August 31, 2021
Contact: Toni Valenti
New York County Lawyers Association Condemns Doxing of Chief Judge DiFiore by New York State Court Officers Association President
The New York County Lawyers Association (“NYCLA”) Officers issue the following statement: NYCLA condemns the actions of the President of the New York State Court Officers Association who shared Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s home addresses in a Facebook post.
Earlier this month, the Federal Courts Committee of NYCLA wrote in support of the proposed Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act of 2020 that “The safety of the judiciary is vital to the rule of law. Federal judges must be able to make decisions, no matter how unpopular, without fear of harm. Indeed, for judges and their families, better security can be a matter of life and death.” The federal legislation resulted from a tragic shooting when a frustrated litigant found the address for Federal District Judge Esther Salas online and killed her son and wounded her husband in their home. The release of the Chief Judge’s address by the President of the Court Officer’s Association, or the publication of the address of any court personnel, could easily lead to similar tragedy.
We are thus dismayed that an incursion on the privacy and security of our judges has occurred— this time at the state level. The actions of the President of the Court Officers Association raise precisely the concerns identified in our Federal Courts Committee statement. We join the New York State Bar Association in condemning those actions in the strongest possible terms. As the Court Officers Association should recognize, the maintenance of a strong, independent judiciary— one of NYCLA’s core values—requires, at minimum, that judges be kept safe.
In addition, we call for the enactment of Assembly Bill A7600, which is the state equivalent of the David Anderl legislation that the NYCLA Federal Courts Committee earlier supported. Assembly Bill A7600 (i) provides a means by which private information concerning active and former judges, nonjudicial court personnel, prosecutors, defense attorneys, and others who work with the courts, and their immediate families can be kept from public display; and (ii) persons, businesses, associations, and public and private agencies having such information can be forbidden from posting it or sharing or trading it with others.
About the New York County Lawyers Association
The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar associations in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion, or gender. Since its inception, it has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence and has continuously played an active role in legal developments and public policy.