NYCourts.govNew York State Unified Court System

Centennial Preface of Presiding Justice Francis T. Murphy (1996)


This Court, this bench, this building, has stood for one hundred year. For one hundred years, justice has been done here insofar as imperfect men and women of great will can attempt it.

Many praise this Court’s design, its stone and marble and wood. Others note its life in wars, economic suffering, prosperity, and profound social change. Still others point to the increase in the volume, variety, and complexity of its work, all beyond the vision of those who created.

Yet, this Court cannot be said to be young or old, for the righteousness at its center is unbound by time. Tomorrow, at first light, that righteousness will burn as fiercely as it did before chronicles were kept; and at evening, however much its work may vary, the sole question to be answered will be whether it has been a Court of conscience.

Photo: Current Presiding Justice Francis T. Murphy

Presiding Justice Francis T. Murphy
(1971-1997; Presiding Justice 1977-1997)