Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) announced that he has appointed Judge James Yates to serve as Counsel to the Speaker.
"Judge Yates' distinguished career in law and public service has provided him with a wealth of knowledge on issues important to our state," Silver said. "His experience will be invaluable as we work together to navigate the challenges facing New York in the coming year."
Yates currently serves as a New York State Supreme Court Justice in New York County. He was first appointed to the bench as a Court of Claims Judge by Governor Mario Cuomo in 1992 and was subsequently elected to the New York State Supreme Court in 1997.
Judge Yates also teaches ethics at New York University School of Law as an adjunct professor and has co-authored textbooks on criminal procedure.
Judge Yates served as Counsel to the Majority and Legislative Counsel to former Assembly Speaker Mel Miller from 1986 to 1992. Judge Yates began his legal career as a Staff Attorney with the Legal Aid Society of New York City in 1973.
"It's a privilege and an honor to work with and for Speaker Silver and the members of the Assembly as they endeavor to take the necessary steps toward economic recovery, restoring the people's faith in government and doing what's best for this great state," Yates said.