E. Michael Kavanagh was born on September 26, 1943, in Lawrence, New York. He graduated from Merrimack College in North Andover, Massachusetts, and received his law degree from Villanova University School of Law in 1968. After graduation, he became an associate at Munley & Meade, in Great Neck, New York, followed by service in the U.S. Army from 1968 to 1970.
After admission to the Bar in 1970, Justice Kavanagh served as an Assistant District Attorney in New York County for four years. Following that, he served as Chief Assistant District Attorney in Ulster County through 1978. That year he was elected Ulster County District Attorney, where he remained until 1998, having been reelected five times.
From 1979 to 1984, Justice Kavanagh was an adjunct professor at the State University of New York at New Paltz. In 1986, he ran unsuccessfully on the Republican ticket for Lieutenant Governor of New York. Six years later, he was nominated by President George H.W. Bush to be a Federal judge, but the U.S. Senate never acted on the nomination.
Justice Kavanagh was elected to the Supreme Court, 3rd Judicial District, in 1998. In 2006, Governor Pataki appointed him to the Appellate Division, First Department, where he remained until 2008, when Governor Spitzer then appointed him to the Appellate Division, Third Department. He remained on that bench until 2012, at which time he lost his bid for reelection to the Supreme Court. The following year, Justice Kavanagh joined NAM (National Arbitration and Mediation) as a neutral.
Justice Kavanagh is a member of the New York State Litigation Coordinating Panel, the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics, the New York State District Jury Advisory Committee of the New York State Bar Association, and the Unified Court System’s Drug Court Advisory Committee.
Justice Kavanagh is married to Marilyn Ryan Kavanagh; they have two children and live in Woodstock, New York.
Justice E. Michael Kavanagh, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Third Department Web site, available at: http://www.nycourts.gov/ad3/Bios/KavanaghBios.html
Upstate Judge Fills Vacancy in Manhattan, New York Law Journal, November 21, 2006, p. 1.