Lawrence Cooke Peace Innovator Award
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Lawrence Cooke

Peace Innovator Award 

Chief Judge Lawrence H. Cooke was instrumental in establishing the nation's first state-court supervised mediation program, the NYS Community Dispute Resolution Centers program. 

At the annual NYSDRA Conference, NYSDRA honors an individual or organization that has provided innovative leadership in the field, based upon a local or NYS state-based initiative, innovative in terms of a new practice in ADR or application of ADR practices in a new area, setting or population.  

    Chief Judge Lawrence H. Cooke was influential in promoting the field of alternative dispute resolution in the NYS Court system. He implemented a plan to clear the backlog by expanding arbitration and establishing mediation in the courts and was instrumental in starting the Community Dispute Resolution Centers program. Judge Cooke was born in Monticello in Sullivan County on October 15, 1914.  After graduating from Albany Law School, he was admitted to the Bar in 1939. He was elected in 1955 as County Judge and Surrogate of Sullivan County and re-elected in 1959. In 1961, he was elected a Justice of the Supreme Court for the Third Judicial District. He was designated to the Appellate Division, Third Department, in 1968 by Gov. Rockefeller and served there until his election to the Court of Appeals in 1974. He was appointed the 20th Chief Judge by Gov. Carey on January 2, 1979. He retired from the Court of Appeals at the end of 1984.

Lawrence Cooke Peace Innovator Award Recipients

2019 Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks

2018 Senator John Bonacic

2017 Susan Herman

2016 Jody Miller

2015 Lisa Hicks-Yackel

2014 Sherry Walker-Cowart

2013 Roz Magidson

2012 John McCullough

2011 Mark Kleiman

2010 Mark Collins

2009 Judy Saul

2008 Maria Volpe

2007 Duke Fisher

2006 Michele Kirschbaum and Lourdes Rivera-Putz

2005 Judge Sharon S. Townsend, District Administrative Judge 

2005 Judge Janice Rosa, Supreme Court Justice

2004 Justice Doris Ling-Cohan and Justice Fern Fisher

2003 Sandy Mindell and Herbert Israel

2002 Judge Joseph Lauria