Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Chief Counsel

Judge Sondra M. Miller, Appellate Lawyer and Mediator

Judge Miller is a preeminent New York appellate lawyer and mediator. She is Chief Counsel to the firm and leads our Appellate Practice group. She bring her knowledge and experience as a retired appellate judge to help our clients win their appeals. Judge Miller know that civil appeals are among the greatest challenges that an appellate lawyer faces. Before an appeal goes forward, she carefully studies the record in the lower court and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the lower court decision.

As a former judge who understands the stakes in letting a dispute be decided by the courts, Judge Miller often acts as a mediator and brings her dispute resolution skills to our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group. As a mediator, Judge Miller helps attorneys at other firms to settle their clients’ cases through mediation.

She is also a member of the firm’s Collaborative Law, Commercial Litigation and Matrimonial & Family Law groups. Judge Miller brings her experience and know-how in her work on many thousands of cases and opinions for which she has been a participant. In our Matrimonial & Family Law and Collaborative Law groups, she has been involved in every aspect of the firm’s work.

Judge Miller was appointed to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Department, by Governor Mario Cuomo in January 1990 (now retired). She had served as a New York State Supreme Court Judge in the Ninth Judicial District, having been elected in 1986, and had served as a Family Court Judge in Westchester County from 1983-1986. Among Justice Miller’s “firsts” are her law degree from Harvard Law School (she was in its first class to admit women); her election to the Supreme Court, Ninth Judicial District in November 1986 (the first Democrat to win a contested election in the 9th Judicial District in nearly 100 years); and her appointment as Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department, in January 1990 (the first woman in the 9th Judicial District to be so recognized).

Judge Miller has also been recognized as a New York Super Lawyer in the areas of Family Law/Appellate.

Areas of Experience

  • Preparation of Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
  • Actions for Divorce and Separation
  • Negotiations on Settlements of Contested Matters
  • Separation Agreements, Stipulations of Settlement and Uncontested Divorces
  • Equitable Distribution, Maintenance and Child Support
  • Acting as a Independent Mediator or Arbitrator to Settle Cases
  • New York Appeals in all Areas of the Law

Honors & Awards

02/27/2020

Gebhardt & Miller Speak on Parent Education in Custody Cases

Dolores Gebhardt and Hon. Sonda M. Miller, both members of our Matrimonial & Family Law, Appellate Practice and Collaborative Law groups, presented “Mandatory Parent Education in Custody Cases: The Pilot Program” at the Westchester County Courthouse. This CLE program, sponsored by the Family Law Section of the Westchester County Bar Association, described the requirements of the new initiative in which judges must refer divorcing parents to OCA-approved classes that assist the parents in putting their children first.

02/16/2017

Miller and Rosmarin Speak on Support Services for Parents in Conflict

Judge Miller and Abby Rosmarin, lawyers in our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group, jointly spoke on “Early Intervention: Support Services for Parents in Conflict.” This presentation was co-sponsored by Westchester Women’s Bar Association and Family Kind.

02/24/2016

Rosmarin & Miller Part of Panel Discussion on Mediation/Arbitration

Judge Miller and Abby Rosmarin, lawyers in our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group, was part of a panel discussion entitled “MED-ARB: Getting Past the Impasse.” The program, which was co-sponsored by Westchester Women’s Bar Association, Westchester County Bar Association, Westchester Black Bar Association and White Plains Bar Association, explored how mediation and arbitration can be incorporated in matrimonial and family matters.

10/01/2014

Boggio, Bramson, Brophy, Donelli, Gebhardt, Miller & Streng Selected as Super Lawyers

Seven of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Gail M. Boggio has again been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Howell Bramson has again been selected in the fields of Estate Planning/Tax and Corporate Business. Joseph Brophy has again been selected in the fields of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice, General, Estate & Trust Litigation. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Dolores Gebhardt has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Judge Sondra Miller has again been selected in the fields of Appellate/Family Law. Frank W. Streng has been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation and Estate Planning & Probate. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been recognized by their colleagues as having the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

06/04/2014

Miller Authors Article on Prenuptial Agreements for New York Law Journal

Hon. Sondra M. Miller, who has a national reputation on family law issues and leads our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group and Appellate Practice group, authored an article for the New York Law Journal on Prenuptial Agreements entitled, “Come Live With Me and Be my Love…But Sign This Prenup!

