Nassau County supervising criminal judge to step down

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Nassau County supervising criminal judge to step down

12/21/2012 COMMENTS (0)

By Jessica Dye

NEW YORK, Dec 21 (Reuters) – John Kase, the supervising judge of the criminal courts in Nassau County, will step down at the end of the year and rejoin the Long Island law firm he co-founded in 1978.

Kase said in an interview Friday that he is leaving because he has reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.

After his departure, effective Dec. 31, he will return to private practice at Kase & Druker, a boutique law firm where he was a senior partner for 26 years before being elected to the court in 2004. Kase co-founded the firm with Jim Druker in 1978 and specialized in criminal and administrative matters.

Kase’s daughter, Elizabeth Kase, is also a partner at the firm.

Kase said he has mixed feelings about leaving the bench but is looking forward to rejoining his firm.

“When your daughter asks you to come and practice with her, you have to be very flattered,” Kase said.

Kase was elected to the Nassau County Criminal Court in 2005 and appointed supervising judge in January by Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti. His judicial term does not expire until 2014, but Kase said that, unlike justices in the state’s Supreme Courts who can be certified for additional years of service, county court judges must step down when they reach the mandatory retirement age.

No decision has been made yet as to who will take over his job as supervising judge, Kase said.

A graduate of New York University and St. John’s School of Law, Kase started his legal career as an assistant district attorney in the Bronx in 1967.

He went on to serve as a special attorney on an organized crime and racketeering strike force for the U.S. Justice Department, an assistant attorney general for the New York State Organized Crime Task Force and an assistant district attorney in Nassau County, where he was appointed chief of the rackets, narcotics and district court trial bureau.

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Nassau County supervising criminal judge to step down