Hon. E. Michael Kavanagh, Associate Justice and Hearing Officer for NAM (National Arbitration and Mediation)

Hon. E. Michael Kavanagh (Ret.) Associate Justice, Appellate Division, 1st and 3rd Departments

After an illustrious legal career in public service as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division and the Supreme Court, District Attorney and Prosecutor, Justice Kavanagh is applying his vast experience and knowledge to alternative dispute resolution by handling mediations and arbitrations for NAM throughout upstate New York and New York City. His success has been recognized by the legal community for five consecutive years in the New York Annual Reader Rankings Survey where he was voted a Top 10 Arbitrator in New York State in the “Best Individual Arbitrator” category (2013-2017).

Justice Kavanagh was appointed to the Appellate Division by the Governor of New York State in 2006. He served as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division in the First Judicial Department (Manhattan) from 2006-2008. Thereafter, he served as an Associate Justice in the Third Judicial Department (Albany) until his retirement from the bench in December 2012. During his tenure as an Associate Justice, he authored numerous opinions involving significant legal issues raised during litigation generated from the State’s Supreme, County, Family, and Surrogate Courts. Prior to his appointment to the Appellate Division, Justice Kavanagh spent 8 years as a trial judge in the Supreme Court where he presided over complex civil litigation actions concerning personal injury, medical malpractice, negligence, Labor Law, products liability, administrative regulatory reform, tax certiorari, and contested matrimonial disputes. While on the Supreme Court bench, he ruled on civil matters in Ulster, Albany, Sullivan, Columbia, Greene and New York Counties. In 2002, Hon. Kavanagh was appointed by the Chief Administrative Judge to the NYS Mass Tort Litigation Coordination Panel and in 2005, he was again appointed by the Chief Administrative Judge to the NYS Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics, on which he served 6 years. He was a member of both the New York State Bar Association’s committee that studied District Court jury trials and of the Unified Court System’s Drug Court Advisory Committee. Before his appointment to the bench, he served as District Attorney of Ulster County from 1978-1998, a position to which he was elected six times, and as an Assistant District Attorney from 1970-1978.

According to the 2009/2010 New York Judge Reviews, Judge Kavanagh was given high marks for his demeanor, fairness and legal knowledge. Quoting from the Judge Reviews: “Judge Kavanagh has impressed interviewees with his strong settlement and negotiating skills”... “He’s a very effective negotiator”. Lawyers interviewed described Judge Kavanagh’s legal knowledge as “excellent”... “He’s a very fair person”... “His fairness is outstanding”. Judge Kavanagh received high praise for his trial management and settlement skills.

In 2013, Justice Kavanagh was retained as a legal consultant by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and was a panelist in a forum held in the Republic of Macedonia on appellate practice and alternative dispute resolution. Most recently, he was appointed by the New York State’s Chief Judge to the Statewide Commission on Attorney Discipline.