Clerks of the Court (Historical)

Harold J. Reynolds

ReynoldsHarold J. Reynolds
Clerk of the Court: 1085 - 1989
Born: September 10, 1928

Harold J. Reynolds graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science in 1949 and New York University School of Law with a Bachelor of Laws in 1956.  In law school he was the Associate Editor of New York University Law Review.  He was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1956 and served as a law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge John F. X. McGohey of the Southern District of New York until 1957.  From 1957 to 1960, he was a litigation associate at of Goldstein, Judd & Gurfein and Gilbert & Seagall.  From 1960 to 1961, he was the assistant Counsel to the New York State Commission on the Government Operations of the City of New York.  From 1962 to 1974, he was Law Assistant to James D.  Hopkins and Senior Law Assistant of the Appellate Division, Second Department.

From 1975 to 1977, Reynolds was Chief Counsel to the State of New York Attorney Grievance Committee for the Ninth Judicial District at which time President Richard M. Nixon was the subject of an investigation by the Grievance Committee.  Nixon tendered his resignation from the New York Bar before the investigation was completed.

From 1977 to 1982, Reynolds was Senior Appellate Law Assistant for the Appellate Division, First Department.  From 1983 to 1984, he was Executive Assistant to Presiding Justice Francis T. Murphy of the Appellate Division.  From 1985 to 1989, he was Clerk of the Court for the Appellate Division, First Department.  As the court’s chief executive officer, Reynolds served as counsel to the Presiding Justice and had oversight for the appellate process, the Department’s Disciplinary Committee, Article 18-B, and departments within the court itself.

Reynolds has been in private practice since 1989.  He joined the Board of Editors of the New York Law Journal (1988-89).  He has authored numerous articles and book reviews in the New York Law Journal, New York University Law Review, New York State Bar Journal and Trial Judges Journal.  Reynolds has extensive experience in the writing of speeches and in dealing with the press and other media.  In 2003, at the request of the Daily News, Reynolds wrote an article on the corrupt fee billings by lawyers and the recent institution by the judiciary of a compelled arbitration procedure available to clients in remedy of that problem.

Harold Reynolds was also an active member of the community.  He was a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Village of Scarsdale, New York (1999-2004).  He was also a member of the Advisory Council of the Salvation Army in White Plains, New York (2009-2011).  He made several guest appearances on National Public Radio [WNYC] to explain New York’s system for the arbitration of legal fee disputes (March, 2001), and to discuss the necessity for written fee agreements and the impermissibility of contingency fees in actions in which liability and the recovery of damages are reasonably certain (June, 2001).

He is a citizen of both the United States and the Republic of Ireland.  Harold J. Reynolds is married and the father of five children.

*This biography was written by Gerrell Guppy in August of 2016.  At the time of the writing, Mr. Guppy was a rising senior at Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice in Brooklyn, N,Y.