Justice Douglas E. McKeon, New York Supreme Court, Bronx County
Justice Douglas McKeon has been Administrative Judge for Civil Matters for the 12th Judicial District since January 1, 2011. Previously, he served as Presiding Justice of the Appellate Term for the First Department where, under his leadership, the court significantly reduced the time between submission of an appeal and decision.
Born, raised, and living in the Bronx, Justice McKeon graduated from Lehman College and New York Law School cum laude where he attended the evening division while working full time. He was a law clerk to United States District Judges Richard A. Levet and Charles Haight. His late father, Edwin McKeon, was Chief Clerk of the Bronx Civil Court.
As a New York State Supreme Court Justice, he has handled high profile cases. He negotiated the settlement in the Happy Land fire case, the single largest mass disaster suit resolved in a state court. Justice McKeon was named “Winner of the Week” by the New York Daily News for his compassionate handling of the Teron Francis case, the tragic story of a youngster on life support with whom Justice McKeon spent three nights at Montefiore Hospital. He helped to draft the successful application for an AHRQ grant from the Obama administration to expand the court system’s judge direct negotiation program in medical malpractice actions, and was recently appointed to the New York State Medical Redesign Team Committee on Medical Malpractice.
Justice McKeon served as Associate Counsel to the Speaker of the New York State Assembly, New York City Tax Commissioner, and Judge of the Civil Court prior to his election as Justice of the Supreme Court in 1989. Since becoming a Justice, he has served as a member of the New York State Judicial Conference and was Acting Surrogate of Bronx County.
Prior to his ascension to the bench, Justice McKeon enjoyed a distinguished career as a trial and appellate lawyer. He tried significant cases in the state and federal courts and argued before the New York State Court of Appeals, Appellate Divisions for the First and Second Departments, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He was rated “AV” by Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating attainable by a lawyer. Justice McKeon is a frequent lecturer before bar associations and is the co-author of a two-volume work entitled Personal Injury in New York for West Publications.
Justice McKeon is married to Zalena McKeon. They have three daughters and two granddaughters.