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First Woman of Color Appointed Presiding Justice of NYS Supreme Court


Governor Kathy Hochul on Wednesday announced the appointment of Dianne T. Renwick as Presiding Justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department. Justice Renwick will be the first woman of color to be Presiding Justice of the First Department since its creation in 1894.

“New Yorkers deserve a thoughtful, attentive, and independent leader of the First Department, and I’m proud to make a historic appointment in Justice Dianne Renwick as Presiding Justice,” Governor Hochul said. “With her extensive experience and diverse background, I’m confident that Justice Renwick will bring honor and integrity to New York State’s judiciary and serve New Yorkers with fairness and impartiality.”

Dianne T. Renwick is currently the Acting Presiding Justice in the Appellate Division for the First Department of the New York State Supreme Court (March 2023 to Present). In April 2008, Governor David Paterson appointed Justice Renwick to the Appellate Division, First Department, making her the first woman of color to serve on the First Department, since its creation in 1894. Additionally, Justice Renwick chairs the First Department’s Committee on Bias.

Justice Renwick was elected a Justice of the New York State Supreme Court in 2001 and served in the Civil Term for Bronx County from 2002 to 2008. Renwick was a Civil Court Judge from 1998 to 2001 and served in both New York and Bronx Counties. In 1997, Renwick was a Housing Court Judge in New York County for the Housing Court of the City of New York. Renwick was a Staff Attorney in the Federal Defender Services Unit, EDNY, for The Legal Aid Society from 1989 to 1997, and a staff attorney in Bronx County from 1986 to 1989. Renwick obtained a J.D. from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law at Yeshiva University in 1986 and a B.S. from Cornell University in 1982.

Renwick is married to New York State Supreme Court Justice Robert T. Johnson, a former Bronx District Attorney (1989 to 2015). Justice Renwick serves on the boards of Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Practicing Law Institute, Historical Society of the New York Courts, and the Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children.

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