After practicing law for 35 years, Bedford-Stuyvesant Democrat Edward H. King says he’s “fully prepared” to be a judge, as he seeks a seat on the bench for Civil Court in Kings County (Brooklyn). The election will be held on June 25.
“Being on the bench is a natural evolution of my experience as a lawyer, and I will bring sensitivity, knowledge, understanding and maturity as a Civil Court Judge to the people of Kings County,” King, who is married to Caribbean American, New York Supreme Court Justice Kathy King, told Caribbean Life, in an exclusive interview, over the weekend. Justice King is the daughter of Montserrat immigrants.
“Seeking the nomination is, perhaps, one of the greatest challenges in my professional career, but I approach this endeavor with the same determination and faith that I have practiced throughout my life,” added attorney King, whose mother and father migrated to New York from South Carolina and North Carolina, respectively.
King described himself as a “city kid,” having spent his formative years in Harlem and the Bronx.
The only son of five children, Edward Harold King was raised by a single parent in Harlem.
Growing up, King said he personally witnessed inequities in housing, education and the administration of basic services in his community.
As a result of his life experiences, he said he developed a resolve not only to improve his personal circumstance but also to pursue social justice for others.
A solo law practitioner, King said he has specialized in general civil law practice for 35 years.
After serving in the US Army from 1972-1975, where he was a military policeman, King attended City College, City University of New York (CUNY), graduating with a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Urban Legal Studies.
King earned his Juris Doctorate (law degree) from Antioch Law School in Washington, D.C. in 1983.
He is admitted to the New York State Bar, and to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York.
In 1983, King began his legal career in the New York State Court System, where he served as a law assistant to Milton F. Tingling (deceased), Civil Court, New York County, and as a principal court attorney to the Randolph Jackson, Supreme Court, Kings County.
After leaving the court system in 1988, King said he began representing clients in private law practice, where he has been a “tenacious advocate and problem solver” on behalf of his clients.
A skilled litigator, he also provides legal counsel on transactional matters, focusing on real property, landlord/tenant, bankruptcy, and trusts and estates.
In recent years, with the advent of predatory lending, King said he has litigated cases on behalf of clients faced with the prospect of losing their homes.
As appellate counsel, King has argued numerous appeals in the Appellate Division. As corporate counsel, he has advised Housing Development Fund Corporation tenant shareholders of the legal, financial and ethical obligations of cooperative ownership and management.
In addition to private practice, King has served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Parking Violations Bureau, where he adjudicated administrative and statutory violations of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
As legal counsel to the New York State Assembly, King said he provided counsel on legislative policy and constituent issues.
He has been appointed in New York Supreme Court to serve as a fiduciary in numerous real property and contested litigation matters.
A firm believer in the principle “to whom much is given, much is required,” King said he “generously gives” his time to community service.
He regularly participates in “Know Your Rights” forums, sponsored by civic groups and churches, “to educate communities throughout the city about legal issues.”
Since 2017, he has served as a pro bono attorney in the New York County Lawyers Association’s Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities Project, which assists formerly incarcerated individuals re-integrate into society.
King is a founding member and deacon of Brooklyn Community Church and is a member of the church’s Legal Committee, which sponsors an annual Law Day program to encourage dialogue among members of the bar, bench and community.
In 2017, King received the “Man of the Year” award in recognition of his pro bono work at Brooklyn Community Church.
King is a member of the Brooklyn Bar Association, New York County Lawyers Association and New York State Trial Lawyers Academy.
In addition, King is a sports enthusiast and a basketball referee, for numerous leagues, including the Catholic and Public School Athletic Leagues.
He has been an active member of the Sports United Borowide Officials Association for 35 years, serving as the organization’s legal counsel for over a decade. When he was a youth, King even entertained the thought of becoming an NBA player.
Attorney King and Justice King live in Bedford-Stuyvesant. They have three adult children.
To new attorneys and newly-admitted attorneys, King’s counsel is: “The key to being a successful lawyer is perfecting your craft.
“Take Continuing Legal Education Courses on a regular basis, join bar associations, and network to obtain different perspectives on the law and learn how the law is applied,” he advised.
“At the same time, recognize that, as a lawyer, you have a unique opportunity to contribute to society’s well-being,” King added, stating that “community service should be incorporated as part of your professional practice model.”