Posted Nov 06, 2012 05:55 pm CST
Judge Theodore T. Jones Jr. of the New York Court of Appeals died of an apparent heart attack after being taken to a nearby hospital from his Rockland County home on Monday night. He was 68 years old.
In a written statement provided to the New York Law Journal on behalf of the court, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman called Jones not only “a jurist of great talent, intellect and compassion” but remembered him for “a smile and a laugh that captivated the court and the entire legal community.”
Jones was repeatedly elected to the New York Supreme Court, the state’s trial court, before being appointed by then-Gov. Eliot Spitzer to New York’s highest court in 2007. There he chaired the Court of Appeals diversity committee and co-chaired its task force on wrongful convictions, according to the Associated Press and Reuters.
A native of Brooklyn, Jones served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, achieving the rank of captain, before graduating in 1972 from St. John’s University School of Law. He was a member of the university’s board of trustees and the law school’s board of directors of St. Johns University School of Law.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Joan Hogans, and two adult sons, one of whom, Theodore T. Jones III, is a lawyer.
New York Times (Jan. 2007): “Spitzer Selects a Black Jurist for Top Court”
New York State Bar Association (Jan. 2011): “Court of Appeals Judge Theodore T. Jones Presented With Lifetime Achievement Award By State Bar’s Committee on Diversity”