Eli Ruiz | Democrat
Colosseo Restaurant in Monticello was the happy headquarters for the county Democrats on Election Day night. Pictured, from left: NYS Supreme Court Judge-elect Stephan Schick, Democratic Chairman Darryl Kaplan, Donna Schick, former Election Commissioner Faith Kaplan, Allison Horan of the Aileen Gunther campaign and Assemblywoman Gunther.
County gets its own Supreme Court Justice
Story by Eli Ruiz
SULLIVAN COUNTY Sullivan County now has a New York State Supreme Court Justice to call its own.
On Tuesday evening local attorney Stephan Schick won one of two available seats in the New York State Supreme Court, Third Judicial District, beating out two incumbents, Republican Justices Bernard J. Malone Jr. and E. Michael Kavanagh.
He will be joined by another newcomer, Democrat Richard Mott.
Schick has been a Sullivan County resident and practicing attorney for more than 35 years, has overseen one of the county’s busiest law firms for 25 years and has personally represented clients in over 100 jury trials to verdict.
In addition, he has supervised the representation of litigants In over 10,000 Family Court cases and 60,000 County Court cases. Schick had been rated as “Qualified Candidate” for Supreme Court Justice by the Independent Judicial Qualification Commission and the Albany Bar Association.
“I am the one candidate running for Supreme Court Justice who will sit and preside in Sullivan County on a full-time basis, and I am the only candidate who can serve for a full 10-years,” said Schick prior to the election day.
Schick becomes the first county resident to serve in the New York State Supreme Court’s Third Judicial District since the Honorable Anthony T. Kane retired in 2009.
In an interview with the Democrat the day after his big win, Schick said, “I’m so very grateful for all of the support I received in Sullivan County and I’m absolutely honored for the confidence they have placed in me.
“I’m also honored to be following in the footsteps of Judge Kavanaugh and Judge Malone… they were both outstanding trial lawyers and then justices,and I am going to work extremely hard to live up to their high standards,” added Schick.
Asked when he knew he had taken one of the two seats available in the court, Schick said, “Well, I went to bed at 3 a.m. [Wednesday morning] and it looked like I had it, but this morning I got a call from the office of court administrators who then informed me and pretty much made it official. I also had a message at my office from Judge Kavanagh congratulating me. That’s when I knew it was definite.
Asked how he managed to beat out two experienced incumbents in Malone and Kavanagh, Schick explained, “I think in Sullivan County a lot of people know me and thought I was the right man for the job, but it is a seven-county district that includes the city of Albany… if you look at political demographics… there are 60,000 more enrolled Democrats as opposed to Republicans.”
Schick touched on the difficulties of running a campaign in such a far-flung geographic area, saying, “I was sort of running part-time because of my full-time job and the area is so large you just can’t get out and meet everyone so I think a lot of folks just tend to vote along party lines hoping that your beliefs and agenda match theirs. I think that plays a large part in it. You know, I don’t sit here and pretend that there was this huge groundswell of emotion in that area that caused me to get voted in . . . I’m realistic about this.”
Regarding his current position as executive director of Sullivan County Legal Aid and his private practice (Schick and Havas), Schick said, “At some point in the next couple of months it [Sullivan County Legal Aid] will be transitioned to new leadership and as far as my practice, well, I will be leaving that as well. [The Supreme Court post] is after all a full-time job.”