Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Bernard J. Fried (See Profile), who sits in the Commercial Division, said on Feb. 1 that he plans to retire in July, ending a judicial career spanning over three decades. Justice Fried, 71, said he expects to take some time off and then begin working part time as a neutral at JAMS, a private mediation and arbitration provider. Michael D. Young, a full-time neutral at JAMS, confirmed that the company expects to hire Justice Fried.
The judge said he decided to retire because he wants to work less and spend more time with his wife, Eastern District Judge Nina Gershon (See Profile), who assumed senior status in 2008. Justice Fried said he decided to give more than five months’ notice of his retirement primarily to give his law clerks time to find new jobs.
Justice Fried was appointed to the Criminal Court and in 1984, he became an Acting Supreme Court justice, first in the Bronx criminal branch and later in Manhattan, where he handled criminal and civil cases. In 2004, he was appointed to the Commercial Division.
Facing mandatory retirement in 2010, the year he turned 70, Justice Fried applied for and in April 2010 received an appointment from Governor David A. Paterson to the position of interim justice, which allowed him to stay on the bench until age 76.
After graduating from Brooklyn Law School in 1965, Justice Fried spent three years in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Army and then served as a law clerk to Charles D. Breitel, who was then an associate judge of the New York Court of Appeals. From 1970 to 1972, he was a senior Fulbright fellow in Seoul, Korea. He served as assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and became chief assistant U.S. attorney in 1978.