New York Loses a Tireless Judicial Advocate for Children and Families

Submitted by Guest Blogger:  Joseph N. Schneiderman

Presiding Justice Anthony V. Cardona of the Appellate Division, Third Department lost a valiant yearlong battle with cancer on December 4. He was 70.

Justice Cardona had served as Presiding Justice of the Third Department for sixteen years (1994-2010), having been appointed originally by Governors Mario Cuomo and reappointed by Governor George Pataki. Governor Cuomo originally named Justice Cardona to serve as an Associate Justice of the Third Department in 1993, two years after his election to Supreme Court. Before then, Justice Cardona served as Family Court Judge Cardona of Albany County for six years, beyond serving as a Law Guardian and Public Defender in Albany County while maintaining a private practice in Albany.

In 1997, Justice Cardona received the Howard A. Levine award from the New York State Bar Association for his efforts to spur progress and reform in child welfare and juvenile justice. Justice Cardona also co-chaired the Family Violence Task Force under renown Chief Judge Judith Kaye for eleven years, training judges and court personnel in all the intricacies of domestic violence and child abuse. Justice Cardona also served on the New York State Task Force on Permanency Planning and spurred development of Court Appointed Special Assistants for Children program, where an award in his name was created in Albany. Finally beyond authoring more than 1000 decisions in the realm of Family Law, Acting Presiding Justice Thomas Mercure has noted that Justice Cardona has insisted that “[family court appeals] be handed down within four to six weeks after they argued, recognizing both the sensitivity of the issues and their importance to the participants.”

Justice Cardona, we thank you for your years of devoted service to “say what the law is” for the children and families of New York.