United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (in case citations, S.D.N.Y.), known informally as "The Mother Court",[1] is a federal district court. Appeals from the Southern District of New York are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
(S.D.N.Y.)
USDCSDNY.png
LocationDaniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse
More locations
Appeals toSecond Circuit
EstablishedApril 9, 1814
Judges28
Chief JudgeColleen McMahon
Officers of the court
U.S. AttorneyGeoffrey Berman
nysd.uscourts.gov

Because it covers Manhattan, the Southern District of New York has long been one of the most active and influential federal district courts in the United States.[2] The district has had several prominent judges on its bench, including Learned Hand, Michael Mukasey, and Sonia Sotomayor, and many of the U.S. Attorneys for the district have been prominent American legal and political figures, such as Elihu Root, Henry L. Stimson, Robert Morgenthau, Rudy Giuliani, James Comey, and Preet Bharara.[3]

JurisdictionEdit

The court's jurisdiction comprises the following counties: New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan. The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current United States Attorney is Geoffrey Berman since January 5, 2018. The court sits in the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse and Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, both in Manhattan, and in the Charles L. Brieant Federal Building and Courthouse in White Plains.

HistoryEdit

The United States District Court for the District of New York was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789. It first sat at the old Merchants Exchange on Broad Street in November 1789, the first federal court to do so.[4][5][6] The Act of April 9, 1814, 3 Stat. 120, divided the District of New York into Northern and Southern Districts.[5][6] The subdivision of the district was reportedly instigated by Matthias Burnett Tallmadge, out of antipathy for fellow district judge William P. Van Ness.[7] These Districts were later further subdivided with the creation of Eastern District on February 25, 1865 by 13 Stat. 438,[6] and the Western District on May 12, 1900, by 31 Stat. 175.[6]

For the first hundred years of its existence, the case load of the District was dominated first by admiralty cases, and then by a mix of admiralty and bankruptcy cases.[7] The primary responsibility for hearing bankruptcy cases has since been transferred to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, with the District Court only reviewing cases already decided by a bankruptcy judge.

Since its creation, the Southern District of New York has had 149 judges, more than any other District. Twenty judges from the Southern District of New York have been elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second CircuitSamuel Blatchford, Charles Merrill Hough, Learned Hand, Julius Marshuetz Mayer, Augustus Noble Hand, Martin Thomas Manton, Robert P. Patterson, Harold Medina, Irving Kaufman, Wilfred Feinberg, Walter R. Mansfield, Murray Gurfein, Lawrence W. Pierce, Pierre N. Leval, John M. Walker Jr., Sonia Sotomayor, Denny Chin, Barrington Daniels Parker Jr., Gerard E. Lynch, and Richard J. Sullivan. Two judges, Samuel Blatchford and Sonia Sotomayor, were elevated from the Southern District of New York to serve as Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit and were later elevated to the Supreme Court of the United States. The longest serving judge, David Norton Edelstein, served as an active judge for 43 years to the day, and in senior status for an additional six years.

Judges of the court have gone on to other high governmental positions. Robert P. Patterson Sr. served as Under Secretary of War under President Franklin Roosevelt and the Secretary of War under President Harry S. Truman. Louis Freeh served as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from September 1993 to June 2001. Michael Mukasey served as the 81st United States Attorney General under President George W. Bush.

Notable casesEdit

  • The injury and loss of life claims from the sinking of the Titanic, the torpedo attack on the Lusitania and the fire aboard the General Slocum were heard in the S.D.N.Y.
  • Prosecution of Abduwali Muse, the so-called "Somali Pirate", was heard in the Court.
  • Hosseinzadeh v. Klein, concerning the practice of fair use in online video content, was heard in the S.D.N.Y.[8]
  • On December 12, 2018, William H. Pauley III sentenced Michael Cohen– who had served as personal legal counsel to U.S. president Donald Trump for more than a decade –to "three years in prison and millions in forfeitures, restitution and fines",[9] after pleading guilty to charges including campaign finance violations, tax evasion and committing perjury while under oath before Congress.[10]

