Justice John F. O’Donnell is a retired New York State Supreme Court Justice.
Justice O’Donnell began his career in private practice before becoming a confidential law clerk to Justice John H. Callahan of the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division. He then served as confidential law clerk to Erie County Family Court Judge John J. Honan. In November of 1985, he was appointed as a hearing examiner (support magistrate) in Erie County Family Court. In January 1988, he became an Erie County Family Court Judge. In January 1992, he was named as the Supervising Judge of the Family Courts, and the Domestic Violence Education Coordinator, both for the 8th Judicial District. In 1995, he was elected to a full term as a State Supreme Court Justice. In November 2003, Justice O’Donnell became the first judge to preside over the new Integrated Domestic Violence Part of Supreme Court.
Justice O’Donnell is currently a member of the Law Guardian Advisory Committee for the Appellate Division, 4th Department, and of the Statewide Law Guardian Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Chief Judge’s Task Force on Family Violence. Justice O’Donnell is a member of the WNY Chapter of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, Bar Association of Erie County, New York State Bar Association, and the New York State Association of Supreme Court Justices, and the Alumni Association of St. John’s University School of Law, Canisius College, and St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. He is past president of the Thomas More Guild and the Marshall Club, and the 8th District Supreme Court Judges Association. Judge O’Donnell is one of the founding members of the Charles S. Desmond Inn of Court, and served as president from June 2004 until June 2006. He is presently the secretary of the Judicial Section of the New York State Bar Association.
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