Michael Katz -- one of three candidates designated by an "independent" screening panel as "highly qualified" for the available county-wide Civil Court seat -- has sent a letter to political leaders asking for their support.
Here's the text of that correspondence:
MICHAEL L. KATZ
June 20, 2008
I am very honored to be recommended as "Highly Qualified" by the Independent Judicial Screening Panel for the position of Judge of the Civil Court of the City of New York. This is the second time I have been "reported out" by a Panel for a county-wide vacancy. I am writing to seek your support for my candidacy.
Upon graduating Cardozo Law School, I received the Jonathan Weiss Award for Public Interest Advocacy for my representation of indigent and elderly clients wrongfully denied government benefits and other entitlements and for my advocacy on behalf of persons with physical and mental disabilities subjected to discrimination in housing and employment. It was through these early experiences, that I learned the importance of striving to obtain social change and of protecting individual rights through the legal process.
I chose to continue my commitment to public service after graduation and have worked for the past fifteen years as the Principal Court Attorney to the Hon. Barbara R. Kapnick in the Civil Court and later the New York State Supreme Court. In this role, I have drafted major decisions in virtually every area of civil law. I have also assisted hundreds of parties - both represented and unrepresented litigants - resolve their disputes, and have developed a reputation for hard work, fairness and good temperament.
As a volunteer Arbitrator in the Civil Court for several years, I also had the opportunity to conduct many trials and to evaluate testimony and evidence presented by the parties (mostly appearing without attorneys).
My involvement in numerous professional and community service organizations has provided me with an additional opportunity to work with lawyers, judges and diverse members of the community in settings other than the Courtroom. Attached is a copy of my resume which provides additional details about my background and these activities.
I believe these combined experiences have given me the insight and sensitivity to understand the concerns of all those who will appear before me and the patience and determination to work hard to obtain fair and just results.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Michael L. Katz
Principal Court Attorney, HONORABLE BARBARA R. KAPNICK
SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF
County,April 1994 - Present New York
CIVIL COURT OF THE CITY OF
County,January 1993 - April 1994 New York
Arbitrator, SMALL CLAIMS PART OF THE CIVIL COURT
May 1998 - May 2006
LAWYERS FOR THE PUBLIC INTEREST NEW YORK
June 1991 - May 1992
Legal Intern, CARDOZO BET TZEDEK LEGAL SERVICES
June 1990 - May 1991
BENJAMIN N. CARDOZO SCHOOLOF LAW, NY, NY
J.D., May 1992
Jonathan Weiss Award - Public Interest Advocacy
BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY, Waltham, Massachusetts
B.A., May 1989 (Major: Psychology; Legal Studies)
Justice Louis D. Brandeis Essay Prize
(for study of the Massachusetts Probation System)
Service Award Waltham
Admitted to the Bar of the State of
(Appellate Division, First Department)-Feb.1993 New York