Thursday, September 7, 2006

The Advocate Richard Blassberg

Rory J. Bellantoni, Judicial Rising Star

Judge Bellantoni Embodies All of the Qualities

We Should Seek in a State Supreme Court Justice

Given all of the negative exposure New York’s judiciary has had recently, with political clubhouse nominations, and payoffs to party ‘wheeler-dealers,’ not to mention judges accepting bribes, one wonders at times about the individual in black robes he may need to appear before. And, while it’s fair to say that the majority of judges in the state court system are decent, well-meant, individuals, who toil at administering justice, some are more inspired than others. Unfortunately, for many, appointments, and nominations to run for judgeships have come by way of political cronyism, and payoff. Lord knows, Westchester has seen its share of those.

That is why it is particularly refreshing, and encouraging when one comes across a judge the likes of Rory Bellantoni. Having sat in his courtroom on numerous occasions, as a reporter, I have seen, first hand, the dedication, and striving, to bring about just and constructive outcomes, this young jurist brings to every case. His belief in the American advocacy system of justice is clear, to even the casual observer, as he repeatedly goes out of his way to provide each side with the full benefit of the Law in the search for truth.

Bellantoni, 37, is truly precocious in terms of his judicial temperament. Some might say he’s had a good example in his dad, State Supreme Court Justice Orazio R. Bellantoni. Whatever the source, that temperament is well
placed with a man who intends a lifetime career, in public service, as a judge.

Judge Bellantoni might be considered a ‘Fordham Man,’ having graduated from Fordham University, Suuma Cum Laude, and Phi Beta Kappa, in 1991, and from Fordham Law, on the Dean’s List, in 1995. His experiences in the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and as Senior Assistant District Attorney in Rockland County, as well as Law Clerk, and Court Attorney to the Hon. Sam Walker, helped groom him for his desired career.

Presently a Westchester County Court Judge, dealing with criminal matters, he is the Presiding Judge of the newly instituted Sex Offender Court, and an Acting Justice of the Supreme Court, assigned to various
civil cases. Additionally, he has served in the Westchester County Family Court, conducting hearings into matters of support, custody, and paternity. In short, he has had a well-rounded judicial experience in preparation for State Supreme Court Justice, the position he now seeks.

Some have suggested that Rory Bellantoni has taken on a tough challenge running as a Republican in the up-coming election. However, he has run as the “underdog” in both a primary, and general election, before, and won both times.

His popularity seems to cross over traditional party lines, and he has received broad support and endorsement from many labor unions and police agencies throughout the Ninth Judicial District.

Finally, Judge Bellantoni has been taking his campaign directly to the People of Rockland, Orange, Dutchess, and Putnam Counties, as well as his home county of Westchester, that together, comprise the Ninth Judicial District.

Literally, going door-to-door, his wife Amy, expecting their second child, and his mother, frequently accompany him on his “grass roots” campaign. Most comfortable meeting, and speaking with, individuals and families, he is eager to discuss and understand their concerns and their expectations.

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