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Biographies

Robin A. Bikkal: Appointed by Temporary President of the Senate Stewart-Cousins

Term ends 3/31/2023

Robin A. Bikkal has been a practicing immigration attorney in White Plains, New York for 38 years. She is the current owner of Bikkal and Associates and a former partner of Silverman and Bikkal, a firm she founded with her husband, the late former NYS Supreme Court Justice Donald N. Silverman. In addition to her professional career, Ms. Bikkal has a lengthy history of community and civic involvement in Westchester County. Currently she serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Westchester Community College and is the founder and co-chair of the Hispanic Democrats of Westchester. She received her J.D. from Western New England School of Law.

John A. Cirando: Appointed by Assembly Minority Leader Barclay
Term ends 3/31/2025

John Cirando is a partner of the law firm of D.J. and J.A. Cirando, Esqs., in Syracuse, New York. He served as Chief Assistant District Attorney in the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office and was a member of the United States Army, Judge Advocate General Corps. He has served as Chairperson of the New York State Bar Association's Committee on County Courts and Public Relations Committee, and as Secretary and member of the Board of Directors of the Onondaga County Bar Association. He has taught as an adjunct professor of law at Syracuse University College of Law and authored the 2004-2005 Survey of Criminal Law in New York State for the Syracuse University Law Review. He is general counsel for Vera House, Inc., and in 2005, received the Sister Mary Vera Recognition Award. He is a member of the NYS Law Revision Commission. He received his B.A. from St. Bonaventure University and his J.D. from S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo, School of Law.

Mylan L. Denerstein: Appointed by Governor Cuomo
Term ends 3/31/2025

Mylan Denerstein is a partner in the New York City officer of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and is a member of the firm’s White Collar Defense and Investigations, Securities Litigation, Appellate and Crisis Management Practice Groups. Prior to joining Gibson Dunn, Ms. Denerstein served as Counsel to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo since 2011, acting as the Governor’s chief counsel and principal legal advisor. From 2007 to 2010, she served as the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Social Justice and managed approximately 100 attorneys statewide working in the areas of charities, civil rights, environmental protection, health care, labor and tobacco compliance. From 2003 to 2007, she served as Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs for the New York City Fire Department. From 1996 to 2003, Ms. Denerstein served as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, first as Assistant U.S. Attorney and then as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division. Ms. Denerstein serves as a board member of the Vera Institute of Justice. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School.

Robert L. Haig: Appointed by Chief Judge DiFiore
Term ends 3/31/2022

Robert L. Haig is a litigation partner in the law firm of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP in New York City. He is a former President of the New York County Lawyers Association and of the New York Bar Foundation. He has served as the Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and also chaired that Association’s Council on Judicial Administration. Mr. Haig was the Co-Chair of the Commercial Courts Task Force established by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye in 1995 to create and refine the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court. He is now the Chair of the Commercial Division Advisory Council established by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman in 2013 to advise him on an ongoing basis about all matters involving and surrounding the Commercial Division as well as to keep him apprised of developments in the business world that may affect the court system. On November 16, 2008, he was inducted as an Honorary Charter Member of the American College of Business Court Judges in recognition of his efforts to develop business courts in New York and many other states and countries.

H. Dale Hemmerdinger: Appointed by Chief Judge DiFiore
Term ends 3/31/24

H. Dale Hemmerdinger is Chairman and Director of The Hemmerdinger Corporation and Atco Properties and Management - commercial and residential real estate ownership and development companies based in New York City. He is Chairman of the New York Police Foundation and of the Realty Foundation of New York. He serves as a Trustee of the Naval War College Foundation, Harlem Academy, Trustee/Chairman Emeritus of the Citizens Budget Commission and Carnegie Hall as the Mayor’s representative. Mr. Hemmerdinger was appointed by Mayor Koch to be Commissioner of the City of New York on the Conciliation and Appeals Board and by Governor Spitzer to be Chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Mr. Hemmerdinger received his B. A. from New York University.

