For the second year in a row, Attorney Christina Sonsire of the Ziff Law Firm will play a prominent role in our state legal system!

Christina Sonsire.

Christina Sonsire.

Christina has been appointed to a panel of trial lawyers who will advise Gov. Andrew Cuomo on his selection of a new judge for the New York State Court of Appeals, the top court in the state.

Christina, a member of the board of directors of the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers, will join 13 other trial lawyers, all members of the academy, in interviewing the seven finalists on Friday in Albany.

Everyone at the law firm is proud of Christina and this amazing honor. Christina uses these meetings to grow as a lawyer so she can better serve her clients at Ziff Law.

Like last year, Christina is the ONLY trial lawyer on the panel chosen to represent the Elmira, Corning, Ithaca and Binghamton region. AND … It is the first time the academy has had an opportunity to advise the governor on the selection of a chief judge.

This year’s panel is important because the attorney selected will serve as the court’s chief judge, Christina said. The current chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, retires at the end of the year.

Cuomo asked the Academy and other state bar associations to screen the candidates and make a recommendation, said Christina, who was appointed to the panel by Academy Executive Director Michelle J. Stern.

Christina was selected because of her strong record as a plaintiffs’ attorney, primarily in medical malpractice cases. She has also lectured extensively across the state.

“Serving on this type of committee is an excellent opportunity to both help strengthen to New York’s top court as well as gain insight from some of the state’s top lawyers,” Christina said. “I was blown away by the caliber of attorneys we interviewed last year, and this this year’s candidates may be even more impressive. I am very thankful for the chance to participate and represent our area.”

The finalists include a former Manhattan U.S. attorney, the Westchester County district attorney and the state’s former chief administrative judge — the same position Lippman held before his appointment to the Court of Appeals.

The seven nominees:

Gail Prudenti, an experienced judge who retired as the chief administrative judge in July. Lippman was the chief administrative judge before his appointment as chief judge of the Court of Appeals.

Caitlin J. Halligan, the solicitor general under Gov. Eliot Spitzer, who later served as the chief counsel in the Manhattan district attorney’s office.

Janet DiFiore, Westchester County district attorney.

Michael J. Garcia, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan from 2005 to 2008.

Carey R. Dunne, Rowan D. Wilson and Stephen P. Younger, Manhattan lawyers.

According to the New York Times, DiFiore, a former State Supreme Court justice in Westchester, and Prudenti, who presided over the appellate division in Brooklyn, are the only two nominees with experience on the bench.

Thanks for reading,



James B. Reed
NY & PA Injury & Malpractice Lawyer
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
Office: (607)733-8866
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