The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (in case citations, S.D.N.Y.) is a federal district court. Appeals from the Southern District of New York are taken to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (except for patent claims and claims against the U.S. government under the Tucker Act, which are appealed to the Federal Circuit).

The Southern District is one of the most influential and active federal district courts in the United States, largely because of its jurisdiction over New York's major financial centers. On March 12, 2015 Michael Greco was confirmed as U.S. Marshal.[2]


The Court's jurisdiction comprises the following counties: New York (Manhattan), Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan. The United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current Acting United States Attorney is Joon H. Kim. The court sits in the Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse and Daniel Patrick Moynihan United States Courthouse, both in Manhattan, and in the Charles L. Brieant Federal Building and Courthouse in White Plains.


The United States District Court for the District of New York was one of the original 13 courts established by the Judiciary Act of 1789, 1 Stat. 73, on September 24, 1789. It first sat at the old Merchants Exchange on Broad Street in November 1789, the first federal court to do so.[3][4] The Act of April 9, 1814, 3 Stat. 120, divided the District of New York into Northern and Southern Districts.[4] The subdivision of the district was reportedly instigated by Matthias Burnett Tallmadge, out of antipathy for fellow district judge William P. Van Ness.[5] These Districts were later further subdivided with the creation of Eastern District on February 25, 1865 by 13 Stat. 438,[4] and the Western District on May 12, 1900, by 31 Stat. 175.[4]

For the first hundred years of its existence, the case load of the District was dominated first by admiralty cases, and then by a mix of admiralty and bankruptcy cases.[5] The primary responsibility for hearing bankruptcy cases has since been transferred to the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, with the District Court only reviewing cases already decided by a bankruptcy judge.

Since its creation, the Southern District of New York has had 149 judges, more than any other District. Nineteen judges from the Southern District of New York have been elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second CircuitSamuel Blatchford, Charles Merrill Hough, Learned Hand, Julius Marshuetz Mayer, Augustus Noble Hand, Martin Thomas Manton, Robert P. Patterson, Harold Medina, Irving Kaufman, Wilfred Feinberg, Walter R. Mansfield, Murray Gurfein, Lawrence W. Pierce, Pierre N. Leval, John M. Walker, Jr., Sonia Sotomayor, Denny Chin, Barrington Daniels Parker, Jr., and Gerard E. Lynch. Two judges, Samuel Blatchford and Sonia Sotomayor, were elevated from the Southern District of New York to serve as Circuit Judge for the Second Circuit and were later elevated to the Supreme Court of the United States. The longest serving judge, David Norton Edelstein, served as an active judge for 43 years to the day, and in senior status for an additional six years.

Judges of the Court have gone on to other high governmental positions. Robert P. Patterson, Sr. served as Under Secretary of War under President Franklin Roosevelt and the Secretary of War under President Harry S. Truman. Louis Freeh served as Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation from September 1993 to June 2001. Michael Mukasey served the 81st Attorney General of the United States under President George W. Bush.

Notable cases

The injury and loss of life claims from the sinking of the Titanic, the torpedo attack on the Lusitania and the fire aboard the General Slocum were heard in the S.D.N.Y. The espionage trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg and the perjury trial of Alger Hiss were also heard in the S.D.N.Y.

Judge John M. Woolsey of the S.D.N.Y. rejected government efforts to censor on obscenity grounds the distribution of James Joyce’s Ulysses. Judge Murray Gurfein of the Court rejected government efforts to enjoin the New York Times from publishing the Pentagon Papers. Defamation suits were heard in the S.D.N.Y. against CBS and Time Magazine by General William Westmoreland and Israeli General Ariel Sharon.

Two former Attorneys General of the United States were indicted and tried in the S.D.N.Y. for crimes while in office – Harry Daugherty of the Teapot Dome era and John Mitchell of the Watergate era. Juries were unable to reach verdicts in the two trials against Daugherty and John Mitchell was acquitted.

Financial frauds have been prosecuted in the S.D.N.Y., among them the cases against Bernard Madoff, Ivan Boesky and Michael Milken.

The trials of those accused of the 1998 United States embassy bombings in East Africa, those alleged to have been responsible for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and Omar Abdel Rahman, known in the press as “The Blind Sheikh,” occurred in the District. More recently, the prosecution arising out of the 2010 Times Square car bombing attempt and the prosecution of Abduwali Muse, the so-called Somali Pirate, were heard in the Court.

The criminal cases against Bess Myerson, Leona Helmsley and Martha Stewart were heard in the S.D.N.Y., as was the U.S. case against Imelda Marcos.