District judgesEdit

As of October 25, 2018:

# Title Judge Duty station Born Term of service Appointed by
Active Chief Senior
119 Chief Judge Colleen McMahon Manhattan 1951 1998–present 2016–present Clinton
110 District Judge John G. Koeltl Manhattan 1945 1994–present Clinton
123 District Judge George B. Daniels Manhattan 1953 2000–present Clinton
125 District Judge Laura Taylor Swain Manhattan 1958 2000–present Clinton
129 District Judge Kenneth M. Karas White Plains 1964 2004–present G.W. Bush
132 District Judge Cathy Seibel White Plains 1960 2008–present G.W. Bush
133 District Judge Paul G. Gardephe Manhattan 1957 2008–present G.W. Bush
134 District Judge Vincent L. Briccetti White Plains 1954 2011–present Obama
135 District Judge J. Paul Oetken Manhattan 1965 2011–present Obama
136 District Judge Paul A. Engelmayer Manhattan 1961 2011–present Obama
138 District Judge Alison J. Nathan Manhattan 1972 2011–present Obama
139 District Judge Edgardo Ramos Manhattan 1960 2011–present Obama
140 District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. Manhattan 1969 2011–present Obama
141 District Judge Jesse M. Furman Manhattan 1972 2012–present Obama
142 District Judge Ronnie Abrams Manhattan 1968 2012–present Obama
143 District Judge Lorna G. Schofield Manhattan 1956 2012–present Obama
144 District Judge Katherine Polk Failla Manhattan 1969 2013–present Obama
145 District Judge Analisa Torres Manhattan 1959 2013–present Obama
146 District Judge Nelson S. Roman White Plains 1960 2013–present Obama
147 District Judge Vernon S. Broderick Manhattan 1963 2013–present Obama
148 District Judge Gregory Howard Woods Manhattan 1969 2013–present Obama
149 District Judge Valerie E. Caproni Manhattan 1955 2013–present Obama
150 District Judge vacant
151 District Judge vacant
152 District Judge vacant
153 District Judge vacant
154 District Judge vacant
155 District Judge vacant
79 Senior Judge Charles S. Haight Jr. New Haven, CT[Note 1] 1930 1976–1995 1995–present Ford
89 Senior Judge John F. Keenan Manhattan 1929 1983–1996 1996–present Reagan
91 Senior Judge Louis L. Stanton Manhattan 1927 1985–1996 1996–present Reagan
97 Senior Judge Kimba Wood Manhattan 1944 1988–2009 2006–2009 2009–present Reagan
100 Senior Judge Lawrence M. McKenna inactive 1933 1990–2002 2002–present G.H.W. Bush
102 Senior Judge Loretta A. Preska Manhattan 1949 1992–2017 2009–2016 2017–present G.H.W. Bush
105 Senior Judge Deborah A. Batts Manhattan 1947 1994–2012 2012–present Clinton
108 Senior Judge Denise Cote Manhattan 1946 1994–2011 2011–present Clinton
109 Senior Judge Lewis A. Kaplan Manhattan 1944 1994–2011 2011–present Clinton
113 Senior Judge Sidney H. Stein Manhattan 1945 1995–2010 2010–present Clinton
115 Senior Judge Jed S. Rakoff Manhattan 1943 1996–2010 2010–present Clinton
117 Senior Judge Richard M. Berman Manhattan 1943 1998–2011 2011–present Clinton
118 Senior Judge Alvin Hellerstein Manhattan 1933 1998–2011 2011–present Clinton
120 Senior Judge William H. Pauley III Manhattan 1952 1998–2018 2018–present Clinton
121 Senior Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald Manhattan 1944 1999–2012 2012–present Clinton
122 Senior Judge Victor Marrero Manhattan 1941 1999–2010 2010–present Clinton
126 Senior Judge P. Kevin Castel Manhattan 1950 2003–2017 2017–present G.W. Bush
130 Senior Judge Paul A. Crotty Manhattan 1941 2005–2015 2015–present G.W. Bush
  1. ^ Judge Haight has sat with the District of Connecticut since taking senior status.


