The Honorable Leonard B. Austin

The Honorable Leonard B. Austin

Special Professor of Law

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. He was reelected in 2012.

In his private practice, Justice Austin focused primarily on complex commercial litigation, matrimonial and family matters, personal injury and real estate matters. In 1980-81, 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.

Upon his election to the Bench, Justice Austin was assigned to a Dedicated Matrimonial Part in Suffolk County (1999) and a Matrimonial and Commercial Part in Nassau County (2000). In October 2000, and continuing until his elevation to the Appellate Division, Justice Austin presided in a Commercial Part. He was selected to serve as the Chairman of the Commercial Division Rules Committee and authored the Uniform Commercial Division Rules (22 NYCRR 202.70). Since 2014, he has been a member of the Chief Judge=s Commercial Division Advisory Council.

In March 2009, Justice Austin was appointed to the Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department by Governor David Paterson.

Justice Austin is currently a member of the Pattern Jury Instructions Committee. He has served 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. In addition, he was the President of the American College of Business Court Judges, the Presiding Member of the Judicial Section of the New York State Bar Association and the President of the Theodore Roosevelt American Inn of Court.

Over the years, Justice Austin has authored several articles dealing with Consumer Class Actions, Equitable Distribution and New York City=s Forfeiture Law. He is a frequent lecturer in the fields of appellate, commercial and matrimonial law and practice. Since 2002, he has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.