The Deflategate controversy concerning National Football League's Tom Brady was heard in the S.D.N.Y.

District Judges

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York has 28 authorized judgeships, filled by judges appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Eighteen judges who have taken senior status are eligible to continue hearing cases. As of June 1, 2016, the Chief Judge of the District is Judge Colleen McMahon, succeeding Judge Loretta Preska, whose seven-year term as Chief Judge expired. Senior Judge Charles S. Haight, Jr. sits by designation with the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut.

The District Judges (active and senior) sitting are:

#TitleJudgeDuty stationBornTerm of serviceAppointed by
119Chief JudgeColleen McMahonNew York City19511998–present2016–presentClinton
110District JudgeJohn G. KoeltlNew York City19451994–presentClinton
120District JudgeWilliam H. Pauley IIINew York City19521998–presentClinton
123District JudgeGeorge B. DanielsNew York City19532000–presentClinton
125District JudgeLaura Taylor SwainNew York City19582000–presentClinton
129District JudgeKenneth M. KarasWhite Plains19642004–presentG.W. Bush
131District JudgeRichard J. SullivanNew York City19642007–presentG.W. Bush
132District JudgeCathy SeibelWhite Plains19602008–presentG.W. Bush
133District JudgePaul G. GardepheNew York City19572008–presentG.W. Bush
134District JudgeVincent L. BriccettiWhite Plains19542011–presentObama
135District JudgeJ. Paul OetkenNew York City19652011–presentObama
136District JudgePaul A. EngelmayerNew York City19612011–presentObama
137District JudgeKatherine B. ForrestNew York City19642011–presentObama
138District JudgeAlison J. NathanNew York City19722011–presentObama
139District JudgeEdgardo RamosNew York City19602011–presentObama
140District JudgeAndrew L. Carter, Jr.New York City19692011–presentObama
141District JudgeJesse M. FurmanNew York City19722012–presentObama
142District JudgeRonnie AbramsNew York City19682012–presentObama
143District JudgeLorna G. SchofieldNew York City19562012–presentObama
144District JudgeKatherine Polk FaillaNew York City19692013–presentObama
145District JudgeAnalisa TorresNew York City19592013–presentObama
146District JudgeNelson S. RomanWhite Plains19602013–presentObama
147District JudgeVernon S. BroderickNew York City19632013–presentObama
148District JudgeGregory Howard WoodsNew York City19692013–presentObama
149District JudgeValerie E. CaproniNew York City19552013–presentObama
150District Judgevacant
151District Judgevacant
152District Judgevacant
70Senior JudgeThomas P. GriesaNew York City19301972–20001993–20002000–presentNixon
79Senior JudgeCharles S. Haight, Jr.New Haven, CT19301976–19951995–presentFord
83Senior JudgeRobert W. SweetNew York City19221978–19911991–presentCarter
89Senior JudgeJohn F. KeenanNew York City19291983–19961996–presentReagan
91Senior JudgeLouis L. StantonNew York City19271985–19961996–presentReagan
97Senior JudgeKimba WoodNew York City19441988–20092006–20092009–presentReagan
100Senior JudgeLawrence M. McKennainactive19331990–20022002–presentG.H.W. Bush
102Senior JudgeLoretta A. PreskaNew York City19491992–20172009–20162017–presentG.H.W. Bush
105Senior JudgeDeborah A. BattsNew York City19471994–20122012–presentClinton
108Senior JudgeDenise CoteNew York City19461994–20112011–presentClinton
109Senior JudgeLewis A. KaplanNew York City19441994–20112011–presentClinton
113Senior JudgeSidney H. SteinNew York City19451995–20102010–presentClinton
115Senior JudgeJed S. RakoffNew York City19431996–20102010–presentClinton
117Senior JudgeRichard M. BermanNew York City19431998–20112011–presentClinton
118Senior JudgeAlvin HellersteinNew York City19331998–20112011–presentClinton
121Senior JudgeNaomi Reice BuchwaldNew York City19441999–20122012–presentClinton
122Senior JudgeVictor MarreroNew York City19411999–20102010–presentClinton
126Senior JudgeP. Kevin CastelNew York City19502003–20172017–presentG.W. Bush
130Senior JudgePaul A. CrottyNew York City19412005–20152015–presentG.W. Bush

