NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo today announced the passing of NY Court Of
Appeals Judge and Roosevelt Island resident Paul Feinman.
Deeply saddened by the passing this morning of Judge Paul Feinman.
Judge Feinman reflected the very best of NY. The first openly
gay person to serve on the Court of Appeals, he was a lifelong champion of
fairness, progress, equality & justice.
We will miss him
— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo)
March 31, 2021
We are heartbroken to learn that our friend, NY Court of Appeals Judge Paul
Feinman has passed. Not only did Judge Feinman make history with his
appointment to NY’s highest court, he also broke down barriers and inspired
LGBTQ people. Our thoughts are with his husband, Robert.
— LGBT Bar of NY ⚖️ (@lgbtbarny)
March 31, 2021
Roosevelt Island’s Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney adds.
I am devastated by the loss of my friend, the trailblazing NY Court of
Appeals Judge Paul Feinman. My heart goes out to his husband Robert.
May his memory be a blessing.
— Carolyn B. Maloney (@RepMaloney)
March 31, 2021
According to this excerpt from statement
by NY State Court of Appeals Chief Judge Janet DiFiori on the passing of
Associate Judge Paul Feinman
… Judge Feinman served with excellence at every level of our Judiciary,
and his broad experience, knowledge and wisdom earned him the respect and
warm personal regard of his judicial colleagues. Judge Feinman was a
meticulous, disciplined and humble jurist who weighed the legal interests at
stake in each case with great integrity in order to arrive at the correct
and just result. His scholarly, well-written opinions reflect a deep
knowledge of the law balanced with a generous humanity and commitment to
justice. Judge Feinman had enormous respect for the Court of Appeals as an
institution. Even as his illness progressed, his productivity and the
quality of his writings and contributions never suffered. And no one could
want for a warmer or more caring colleague than Paul Feinman.
Throughout his career, Judge Feinman was a tireless and resolute champion of
LGBTQ rights, a trailblazing pioneer for LGBTQ lawyers and judges and an
incredibly dedicated mentor who inspired countless judges, attorneys and law
students. Judge Feinman devoted his entire professional life to public
service and he gave back generously to our courts and the legal profession
in innumerable capacities, including as Chair of the New York State Justice
Task Force, Past President of the International Association of LGBT Judges
and Past President of the Association of Supreme Court Justices of the State
of New York.
Judge Feinman was the essence of personal and professional integrity,
decency and civility. No one who knew Judge Feinman could be unmoved by his
personal warmth and empathy, good humor and sparkling intelligence. He was a
singular human being who has left a proud and enduring legacy for all of
We mourn Paul’s passing, but we will always be inspired by his life and
legacy. On behalf of the Judges and professional staff of the Court of Appeals
and the entire New York State Unified Court System, we send our deepest
condolences to Judge Feinman’s husband, Robert Ostergaard, and his family and
Condolences to Judge Feinman’s family, friends and neighbors.