Rolando Acosta, the Appellate Division, First Department court’s presiding justice and a jurist on the busy, high-profile court for the last 15 years, announced that he will retire from the bench.

In a lengthy column published in the New York Law Journal, in which Acosta talked about both “the role of the judiciary in defending democracy” and his many efforts as presiding justice to modernize the First Department court, he said he will step into retirement March 17.