Siena College is honored to have the opportunity to recognize the achievements of The Honorable Victoria A. Graffeo, Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, the State's highest court.
Judge Graffeo's judicial career began in 1996 when she was appointed by Governor George E. Pataki to fill a vacancy on the New York Supreme Court trial bench in the Third Judicial District; subsequently, she was elected to that position. In 1998, Governor Pataki appointed her to serve on an intermediate appellate court, the Appellate Division, Third Department (responsible for 28 counties), where she remained until her elevation to the Court of Appeals. Her 14-year term with the Court of Appeals commenced in December 2000, after she was recommended by the Judicial Screening Panel, nominated by Governor Pataki, and confirmed by the Senate of the State of New York.
Judge Graffeo has experience working in all three branches of New York State government. Prior to joining the judiciary, she was Solicitor General of the State of New York. Her responsibilities included oversight of the State's appellate litigation in Federal and State courts. She also spent ten years in various counsel positions with the New York State Assembly Minority, eventually holding the position of Chief Counsel to Assembly Minority Leader Clarence D. Rappleyea, Jr. Her first legal position in government service was as Assistant Counsel to the State Division of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse. Before entering public service, Judge Graffeo practiced with a law firm in Colonie, New York, where she engaged in civil and criminal litigation in State and Federal courts.
Judge Graffeo grew up and continues to reside in the Town of Guilderland in Albany County. Her education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University College of New York at Oneonta and a Juris Doctorate degree from Albany Law School of Union University. She currently serves as the Court of Appeals Judicial Liaison to the State Board of Law Examiners and the New York State Advisory Committee on Bar Admissions. She is also a member of the Judicial Ethics Commission and the Judiciary Commission on Interbranch Relations.
In recognition of Judge Graffeo's extensive record of service to the people of the State of New York, in all three branches of State government, Siena College presents Judge Victoria A. Graffeo with the honorary degree, Doctor of Laws.