Haitian-American lawyer Cassandra Johnson offers post as judge in Queens Civil Court – QNS.com
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Haitian-American lawyer Cassandra Aimée Johnson, a longtime Queens resident who has built her life’s work around helping others, says she is ready to sit as a judge in the Queens Civil Court.
Johnson – the daughter of a Haitian immigrant, currently works as an adjudicator at the Supreme Court of Queens and, for the past 11 years, has led trials, settlement conferences and mediations. She has also written over 6,000 court decisions.
“I believe that a judge plays a vital role in supporting justice and is a position of service to the community,” Johnson told Schneps Media. “I want to help people resolve their daily conflicts and make a real difference in their lives for the better.”
Raised in a union family in South East Queens, Johnson said her parents instilled in her the values of hard work, respect for others and public service.
“These values are at the heart of my call to serve the residents of Queens,” she said. “For me, it’s important that we have representation on the bench that is so diverse and reflects the people of our borough of Queens.
“It is equally important that the justice system regain the public’s confidence to enable access to justice and ensure that justice is done,” she added. “To this end, an environment that fosters open dialogue about complex and difficult conversations; and the implementation and expansion of unconscious bias education and training to help restore that confidence in fair case law are changes we need to see.
“This is why I am running to represent our community as a Democrat for the 4th Municipal District Civil Court Judge,” Johnson continued, saying his main points of interest or campaign plans are to bring jurisdiction , justice and equity as a civil court. judge.
“I want to help make the court less intimidating,” she said. “I think it’s important to treat people with fairness and respect. I realize that cases do not come to court, but rather people come to court as a last resort to settle disputes. So it’s up to the judge to make sure the parties understand what’s going on and feel like they’ve been heard, especially as we come out of the pandemic and start reopening. “
Johnson, she would like to educate people about the impact of courts on their communities and inspire young people of color to become lawyers and judges, believing that the role of a judge is to create new and innovative ways to resolve disputes and provide access to justice.
“I think the work I do in my current role as a judicial advocate arbitrator will prepare me for the challenges that a civil court judge would face,” she said. “Particularly, the work I did at the Supreme Court, Civil Term at an unprecedented time was particularly difficult.”
But, despite these challenges, Johnson said she has learned to adapt and create ways to make virtual courtrooms accessible and has trained attorneys across New York state on how to appear. virtually in court for conferences and trials.
Additionally, Johnson said she also brings years of work for New York City and in private practice, “which provide me with a diversity of expertise, experience and perspective.”
Johnson said she worked hard every day, attended events, set up meetups, phone banking and personally knocked on doors letting people know she would like to serve. She said she is also proud to have the support and approval of many elected officials, civic, faith-based and community leaders.
“With the efforts of my friends and family, I am cautiously optimistic about my prospects for success, but I will continue to work hard to win the votes and support of residents of Queens,” Johnson said.
She expressed her appreciation for the support and appointment of the Queens County Democratic Organization under the leadership of Queens President and Congressman Gregory Meeks.
“I am grateful for the support from Congressman Meeks and the many district leaders who have made it possible for me to have this opportunity,” she said.
“I am also grateful for the support I have been fortunate to receive from my family,” Johnson added. “My father, a Vietnam veteran, and my mother, a Haitian immigrant and lawyer, were with me every day during the election campaign. They both taught me to live life in the moment, but also to be prepared, to always be kind, to help others and to put service before me.
As a licensed civil and commercial mediator, Johnson said her goal is to preserve and repair relationships between the parties and help them resolve their differences fairly and amicably. She said her experience and the work she has done over the past decade and a half has prepared her for the role of judge, giving her the skills to oversee cases brought to court.
Raised by her parents in a Haitian American family, with a strong passion for justice and civic engagement, Johnson said she first sought a career in engineering because of her love of mathematics, but following the footsteps of his mother, eventually chose a career in law and public service.
Johnson attended St. John’s University and earned a BA in Mathematics, where she was on the Dean’s List, Fellow of the Pi Mu Epsilon National Honorary Mathematics Society, and Professor of Mathematics.
She then attended St. John’s Law School for her Juris Doctor and was editor and member of a legal journal.
While at St. John’s Law School, Johnson said she did internships with the NYC Transit Authority and the Office of Capital Defender’s, and participated in the Consumer Justice for the Elderly. : Litigation clinic, where she represented low-income senior residents of Queens in cases involving theft of acts and other deceptive marketing practices.
She has also given presentations at senior centers on financial literacy and predatory lending.
Johnson has been called to the New York State Bar since 2007 and to the Connecticut State Bar since 2006. She began her legal career in private practice, working primarily with the Caribbean community of Brooklyn and Queens.
Johnson spent two years working in the private sector before working in the Litigation Department of the New York Human Resources Administration, where she received awards for her outstanding professional performance, integrity and professionalism. She said she has been steadfast in her commitment to the community, taking the time to participate in organizations that promote engagement and mentorship for youth and elders.
Johnson is a member of the United for Progress Democratic Club and a long-time member of the Guy R. Brewer United Democratic Club, where she has participated in educational forums and mentored young people interested in pursuing careers in law and government.
In her personal capacity as a lawyer, Johnson said she gave back to the community by presenting to the Youth Conference at the Baptist Church of Parousie, a Haitian church, where she encouraged the young participants to become future lawyers.
She also devotes time as a volunteer arbitrator in Small Claims Court, helping litigants resolve their disputes amicably and avoid costly legal fees.
Additionally, Johnson is a member of many volunteer service organizations, where she continues to dedicate her time and resources.