Though she does not have an opponent in this month’s Democratic Primary and will, therefore, not be on the ballot, Caribbean American lawyer Pamela Patton Fynes says she will be on the ballot in November for countywide Civil Court Judge in Brooklyn.
“I am running for Civil Court Judge because I have devoted the majority of my career to serving the public,” Patton Fynes, whose mother’s parents were both born in Arch Hall St. Thomas, Barbados, told Caribbean Life on Monday. Her father’s parents were both born in Savannah, Ga.
“Whether it was as a senior assistant district attorney, an insurance defense attorney or a labor attorney, I have spent my career giving a voice to the voiceless,” said Brooklyn-born Patton Fynes. “I have always looked to serve the public in both my personal and professional life.
“My motto has always been that, while I may be unable to change the world, I can change and have an impact on the small part of the community in which I live and work,” she added. “I am honest with high ethical and moral standards. I live the life I preach and the life I want to see. I always treat my family, friends’ colleagues and clients the way that I would like them to treat me, with respect, honesty and fairness.
“My core value system provides a framework for how I live my life,” Patton Fynes continued. “A review of my resume and bio demonstrates that both my professional and personal experiences speak to my love of the law and my ability to not only succeed in a judicial position but to excel in the most challenging of circumstances.”
She said the lessons she learned early in life guide her every day in her litigation practice and career.
“They have also helped give me a sense of focus and purpose in my leadership roles in my sorority, committees and organizations, where successfully navigating differences often requires a judicious balance of tact, forthrightness and understanding within the broader context of rules, policies and procedures to get the job done – all while preserving mutual respect and a shared commitment to the institution being served,” Patton Fynes said.
“These lessons also inform my belief that every litigant, no matter where they are born or no matter where they come from, and every attorney deserves to be treated with dignity and respect and that every litigant no matter the circumstance, is entitled to equal justice under the law,” she added.
Patton Fynes said she is running a “robust campaign”, talking to voters across the borough and taking nothing for granted.
“I believe that my life and work experiences make me uniquely qualified to serve on the bench, with the utmost integrity and fairness to all parties that come before me and, with the grace of God and a lot of hard work, I hope to be successful.”
Patton Fynes said that, with over 30 years of a diverse legal experience, she believes she has the judicial temperament, integrity, and knowledge necessary “to be the type of judge the borough of Brooklyn wants and needs.
“I can be relied upon to allow everyone who enters into my courtroom the ability to have a voice and to receive equal justice,” she assured.
Currently, Patton Fynes is senior counsel with New York State United Teachers (NYSUT), where her practice focuses on representing public and private sector employees in labor, employment and education law matters at grievance arbitrations, employees’ disciplinary proceedings, matters before the New York State Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) and in state and federal courts.
She received her Juris Doctor degree from the Maurice A. Deane School of Law, formerly Hofstra University School of Law, after obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in criminal justice from the State University College of New York at Buffalo.
Patton Fynes began her legal career as an assistant district attorney in the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, where she conducted grand jury investigations that led to felony indictments, supervised police investigations and prosecuted police corruption cases on behalf of a special departmental unit.
Having successfully tried numerous felony cases, she was promoted to senior trial attorney, where she prosecuted felony criminal matters from inception to trial.
Prior to joining NYSUT, Ms. Fynes was a senior trial attorney with the firm of Koster, Brady and Nagler, where she handled all aspects of civil defense litigation, including premise, general liability and personal injury matters. She managed a complex and varied caseload of over 90 matters a year from inception through trial, or disposition through settlement.
Patton Fynes is admitted to practice before the courts of New York State, as well as the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York and the Supreme Court of the United States.
She is a member of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association, the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, the Brooklyn Bar Association, New York County Lawyers Association and the Women’s Bar Association of New York.
Patton Fynes is a former member of the Association of Black Women Attorneys, where she was a charter member of the Ruth Whitehead Whaley Scholarship Committee.
She is also a member of the Union Lawyers Alliance. In January 2021, she was appointed to its Board of Directors. She also sits on its Diversity and Racial Justice Committee, and teaches in its monthly litigation workshop.
Patton Fynes considers herself an experienced public speaker. She has lectured and presented at various legal conferences, colleges and employee associations.
In strongly believing in giving back to the community, Patton Fynes said she has devoted the majority of her career to public service.
She said she is an advocate and a champion of diversity, equity and inclusions, and is committed to ensuring that the legal profession becomes more diverse and inclusive. She sits on NYSUT’s inaugural Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, where she works to ensure that “all employees at NYSUT are respected and supported.”
Patton Fynes said she is “a proud member” of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and a former member of the Brooklyn Chapter of Jack and Jill of America.
A faithful member of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Brooklyn, Patton Fynes lives in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.