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    12.03.14 Justice Chin Brandt ’74 and Justice Tom ’75, Pioneering Asian-American Judges, Featured Speakers at Historical Society of the New York Courts Program

    Hon. Dorothy Chin Brandt `74, Hon. Peter Tom `75, and Hon. Randall Eng, the first three Asian-American judges in New York, will be the focus of the 2014 Stephen R. Kaye Memorial Program, “Asian-Americans and the Law: New York Pioneers in the Judiciary,” taking place at the Historical Society of the New York Courts on December 15.

    “The Law School has a strong history of producing distinguished diversity candidates, and Justice Chin Brandt and Justice Tom are two shining examples,” said Dean Allard. “They are trailblazers, and we are incredibly proud of their remarkable careers and accomplishments.”

    Chin-BrandtHon. Dorothy Chin Brandt is an Acting Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Queens County. She became the first Asian-American woman judge in New York State and the first elected Asian-American public official in the state when she was elected in 1987 to the New York City Civil Court, New York County. Following law school, she began her career as Assistant Dean of Graduate Legal Studies at Harvard Law School. She also simultaneously worked as a professor at Boston College Law School. In 1978, she returned to New York to join the law firm of Shearman & Sterling as an associate and then later joined the firm of Dilworth & Paxson in Washington, D.C. She was in private practice until her election to the Civil Court in 1987. Justice Chin Brandt became a judge of the New York City Criminal Court in 1998 and was appointed by then Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman as an Acting Justice of the New York State Supreme Court in 2001 and re-appointed by Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti in 2013.

    Peter TomHon. Peter Tom is an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, New York State Supreme Court. Upon graduation from law school, he practiced briefly at private law firms. In 1976, he joined the New York City Civil Court as a law clerk, working on a wide variety of criminal and civil assignments and, in 1985, he became the first Asian-American appointed to the Housing Part of the Civil Court. Three years later, Justice Tom was assigned to preside over the Narcotics Eviction Part, a Special Part that was established as a result of his landmark decision in Kellner v. Cappellini. In 1988, he was one of the first Asian-Americans to be elected to the Civil Court and to win a county-wide election in New York City. In 1990, he became the first Asian-American elected to the New York State Supreme Court from New York County, and in 1994, he became the first Asian American appointed by the Governor to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court.

    The program will include a presentation on Asian-American legal history featuring historic photographs and a conversation with the justices about their experiences on the bench and highlights from their careers.