Alumni Honored By New York State Bar Association


Hon. John Leventhal ’79, Martin Minkowitz ’63, and William Thompson ’54 were among the recipients of awards presented at the New York State Bar Annual Meeting in January at the New York Hilton Midtown.

Leventhal received the Vincent E. Doyle Jr. Award for Outstanding Judicial Contribution in the Criminal Justice System; Minkowitz was honored with the Award for Outstanding Contribution or Dedication to the Profession; and Thompson received the Award for Advancement of Judicial Diversity.

Judge Leventhal, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, previously served as a New York State Supreme Court Judge for 14 years, where he presided over the nation’s first felony Domestic Violence Court. Today, the court is a model for other judges and court administrators worldwide. He has been honored with numerous awards for his work, including the Distinguished Achievement Medal from the New York State Free and Accepted Masons; the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association Beatrice M. Judge Recognition Award; and the New York Board of Rabbis and Dayenu Voices of Valor “Elijah Award” for male leadership in ending domestic violence. In 2009, Judge Leventhal was named a Brooklyn Law School Alumni of the Year. He returned to the Law School in November for a presentation and discussion with Professor Liz Schneider about the current domestic violence crisis.

Minkowitz is an adjunct professor at the Law School and Of Counsel at Stroock, Minkowitz, where he concentrates in insurance regulatory and litigation matters and on workers' compensation law. He has successfully written and advocated for legislation that resulted in significant changes to New York workers' compensation law and New York insurance law. Minkowitz has lectured on insurance regulatory topics to professional groups such as the Practicing Law Institute, the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association CLE, the Defense Research Institute, and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, among others.

Judge Thompson has had a long and distinguished career as an elected official and judge. He was elected to the New York State Senate in 1965, where he was chairman of the Joint Legislative Committee on Child Care Needs. He served on the New York City Council from 1969 to 1973, and was elected a Justice of the Supreme Court in 1974, and the same year he was designated an associate Justice of the Appellate Term, 2nd and 11th Districts. In 1978, he was appointed Assistant Administrative Judge in charge of the Supreme Court for Brooklyn and Staten Island. In 1980, he was appointed by Governor Hugh Carey as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department. As an Appellate Division Judge for more than 20 years, he has analyzed more than 24,000 cases, encompassing all types of litigation. He retired in 2001 and serves Of Counsel to the firm of Ross and Hill and as a mediator.