New York State Supreme Court Justice John W. Sweeny, an Orange County native and Putnam County resident, has been named to this year’s Irish Legal 100, an award shining a light on the top Irish-American members of the legal community. Judge Sweeny stands alongside other notable Irish American lawyers, judges and scholars on the list, such as Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts and Connecticut Governor Daniel Malloy.
"The Irish Legal 100 represents our most vibrant Irish network designed to bring people together, foster modern relationships with Ireland and to advance the interests of Irish America," said Debbie McGoldrick, senior editor of the
Irish Legal 100.
Since 2004, Judge Sweeny has served with distinction on New York State’s Appellate Division, First Department of the Supreme Court. Judge Sweeny proudly represents Irish-Americans and the Ninth Judicial District on this illustrious court, which is widely considered one of the leading state appellate courts in the nation. The Court has had at least one Irish-American judge serving since it first opened in 1896. Judge Sweeny is running for re-election this year in New York State’s Ninth Judicial District, which covers Westchester, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess and Rockland counties.
Judge Sweeny’s Irish roots and commitment to public service run deep on both sides of his family. On his mother’s side, the family hails from County Antrim. His grandfather, James Hamill, was a Democrat who represented New Jersey’s then 12th Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 1910-1921 and was a representative to the Versailles Peace Conference in 1919. On his father’s side, the family hails from County Cork. His father, John W. Sweeny, Sr., was a Republican who served as a New York State Supreme Court Justice in Orange County for many years.
Judge Sweeny credits his Irish Catholic upbringing for instilling in him the honesty and fairness essential to being a judge. “The importance of treating every person with courtesy and dignity was drilled into me from an early age,” Sweeny noted. “I think it’s been vital to being a good judge. When people appear in court, they are often not at the happiest moment of their lives. Having a judge presiding who is treating them fairly and decently can be a source of comfort, even when the case doesn’t come out in their favor.”
Judge Sweeny has been endorsed by the Republican, Conservative, Independence and Working Families parties of the Ninth Judicial District, and will be appearing on those ballot lines this November 5.
The 2013 Irish Legal 100, a listing of the leading figures in law across the USA, is organized by the Irish Voice Newspaper. It also produces the Irish Education 100, Irish Sports 50 --and soon-the comprehensive Irish Health & Science 100.
Judge Sweeny and the other 2013 will be featured in the October 23 issue of the Irish Voice Newspaper which will be available as a digital edition at www.irishlegal100.com.