Person wearing a blue dress

Hon. A. Gail Prudenti, Former NYS Chief Administrative Judge

Founding Member

Hon. A. Gail Prudenti is proud to join Mediation Solutions as one of its founding members. She is currently the Dean of the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. She joined the University in 2015 as Executive Director of the Center for Children, Families and the Law and was named Dean of Hofstra Law in May 2017. As Dean, Judge Prudenti spearheaded the law school’s 50th anniversary celebration and Vision 2020 capital campaign, which raised $22 million, far surpassing the initial goal of $12.5 million and stretch goal of $17.5 million.

Prior to joining Hofstra Law, Judge Prudenti had a distinguished judicial career that lasted more than two decades. She distinguished herself as a well-respected jurist and hands-on administrator throughout her judicial career. Most recently, she served as the Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts of New York State, having been appointed by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman on December 1, 2011. As Chief Administrative Judge, she supervised the administration and operation of the statewide court system, with a budge of over $2.7 billion, 3,600 state and locally paid judges and 15,000 non-judicial employees in over 350 court facilities.

In February 2002, then-Governor George E. Pataki appointed her to serve as the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department in New York State. She was the first woman to hold that position, and the first woman from Suffolk County to serve as an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division for the Second Judicial Department.

From 1995-2000, Judge Prudenti served as the Suffolk County Surrogate. From 1996-2000 she served as an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Suffolk County, including one year in the Guardianship Part. From 1992-1994, she served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, Suffolk County in the Dedicated Matrimonial part.

Before ascending to the bench, Judge Prudenti was in the private practice of law, with an emphasis on Trusts and Estates from 1982-1991. She served as an Assistant District Attorney in the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office from 1980-1982, and she began her legal career as a law clerk in the Suffolk County Surrogate’s Court from 1978-1980.

In all of her leadership roles, Judge Prudenti has developed innovative programs and instituted many initiatives to enhance the administration of justice and promote the public’s trust and confidence in the courts. She is frequently asked to sit on professional task forces, boards, and committees. In April 2020, Judge Prudenti was appointed to a newly established COVID-19 Recovery Task Force to oversee the pro bono network of lawyers who would assist New Yorkers suffering from the pandemic. The Task Force is a joint effort of the New York State Bar Association and the state court system. She also sits on the New York State Bar Association’s Task Force on the New York State Bar Exam/Uniform Bar Exam the Board of Directors of BankUnited, Inc., and many other committees.

Judge Prudenti has been a panelist and lecturer for numerous organizations over her career and has published extensively on the court system, the judiciary, legal education, and trusts, estates and elder law issues, among other topics. She has been the recipient of many honors and awards over her distinguished career, including, most recently, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Suffolk County Bar Association, and honoree for both the Top 50 Most Powerful Women and Power 25 in Law from Long Island Business News.

Judge Prudenti earned her law degree from the University of Aberdeen, in Scotland, which also awarded her an honorary Doctorate of Laws in 2004 and an honorary appointment as Professor in the School of Law. She was also awarded an honorary Doctorate of Laws in 2016 from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law. She graduated from Marymount College of Fordham University with honors.

She lives with her husband and fellow lawyer and former Suffolk County Attorney, Robert J. Cimino, in Great River, New York.

Judge Prudenti joined our panel of arbitrators and mediators in July 2023. Read her mediation bio here.