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With his family right next to him, Judge Joseph Sise repeats the oath, administered by his father Judge Robert Sise and his brother Judge Richard Sise.

Judges from all across the area line the side of the Montgomery County Courthouse Saturday as they watch Judge Joseph Sise swear in as justice of the Supreme Court for the Fourth Judicial District.

Judge Richard Aulisi talks about Joseph Sise’s character Saturday during Sise’s induction.


Sise sworn in as Supreme Court justice

Sunday, January 06, 2013 - Updated: 6:09 PM


Recorder News Staff

FONDA — The Montgomery County Courthouse in Fonda was packed on Saturday as family and friends of Judge Joseph Sise watched his induction as Justice of the Supreme Court for the 4th Judicial District of New York.

Before the ceremony began, justices from all across the region processed in as special and honored guests for the induction.

Montgomery County Judge Felix Catena took the helm as the Master of Ceremonies on Saturday.

Catena read a Gospel passage for the crowd and welcomed those in attendance to the celebratory day.

“I know you all will join me in sending to Joe our best wishes and prayers as he continues in his second term as a judge of this court (with) the very important responsibility he has with the help and guidance of our lord,” Catena said.

He handed the podium over to Fulton County Judge Richard Giardino who told the crowd a story about the first time he met Sise, and they all laughed at his story about mistaking Sise’s resume for his brother’s when he initially was told about him.

But his main job was to introduce the more than 20 justices present at the ceremony.

“It’s truly a reflection of the respect the judiciary has for Judge Sise,” he said.

After Montgomery County Surrogate Court Judge Guy Tomlinson led the Pledge of Allegance, Fulton County Supreme Court Judge Richard Aulisi took the podium to share some words on Sise’s role.

Since the reorganization of the state’s Supreme Court back in 1847, Aulisi said, there have been 10 resident Supreme Court justices in Montgomery County.

“At 49 years of age, prior to the end of his second term, he (Sise) will have the distinction of being the longest sitting resident Supreme Court Judge in Montgomery County history,” Aulisi said. “That however is not what he will be known for, all though obviously it is a great milestone.”

Sise admirably filled the shoes of his predecessors, Aulisi said, and 14 years ago he “took to the bench like a duck takes to water.”

Aulisi said Sise treats his litigants with dignity and watches out for lawyers.

“He ensures the fair administration of justice and no one could ask anything else,” Aulisi said. “He’s passionate about everything he does.”

And throughout his campaign, Aulisi said he was passionate, driven, and enthusiastic.

“His great passion is his devotion to the institution of the judicial.”

It was then time for Sise to take his oath.

His father, Judge Robert Sise, read the oath as he repeated, and Sise’s brother Judge Richard Sise stood close by along with the Sise family.

“Joseph, my son, recite after me,” Judge Robert Sise said as he continued the oath.

Judge Joseph Sise then took the podium for a few ending remarks. 

“This is a very special day for me and my family,” he said. “Dick (Judge Richard Sise) and I were very fortunate and we have my father to thank for that for he gave us a first hand look of the great privilege and opportunity of what being a judge is.”

He thanked the judges and friends for coming to his swearing in and spoke about those who helped him all throughout his campaign, putting together signs, putting them up across the district, and going house to house to garner support.

After the ceremony ended, Judge Joseph Sise stood at the front of the courtroom as dozens of people crowded around him to wish him well.

“What a wonderful opportunity for a lot my friends who sit on the bench ... to come and have a chance to say hello to my dad who is one of the greatest judges I’ve ever known,” he said. “To have that opportunity, I know that’s why it was such a great turnout.”

He said he promises to serve the people of the district as “the most fair and impartial justice” as he can be.

Looking at his son close by, Judge Robert Sise said it was a very emotional day for him.

“It feels wonderful,” he said. “I had a little more feeling about it than I realized.”

A 60-year justice of the courts, he said it feels good to watch his sons follow in his footsteps.


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