10/01/2013

Boggio, Bramson, Brophy, Donelli, Gebhardt & Miller Selected as Super Lawyers

Six of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Gail M. Boggio has been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Howell Bramson has again been selected in the fields of Estate Planning/Tax and Corporate Business. Joseph Brophy has again been selected in the fields of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice, General, Estate & Trust Litigation. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Dolores Gebhardt has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Judge Sondra Miller has again been selected in the fields of Appellate/Family Law. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been recognized by their colleagues as having the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

04/15/2013

Miller & Rosmarin Lecture on Family Law Mediation

Judge Miller and Abby Rosmarin, lawyers in our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group, lectured at Pace Law School on April 15, 2013 in White Plains, New York at a CLE program entitled “Essential Family Law/Matrimonial Law: Fundamentals.”

04/06/2013

Donelli, Miller & Rosmarin Participate in Collaborative Law Workshop

On April 6, 2013, Kathleen Donelli (who heads up our Collaborative Law & Matrimonial & Family Law groups) and Deborah Wayne, Adjunct Professors at Pace Law School, presented a 6 hour Intensive Collaborative Law workshop for their students. The students found the workshop to be an exceptional learning experience. One of the students, Jonah Freedman, wrote: “I have participated in numerous simulations throughout my law school career and last Saturday’s collaborative law simulation was by far superior. What made this experience so rewarding was having the opportunity to role play and gain insights alongside all the Collaborative Law essential ‘players’ such as attorneys (including a Judge), mental health professionals and CPAs.” Judge Sondra Miller and Abby Rosmarin, lawyers in our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group, also participated in the workshop.

01/22/2013

Judge Miller Receives Kay Crawford Murray Award

We are pleased to announce that Judge Sondra M. Miller, who leads our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group and Appellate Practice group, received the Kay Crawford Murray Award on January 22, 2013. The award is given by the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Women in the Law to celebrate “an individual who, in the spirit of Ms. Murray, recognizes the value of diversity in the legal profession and has committed to advancing the professional development of women attorneys.”

10/01/2012

Bramson, Brophy, Donelli, Gebhardt & Miller Selected as Super Lawyers

Five of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Howell Bramson has been selected in the fields of Estate Planning/Tax and Corporate Business. Joseph Brophy has again been selected in the fields of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice, General, Estate & Trust Litigation. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Dolores Gebhardt has been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Judge Sondra Miller has been selected in the fields of Appellate/Family Law. Joe Brophy has also been selected as one of Westchester’s top 25 lawyers. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been recognized by their colleagues as having the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

08/22/2012

Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group Introduces Video

As part of the recent expansion of our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group, we have put a video on our web site. In the video, viewers can get to know better the members of our Mediation & Arbitration team: Hon. Sondra M. Miller, who leads the group, Adam J. Krim, Kristen Mackay Pennessi and Abby P. Rosmarin. The video is set forth below.

08/08/2012

Judge Miller Co-Chairs Judicial Seminar on Social Media & Criminal & Family Law Cases

Hon. Sondra M. Miller, who leads our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group and Appellate Practice group, and Co-Chairs the New York State Family Violence Task Force, co-chaired a judicial seminar entitled: “’Friend’ or Foe: Social Media and the New Cyber-Landscape of Criminal and Family Law.” The seminar was part of a summer series of web casts offered by the New York State Judicial Institute for judges and non-judicial staff. The program was presented live at the Judicial Institute in White Plains, at group-viewing sites in each of the New York City counties, and on-line.

03/12/2012

Judge Miller Interviewed by Wall Street Journal on Impact of New Divorce Law

Hon. Sondra M. Miller, who leads our Mediation & Arbitration Practice Group and Appellate Practice groups, was interviewed by the Wall Street Journal on the impact of the new divorce law. Judge Miller, who has been a long-time proponent of reforms in divorce law, discussed how the new divorce law, passed in 2010, has had unintended consequences on temporary alimony for some affluent New Yorkers. See video below for that interview. Footage provided by Wall Street Journal.

12/01/2011

Judge Miller is Recipient of 2011 Judge Learned Hand Award

On December 1, 2011 Hon. Sondra M. Miller was the recipient of the 2011 Judge Learned Hand Award by the Westchester Region of the American Jewish Committee (AJC). This was the first time that the Judge Learned Hand Award was presented by AJC’s Westchester Region. The award ceremony took place at Chappaqua Crossing (the former Reader’s Digest site), in Chappaqua, New York. AJC is the oldest and most respected human relations organization in the United States. AJC builds bridges, advances security, promotes human rights, supports Israel and strengthens Jewish life. For over fifty years, AJC has taken great pride in publicly acknowledging the accomplishments of outstanding members of the legal community who excel in their field and give generously of themselves to the larger community.

