Lambda Legal Mourns the Passing of Judge Paul Feinman

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April 1, 2021

After news reports on the passing of New York Court of Appeals Associate Judge Paul G. Feinman, the first openly LGBT person to serve on the New York's highest court, Lambda Legal issued the following statement from Sharon McGowan, Chief Strategy Officer and Legal Director, Eden/Rushing Chair:

"Lambda Legal mourns the passing of Judge Paul Feinman. As the first openly LGBT person to serve on the New York Court of Appeals, Judge Feinman was a trailblazer, but just as importantly, he was an outstanding jurist who consistently demonstrated a commitment to equality and justice for all New Yorkers.  Judge Feinman had a long and highly distinguished career, and he embodied the highest standards of professional excellence. He touched the lives of many New Yorkers; his legacy will live on.

"We owe Judge Feinman a tremendous debt of gratitude for his leadership and his life of service.  His historic appointment as the first openly LGBT judge on the New York Court of Appeals broke down an important barrier. It undoubtedly inspired others to follow in his courageous footsteps.  At the state and federal level, our judicial system too often still falls short in reflecting the diversity of our nation and the legal profession.  We hope that more LGBT lawyers, including lawyers of color, lawyers living with HIV, and lawyers from other historically underrepresented groups, are inspired by Judge Feinman's life to pursue public service as judges.  Moreover, Lambda Legal joins those calling for a judiciary that incorporates the vast diversity of life and professional experiences that are necessary for our legal system to operate fairly and with credibility."