Law Beat

Albany Times Union - - FRONT PAGE - robert Gavin

Three hope­fuls vie to make his­tory as next Al­bany County Court judge.

It­looks like it will be a three-way Demo­cratic race for Al­bany County Court to re­place now­state Supreme Court Jus­tice Peter Lynch.

And depend­ing on who emerges as the win­ner, his­tory could be made.

Co­hoes City Court Judge An­dra Ack­er­man told Law Beat she will run for the judge­ship, which Lynch had held since Jan­uary 2013.

Ack­er­man, 47, joins Jasper Mills, the chief coun­sel to Al­bany County Sher­iff Craig Ap­ple and City Court Judge Holly

Trexler as can­di­dates ex­pected to seek the judge­ship.

“There has never been a fe­male county court judge in the his­tory of Al­bany County and I be­lieve that diver­sity on the bench is crit­i­cal to the ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice,” Ack­er­man said.

If elected, Ack­er­man or Trexler would be­come the first woman to serve on the bench in Al­bany County Court. Mills would be­come just the sec­ond black judge to hold the po­si­tion.

In his six years as an Al­bany County judge, Lynch earned a rep­u­ta­tion as le­nient. De­fense at­tor­neys could un­doubt­edly re­cite ex­am­ples where Lynch was hardly le­nient. But that not­with­stand­ing, Al­bany County prose­cu­tors will likely be happy with a judge com­ing in with pros­e­cu­to­rial ex­pe­ri­ence. Lynch’s back­ground was in crim­i­nal de­fense.

Trexler was a for­mer de­fense at­tor­ney but also a pros­e­cu­tor in Al­bany and Rens­se­laer coun­ties. Mills was a pros­e­cu­tor for District At­tor­ney David Soares’ of­fice be­fore work­ing for Ap­ple. He re­cently pros­e­cuted a case in Rens­se­laer as a spe­cial pros­e­cu­tor.

Ack­er­man’s ex­pe­ri­ence in­cludes work­ing as a pros­e­cu­tor in Al­bany, Rens­se­laer, Sch­enec­tady and Mon­roe coun­ties. Ack­er­man also worked as the state’s direc­tor of hu­man traf­fick­ing pre­ven­tion and pol­icy.

Ack­er­man, who grew up in foster care in the Cap­i­tal Re­gion, ran the spe­cial vic­tims unit, which pros­e­cutes sex crimes, while work­ing in Sch­enec­tady.

“I have ded­i­cated my en­tire ca­reer to help­ing to make this world a safer place for the most vul­ner­a­ble of our pop­u­la­tions ...” Ack­er­man told Law Beat.

Ack­er­man formed a pro­gram, U-CAN, short for United Against Crime-com­mu­nity Ac­tion Net­work, to pro­vide men­tor­ing to de­fen­dants ages 16 to 21 years old. The year­long pro­gram al­lows them to con­di­tion­ally plead guilty to a non­vi­o­lent crime. If they suc-

cess­fully com­plete a year of men­tor­ing and stay out of trou­ble, the guilty plea will be ex­punged.

“I am proud to say that ad­di­tional U-CAN courts are now be­ing planned around the state,” Ack­er­man told Law Beat.

4,000 lawyers to meet in NYC

The #Metoo move­ment will be among the top­ics on the agenda when the State Bar As­so­ci­a­tion holds its 142nd an­nual meet­ing in Man­hat­tan from Mon­day to Fri­day.

More than 4,000 lawyers are ex­pected to at­tend the con­fer­ence, be­ing held at the New York Hilton Mid­town hotel.

The con­fer­ence will “ex­am­ine laws re­gard­ing sex­ual harass­ment and con­sider how at­tor­neys can work to pre­vent it, while also high­light­ing ways that at­tor­neys can nur­ture and sup­port gen­der eq­uity in the pro­fes­sion and in so­ci­ety.”

Wrong­ful pros­e­cu­tions, whistle­blower laws, and the pros and cons of a sin­gle-payer health care sys­tem will also be dis­cussed.

Sched­uled speak­ers in­clude for­mer Man­hat­tan U.S. At­tor­ney Preet Bharara, Chief Judge Janet Di­fiore, So­lic­i­tor Gen­eral Bar­bara Un­der­wood, who was the state’s first fe­male at­tor­ney gen­eral, Bronx Bor­ough Pres­i­dent Ruben Diaz, Jr.; and Man­hat­tan state As­sem­bly­man Richard Got­tfried, who chairs the state Assem­bly’s Health Com­mit­tee.

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