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Troutman, a Buffalo judge, named to state Court of Appeals

Troutman, a Buffalo judge, named to state Court of Appeals

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Shirley Troutman (copy)

Judge Shirley Troutman.

Shirley Troutman, a Western New York judge for more than three decades, has been appointed by Gov. Kathy Hochul to a vacancy on New York's highest court – the Court of Appeals.

A spokesman for the governor said late Monday that the appointment of Troutman, currently serving on the Rochester-based Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, will be formally announced Wednesday morning. If she is confirmed by the State Senate, she will be the second Black woman to serve on the high court.

“I am proud to nominate Justice Shirley Troutman to New York State’s highest court,” Hochul said. “Justice Troutman has a brilliant legal mind, a fair-minded judicial philosophy, sterling qualifications, and a commitment to equal justice that guides her approach from the bench. I am confident she will serve with distinction on the New York State Court of Appeals.”

Troutman has served as an Appellate Division associate justice since 2016. Elected to State Supreme Court in 2009, she was an Erie County judge from 2003 to 2009, and began her judicial career in 1994 following her election to Buffalo City Court.

She received her law degree from Albany Law School and her undergraduate degree from the University at Buffalo.

Troutman has also been active in the community, teaching at SUNY Buffalo State and the University at Buffalo Law School as an adjunct professor. She serves as co-chairwoman of the state's Franklin Williams Commission, which advises the court system on issues impacting employees and litigants of color.

Earlier this year, Troutman was selected by the Commission on Judicial Nomination as one of seven nominees (including Justice Erin M. Peradotto, also of Western New York and also an Appellate Division judge) for a vacancy stemming from the Dec. 31 retirement of Court of Appeals Judge Eugene M. Fahey, also of Western New York. She was rated “well qualified” by the New York State Bar Association and the Defense Association of New York, and “exceptionally well qualified” by the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Her appointment as the high court's second Black woman drew praise from Hazel Dukes, president of the New York State Conference of the NAACP.

"Not only does Justice Troutman have the right skills and qualifications to serve on the State's highest court, but she also has the lived experience to ensure she treats all who come before her with compassion, dignity and respect," Dukes said.

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