O. Peter Sherwood was nominated to the Court of Claims by Governor David A. Paterson and confirmed by the New York State Senate in May 2008. He sits in the Court of Claims and as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, New York County assigned to the Commercial Division. Before being named to the bench, he was a partner in the litigation department at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP (and Kalkines, Arky, Zall & Bernstein, LLP which merged with the Manatt firm in January 2004) since 1994. Between 1991 and 1993, Judge Sherwood was the Corporation Counsel of the City of New York during the administration of Mayor David N. Dinkins. Between 1986 and 1991, he was the Solicitor General of the State of New York having been appointed to that position by Attorney General Robert Abrams. He also served as an Assistant Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., the leading civil rights law firm in the Nation. Between 1971 and 1974, he served as Law Secretary to Hon. Fritz W. Alexander, II of the New York City Civil Court.
He served as a member of the New York City Procurement Policy Board from 1992 and 1994 and as a member of the New York State Ethics Commission between 1997 and 2003. He was a member of the Panel of Distinguished Neutrals of the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution. He was also an arbitrator and mediator on the American Arbitration Association Roster of Commercial Neutrals and the Roster of Employment Neutrals for several years until his appointment to the bench.
Judge Sherwood taught as a visiting professor at the CUNY School of Law and as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the New York University School of Law. He has served as the Secretary of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and on several of its committees. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and was a member of the Board of Governors.
Judge Sherwood was born in Jamaica, West Indies. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York and attended parochial school there. He is a 1968 graduate of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and received his law degree from New York University School of Law in 1971.