Russell T. Hernandez: Appointed by Chief Judge DiFiore
Term ends 3/31/23

Russell T. Hernandez is the owner of ASA Inc., representing individuals as their consultant and manager for residential projects. He also owns ASC LLC, specializing in both residential and commercial development and property management. He is a Board Member of the Advisory Council to the Dean of the Industrial and Labor Relations School at Cornell University; creator and member of the Office of Emergency Management in the Town of Pound Ridge, New York, and an advisory Board Member to Malvern Bank. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Cornell University and holds special certifications in the Environmental Sciences from Harvard University School of Public Health.

Michael J. Hutter: Appointed by Senate Minority Leader Ortt
Term ends 3/31/24

Michael J. Hutter is a Professor of Law at Albany Law School, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1976. He is also Special Counsel to the law firm of Powers & Santola, LLP, in Albany, New York, where he specializes in appellate practice. Professor Hutter is an honors graduate of Brown University, and Boston College Law School, where was the Editor-In-Chief of Boston College’s law review (Annual Survey), and was elected to the Order of the Coif. After graduation, Professor Hutter served as law clerk to Judge Matthew J. Jasen, an Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. From 1979-1984, he was the Executive Director of the New York State Law Revision Commission. He also served as Chair, NYS Capital Defender Office from 2005-2008. He presently serves as a Commissioner on the New York State Law Revision Commission. Professor Hutter is the immediate-past President of the Albany County Bar Association.

Abraham M. Lackman: Appointed by Governor Cuomo
Term ends 3/31/22

Abraham M. Lackman has extensive experience in government and higher education. He is the former Secretary of the New York State Senate Finance Committee, where his responsibilities included evaluating the fiscal and budgetary implications of all major state legislation. Preceding that, he was Budget Director of the City of New York. Most recently, Mr. Lackman served as the sixth President of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities, where he led and coordinated the state and federal public policy advocacy of more than 100 college presidents of New York state's private, nonprofit, independent institutions of higher education. In November 2009, he launched Praxis Insights, a higher education and government consulting firm. He is an advisor to Stony Brook University, Cold Spring Harbor Lab, Brookhaven National Lab, New York Genome Center and the NY Structural Biology Center. Mr. Lackman also serves on the board of NYS START-UP and is Chair of the Higher Education Services Corporation board. He is currently Senior Officer, Civic Affairs at the Simons Foundation. He holds a B.S. from New York University and an M.A. from State University of New York at Albany.

Hon. E. Leo Milonas (Ret.): Appointed by Chief Judge DiFiore
Term ends 3/31/2025

Judge Milonas has had twenty-six years of judicial experience, including service as an associate justice of the Appellate Division, First Department and as the Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York. Judge Milonas is a past president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and serves or has served on numerous other judicial advisory committees. Judge Milonas is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and is currently a partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Paul N. Samuels: Appointed by Speaker Heastie
Term ends 3/31/22

Paul N. Samuels is Director/President of the Legal Action Center, a not-for-profit public interest law firm specializing in legal and policy issues involving substance use, criminal justice and HIV/AIDS. He also chairs New York State's Behavioral Health Services Advisory Council, serves on the Governor’s Council on Community Reentry and Reintegration, and is Co-Chair of the national Coalition for Whole Health. Mr. Samuels is a graduate of Harvard College and Columbia University School of Law.

Dierdre K. Scozzafava: Appointed by Governor Cuomo
Term ends 3/31/2023

Dierdre K. "Dede" Scozzafava is the New York Deputy Secretary of State for Local Government.  Before Governor Cuomo appointed her in January 2011, she previously served from 1999 through 2010 in the New York State Assembly representing the 122nd Assembly District, which includes portions of St. Lawrence, Lewis, and Oswego Counties.  She also served as a trustee in her hometown Village of Gouverneur, and then as mayor of Gouverneur from 1993 through 1998.  Ms. Scozzafava worked for 20 years with the investment firm of Tucker Anthony.  She holds a B.S. from the Boston University School of Management, and an M.B.A. from Clarkson University.

Counsel

Henry M. Greenberg, Counsel

Cynthia L. Neidl, Assistant Counsel