Vacancies and pending nominationsEdit

Seat Seat last held by Vacancy reason Date of vacancy Nominee Date of nomination
25 Paul A. Crotty Senior Status August 1, 2015 Lewis J. Liman May 21, 2019
1 Loretta A. Preska March 1, 2017 Mary Kay Vyskocil
19 P. Kevin Castel August 5, 2017 Philip M. Halpern January 23, 2019
23 William H. Pauley III March 1, 2018
9 Katherine B. Forrest Resignation September 11, 2018
16 Richard J. Sullivan Elevation October 25, 2018

Former judgesEdit

# Judge State Born–died Active service Chief Judge Senior status Appointed by Reason for
termination
1 William Peter Van Ness NY 1778–1826 1814–1826 Madison/Operation of law[Note 1] death
2 Samuel Rossiter Betts NY 1786–1868 1826–1867 J.Q. Adams resignation
3 Samuel Blatchford NY 1820–1893 1867–1878[Note 2] A. Johnson elevation to 2d Cir.
4 William Gardner Choate NY 1830–1920 1878–1881 Hayes resignation
5 Addison Brown NY 1830–1913 1881–1901[Note 3] Garfield retirement
6 George Bethune Adams NY 1845–1911 1901–1911[Note 4] McKinley death
7 George Chandler Holt NY 1843–1931 1903–1914 T. Roosevelt retirement
8 Charles Merrill Hough NY 1858–1927 1906–1916 T. Roosevelt elevation to 2d Cir.
9 Learned Hand NY 1872–1961 1909–1924 Taft elevation to 2d Cir.
10 Julius Marshuetz Mayer NY 1865–1925 1912–1921 Taft elevation to 2d Cir.
11 Augustus Noble Hand NY 1869–1954 1914–1927 Wilson elevation to 2d Cir.
12 Martin Thomas Manton NY 1880–1946 1916–1918 Wilson elevation to 2d Cir.
13 John C. Knox NY 1881–1966 1918–1955 1948–1955 1955–1966 Wilson death
14 Henry W. Goddard NY 1876–1955 1923–1954 1954–1955 Harding death
15 Francis A. Winslow NY 1866–1932 1923–1929 Harding resignation
16 William Bondy NY 1870–1964 1923–1956 1955–1956 1956–1964 Harding death
17 Thomas D. Thacher NY 1881–1950 1925–1930 Coolidge resignation
18 Frank Joseph Coleman NY 1886–1934 1927–1934[Note 5] Coolidge death
19 John M. Woolsey NY 1877–1945 1929–1943 1943–1945 Hoover death
20 Francis Gordon Caffey NY 1868–1951 1929–1947 1947–1951 Hoover death
21 Alfred Conkling Coxe Jr. NY 1880–1957 1929–1951 1951–1957 Hoover death
22 Robert P. Patterson NY 1891–1952 1930–1939 Hoover elevation to 2d Cir.
23 G. Murray Hulbert NY 1881–1950 1934–1950 F. Roosevelt death
24 Vincent L. Leibell NY 1883–1968 1936–1954 1954–1968 F. Roosevelt death
25 John William Clancy NY 1888–1969 1936–1959 1956–1959 1959–1969 F. Roosevelt death
26 Samuel Mandelbaum NY 1884–1946 1936–1946 F. Roosevelt death
27 Edward Conger NY 1882–1963 1938–1954 1954–1963 F. Roosevelt death
28 John Bright NY 1884–1948 1941–1948 F. Roosevelt death
29 Simon Hirsch Rifkind NY 1901–1995 1941–1950 F. Roosevelt resignation
30 Harold Medina NY 1888–1990 1947–1951 Truman elevation to 2d Cir.
31 Sylvester J. Ryan NY 1896–1981 1947–1973[Note 6] 1959–1966 1973–1981 Truman death
32 Samuel H. Kaufman NY 1893–1960 1948–1955[Note 7] 1955–1960 Truman death
33 Irving Kaufman NY 1910–1992 1949–1961[Note 8] Truman elevation to 2d Cir.
34 John F. X. McGohey NY 1894–1972 1949–1970[Note 9] 1970–1972 Truman death
35 Gregory Francis Noonan NY 1906–1964 1949–1964[Note 10] Truman death
36 Sidney Sugarman NY 1904–1974 1949–1971[Note 11] 1966–1971 1971–1974 Truman death
37 Edward Weinfeld NY 1901–1988 1950–1988 Truman death
38 Thomas Francis Murphy NY 1905–1995 1951–1970 1970–1995 Truman death
39 Edward Jordan Dimock NY 1890–1986 1951–1961 1961–1986 Truman death
40 David Norton Edelstein NY 1910–2000 1951–1994[Note 12] 1971–1980 1994–2000 Truman death
41 Archie Owen Dawson NY 1898–1964 1954–1964 Eisenhower death
42 Lawrence Edward Walsh NY 1912–2014 1954–1957 Eisenhower resignation
43 Alexander Bicks NY 1901–1963 1954–1963 Eisenhower death
44 Edmund Louis Palmieri NY 1907–1989 1954–1972 1972–1989 Eisenhower death
