Hon. Michael R. Sonberg served as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, sitting in the Criminal Term in New York County (Manhattan) from 2009 to 2017, and in the Criminal Division in Bronx County from 2003 to 2009, and as a Judge of the Criminal Court of the City of New York, from 1991 until his mandatory retirement at the end of 2017. He was president of the International Association of LGBTQ Judges from 1999 to 2002, as well as president of New York’s Association of Lesbian & Gay Judges from 1996 to 2018. He has been a member of the Richard C. Failla LGBTQ Commission for the New York Courts since the Commission’s inception in 2017, appointed by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, a member of the Character and Fitness Committee for the Appellate Division, First Department, since 2018, a member of the Board of Directors of the New York County Lawyers Association Foundation since 2018, and is a member of the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association, where he has served since 2004. Among other activities, he was secretary of the 25,000-member New York City Bar Association from 1997 to 2000 and a member of the executive committee of the Harvard Law School Association from 1996 to 1999. Prior to his appointment to the bench, he was a corporate/commercial litigator in Manhattan for twenty years.
From Kimball to the Failla Commission: New York State Unified Court System as Case Study