Barbadian-born female jurist makes history

The Hon. Delores Scott Brathwaite, administers the Oath of Office to Justice Janet C. Malone while her family and friends look on.

Justice Janet C. Malone, a native of the Caribbean island of Barbados becomes the first Black female justice of the New York State Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District. The New York State Supreme Court Ninth Judicial District comprises of: Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, and Westchester Counties.

The induction ceremony was held last month at the Joseph F. Gagliardi Ceremonial Courtroom, Westchester County and presided by the Hon. Alan D. Scheinkman, J.S.C., Administrative Judge of the Ninth Judicial District.

Justice Malone chronicled her journey from the eastern Caribbean island of Barbados, as an immigrant, hoping for better life. Her mother was the first to embark on this incredible journey, migrating to the United States, worked three jobs, one of which supported a family of a lawyer, who in turn assisted the migration of the family from Barbados. It was Dec. 12, 1971 Judge Malone landed in New York.

Defying the odds and advice of school counselors to get a vocation, Judge Malone dreamed big and set her sights on higher education. She attended Utica College of Syracuse, earning a Bachelors of Science in 1986, and Juris Doctor from the City University of New York, Queens College. Judge Malone remarked: “Can no one define you or set the narrative for you.” With instilled “perseverance, and God in your vessel you can weather any storm.”

Before landing the esteemed job as Justice of the Supreme Court, Judge Malone’s legal career included: Assistant to the District Attorney, Manhattan office; private practicing attorney with Bozeman & Trott, LLP; Family Court Judge, Westchester County; an Acting Supreme Court Justice in the Ninth Judicial District.

The Hon. Edwina Richardson Mendelson, acting justice of the NYS Supreme Court, Criminal Term, New York County, who met Judge Malone while studying together at SUNY Law School, described Judge Malone as: bold, compassionate, kind, bossy, quite serious with an infectious laugh, commands respect, and one who knows there is no perfection but strives for it.

These qualities, personal faith, commitment, belief in education, and support of an indelible family, propelled her to this moment in time. Justice Janet C. Malone beamed with pride, yet “humbled and honored” to have been truly blessed with this remarkable journey and achievement. “Mom, this day is for you! Hope I made you proud.”

The Hon. Andrea Stewart Cousins, New York State Democratic Conference Leader; the Hon. Robert P. Astorino, Westchester County Executive; and the Hon. Anthony A. Scarpino, Westchester County District Attorney were among public officials extending remarks at the induction. The Hon. Delores Scott Brathwaite, Town Justice, Town Court of Greenburg officiated the Oath of Office, while husband George A. Malone robed the new justice of the New York Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District, the Hon. Janet C. Malone.

More from Around NYC