Three candidates for the bench—a trial lawyer, county court judge and judicial referee—will vie locally Tuesday for two black robes hanging in the state Supreme Court closet.
Fourteen-year terms will go to the winners among Edward Borrelli, Robert DiBella and Paul Marx. The Westchester residents are seeking to fill two seats in the Ninth Judicial District, which also encompasses Rockland, Orange, Dutchess and Putnam counties.
The job pays $136,700 to start, a figure scheduled to climb by 27 percent over the next three years unless the Legislature and governor block or modify the raise.
Borelli—running on the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines for the nonpartisan position—is a former Yonkers City Court judge who now serves as a state Supreme Court special referee. His work includes civil and criminal jury and nonjury trials, and civil matters like parental and grandparent custody, visitation, child support and domestic violence.
His endorsements include the Westchester/Putnam Central Labor Body AFL-CIO, the Affiliated Police Associations, Local 628 Firefighters and Asian Americans of Rockland County, he said, additing that the Dutchess County Bar Association and the Westchester Women's Bar Association found him "well-qualified" to sit on the Supreme Court.
DiBella—a Democratic, Republican, Conservative and Working Families candidate—is already an acting Supreme Court justice, presiding full-time since last year over the districtwide Article 81 Guardianship Part. Earlier, DiBella said, he had presided over felony criminal and civil jury trials while managing a civil case inventory of approximately 400 active cases.
In county court, his workload extended beyond felony criminal and civil jury and non-jury trials to include a felony criminal case inventory of approximately 80 active cases, he said. DiBella also serves as acting surrogate for estate and trust matters from Westchester, Rockland and Putnam counties.
Paul Marx—running on the Democratic, Working Families and Independence lines—is an attorney with the White Plains law firm DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise & Wiederkehr, LLP.
“With 28 years of experience as a practicing trial and appellate attorney, I have the depth and breadth of knowledge required to make an effective and fair justice,” Marx said. Bar associations in the Ninth Judicial District, he said, have rated him “qualified, highly qualified and well-qualified” or “approved and recommended."
In addition, Marx said, he has served as a fee-dispute arbitrator in the Ninth Judicial District and served as chair of the Westchester Bar Ethics Committee as well as the Town of Somers Zoning Board of Appeals.
The state Supreme Court is New York’s highest trial court, with jurisdiction over any kind of case, though it usually hears civil matters dealing with large sums of money as well as divorce, separation and annulment cases.