Acting Supreme Court Justice Barry Kamins, who has served as the Brooklyn criminal courts administrative judge since 2009, has been appointed administrative judge for the New York City Criminal Court, effective immediately, Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti announced Jan. 11.
"I am pleased that Judge Kamins, a distinguished jurist and talented court administrator renowned for his unparalleled expertise in criminal law, has volunteered to take on the critical position of Administrative Judge of New York City Criminal Court," Justice Prudenti said in a statement.
Justice Kamins, who is filling a position that had been vacant for three years, was appointed to the Criminal Court bench in 2008 and elevated to acting Supreme Court justice in 2009, when he was named the administrative judge for criminal matters in Kings County. He will receive the same salary, $141,500, and will continue overseeing the criminal courts in Brooklyn, including felonies.
The lower-level courts Justice Kamins will add to his portfolio have long been criticized for their backlogs. More recently, cutbacks in court hours have slowed arraignments (NYLJ, Oct. 28).
"The New York City Criminal Court is probably the busiest court in the state," Justice Kamins said in an interview. "It is a court that needs constant attention."
Justice Kamins said his "number one priority" will be decreasing the time from arrest to arraignment.
"We need a more centralized focus on the operation of the court as it needs constant adjustment," Justice Kamins said. "With a central focus, I think the court can be managed more effectively."
Justice Kamins, 68, was an assistant in the Brooklyn District Attorney's office and eventually became deputy chief of the criminal court bureau. He then entered private practice and became a name partner in the criminal defense firm of Flamhaft Levy Kamins Hirsch & Rendeiro.
A former president of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and current member of the New York Law Journal board of editors, Justice Kamins is an adjunct professor at Brooklyn Law School and Fordham University. He is the author of "New York Search and Seizure" and writes the "Criminal Law and Practice" column for the Law Journal.
Justice Kamins co-chairs the New York State Permanent Sentencing Commission and the Chief Judge's Advisory Committee on Criminal Law and Procedure.
He is a graduate of Columbia College and Rutgers University Law School.
New York Law Journal
January 12, 2012