B.A., Georgetown University
J.D., Hofstra University
Justice Leonard B. Austin is a graduate of Georgetown University in 1974 and Hofstra University School of Law in 1977. Justice Austin engaged in the private practice of law until his election to the Supreme Court Bench in the Tenth Judicial District in 1998.
In his private practice, Justice Austin focused primarily on complex commercial litigation, matrimonial and family matters, personal injury and real estate matters. In 1980 and 1981, he served as counsel to the Speaker of the New York State Assembly. In that capacity, he was assigned as counsel to the Agriculture and Commerce and Industry Committees.
Since his elevation to the Bench, Justice Austin has been assigned to a Dedicated Matrimonial Part in Suffolk County (1999) and a Dedicated Matrimonial and Commercial Part in Nassau County (2000). In 2009, Justice Austin was elevated to his current position as Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department.
Justice Austin currently serves on the Office of Court Administration's Matrimonial Practice and Commercial Division Curriculum Committees. He is a member of the New York State, Florida, Nassau County, Suffolk County, and New York State Women's Bar Associations.
Over the years, Justice Austin has authored several articles dealing with Equitable Distribution and New York Citys Forfeiture Law. Recently, he authored an article in the Banking Law Journal entitled The Impact of New York Commercial Division on Bank Litigation. Justice Austin is a member of the Pattern Jury Instruction Committee, is the Presiding Member (President) of the Judicial Section of the New York State Bar Association, and is the President of the Theodore Roosevelt American Inn of Court. He is a frequent lecturer in the fields of commercial and matrimonial Law and practice and is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Hofstra Law School.In addition, Justice Austin has been a regular lecturer and panelist at Bar and Court continuing legal education programs on topics including electronic discovery, ethics, commercial law and civil practice.
In November 2008, Justice Austin will become the President of the American College of Business Court Judges which includes business court judges from approximately 25 states. In his capacity as President-elect, he has been selected to address the Conference of Chief Justices on the creation and organization of commercial courts and the selection of judges to that court.
Justice Austin served as the Presiding Member of the Judicial Section of the New York State Bar Association from 2007 to 2008. He is currently a member of the House of Delegates of the NYSBA. In addition, Justice Austin has been a regular lecturer and panelist at Bar and Court continuing legal education programs on topics including electronic discovery, ethics, commercial law and civil practice.