Press Release - State Commission Gets New Executive Director

Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019
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In Brief:

State Commission Gets New Executive Director

Mary Lynn Nicolas-Brewster was named as the new executive director Wednesday of the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, a statewide panel of judges and attorneys that seeks to educate and advise court officials on issues that affect both employees of the court system and litigants of color.
Nicolas-Brewster, an attorney, will replace Joyce Hartsfield, who’s retiring after more than two decades in the position, according to the state Office of Court Administration.

As the new executive director, Nicolas-Brewster will help develop strategies to improve fairness in the state’s courts for people of color. She’ll meet with Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks, the various administrative judges across the state, and other organizations to help advance such a plan.

Nicolas-Brewster will also be tasked with reviewing data on employment with the state court system itself, and planning programs to promote awareness on issues relevant to the commission’s work.
Most recently, Nicolas-Brewster worked as the court attorney-referee for the New York State Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District, where she was assigned to civil compliance and foreclosure matters.
Nicolas-Brewster’s career has spanned several positions, both within and outside the state court system.
Before working at the state Supreme Court, she was an associate county attorney in the Westchester County Law Department’s Division of Appeals, Opinions, and Legislation. She also served as a senior appellate court attorney for the Appellate Division, Second Department, and a staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Outside appellate courts, Nicolas-Brewster also previously worked as an assistant solicitor general in the New York Attorney General’s Office. She’s a graduate of the New York University School of Law.
The Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission was created in 1988, when it was then referred to as the Judicial Commission on Minorities. Since then, the panel has been charged with advising court officials on ways to improve the perception of fairness in the justice system for people of color.

—Dan M. Clark