Vacancies and pending nominations

SeatSeat last held byVacancy reasonDate of vacancyNomineeDate of nomination
25Paul A. CrottySenior StatusAugust 1, 2015
1Loretta A. PreskaSenior StatusMarch 1, 2017
19P. Kevin CastelSenior StatusAugust 5, 2017

Past judges

#JudgeStateBorn–diedActive serviceChief JudgeSenior statusAppointed byReason for
1Van Ness, William PeterWilliam Peter Van NessNY1778–18261812–1826Madison, Madisondeath
2Betts, Samuel RossiterSamuel Rossiter BettsNY1786–18681826–1867Adams, J.Q.J.Q. Adamsresignation
3Blatchford, SamuelSamuel BlatchfordNY1820–18931867–1878Johnson, A.A. Johnsonappointment to 2nd Cir.
4Choate, William GardnerWilliam Gardner ChoateNY1830–19201878–1881Hayes, Hayesresignation
5Brown, AddisonAddison BrownNY1830–19131881–1901Garfield, Garfieldretirement
6Adams, George BethuneGeorge Bethune AdamsNY1845–19111901–1911McKinley, McKinleydeath
7Holt, George ChandlerGeorge Chandler HoltNY1843–19311903–1914Roosevelt, T.T. Rooseveltretirement
8Hough, Charles MerrillCharles Merrill HoughNY1858–19271906–1916Roosevelt, T.T. Rooseveltappointment to 2nd Cir.
9Hand, LearnedLearned HandNY1872–19611909–1924Taft, Taftappointment to 2nd Cir.
10Mayer, Julius MarshuetzJulius Marshuetz MayerNY1865–19251912–1921Taft, Taftappointment to 2nd Cir.
11Hand, Augustus NobleAugustus Noble HandNY1869–19541914–1927Wilson, Wilsonappointment to 2nd Cir.
12Manton, Martin ThomasMartin Thomas MantonNY1880–19461916–1918Wilson, Wilsonappointment to 2nd Cir.
13Knox, John C.John C. KnoxNY1881–19661918–19551948–19551955–1966Wilson, Wilsondeath
14Goddard, Henry W.Henry W. GoddardNY1876–19551923–19541954–1955Harding, Hardingdeath
15Winslow, Francis A.Francis A. WinslowNY1866–19321923–1929Harding, Hardingresignation
16Bondy, WilliamWilliam BondyNY1870–19641923–19561955–19561956–1964Harding, Hardingdeath
17Thacher, Thomas D.Thomas D. ThacherNY1881–19501925–1930Coolidge, Coolidgeresignation
18Coleman, Frank JosephFrank Joseph ColemanNY1886–19341927–1934[2]Coolidge, Coolidgedeath
19Woolsey, John M.John M. WoolseyNY1877–19451929–19431943–1945Hoover, Hooverdeath
20Caffey, Francis GordonFrancis Gordon CaffeyNY1868–19511929–19471947–1951Hoover, Hooverdeath
21Coxe Jr., Alfred ConklingAlfred Conkling Coxe Jr.NY1880–19571929–19511951–1957Hoover, Hooverdeath
22Patterson, Robert P.Robert P. PattersonNY1891–19521930–1939Hoover, Hooverappointment to 2nd Cir.
23Hulbert, G. MurrayG. Murray HulbertNY1881–19501934–1950Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltdeath
24Leibell, Vincent L.Vincent L. LeibellNY1883–19681936–19541954–1968Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltdeath
25Clancy, John WilliamJohn William ClancyNY1899–19691936–19591956–19591959–1969Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltdeath
26Mandelbaum, SamuelSamuel MandelbaumNY1884–19461936–1946Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltdeath
27Conger, EdwardEdward CongerNY1882–19631938–19541954–1963Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltdeath
28Bright, JohnJohn BrightNY1884–19481941–1948Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltdeath
29Rifkind, Simon HirschSimon Hirsch RifkindNY1901–19951941–1950Roosevelt, F.F. Rooseveltresignation
30Medina, HaroldHarold MedinaNY1888–19901947–1951Truman, Trumanappointment to 2nd Cir.
31Ryan, Sylvester J.Sylvester J. RyanNY1896–19811947–1973[2]1959–19661973–1981Truman, Trumandeath