10/25/2011

Judge Miller & Donelli Speak to Law Revision Commission

Hon. Sondra M. Miller and Kathleen Donelli, members of our Matrimonial & Family Law and Collaborative Law groups, were invited and met with the New York State Law Revision Commission (“LRC”) at a Roundtable Meeting on Maintenance Awards in Divorce Proceedings on October 25, 2011 at Albany Law School in Albany, New York. Both Judge Miller and Kathleen had the opportunity to discuss the legislation that the New York State Legislature has directed the LRC to propose by December 31, 2011 on maintenance awards.

04/28/2011

Judge Miller Receives the “Above the Bar” Award & Selected as “Pace Setter”

Hon. Sondra M. Miller was selected as the “Pace Setter” and received the “Above the Bar” award on April 28, 2011 in White Plains, New York.

02/04/2011

Judge Miller Interviewed by New York Law Journal on Court Ruling on New No-Fault Divorce Legislation

Hon. Sondra M. Miller, who has been a long-time proponent of “no fault” divorce and helped bring upon its passage in law last year, was interviewed by the New York Law Journal (2/4/2011) to comment on a recent ruling on the new law by Essex County Justice Robert J. Muller. Justice Muller is  the second judge to rule that a trial is required if a party disputes whether, under the new law, a marriage has “broken down irretrievably.” The article went on to say:

 

“Sondra Miller, the former Second Department justice who headed a commission appointed by former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye to examine the state’s matrimonial laws, disagreed with Justice Muller’s conclusion stating that the ‘irretrievably broken’ language must be read in the context within which it was written. . . . ‘It is quite clear,’ Ms. Miller said, that the ‘purpose’ of the language referring to an oath provided by ‘one party’ was to ‘avoid litigation.’  ‘It was not the intent of the Legislature and the bill’s sponsors to avoid litigation on fault grounds only to substitute litigation upon the ground of irretrievable breakdown,’ added Ms. Miller who is now chief counsel at McCarthy Fingar in White Plains. ‘The statute was designed to avoid the expense and delay of full trials.'”

01/19/2011

Judge Miller Speaks at Induction Ceremony of Justice Linda J. Christopher

Hon. Sondra M. Miller spoke at the Rockland County Courthouse in New City at the induction ceremony of newly elected Justice Linda J. Christopher.

11/10/2010

Judge Miller Part of Panel Discussion on DNA & Privacy Issues

Hon. Sondra M. Miller was part of a panel discussion on November 10, 2010 on “Who Owns Your DNA: Property, Privacy and the Cancer Battle”, in Manhattan at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. This program was sponsored by Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert (“JALBCA”)

10/14/2010

Gebhardt, Donelli and Judge Miller Lecture on New “No Fault” Divorce Law

Kathleen DonelliDolores Gebhardt and Hon. Sonda M. Miller were part of a panel discussion on October 14, 2010 in White Plains, New York on “New Divorce Legislation:  No Fault Divorce, Maintenance Guidelines, Counsel & Expert Fees, Modification of Child Support and Orders of Protection” for the Westchester Women’s Bar Association.   Click at Seminar Outline for materials.

07/12/2010

Judge Miller Interviewed on New York’s New No Fault Divorce Staute

For many years, Judge Sondra M. Miller has been a strong proponent for no-fault divorce in New York.  After a hard-fought victory, no-fault divorce was signed into law by Governor Patterson on August 15, 2010. In a podcast interview, Judge Miller provides listeners with some historical perspective on why there were difficulties in passing no-fault divorce in New York as well as some insights on the new law.

05/05/2010

Judge Miller Testifies before NYS Senate Committee on No Fault Divorce Bill

Judge Sondra M. Miller, a tireless advocate for no-fault divorce in New York, testified before a committee of the New York State Senate in support of a proposed no-fault divorce bill. Judge Miller had this to say: “Overwhelming evidence supports the fact that allegations and false trials at significant cost, delay and trauma to matrimonial litigants and their children.  Such consequences have been proven through compelling testimony provided at the public hearings held by the Miller Commission in 2006 and supported again at public forums in 2007 at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and in 2008 in Albany at the Legislative Office Building.  The need for this overdue and essential reform has been recognized by all major media as well as every bar association of this state and the New York Chapter of the Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.”

06/17/2008

Judge Miller Interviewed by New York Law Journal on “No Fault” Divorce

Hon. Sondra M. Miller was interviewed by the New York Law Journal as a spokesperson for various state and local bar groups who lobbied Albany legislators for an amendment of divorce law to permit “no fault” divorce. Judge Miller, who is also the Director of the Office of Family Services for the Office of Court Administration, organized the event in Albany, to remind legislators of the need to change the divorce laws and to highlight the near-unanimous support that the no-fault option has among bar groups. In her interview, Judge Miller also spoke of the difficulties the no-fault option faced in the current legislative session, since no-fault divorce is just one of a myriad of items vying for attention. In the interview, Judge Miller said: “They are not focused on this issue. And we, as a group, are at a disadvantage because we are not lobbyists.”

