Written by Craig D. Robins, Esq.
The Chief Judge of New York, Jonathon Lippman, announced today that he will be providing all New York State judges with an allowance of $10,000 in addition to their regular salary. This is a welcome addition considering that this is the 11th straight year that New York judges have not gotten a pay raise. However, this does not apply to Bankruptcy judges.
Bankruptcy judges, who are federal employees, have not gotten significant pay raises for quite some time as well. The current salary for a bankruptcy judge is $160,080, and this amount is set by Congress. The salary is actually based on 92% of the salary of a United States District Court judge, which is currently $174,000.
Incidentally, New York State Court judges in the Supreme Court currently have a salary of $136,700, and County District Court judges earn slightly less than that.
Many of the Long Island bankruptcy attorneys appearing before Judges Robert E. Grossman, Alan S. Trust, and Dorothy T. Eisenberg in the Central Islip Bankruptcy Court therefore earn more than the judge.
Although a judge’s salary, when compared to the typical salary of a Long Island resident, may seem pretty good, it is relatively less than what the judge can earn in private practice. This is the main reason why former Chief Bankruptcy Judge Melanie S. Cyganowski retired from the bench two years ago. (See the my interview of her: Chief Bankruptcy Judge Melanie Cyganowski Stepping Down