32Kaufman, Samuel H.Samuel H. KaufmanNY1893–19601948–1955[2]1955–1960Truman, Trumandeath
33Kaufman, IrvingIrving KaufmanNY1910–19921949–1961[2]Truman, Trumanappointment to 2nd Cir.
34McGohey, John F. X.John F. X. McGoheyNY1894–19721949–1970[2]1970–1972Truman, Trumandeath
35Noonan, Gregory FrancisGregory Francis NoonanNY1906–19641949–1964[2]Truman, Trumandeath
36Sugarman, SidneySidney SugarmanNY1904–19741949–1971[2]1966–19711971–1974Truman, Trumandeath
37Weinfeld, EdwardEdward WeinfeldNY1901–19881950–1988Truman, Trumandeath
38Murphy, Thomas FrancisThomas Francis MurphyNY1905–19951951–19701970–1995Truman, Trumandeath
39Dimock, Edward JordanEdward Jordan DimockNY1890–19861951–19611961–1986Truman, Trumandeath
40Edelstein, David NortonDavid Norton EdelsteinNY1910–20001951–1994[2]1971–19801994–2000Truman, Trumandeath
41Dawson, Archie OwenArchie Owen DawsonNY1898–19641954–1964Eisenhower, Eisenhowerdeath
42Walsh, Lawrence EdwardLawrence Edward WalshNY1912–20141954–1957Eisenhower, Eisenhowerresignation
43Bicks, AlexanderAlexander BicksNY1901–19631954–1963Eisenhower, Eisenhowerdeath
44Palmieri, Edmund LouisEdmund Louis PalmieriNY1907–19891954–19721972–1989Eisenhower, Eisenhowerdeath
45Herlands, William BernardWilliam Bernard HerlandsNY1905–19691955–1969[2]Eisenhower, Eisenhowerdeath
46Cashin, John M.John M. CashinNY1892–19701955–1965[2]1965–1970Eisenhower, Eisenhowerdeath
47Levet, Richard HarringtonRichard Harrington LevetNY1894–19801956–19661966–1976Eisenhower, Eisenhowerretirement
48Bryan, Frederick van PeltFrederick van Pelt BryanNY1904–19781956–19721972–1978Eisenhower, Eisenhowerdeath
49MacMahon, Lloyd FrancisLloyd Francis MacMahonNY1912–19891959–19821980–19821982–1989Eisenhower, Eisenhowerdeath
50Metzner, Charles MillerCharles Miller MetznerNY1912–20091959–19771977–2009Eisenhower, Eisenhowerdeath
51Croake, Thomas FrancisThomas Francis CroakeNY1902–19781961–19721972–1978Kennedy, Kennedydeath
52Bonsal, Dudley BaldwinDudley Baldwin BonsalNY1906–19951961–19761976–1995Kennedy, Kennedydeath
53Cooper, Irving BenIrving Ben CooperNY1902–19961961–1972[3]1972–1996Kennedy, Kennedydeath
54Feinberg, WilfredWilfred FeinbergNY1920–20141961–1966Kennedy, Kennedyappointment to 2nd Cir.
55Tyler, Jr., Harold R.Harold R. Tyler, Jr.NY1922–20051962–1975Kennedy, Kennedyresignation
56McLean, Edward CochraneEdward Cochrane McLeanNY1903–19721962–1972Kennedy, Kennedydeath
57Wyatt, Inzer BassInzer Bass WyattNY1907–19901962–19771977–1990Kennedy, Kennedydeath
58Cannella, John MatthewJohn Matthew CannellaNY1908–19961963–19771977–1996Kennedy, Kennedydeath
59Tenney, Charles HenryCharles Henry TenneyNY1911–19941963–19791979–1994Kennedy, Kennedydeath
60Frankel, Marvin E.Marvin E. FrankelNY1920–20021965–1978Johnson, L.L. Johnsonresignation
61Mansfield, Walter R.Walter R. MansfieldNY1911–19871966–1971Johnson, L.L. Johnsonappointment to 2nd Cir.
62Motley, Constance BakerConstance Baker MotleyNY1921–20051966–19861982–19861986–2005Johnson, L.L. Johnsondeath
63Pollack, MiltonMilton PollackNY1906–20041967–19831983–2004Johnson, L.L. Johnsondeath
64Lasker, Morris E.Morris E. LaskerNY1917–20091968–19831983–2009Johnson, L.L. Johnsondeath
65Gurfein, MurrayMurray GurfeinNY1907–19791971–1974Nixon, Nixonappointment to 2nd Cir.
66Pierce, Lawrence W.Lawrence W. PierceNY1924–present1971–1981Nixon, Nixonappointment to 2nd Cir.
67Brieant, Charles L.Charles L. BrieantNY1923–20081971–20071986–19932007–2008Nixon, Nixondeath
