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Peradotto again on shortlist to fill vacancy on state’s highest court

ALBANY – A judicial screening panel has put a Buffalo-area state judge on a list from which Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo can choose to fill a vacancy on the state’s highest court.

Associate Justice Erin M. Peradotto of the Appellate Division’s Fourth Department in Western New York has made the shortlist of names released Tuesday by the state Commission on Judicial Nomination. It is the second time that Peradotto has been on the list of finalists for an opening on the Court of Appeals.

Peradotto earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University at Buffalo and had stints in private practice and in the Buffalo regional office of the state Attorney General’s Office from 1997 to 1998. She became a state judge in 2004.

Also making the Court of Appeals judicial nomination list – for the second time this year – is Michael J. Garcia, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, based in Manhattan, and Judith J. Gische, an associate justice for the First Department of the Appellate Division in Manhattan and, like Peradotto, a holder of undergraduate and law degrees from UB.

Cuomo, by law, is supposed to make his selection from the list of seven names in no sooner than 15 days and no longer than 30 days. The nominee to succeed retiring Judge Susan Phillips Read then needs final approval by the State Senate.