New York County Lawyers Association president Stewart D. Aaron sent a letter to the 2011 Commission on Judicial Compensation, recommending an immediate increase in judicial compensation for New York State Supreme Court judges together with cost-of-living increases. In the letter, written to Commission Chair William C. Thompson Jr., the bar association president urged the Commission to increase the judges’ compensation “...to an annual salary range of $190,000 to $196,000, and provide for future, indexed cost-of-living adjustments.”
NYCLA has long recognized that New York State judicial salaries are inadequate and, adjusted for inflation, are 41 percent lower than they were in 1999. New York Supreme Court judges have not received salary increases since 1999 and, as a result, judges have resigned, citing their salary as the reason.
Such a salary adjustment will restore judicial salaries to the same purchasing power that those salaries enjoyed in 1999. Moreover, the raise will mean that New York Supreme Court judges' salaries are more comparable to judicial salaries in other large states and will restore the ratio with senior law clerks' salaries, which now may exceed those of judges.
Mr. Aaron pledged to continue speaking on these and other issues that enhance our judicial system and its ability to administer justice.