Business Woman

Hon. Elizabeth Hazlitt Emerson (Ret.)

Hon. Elizabeth H. Emerson joins Mediation Solutions after coming off of the bench as a Justice in the Commercial Division of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, where she has served since 2002. Prior to that time, she served as a Justice of the Supreme Court, Suffolk County, beginning in 1996. She has also served as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Term for the 9th and 10th Judicial Districts.

As a Commercial Division Justice, Justice Emerson handled a variety of complex commercial matters, including securities litigation, shareholder derivative actions, corporate dissolutions, acquisition litigation and other similar business disputes involving publicly traded and closely held corporations, and governmental and quasi-governmental entities. She was responsible for all phases of litigation from case selection and assignment to the Commercial Division and pretrial activity through resolution.

From 1998 through 2002, She was assigned to a general civil part where she handled general civil matters, including municipal disputes, medical malpractice cases, land-use matters, negligence cases, Article 78 proceedings and general contract disputes. In 1996 and 1997, she served in a dedicated matrimonial part.

In 2002, Judge Emerson was tasked with preparing a proposal for the creation of a Commercial Division for Suffolk County. After such proposal was approved, she worked to establish the Suffolk County Commercial Division by designing rules and protocols regarding case identification, case assignment and case management. She also drafted and promulgated forms and model language. From 2002 through her retirement from the bench, she remained active in initiatives to improve and to promote the Commercial Division within Suffolk County and around the State.

From 1997-2002, she created and administered Project Assist, a program designed to provide information about essential services such as food, shelter, medical care, and relief from domestic violence to members of the public who visited the Cohalan Court Complex.

Prior to ascending to the bench, Justice Emerson was a partner at Shearman & Sterling, one of the world’s leading international law firms. Her practice included representation of foreign and domestic banks, investment banks, and corporations in the structuring, negotiation, and documentation of a wide range of complex transactions involving banking and finance, communications, entertainment, manufacturing, and the oil and gas industries. Her clients included domestic corporations, banks, and investment banks such as Viacom, Citibank N.A., J.P. Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. She also oversaw pro bono projects involving affordable housing, community development, and rape crisis. In addition, she was responsible for certain aspects of marketing, recruiting and summer associate activities, and was the partner in charge of training and development for the Private Finance Practice Group.

Before joining Shearman & Sterling, she was an Associate at White & Case, where her practice focused on both corporate transactions and litigation matters, such as securities litigation, commercial litigation, and bankruptcy.

Justice Emerson has also been active in teaching the next generation of professionals. She has been an Adjunct Professor for the Masters of Business Administration programs at both SUNY Stony Brook and Dowling College. She has lectured at universities and law schools within the New York Metropolitan area including Fordham University School of Law and St. John’s University School of Law.

Since 2004, Justice Emerson has authored and updated Chapter 101, Secured Transactions, in the multi-volume treatise, Commercial Litigation in the New York State Courts. She has also authored numerous articles for bar association publications and presented at various schools, conferences and organizations.

During the course of her career, Justice Emerson has earned numerous honors and awards. In March 2022, she represented the State of New York at the request of the Chief Judge at the National Judicial College, Judicial Leaders in Climate Science, open to one Jurist from each of the 50 states and Puerto Rico.

Justice Emerson is married to Michael W. Emerson, and they have two children, Captain Christopher M. Emerson, United States Army 10th Mountain Division. United States Military Academy Class of 2015, and LTJG Andrew A. Emerson, Naval Aviator. United States Naval Academy Class of 2020.

Justice Emerson is available to mediate or arbitrate cases virtually or in any of our Long Island offices.

Mediating/Arbitrating Cases In:

  • Commercial and business disputes
  • Municipal Law
  • Land Use
  • Personal injury

Honors and Awards

Catholic Lawyers Guild of Nassau, St. Thomas Moore Award (October 2022)

New York County Lawyers Association, Conspicuous Service Award (Awarded in connection with authorship of Chapter 101 Secured Transactions in Treatise entitled Commercial Litigation in New York State Courts) (January 2021)

Maurice A. Deane School of Law, Hofstra law, Outstanding Women in Law (May 2018)

New York County Lawyers Association, The Boris Kostelanetz President’s Medal (December 2013)

Suffolk Community College, Paralegal Studies Symposium (May 2010)

The Suffolk County Bar Association, Distinguished Service Award (May 2001)

Office of the County Executive, Excellence in Law (March 1996)

Town of Brookhaven Woman of the Year, Recognition of Contributions to Law (March 1996)


Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude (1982)

Graduate Teaching Assistant, Legal Writing and Advocacy

Boston College, A.B., magna cum laude, 1979

Publications and Presentations

Chapter 101, Secured Transactions, in the multi-volume treatise, Commercial Litigation in the New York State Courts

National Center for State Courts Justice Initiative: Role of Commercial Divisions in Post Pandemic Litigation

American College of Business Court Judges: Formation and Administration of Business Courts

American Bar Association Litigation Skills Conference: International Law in the Courts Dispute Resolution Between US and China: Fordham University School of Law

Memberships and Professional Activities

Suffolk County Bar Association

Founding member and Co-Chair, Commercial Division Committee

Suffolk County Bar Association Bench Bar Committee

New York State Bar Association

Commercial and Federal Litigation Section

Member at Large of Executive Committee of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association

Participant in Report of New York State Bar Association Commercial and Federal Litigation Sections Task Force on Women’s Initiatives “If Not Now, When” Achieving Equality for Women Attorneys in the Courtroom and in ADR

Commercial Division Advisory Council

Chief Judge’s Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21St Century

Office of Court Administration, Second Special Commission on Fiduciary Appointments

American Bar Association

Selected as ABA Business Law Section’s Business Court Representative

Commercial Division Advisory Council (Membership by appointment of the Chief Judge)

Member of Office of Court Administration Second Special Commission on Fiduciary Appointments

Chief Judge’s Task Force on Commercial Litigation in the 21st Century

National College of Business Court Judges

Professional Experience

Associate Justice of the Appellate Term for the 9th and 10th Judicial Districts Justice, Supreme Court, State of New York, 10th Judicial District - Suffolk County (1996-2023}
Partner, Shearman & Sterling (1992-1996)
Asociate, Shearman & Sterling (1986-1992)
Associate, White & Case (1982-1986)