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PR- 182-03
July 1, 2003


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today swore in seven new judges to serve in the City’s Criminal and Civil Courts.  The swearing-in ceremony included three new Criminal Court judges and four new interim Civil Court Judges.  Mayor Bloomberg swore in the judges in the Governor’s Room at City Hall.   

“I recognize that appointing new judges is perhaps one of my most important responsibilities as Mayor.  I take this public trust very seriously and am pleased to appoint today a distinguished group of new judges,” Mayor Bloomberg said.  “The men and women sworn in today possess the knowledge, experience, and integrity to achieve the important goal of serving New Yorkers competently and ethically in the Criminal Court.  I am confident that the courts as well as the people of this City will benefit as a result of their efforts.”

The Mayor swore in the following judges:

Criminal Court

Judge Patricia E. Henry most recently served as Counsel to the Honorable Judy Harris Kluger, a former Administrative Judge for the New York City Criminal Court and who is now Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Court Operations and Planning.  Judge Henry also served as Assistant Coordinator in the Office of the New York City Criminal Justice Coordinator and as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the New York City Law Department’s Family Court Division.  A member of the Citizens Committee for Children of New York City, Judge Henry earned her JD from Brooklyn Law School.

Judge Melissa C. Jackson was a prosecutor since 1981 at the Kings County District Attorney’s office, where she rose to become Deputy Bureau Chief in the Environmental Crimes Bureau and then Deputy District Attorney in the Major Frauds/ Rackets Division.  Judge Jackson, who has been a member of the New York State District Attorney’s Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, earned her JD from Fordham University School of Law.
Judge Joseph A. Zayas served as the Principal Court Attorney to the Honorable Rolando Acosta, the Presiding Justice of the Harlem Community Justice Center.  Previously, Judge Zayas was a Senior Staff Attorney in the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Defense and Criminal Appeals Divisions.  Judge Zayas is a member of the Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County, and he earned his JD from Columbia University School of Law.

Interim Civil Court

Judge Miriam R. Best spent over nineteen years as a prosecutor in both federal and state court.  Judge Best has served as Supervising Senior Assistant District Attorney at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, Senior Trial Counsel and Chief of Advanced Trial Training at the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Senior Investigative Counsel at the Office of the New York City Special Narcotics Prosecutor, and, most recently, as Senior Investigative Counsel in the Frauds Bureau of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.  Judge Best earned her JD from Yale Law School.

Judge Miriam Cyrulnik served for more than twenty years as Law Secretary to the Hon. Michael Pesce, who is the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Term.  She has been designated by the Chief Administrative Judge as a Special Referee for Matrimonial Matters, and she has also served as an arbitrator in Small Claims Court.  Judge Cyrulnik has served in numerous bar association leadership capacities, including as President of the Brooklyn Bar Association, and she was a member of the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary from 1994 until 2000.  She earned her JD from Brooklyn Law School.

Judge William L. McGuire, Jr. served for over twenty-five years at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, including ten years as a Deputy Bureau Chief in the Trial Division. An active member of his community, Judge McGuire serves as a board member of the St. Agnes Catholic Youth Organization.  He earned his JD from St. John’s University School of Law.

Judge Ruth E. Smith was the Assistant Deputy Chief Court Attorney for the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department. Previously, she was an attorney in private practice and an Assistant District Attorney in New York County, where she was Chief of the Special Narcotics Asset Forfeiture Unit.  Judge Smith earned her JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

The Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary nominates three candidates for each vacant judgeship, and the Mayor selects judges from among that group.  All of the judges appointed have also been found qualified by Judiciary Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and were approved by Deputy Mayor for Legal Affairs Carol Robles-Román and Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo and Criminal Justice Coordinator John Feinblatt.


Edward Skyler / Lark-Marie Anton   (212) 788-2958

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