68Bauman, ArnoldArnold BaumanNY1914–19891971–1974Nixon, Nixonresignation
69Gagliardi, Lee ParsonsLee Parsons GagliardiNY1918–19981971–19851985–1998Nixon, Nixondeath
71Knapp, WhitmanWhitman KnappNY1909–20041972–19871987–2004Nixon, Nixondeath
72Stewart, Jr., Charles E.Charles E. Stewart, Jr.NY1916–19941972–19851985–1994Nixon, Nixondeath
73Carter, Robert L.Robert L. CarterNY1917–20121972–19861986–2012Nixon, Nixondeath
74Duffy, Kevin ThomasKevin Thomas DuffyNY1933–present1972–19981998–2016Nixon, Nixonretirement
75Ward, Robert JosephRobert Joseph WardNY1926–20031972–19911991–2003Nixon, Nixondeath
76Conner, William C.William C. ConnerNY1920–20091973–19871987–2009Nixon, Nixondeath
77Owen, RichardRichard OwenNY1922–20151973–19891989–2015Nixon, Nixondeath
78Werker, Henry FrederickHenry Frederick WerkerNY1920–19841974–1984Nixon, Nixondeath
80Goettel, Gerard LouisGerard Louis GoettelNY1928–20111976–19931993–2011Ford, Forddeath
81Broderick, Vincent LyonsVincent Lyons BroderickNY1920–19951976–19881988–1995Ford, Forddeath
82Leval, Pierre N.Pierre N. LevalNY1936–present1977–1993Carter, Carterappointment to 2nd Cir.
84Sand, Leonard B.Leonard B. SandNY1928–20161978–19931993–2016Carter, Carterdeath
85Lowe, Mary JohnsonMary Johnson LoweNY1924–19991978–19911991–1999Carter, Carterdeath
86Sofaer, Abraham DavidAbraham David SofaerNY1938–present1979–1985Carter, Carterresignation
87Sprizzo, John E.John E. SprizzoNY1934–20081981–20002000–2008Reagan, Reagandeath
88Kram, Shirley WohlShirley Wohl KramNY1922–20091983–19931993–2009Reagan, Reagandeath
90Peter K. LeisureNY1929–20131984–19971997–2013Reagandeath
92Walker, Jr., John M.John M. Walker, Jr.NY1940–present1985–1989Reagan, Reaganappointment to 2nd Cir.
93Miriam Goldman CedarbaumNY1929–20161986–19981998–2016Reagandeath
94Daronco, Richard J.Richard J. DaroncoNY1931–19881987–1988Reagan, Reagandeath
95Mukasey, MichaelMichael MukaseyNY1941–present1987–20062000–20062006Reagan, Reaganretirement
96Conboy, KennethKenneth ConboyNY1938–present1987–1993Reagan, Reaganresignation
98Patterson, Jr., Robert P.Robert P. Patterson, Jr.NY1923–20151988–19981998–2015Reagandeath
99Martin Jr., John S.John S. Martin Jr.NY1935–present1990–20032003–2003Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bushretirement
101Freeh, LouisLouis FreehNY1950–present1991–1993Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bushresignation
103Sotomayor, SoniaSonia SotomayorNY1954–present1992–1998Bush, G.H.W.G.H.W. Bushappointment to 2nd Cir.
104Schwartz, Allen G.Allen G. SchwartzNY1934–20031993–2003Clinton, Clintondeath
106Harold Baer, Jr.NY1933–20141994–20042004–2014Clinton, Clintondeath
107Chin, DennyDenny ChinNY1954–present1994–2010Clinton, Clintonappointment to 2nd Cir.
111Parker, Jr., Barrington DanielsBarrington Daniels Parker, Jr.NY1944–present1994–2001Clinton, Clintonappointment to 2nd Cir.
112Scheindlin, Shira A.Shira A. ScheindlinNY1946–present1994–20112011–2016Clinton, Clintonretirement
114Jones, Barbara S.Barbara S. JonesNY1947–present1995–2012Clinton, Clintonretirement
116Casey, Richard C.Richard C. CaseyNY1933–20071997–2007Clinton, Clintondeath
124Lynch, Gerard E.Gerard E. LynchNY1951–present2000–2009Clinton, Clintonappointment to 2nd Cir.
127Holwell, Richard J.Richard J. HolwellNY1946–present2003–2012Bush, G.W.G.W. Bushresignation
128Robinson, Stephen C.Stephen C. RobinsonNY1957–present2003–2010Bush, G.W.G.W. Bushresignation

Succession of seats

See also