45 William Bernard Herlands NY 1905–1969 1955–1969[Note 13] Eisenhower death
46 John M. Cashin NY 1892–1970 1955–1965[Note 14] 1965–1970 Eisenhower death
47 Richard Harrington Levet NY 1894–1980 1956–1966 1966–1976 Eisenhower retirement
48 Frederick van Pelt Bryan NY 1904–1978 1956–1972 1972–1978 Eisenhower death
49 Lloyd Francis MacMahon NY 1912–1989 1959–1982 1980–1982 1982–1989 Eisenhower death
50 Charles Miller Metzner NY 1912–2009 1959–1977 1977–2009 Eisenhower death
51 Thomas Francis Croake NY 1902–1978 1961–1972 1972–1978 Kennedy death
52 Dudley Baldwin Bonsal NY 1906–1995 1961–1976[Note 15] 1976–1995 Kennedy death
53 Irving Ben Cooper NY 1902–1996 1961–1972[Note 16] 1972–1996 Kennedy death
54 Wilfred Feinberg NY 1920–2014 1961–1966[Note 17] Kennedy elevation to 2d Cir.
55 Harold R. Tyler Jr. NY 1922–2005 1962–1975 Kennedy resignation
56 Edward Cochrane McLean NY 1903–1972 1962–1972 Kennedy death
57 Inzer Bass Wyatt NY 1907–1990 1962–1977 1977–1990 Kennedy death
58 John Matthew Cannella NY 1908–1996 1963–1977 1977–1996 Kennedy death
59 Charles Henry Tenney NY 1911–1994 1963–1979 1979–1994 L. Johnson[Note 18] death
60 Marvin E. Frankel NY 1920–2002 1965–1978 L. Johnson resignation
61 Walter R. Mansfield NY 1911–1987 1966–1971 L. Johnson elevation to 2d Cir.
62 Constance Baker Motley NY 1921–2005 1966–1986 1982–1986 1986–2005 L. Johnson death
63 Milton Pollack NY 1906–2004 1967–1983 1983–2004 L. Johnson death
64 Morris E. Lasker NY 1917–2009 1968–1983 1983–2009 L. Johnson death
65 Murray Gurfein NY 1907–1979 1971–1974 Nixon elevation to 2d Cir.
66 Lawrence W. Pierce NY 1924–present 1971–1981 Nixon elevation to 2d Cir.
67 Charles L. Brieant NY 1923–2008 1971–2007 1986–1993 2007–2008 Nixon death
68 Arnold Bauman NY 1914–1989 1971–1974 Nixon resignation
69 Lee Parsons Gagliardi NY 1918–1998 1971–1985 1985–1998 Nixon death
70 Thomas P. Griesa NY 1930–2017 1972–2000 1993–2000 2000–2017 Nixon death
71 Whitman Knapp NY 1909–2004 1972–1987 1987–2004 Nixon death
72 Charles E. Stewart Jr. NY 1916–1994 1972–1985 1985–1994 Nixon death
73 Robert L. Carter NY 1917–2012 1972–1986 1986–2012 Nixon death
74 Kevin Thomas Duffy NY 1933–present 1972–1998 1998–2016 Nixon retirement
75 Robert Joseph Ward NY 1926–2003 1972–1991 1991–2003 Nixon death
76 William C. Conner NY 1920–2009 1973–1987 1987–2009 Nixon death
77 Richard Owen NY 1922–2015 1973–1989 1989–2015 Nixon death
78 Henry Frederick Werker NY 1920–1984 1974–1984 Nixon death
80 Gerard Louis Goettel NY 1928–2011 1976–1993 1993–2011 Ford death
81 Vincent Lyons Broderick NY 1920–1995 1976–1988 1988–1995 Ford death
82 Pierre N. Leval NY 1936–present 1977–1993 Carter elevation to 2d Cir.
83 Robert W. Sweet NY 1922–2019 1978–1991 1991–2019 Carter death
84 Leonard B. Sand NY 1928–2016 1978–1993 1993–2016 Carter death
85 Mary Johnson Lowe NY 1924–1999 1978–1991 1991–1999 Carter death
86 Abraham David Sofaer NY 1938–present 1979–1985 Carter resignation
87 John E. Sprizzo NY 1934–2008 1981–2000 2000–2008 Reagan death
88 Shirley Wohl Kram NY 1922–2009 1983–1993 1993–2009 Reagan death
90 Peter K. Leisure NY 1929–2013 1984–1997 1997–2013 Reagan death
92 John M. Walker Jr. NY 1940–present 1985–1989 Reagan elevation to 2d Cir.
93 Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum NY 1929–2016 1986–1998 1998–2016 Reagan death
94 Richard J. Daronco NY 1931–1988 1987–1988 Reagan death
95 Michael Mukasey NY 1941–present 1987–2006 2000–2006 2006 Reagan retirement
96 Kenneth Conboy NY 1938–present 1987–1993 Reagan resignation
98 Robert P. Patterson Jr. NY 1923–2015 1988–1998 1998–2015 Reagan death
99 John S. Martin Jr. NY 1935–present 1990–2003 2003–2003 G.H.W. Bush retirement
101 Louis Freeh NY 1950–present 1991–1993 G.H.W. Bush resignation
