Thursday, July 27, 2023

Justice Henry J. Nowak was appointed to the Appellate Division, Fourth Department in July 2023, after having been elected to the New York State Supreme Court in November 2010. During his tenure in Supreme Court, Justice Nowak handled a wide variety of civil cases and was assigned to three exclusive parts: the Expedited Matrimonial part (2011-2012), the Commercial part (2016-2019) and the Medical Malpractice part (May 2022 to July 2023). Justice Nowak also served as a Buffalo City Court Judge from 2003 through 2010. During that time, he was assigned to Buffalo Housing Court, which presides over all housing violations and evictions in the City of Buffalo.

As a result of his judicial service, Justice Nowak has won a number of awards, including the Pro Bono Award from the Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer’s Project, both the Distinguished Leadership Award and Distinguished Service Award from the Advocates Club of WNY, and the Pewter Plate Award from the Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier. Furthermore, he was named an Outstanding Citizen of 2010 by The Buffalo News and Public Servant of the Year by the Local Initiative Support Corporation in Buffalo in 2006.

Since 2020, Justice Nowak has been a contributing editor of chapter 9 in The Bench Book for Trial Judges – New York, entitled "Admission, Retention, Care and Treatment Under the Mental Hygiene Law" (published by the Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York). Justice Nowak also contributed a chapter in New York State Residential Landlord-Tenant Law and Procedure, entitled "The Housing Part of Buffalo City Court."

From 2004-2010, Justice Nowak taught a constitutional law seminar at the SUNY at Buffalo Honors College. From 2019 to 2021, he became an adjunct professor again at the Honors College, teaching a seminar on housing conditions in Buffalo. He also led a Community Engagement Legal Clinic at the University of Buffalo School of Law in the Fall 2022 semester, about clarifying and expanding civil liability for bias-related violence or intimidation. In addition, Judge Nowak is a regular instructor on a variety of issues at the New York State Judicial Institute and has taught over 40 professional seminars during his career as a judge.

Justice Nowak served on the Board of the Buffalo History Museum from 2005 through 2013 and as the President of that Board in his final year. From 2018 to 2022, he served on the board of University at Buffalo’s Law Alumni Association, the last two years as Vice President. Justice Nowak currently serves on the boards of the Erie County Lead Paint Task Force and the University at Buffalo Alumni Association.

Judge Nowak graduated magna cum laude and as a University Honors Scholar from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1990, with a degree in Biology. He continued at the SUNY at Buffalo Law School, where he served as the Publications Editor of the Buffalo Law Review, graduating in 1993. After law school, he worked as a trial attorney at Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria, LLP and Connors & Vilardo, LLP.

Media Inquiries

Please direct all media inquiries to the Clerk of the Court:​

Ann Dillon Flynn, Esq.
M. Dolores Denman Courthouse
50 East Avenue, Suite 200
Rochester, NY 14604

About the Court

The Supreme Court of the Appellate Division, Fourth Judicial Department hears appeals from the state's trial courts located in the 22 Central and Western New York counties assigned to the Fifth, Seventh, and Eighth Judicial Districts. More »

M. Dolores Denman Courthouse

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