monroe County; Hon. Thomas M. Van Strydonck, Supreme Court, Seventh Judicial District; and Hon. David S. Gideon, Town Justice, Town of DeWitt.

“Development of this panel parallels a similar project currently undertaken by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs,” noted LAT Director Barbara Smith and CoLAP member.  “CoLAP has identified its judicial outreach initiative as a top priority for the next several years.  Hon. Robert Childers of Tennessee is spearheading that project for CoLAP, and we look forward to our efforts being of use to the national project, as well.”


Judges who need assistance because of alcoholism, substance abuse, addiction or mental health issues may reach other judges, who are in recovery or who have gone through treatment, by calling a helpline sponsored by the American Bar Association. Judges who have volunteered to be a personal resource to other judges throughout the US and Canada are uniquely positioned to share their experiences, strengths and hope.

Both judges in need of help and those interested in serving as a peer-to-peer volunteer should call 800-219-6474 during business hours [central time]. All information is confidential and protected by statute.

The National Judges' Assistance Helpline is a service of the ABA Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs Judicial Assistance Initiative and administered by the Texas Lawyers' Assistance Program.