State Appellate Court Justice Thomas E. Mercure, the longest-serving appellate judge in the history of the 3rd Department, will retire from the bench March 1.
Mercure, whose roots are in Washington County, has served as an associate justice on the Appellate Division in Albany for more than 25 years. He has been a state Supreme Court justice for 32 years.
Since last year he has been the administrative judge of the 3rd Judicial District, overseeing courts in seven counties including Albany, Schoharie and Rensselaer counties. The position involves supervising 53 judges and more than 400 employees.
“It has been a great privilege to have served the public through the law for more than four decades,” Mercure said in a statement. “The work has been endlessly fascinating, and I have had the great pleasure to work each day with brilliant, dedicated colleagues, both on the bench and in the administrative office of the court system.
Mercure, 70, originally planned to retire last Dec. 31, but agreed to stay in his administrative role a bit longer, He said he now plans to continue to work in the legal field or teach.
He began his judicial career in 1981, when he was elected Washington County Court judge at age 37 — the youngest judge in the state at the time. He began practicing law in Fort Edward in 1969, after graduating from Georgetown University Law Center. He subsequently served as a Washington County assistant district attorney, and was later elected district attorney. He was subsequently elected to three 14-year terms on the state Supreme Court.
Mercure and his wife, Terry, live in Hudson Falls. They have five children and 11 grandchildren.