After 19 Years, Bernier To Retire As City Judge


After 19 Years, Bernier

To Retire As City Judge

Judge Bernier

ONEONTA – After 18 years as Oneonta City Court judge, Lucy P. Bernier, who broke the glass ceiling in many of the county’s legal roles, will retire from the bench when her term expires at the end of this year. She was the first woman to serve as city judge here.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the community as judge, and I am grateful for the trust the people of Oneonta placed in me. I’ve worked hard to make sure each person who came before me was accorded their legal and constitutional rights, that they were treated respectfully and fairly, and that fair and just decisions were rendered,” she said in a statement.

She was initially appointed to the bench in 2004 for a six-year term by Oneonta City Mayor Kim Muller, and was elect in 2009 and 2016 to six-year terms.

She began her legal career in New York City in 1980.  Since 1981, she has been in private practice in the Pantaleoni & Bernier firm, believed to be the first mother-daughter law firm in New York State, concentrating in the areas of family law, real estate, adoptions, and wills and estates.

From 1982 through 2015 she worked as a law guardian and attorney for the child, representing children in divorce cases, child and abuse and neglect matters, and custody proceedings.

From 1992-97 she served as assistant district attorney for District Attorney Michael V. Coccoma. Her duties included coordinating the county Child Sexual Abuse Task Force.

From 1998-2003, she was city prosecutor, the first woman appointed to that position.

Judge Bernier received her law degree from Albany Law School where she served as Notes and Comments Editor and author on the Albany Law Review.  She received her B.A. in English from SUNY Oneonta.  She has been active with many community organizations.

She and husband, Joe, the retired city community development director, have two grown daughters.

One thought on “After 19 Years, Bernier To Retire As City Judge

  1. James Harrington

    Dear Judge Bernier. I read about your retirement in the Reflections magazine and instantly recognised your name, because you were married to Joe. I knew Joe and his co worker Al whilst I attended Oneonta State as a foreign student in the 1970’s and played on the soccer team which resulted in my getting to know Joe. Please pass my best regards to Joe and let him know we are planning a 50 year Mayors Cup Reunion for the 1970 to 1980 soccer teams and that he and you are invited to join us. I’m practicing law in Los Angeles. I hope you and Joe both enjoy living in Oneonta, it was a very special place for a foreign student to be and live in. Regards and congratulations on a long career. James Harrington

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