103 Sonia Sotomayor NY 1954–present 1992–1998 G.H.W. Bush elevation to 2d Cir.
104 Allen G. Schwartz NY 1934–2003 1993–2003 Clinton death
106 Harold Baer Jr. NY 1933–2014 1994–2004 2004–2014 Clinton death
107 Denny Chin NY 1954–present 1994–2010 Clinton elevation to 2d Cir.
111 Barrington Daniels Parker Jr. NY 1944–present 1994–2001 Clinton elevation to 2d Cir.
112 Shira A. Scheindlin NY 1946–present 1994–2011 2011–2016 Clinton retirement
114 Barbara S. Jones NY 1947–present 1995–2012 Clinton retirement
116 Richard C. Casey NY 1933–2007 1997–2007 Clinton death
124 Gerard E. Lynch NY 1951–present 2000–2009 Clinton elevation to 2d Cir.
127 Richard J. Holwell NY 1946–present 2003–2012 G.W. Bush resignation
128 Stephen C. Robinson NY 1957–present 2003–2010 G.W. Bush resignation
131 Richard J. Sullivan NY 1964–present 2007–2018 G.W. Bush elevation to 2d Cir.
137 Katherine B. Forrest NY 1964–present 2011–2018 Obama resignation
  1. ^ Initially appointed to the United States District Court for the District of New York, reassigned by operation of law to the Southern District of New York on April 9, 1814.
  2. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on July 13, 1867, confirmed by the United States Senate on July 16, 1867, and received commission the same day.
  3. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on October 12, 1881, confirmed by the Senate on October 14, 1881, and received commission the same day.
  4. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 5, 1901, confirmed by the Senate on December 17, 1901, and received commission the same day.
  5. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on December 6, 1927, confirmed by the Senate on December 19, 1927, and received commission the same day.
  6. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on November 24, 1947, confirmed by the Senate on December 18, 1947, and received commission on December 20, 1947.
  7. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 13, 1949, confirmed by the Senate on January 31, 1949, and received commission on February 2, 1949.
  8. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 5, 1950, confirmed by the Senate on April 4, 1950, and received commission on April 7, 1950.
  9. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 5, 1950, confirmed by the Senate on March 8, 1950, and received commission on March 9, 1950.
  10. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 5, 1950, confirmed by the Senate on April 25, 1950, and received commission on April 26, 1950.
  11. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 5, 1950, confirmed by the Senate on April 28, 1950, and received commission on May 1, 1950.
  12. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 30, 1952, confirmed by the Senate on April 7, 1952, and received commission on April 8, 1952.
  13. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 12, 1956, confirmed by the Senate on June 26, 1956, and received commission on June 27, 1956.
  14. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 12, 1956, confirmed by the Senate on March 1, 1956, and received commission on March 2, 1956.
  15. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1962, confirmed by the Senate on March 16, 1962, and received commission on March 17, 1962.
  16. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1962, confirmed by the Senate on September 20, 1962, and received commission on September 28, 1962.
  17. ^ Recess appointment; formally nominated on January 15, 1962, confirmed by the Senate on March 16, 1962, and received commission on March 17, 1962.
  18. ^ Judge Tenney was nominated by President Kennedy but was appointed to the Court by (i.e., received his commission from) President Johnson.

