Retired Justice Jeffrey D. Lebowitz is Of Counsel at Abrams Fensterman, LLP. Judge Lebowitz focuses his practice in the areas of matrimonial and family law, commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). He devotes his practice to litigated matters across a broad spectrum of legal issues, leveraging his experience as a Supreme Court Justice to offer a unique perspective to these engagements.
Judge Lebowitz served on the bench for 20 years, presiding over cases in the New York City criminal, civil and family courts. He spent the last 14 of those years as an Acting Justice of the New York State Supreme Court. During that time, Judge Lebowitz presided over the Matrimonial Part of the Queens County Supreme Court, then the first mixed criminal/civil hybrid part in the greater metropolitan area, and finally over complex tort litigation. He previously was appointed to the New York State Court of Claims by Governor David Patterson in 2009 following appointments to various judgeships by three successive New York City mayors.
During his judicial tenure, Judge Lebowitz served as President of the State Wide Designated Justices’ Association where he was active in the efforts to secure fair judicial compensation and benefits for his colleagues. He chaired the Brandeis Association representing Jewish lawyers and judges practicing and/or residing in Queens County and was a member of the Board of Trustees of The Reform Temple of Forest Hills for many years.
After retiring from the bench and resuming private practice, Judge Lebowitz has appeared before the Federal Court of the Eastern District of New York, the Supreme Courts of New York, Queens, Nassau, Kings and Suffolk counties as well as the Family Courts of Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk. He has handled a myriad of family law cases including custody, visitation, support, maintenance, family offense matters and equitable distribution in addition to handling various forms of complex commercial litigation.
Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Judge Lebowitz to chair the Judicial Screening Committee of the Appellate Division, Second Department. In that role, he evaluates the qualifications of candidates for appointments or designations to judicial office in New York State. This includes certification of judges who reach age 70 and wish to extend their time in office, interim appointments to vacate judicial offices, appointments to the Appellate Division, as well as a position on the statewide panel that recommends appointments to the Court of Claims. Based on a variety of considerations and thorough inquiries, the committee will recommend to the governor only those candidates who are highly qualified for judicial office.
Judge Lebowitz also serves as a member on the Matrimonial Practice Advisory and Rules Committee. The standing advisory committees, established by the Chief Administrative Judge pursuant to Section 212(1)(q) of the Judiciary Law, consists of Judges and Attorneys from around New York State. The Committee annually recommends to the Chief Administrative Judge legislative proposals in the field of matrimonial law.
Judge Lebowitz is an at-large member of the Executive Committee of The Family Law Section of The New York State Bar Association and elected to the Board of Managers of the Queens County Bar Association. He was named one of the Ten Leaders in Family Law, as well as being designated as a New York Super Lawyer in family law since 2019, a distinction earned by only five percent of the lawyers in the New York metro area.
Judge Lebowitz brings a wealth of knowledge to the firm’s practice groups and has written extensively in the area of family law. He has spoken before the Association of Collaborative Family Law Practitioners, the Law Department of the City of New York and the Queens County District Attorney’s Office.
- New York
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
- Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, J.D.
- State University of New York at Binghamton
Honors and Awards
- New York Metro Super Lawyers, Family Law 2019 – 2022
- Advised residuary beneficiary in multimillion-dollar estate litigation.
- Defended private party in action brought by New York State and local town governments alleging violations of CERCLA and RICO Act.
- Appointed by Supreme Court as receiver of portfolio of properties valued in excess of $10 million.
- Represented spouse in contested matrimonial action concerning equitable distribution of assets valued at more than $200 million.
- Lead counsel firm dissolution with one billion dollars in assets
Publications and Media
- “Understanding Pragmatic Changes in the New Statement of Client’s Rights and Responsibilities,” Queens Daily Eagle, Author (March 27, 2019)
- “Divorce NY Style,” New York Law Journal, Author (June 29, 2009)
Professional Associations and Memberships
- New York State Second Department Judicial Screening Committee, Chair
- Committee reviews all judicial applications submitted to the Governor for Appointment to the Appellate Division
- Statewide Governors Committee on the Judiciary
- Interviews candidates for positions and reappointment on New York State Court of Claims
- Matrimonial Practice Advisory and Rules Committee, Member
- Character and Fitness Committee, Second Department Second, Tenth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth Judicial Districts, Committee on Character and Fitness, Appointed Member by the Appellate Division, Second Department, Four-Year Term
- New York State Bar, Family Law Section, Executive Committee, Member
- New York State Bar Association Committee on the Constitution
- New York State Bar Association Committee on Revising New York Bar Exam
- New York City Bar Association, Matrimonial Law Committee, Elected to Serve, 2017–2020 Term
- Queens County Bar Association, Board of Managers (Past)
- Ten Leaders Cooperative, Ten Leaders of Family Law Group
- Lawyers of Distinction
- State Wide Designated Justices’ Association, Former President
- The Brandeis Association, Former Chair
- The Reform Temple of Forest Hills, Board of Trustees, Member