New York Law School alumnus Anthony Cannataro ’96 has been designated Acting Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. In his new role, he’ll lead the State’s Judiciary, and manage the court system’s $3 billion budget and 16,000 employees.
Judge Cannataro was appointed to the Court of Appeals in June 2021. He previously served as a Supreme Court Justice in New York County, and he was the citywide administrative judge for the New York City Civil Court. He has presided in Bronx County, Kings County, and New York County.
Chief Judge Cannataro makes extraordinary history in this role: He will not only be New York State’s first openly LGBTQ+ chief judge, but also the first in the nation’s 50 states.
In a statement celebrating Judge Cannataro’s designation, NYLS Dean and President Anthony W. Crowell said:
“Our New York Law School community is beaming with pride as one of our own, Judge Anthony Cannataro ’96, will serve as Acting Chief Judge for the New York State Court of Appeals. Judge Cannataro has been a close personal friend for 25 years, since we started our careers together at the New York City Law Department. He is a brilliant legal mind, a fiercely dedicated public servant, and an exceptional institutional leader. He represents the very best of our State and our NYLS community. As New York’s first LGBTQ+ Chief Judge, and the first in the nation’s 50 states, this is a profoundly historic moment for the LGBTQ+ community, which remains underrepresented in the legal profession and the judiciary.
Our system is most fair and just when it is reflective of all of us. And given the times in which we live, when LGBTQ+ communities are under attack across the nation, Chief Judge Cannataro’s leadership over the nation’s most influential state high court will send an extraordinarily powerful message far beyond the New York state line. I know he will lead the Judiciary with immense intelligence, integrity, and good faith. Equally important, I know he will lead it with a highly skilled and effective management approach, which is critically needed, and fundamental to ensuring justice is delivered fairly, timely, and professionally in an incredibly large, diverse, and complex state like New York.
We thank him for his leadership, wish him the very best and, as always, NYLS stands ready to serve as a valuable resource and partner to the Court of Appeals.”