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Kavanagh deserving of ‘highly qualified’ rating

October 18, 2012

I have had the privilege of arguing cases before many trial and appellate judges all over New York State and beyond. In the Capital District we are distinguished in having an intermediate appellate court, the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the Third Judicial Department, which is outstanding in the high quality of its work, its commitment to justice and fairness and the courteous and even kind manner in which the judicial and non-judicial staff treat the public.

Justice E. Michael Kavanagh, one of the associate justices of the Appellate Division, Third Judicial Department, is running for a second 14-year-term as a Justice of the Supreme Court for the Third Judicial District, which encompasses the counties of Albany, Rensselaer, Ulster, Columbia, Schoharie, Greene and Sullivan. Justice Kavanagh has been rated "highly qualified" by the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission for the Third Judicial Department.

What voters cannot glean from the ratings, campaign brochures and other election-related materials is how Justice Kavanagh conducts himself in cases that often involve very unhappy people who are under a great deal of stress enmeshed as they are in some very unpleasant circumstances. I have argued cases before Justice Kavanagh and have observed him in many, many more. Justice Kavanagh has earned his "highly qualified" rating because of his thorough preparation, for the courtesy and respect he shows to litigants, and for demonstrating a particular mindfulness for the often troubling and turbulent undercurrents behind every case. Although he is in every sense of the word a highly-skilled and knowledgeable jurist, he is humble in his role and compassionate. He is sensitive to the often difficult and troubling facts and issues in the cases before him. He is also serious, earnest and business-like. In short, Justice Kavanagh has an exemplary judicial demeanor that is perfectly attuned to his role as an appellate jurist.

Justice Kavanagh exemplifies the kind of jurist whose dedication and hard work have made the Appellate Division for the Third Department a highly respected appellate court of which every New Yorker can be proud. Look for his name on the ballot on Election Day and if you see it, cast your vote for a candidate who has more than earned a second term serving the people of the State of New York.

Nicholas E. Tishler
Niskayuna, New York