Queens County Supreme Court Justice Bernice Siegal has been named an associate justice of the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court for the Second Department.
“I think that my appointment to the appellate term is an appropriate one if I say so myself,” Siegal said, noting her legal background in no fault insurance, health care, landlord-tenant disputes and guardianship decisions. She said that such cases are likely to come before the appellate term.
“It is a whole new assignment and it’s an exciting assignment for me to help shape the law and that’s what you do at the appellate level,” she said.
Siegal was elected justice of the Supreme Court in 2008 and a judge of the Civil Court of New York for Queens County in 2001. During her tenure, she was appointed supervising judge of the Civil Court.
She denied dismissal to defendants National Grid and Long Island Power Authority, holding that providing electricity in this matter was a proprietary act and that the private company and Long Island Power Authority are not shielded by governmental immunity.The opinion (Baumann v. Long Island Power Authority, 45 Misc.3d 257 affd by Baumann v. Long Island Power Authority, 141 A.D.3d 554) holding that the provision of electricity was properly categorized as a proprietary function is before the Court of Appeals.
In another significant decision, affirmed by the Second Department, Siegal held that a nurse, despite playing an active role in an operation under the supervision of an attending anesthesiologist, did not exercise independent medical judgment nor commit an independent act and could not be held liable for medical malpractice. (Yakubov v. Jamil, 121 AD3d 884 ).
After presiding over complex cases including medical malpractice litigation, she was asked to preside over one of two Guardianship Parts in the 11th Judicial District. In addition to her guardianship responsibilities, she continues to handle foreclosure matters and litigation involving the Long Island Power Authority as a consequence of Superstorm Sandy.
Siegal holds a Juris Doctorate from New York Law School, She also has special expertise in health care policy with a Master in public administration from New York University and extensive experience overseeing the use of government funds at medical centers.