Guyanese sworn in as a Judge in New York

Guyanese sworn in as a Judge in New York

Judge Pam Packman- Brown being sworn in by Judge Fern Fish

Demerara Waves – February 10, 2011

Guyanese Pam Jackman – Brown , of Springlands  Corentyne was on January 27 sworn in as a Judge in the Queens Supreme Court in NewYork , becoming one of the few women to be so elected .She was nominated following elections for the post in November last year. She will preside over criminal matters.

Brown is the second of six children born to Charles and Olga Jackman.

She attended the Smith’s Church Congregational School in Hadfield Street. After that she attended Tutorial High School before returning to Berbice to finish her education at  Skeldon Lutheran School and Scardia High School in New Amsterdam.

In 1973, she migrated to the United States  and was initially l employed as secretary at the Department of Mental Health and Retardation. Here she was encouraged by her immediate supervisor to pursue studies in Law. Pam enrolled at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC) to further her studies and graduated from there in 1979. She tutored for a while at BMCC in statistics before moving on to John Jay College to do administration courses. One of her teachers there was Benjamin Ward, the former Commissioner of Police. He would send Pam to visit women’s correctional facilities as part of her course.

Pam worked hard and graduated from John Jay ‘magna cum laude’ in 1983. She applied to various law schools and was accepted but after careful thought Pam decided to study at CUNY Law School. She was among the first batch of students in 1983. Pam enjoyed her stay at CUNY. She worked hard, saw Law as her calling and began to flower. She graduated in 1986 with her Law degree and instead of looking for a lucrative job Pam decided to serve her community.

She took a job with the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn. She says, “ At the Legal Aid Society I represented persons who were accused of crimes from misdemeanors to felonies. My most memorable case was to represent a gentleman who had a long rap sheet. Everyone thought he was guilty, except me. During the trial the facts did not play out and he was acquitted.”

In 1989 she received an offer to be a  clerk for Judge Yvonne Lewis in Brooklyn. Pam excelled in doing legal research, conferencing of cases and the drafting of legal opinions. She also worked as an arbitrator on small claims cases. After nine years as a clerk Pam was surprised one day when Judge Yvonne Lewis handed her a package. In it was an application for Pam to apply to be a Judge.

The appointment of a Judge is a complicated six-step process and the candidate is required to pass in all of them. Pam was successful and she was appointed as a Judge in the Housing Court Bench. She handled landlord and tenant matters and enforced the building codes, among others. A judge must go through a rating system every five years and Pam has been re-appointed each time.

She worked in Queens County from 1998 until 2005 after which she went to Manhattan. In 2009 Pam was elected to the Civil Court where she served until 2010. Pam’s ability was recognized and like an unstoppable force she continued to blaze the trail. In 2010 she was appointed to act as a Justice in the Supreme Court in Queens County, New York. She was  assigned to the Civil Division, Matrimonial Part.

Pam has done well and has made Guyana proud but her work has just begun. What an honor this is for  this  daughter of Guyana!

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