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About Judge Mercure

Hon. Thomas E. Mercure, retired, is Of Counsel to Carter Conboy. Justice Mercure focuses his practice on appellate advocacy, ethics and complex civil litigation, as well as alternative dispute resolution services, including mediation and arbitration.  

Why Judge Mercure

In 1969, Justice Mercure began his career in the private practice of law in Fort Edward, New York. He entered public service in 1973 as an Assistant District Attorney in Washington County. He became first assistant a year later, was elected District Attorney in 1976 and served in that position for four years. 

Justice Mercure’s career on the bench began in 1981 following his election as Washington County Judge. His tenure as a jurist continued for the next 33 years, during which time he was elected to three terms on the state Supreme Court, was appointed to the Appellate Division, Third Department, and served as Administrative Judge of the Third Judicial District, overseeing courts, judges and court system employees in seven counties.

In March, 2014, Justice Mercure retired from the bench after serving for more than 25 years as Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, during which time he heard more than 21,000 appeals, wrote more than 3,000 signed opinions, and became the longest serving Justice in the 118-year history of the court. Justice Mercure served as Acting Presiding Justice in 2011 and 2012.

Justice Mercure sat on the New York State Court of Appeals, by designation, twice in 1994 and 2011 for two cases, including one related to the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. He was nominated and determined to be well qualified for a seat on the high court three times by the Commission on Judicial Nomination in 2006-2007 – twice for Associate Judge and once for Chief Judge of the State of New York.

Qualifications

Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Washington County Bar Association
  • Warren County Bar Association
  • Supreme Court Justices Association

Justice Mercure was a member of the Ethics Commission for the Unified Court System for 14 years (1989-2003), including seven years as Chair. He also served for a number of years as a member of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics (2003-17), and for 10 years (2003-13) on the Federal-State Judicial Council as one of five state judges meeting regularly with five federal judges to facilitate the disposition of cases in both court systems.

Recognition

  • Washington County Courthouse, dedicated as the Thomas E. Mercure Washington County Courthouse (September, 2014)
  • Washington County Bar Association, Charles Evans Hughes Award (2016)
  • Capital District Trial Lawyers Association Edward S. Conway Judicial Excellence Award (2014)
  • Greater Capital District Italian-American Bar Association Anthony V. Cardona Award (2014)
  • New York State Unified Court System, Lifetime Achievement Award (2013)
  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association, Felix J. Aulisi Award (2012)

Noteworthy  

Major Opinions

  • Matter of Straniere v. Silver, 218 AD2d 80, 1996. The speech and debate clause of the state Constitution bars judicial review of a decision by the Assembly speaker requiring a home rule message from New York City before Staten Island could secede from the city.
  • Grumet v. Cuomo, 225 AD2d 4, 1996. State lawmakers breached the separation of church and state by creating a special public school district for the Hasidic community of Kiryas Joel in violation of the establishment clause.
  • Matter of Schulz v. New York State Executive, 233 AD2d 43, 1997. Expanded a groundbreaking 1993 Court of Appeals ruling and granted New York voters broad standing to sue the state over constitutional requirements for contracting long-term debt.
  • Majewski v. Broadalbin-Perth Central School District, 231 AD2d 102, 1997. The sharp curtailment of employer liability for workplace injuries resulting from a Workers’ Compensation reform measure is not retroactive, preserving thousands of third-party negligence claims.
  • Doe v. Community Health Plan – Kaiser, 268 AD2d 183, 2000. Dissented when the court seemingly created a new cause of action and held that a HMO can be sued by a patient whose medical records were improperly released by a clerk.

Education

  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center (1968)
  • B.A., St. Michael’s College (1965)

Admissions

  • State of New York (1969)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York (1969)
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America (1974)

Leadership

Speaking

  • Speaker: “Best Practices from the Federal and Appellate Benches“, Carter Conboy Continuing Legal Education (June, 2015)
  • Speaker: “Judicial Ethics: Judges and Lawyers”, Federation of Bar Associations 4th Judicial District, Lake Placid, NY (April, 2015)
  • Speaker: “Appellate Practice”, Carter Conboy Continuing Legal Education (February, 2013)

Publications

Justice Mercure has participated actively over the years on various committees and commissions dedicated to the development of the law and the administration of justice.  He served for 15 years (1991-2006) on the Committee on Pattern Jury Instructions, and was one of several Supreme Court Justices tasked with developing jury instructions for use in all civil trials across the state.