Born in New York City, Justice Barbara R. Kapnick received her bachelor’s degree cum laude from Barnard College and her juris doctor from Boston University School of Law.
Between 1980 and 1991, Justice Kapnick worked as a Law Clerk to both the Hon. Ethel B. Danzig and the Hon. Michael J. Dontzin in the Civil and Supreme Courts of New York County.
Justice Kapnick was elected to the Civil Court in 1991, appointed an Acting Supreme Court Justice in April 1994, and was elected to the Supreme Court, New York County in 2001. She was assigned to the Commercial Division in 2008, where she handled many high profile cases, and was appointed to the Appellate Division, First Department by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in January 2014. She was a member of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics from June 2008 - June 2018, and now serves on its Ethics Faculty. She also served as Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the New York County Public Access Law Library from 2008 to 2014. In December 2015, she was appointed to the Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission, promoting racial and ethnic fairness in the courts, and in October 2017 she was appointed to the Commercial Division Advisory Council by the Chief Judge of the State of New York. She is a member of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association, and serves as Secretary of the Judicial Section. She is also a long-time member of the New York City Bar Association, where she has served on numerous committees.
Justice Kapnick is a Master of the New York American Inn of Court and past president of the Jewish Lawyers Guild, where she remains active as a member of the Board of Directors. She is also a longstanding member of the New York Women’s Bar Association, where she served as Co-Chair of the Litigation Committee.
Justice Kapnick sits on the Board of the New York State Association of Women Judges, and is also active in the Supreme Court Justices Associations in New York, having served as President of the Citywide Association from 2013-2014, and currently as a member of the Executive Committee of the Statewide Association.
A frequent lecturer for many Bar Associations, Justice Kapnick has also received numerous awards, including the Benjamin N. Cardozo Award from the Jewish Lawyers Guild, the Harlan Fiske Stone Memorial Award from the New York City Trial Lawyers Association, the Women’s History Month Flor de Maga Award from the Puerto Rican Bar Association and the Distinguished Jurist Award from the Defense Association of New York.