Chief judgesEdit

Chief judges have administrative responsibilities with respect to their district court. Unlike the Supreme Court, where one justice is specifically nominated to be chief, the office of chief judge rotates among the district court judges. To be chief, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position.

When the office was created in 1948, the chief judge was the longest-serving judge who had not elected to retire on what has since 1958 been known as senior status or declined to serve as chief judge. After August 6, 1959, judges could not become or remain chief after turning 70 years old. The current rules have been in operation since October 1, 1982.

Succession of seatsEdit

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ "The Mother Court: A.K.A., the Southern District Court of New York". www.americanbar.org. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  2. ^ Fuchs, Erin (November 7, 2013). "America's 'Killer Elite' Lawyers Are All In One Prosecutor's Office In Manhattan". Business Insider. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  3. ^ Weiser, Benjamin (January 29, 2009). "A Steppingstone for Law's Best and Brightest". The New York Times. Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  4. ^ "Southern District of New York 225th Anniversary". history.nysd.uscourts.gov. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Asbury Dickens, A Synoptical Index to the Laws and Treaties of the United States of America (1852), p. 386.
  6. ^ a b c d U.S. District Courts of New York, Legislative history, Federal Judicial Center.
  7. ^ a b H. Paul Burak, History of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (1962).
  8. ^ Forrest, Katherine (August 23, 2017). "Matt Hosseinzadeh, Plaintiff, v. Ethan Klein and Hila Klein, Defendants". United States District Court, S.D. New York (cv-3081). Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  9. ^ Hamilton, Colby "Cohen's 'Blind Loyalty' Leads to 3-Year Prison Term", New York Law Journal via Law.com, December 12, 2018. Retrieved December 12, 2018.
  10. ^ "Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen jailed for 36 months". BBC News. December 12, 2018. Retrieved December 12, 2018.

External linksEdit