Hon. Barbara Jaffe (ret.)
November 11, 2022
Honorable Barbara Jaffe is newly retired from the New York State Supreme Court, New York County. She is now Of Counsel to Borah, Goldstein, Altschuler, Nahins & Goidel, PC, where she focuses exclusively on cases brought in the New York State Supreme and federal courts.
Syracuse University awarded Judge Jaffe a BA, cum laude, after which she was awarded a graduate fellowship to study Italian Renaissance Art in Florence, Italy, obtaining thereafter an MA in Italian Renaissance Art. She obtained her JD from Brooklyn Law School, after which she represented indigent criminal defendants on appeal for The Legal Aid Society. After serving successively as principal court attorney to two Supreme Court justices, Judge Jaffe was elected
to the New York City Civil Court and subsequently appointed to the New York State Supreme Court, Civil Term, where she most recently presided in an individual assignment part and was specially assigned to try asbestos cases.
Presently, Judge Jaffe serves as a Director of the Center for Art Law, on the AdvisoryBoard of the Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (JALBCA), and on the Supreme Court Committee of New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA). She has served on many local and state bar associations, including as a director of JALBCA and chair of its Program Committee, as a director of the New York Women’s Bar Association and co-chair of its Committee on
Professional Ethics and Discipline, and as a member of the New York State Bar Association’s (State Bar) Task Force on Free Speech in the Digital Age and on the Executive Committee of its Entertainment, Art, and Sports Law Section for which she co-chaired the Bresler/Cowan Scholarship Competition.
Judge Jaffe was the New York City Bar Association’s (City Bar) Delegate to the State Bar and served on its Committee on Nominations, Committee on Art Law, Committee on Civil Court, Committee on Public Service and Education, and its Special Committee on Capital Punishment. At NYCLA, Judge Jaffe presided as co-chair of its Civil Court Practice Section and is a Founding Faculty Member of its Art Litigation and Dispute Resolution Institute. She has also served on NYCLA’s Justice Center Advisory Board and its Committee on LGBTQ Issues, Pro Bono Committee, and Criminal Law Section.
Additionally, Judge Jaffe is a Past President of the Association of Arbitrators of the Small Claims Court which she represented when serving on the Executive Committee of the Network of Bar Leaders. She also chaired a joint committee of the City Bar and NYCLA which produced, in five foreign languages, the “Handbook for Criminal Defendants”; it was distributed state- wide and appears on the Unified Court System’s website.
Judge Jaffe was honored to receive the Beryl R. Jones-Woodin Art Law Alumni Award from the Art Law Association of Brooklyn Law School, and to have appeared in DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus’s groundbreaking film, “Unlocking the Cage,” about the efforts of the Nonhuman Rights Project to obtain habeas corpus rights for chimpanzees.
Judge Jaffe has presented numerous continuing legal education programs on evidence, asbestos litigation, capital litigation, professional ethics, criminal law and procedure, mediation, and small claims procedure for the Unified Court System, NYCLA, the City Bar, the New York Women’s Bar Association, the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, the Columbian Lawyers Association, and others. She also moderated annual panels on various art law topics for NYCLA’s Art Litigation and Dispute Resolution Institute.
Selected articles, book reviews, presentations:
- “Gerard David’s ‘The Justice of Cambyses,’ The Aesthetic, Religious, Mythological, Musical, and Legal Significance of the Flaying of Sisamnes,” 26 Green Bag 2d 25 (forthcoming, Autumn 2022)
- “After the Plague: A Eucharistic Illusion in an Early Renaissance Last Supper,” Columbus Citizens Foundation, Zoom, Sept. 17, 2020
- “Going Inside the Courtroom: Insight From the Bench,” New York County Lawyers Association Newsletter, vol 8, issue 15, Oct. 2013
- “Visions of ‘Justice,’ Reviewing ‘Representing Justice: Invention, Controversy, and Rights in City-States and Democratic Courtrooms’”, by Judith Resnik and Dennis Curtis, 15 Green Bag 2d 209 (Winter 2012), http://www.greenbag.org/v15n2/v15n2_review_jaffe.pdf
- “Art Law: The Guide for Collectors, Investors, Dealers, & Artists” (Bresler and Lerner, 4th ed.) New York Law Journal, Dec. 10, 2012, at 6 (book review)
- “What’s a Renoir Authenticity Case Doing in a Small Claims Court Like This?” Cultural Heritage and Arts Review (vol. 2, issue 1, Summer 2011)
- “Finding the Uncommon Deal,” New York Law Journal, Apr. 8, 2011, at 6 (book review)
- “The Art of Execution: Pictures and Punishment in Western Culture: The Aesthetic Image of Public Execution and its Impact on Criminal Justice: William Hogarth and the Law Relating to Capital Punishment in Eighteenth Century England,” 15 Law and Literature 2 (Summer 2003)
- “Without Sanctuary: Lynching Photography in America,” New York Law Journal, March 14, 2000, at 2 (book review)
- “Winning in Small Claims Court: A Step-by-Step Guide for Trying Your Own Small Claims Cases,” New York Law Journal, Aug. 13, 1999, at 2 (book review).