Schenectady-based state Supreme Court Justice Christine Clark was one of three judges named this week by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to the state Appellate Division.
Clark joins the appeals court two years after winning her seat as a state Supreme Court justice and nine years after first taking the bench as a Schenectady City Court judge.
Cuomo appointed Clark to the Appellate Division, along with Albany County-based justices Eugene P. Devine and Michael C. Lynch.
The appointments mean there remain two openings on the 12-judge Appellate Division, Third Department, bench.
The Third Department of the Appellate Division runs from the Hudson Valley to the Canadian boarder. The area includes the entire Capital Region. The court hears appeals from state Supreme Courts around the region.
The governor appoints justices to each Appellate Division in the state and the appointments are not subject to Senate confirmation.
The appointments of Lynch and Devine took effect immediately, while Clark’s appointment takes effect April 24.
Also, no state Supreme Court vacancies are created when justices are elevated to the Appellate Division.
Each of the three Third Department judges promoted to the Appellate Division were deemed “highly qualified” by a judicial screening committee.
Clark won election to the Supreme Court in 2012, after serving two years as Schenectady County Family Court judge.
She served as Schenectady City Court judge from 2005 until winning election as Family Court judge.
Clark was sworn into her Supreme Court judgeship by the presiding justice of the Appellate Division Karen K. Peters.
Clark said then that Peters was someone she always admired. Peters was the first woman appointed to her post. Clark was the first female Democratic candidate elected in the district.
Now, Clark will serve with Peters as a justice in the same appeals court.
Prior to being a judge, Clark served seven years with the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office. She served as a sex crimes and child abuse prosecutor and then bureau chief of the office’s Special Victim’s Unit in her final year there.
She started her legal career in 1995 as a law clerk and then associate with the firm Dreyer Boyajian.
Devine joins the Appellate Division after serving as state Supreme Court justice from Albany County since 2006. He won that spot after serving a decade as chief public defender in Albany County for a decade.
Lynch was elected to his state Supreme Court seat in 2005. He previously served as Albany County attorney.