11/08/2007

Judge Miller is Keynote Speaker for The Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York

Hon. Sondra M. Miller was a keynote speaker on November 8, 2007 for The Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York (FDMCGNY) at its 25th anniversary gala celbration in New York, New York. FDMCGNY is a not-for-profit group dedicated to the constructive resolution of traditional and non-traditional family disputes.

11/01/2007

Gebhardt and Judge Miller Author Article on Divorce Law and Abandonment

Dolores Gebhardt and Hon. Sonda M. Miller authored an article in the Pace Law Review, Justice Abandoned: Forty Years of Stalemate in Actions for Divorce on the Ground of Abandonment, 27 Pace Law Review 605 (2007). Click on Article to see this publication.

10/11/2007

Gebhardt & Judge Miller Lecture in Manhattan on No-Fault Divorce

Dolores Gebhardt and Hon. Sondra M. Miller spoke at a forum in New York City at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York on October 11, 2007, entitled “The Need for No-Fault Divorce.”

04/01/2007

Miller Interviewed on Recommendations of Matrimonial Commission

Hon. Sondra M. Miller  In the aftermath of the recent bribery conviction of former state Supreme Court Justice Gerald P. Garson, there has been substantial media coverage of the manner in which matrimonial and family law cases are litigated in the court system. Judge Miller, who headed the Matrimonial Commission formed by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, was interviewed by The Institute for Judicial Studies for both her observations on the case and efforts to implement the recommendations of the Matrimonial Commission. For excerpts of that interview, click at Interview. Click at Report to see the recommendations of the Matrimonial Commission.

10/24/2006

Judge Miller Lectures on Ethical Considerations and Attorney Fees

Hon. Sondra M. Miller lectured on Ethical Considerations and Attorney Fees as part of an all-day program in Tarrytown, New York on October 24, 2006 entitled “Probate and Administration of Estates” for the Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

01/01/2006

Judge Sondra Miller Joins Firm and Leads the Firm’s Appellate and Mediation and Arbitration Practice Groups

We are pleased to announce that Judge Sondra M. Miller, retired from the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, as of January 1, 2006, has joined our Firm as Chief Counsel. Judge Miller is a member of the Firm’s Commercial Litigation and Matrimonial & Family Law groups and will lead the Firm’s appellate practice.

Contest over Finder’s Fee for Sale of Commercial Real Estate

Dolores Gebhardt, Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Appellate PracticeCommercial Litigation – Reduction on Finder’s Fee for Commercial Real Estate Sale

Our lawyers sometimes represent clients in disputes over finder’s and brokerage fees on real estate and business transactions. Here, Dina M. Aversano, together with Judge Sondra M. Miller and Dolores Gebhardt, wrote and prepared the appellate brief in the Appellate Division, Second Department, to seek to overturn the Supreme Court, Nassau County’s award, following a bench trial, of a $500,000 finder’s fee on a commercial real estate transaction. We argued that no such fee was warranted because of the lack of any causal relationship in the “finder’s” role in facilitating the eventual transaction. The Appellate Division Second Department awarded a downward modification of the fee.

Presenter Description Organization Date
Dolores Gebhardt, Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Mandatory Parent Education in Custody Cases: The Pilot Program

Family Law Section of the Westchester County Bar Association

02/27/2020
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Early Intervention: Support Services for Parents in Conflict

Westchester Women’s Bar Association and Family Kind

02/16/2017
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

MED-ARB: Getting Past the Impasse

Westchester Women’s Bar AssociationWestchester County Bar AssociationWestchester Black Bar AssociationWhite Plains Bar Association

02/24/2016
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Essential Family Law/Matrimonial Law: Fundamentals

Pace Law School

04/15/2013
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Induction Ceremony of Newly Elected Supreme Court Justice, Linda J. Christopher

Rockland County Courthouse, New City, New York

01/19/2011
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

“Who Owns Your DNA: Property, Privacy and the Cancer Battle”

Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Manhattan

11/10/2010
Kathleen Donelli, Dolores Gebhardt, Hon. Sondra M. Miller

New Divorce Legislation: No Fault Divorce, Maintenance Guidelines, Counsel & Expert Fees, Modification of Child Support & Orders of Protection

Westchester Women’s Bar Association, White Plains, New York

10/14/2010
Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Keynote Speaker

New York, New York, The Family & Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York

11/08/2007
Dolores Gebhardt, Hon. Sondra M. Miller

“The Need for No-Fault Divorce”

Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Manhattan

10/11/2007

Current Officer, Director, Chair, Member

Bar Association Memberships