Spirited Send-Off For 20-Year Judge

Justice Catherine A. Cahill says she had "the best supporting cast imaginable" over the past two decades.

Justice Catherine A. Cahill, center, with Justice-elect Steven Tekulsky and Justice Lisa R. Rana. Credit: Taylor K. Vecsey
Justice Catherine A. Cahill, center, with Justice-elect Steven Tekulsky and Justice Lisa R. Rana. Credit: Taylor K. Vecsey
Attorneys, court staff, police officials, friends and family gathered to celebrate
East Hampton Justice Catherine A. Cahill's 20 years of honorable service at a retirement party on Sunday, about a month before she hangs up her robe.

"Now let's be honest, all of you lawyers are here to be sure I am giving the gavel over to Steve — Don't gild the lily," Cahill said, referring to her successor, Justice-elect Steven Tekulsky.

Cahill, who announced in April that she would not seek another term in office, was the first woman ever elected to the town position.

The party, organized by Jennifer Anderson, Cahill's court clerk, and Betsy Martin, the court director, was held at Michael's of Maidstone in Springs. Guests chipped in for a gift: A necklace with a hanging gavel to replace the one she is retiring.

Justice Lisa R. Rana has served with Cahill for the past 10 years, and will take over as the senior judge. "It just does not seem possible that that much time has gone. I only hope I will be half as helpful to Judge Tekulsky as Judge Cahill was to me," she told the crowd.

Despite working separately, they often looked to each other for support. "We were thrilled with the successes and often heartbroken when the successes weren't there," Rana said.

"No one was more blessed than I to have the ear of Judge Cahill, with whom I was able to share this incredible journey. Over the past 10 years, we have stood shoulder to shoulder as we have navigated graduations of children, and nieces and nephews, personal celebrations and accomplishments, and sadly, death and sickness," Rana said. "Through it all, Judge Cahill has become my close, personal friend. Sad as I am to see her move on to the next phase of her life, there is one small consolation for me. Now that we won't be flipping between weeks on and weeks off, we actually may be able to spend some more time together."

Cahill was visibly moved when summarizing the last two decades in the position — a time in which she also raised two children and lost her husband, Marvin Hyman, who was also an attorney.

Amongst those who came to celebrate her tenure were those she worked with during her five years at the Suffolk County District Attorney's office before becoming a justice, mentored by now retired Justice James Ketcham. "That's the nicest thing you ever said to me," Ketcham quipped.

"That was the set up for a wonderful 20 years on the bench with the best supporting cast imaginable," Cahill said.

Those who work at the courthouse have become a family of sorts, from "the girls," as she calls them, in the clerk's office to the court officers who keep them all safe. "The best of the best — bar none," she said.

Martha Nassauer December 03, 2013 at 10:09 AM
Then unlike you, "Gabe," I did live in the area while this alleged incident occurred, and IS my business. If you want to just join conversations so that you can attack the posters, then I would first of all, dub thee "sir trollz alot," and second suggest you request my personal email, since you so enjoy arguing with me. But for some reason, it appears you must already know me. You are the obvious reason why America has so many problems. You want factless based comments? Ok. Here's one. "Gabe Gonsalves" is a Zionist bully, personally responsible for every act of political corruption, all acts of embezzlement, the sole tool to the rising temperatures of the ice caps, the reason for 80% of natural disasters for the past 18 months, the high percentage of poverty and crime within inner cities across the globe, the sacking of Constantinople during the 4th crusade, the extinction of the dinosaurs, the spread of malaria and the black death. You, "Gabe," are also the reason for so many children that go to bed hungry, the assassination of JFK, the construction of the Berlin wall, and the reason why lobsters are so expensive. All joking aside, I think you are missing E.M.'s point, that a large amount of money went missing with the investigation coming to a dead end after associating documents magically disappeared from town hall, going the way of the dodo (another act of your personal indiscretion).
E.M. Maxx December 04, 2013 at 07:30 AM
No Gabe I will NOT "cool my jets" ....You did indeed attack Mnassauer by stating that he/she doesn't post 'positive' posts .... then you tell us you don't even live here ?!? Here's the deal. Times are tough financially for many people. Then a person in power a JUDGE no less , cant recall how almost 2 million ends up in her PERSONAL CHECKING ACCOUNT..... Maybe if you did live here GABE and maybe if your HARD EARNED MONEY was spent on ridiculous taxes, you too would be a little miffed at the fact that a JUDGE cant recall how, or didn't know about, or it slipped her mind, or she didn't know what her husband was up to blah blah blah .... oh and my personal favorite HOW DID RECORDS DISAPPEAR ?!?!?! Guess what not everyone that lives in East Hampton is a celebrity or has tons of money .... Believe it or not there are people here living on fixed incomes or they may go to bed hungry or they have to turn the stove on to heat the house .... While A JUDGE "MISPLACES" MILLION DOLLARS AND GETS AWAY WITH IT !!!!!!! So stick to writing to your own LOCAL paper ..I believe your local paper is the "Disney Land Times" ...because I'm sure nothing as atrocious as this ever happened in your town .....
Martha Nassauer December 04, 2013 at 09:27 AM
@ E.M. The more I look at things people write, the more I question their agendas. I believe in truth and justice. I believe the present systems has many flaws, as it is run by people. I have won, and I have lost. I have laughed, and I have cried. I have had food, I have been hungry. I have been a giver, and a receiver. Throughout my life, I have witnessed a great deal of wrongdoing, and a lot of suffering. When I read comments like "Gabe's," I have to wonder, who is this person? Have they experienced pain? Have they ever comforted others in a time of hardship? It is those people who have had life experience, ones enriched by difficult circumstances, who get it. While reading your response this morning, I would like to thank you for being supportive of me...being supportive of you. But more importantly, I would like to thank you for the way you put it...as most people (whether they will admit it or not) do KNOW right from wrong. To think that a judge, in a position to overlook right and wrong in others, would ever be part of such a corrupt situation, is not a big shocker to me. Not anymore. Growing up, yes. It would have been big news. But today, not so much. Today seems to be a new world, with all different players, and a new set of rules. Honesty, morality, and decency, have also gone the way of the dodo it seems. Yet, out there, there are still a few good men (and women) who are NOT a part of this system. The new system...of every man for himself. It's all about you! If it feels good, do it. I personally don't mind if the Gabe's of the world criticize, as I do not seek his approval, for they are ultimately insignificant anyway. Reading through these comments, my son asked me, "Does a judge make such a ridiculous amount of money that she just wouldn't notice a difference of almost 2 million dollars in her account?" My other son asked, "Or did she make so little that she needed to steal to survive?" Although all of us know that these questions are rhetorical, it really made me think...especially when there are too many people who live paycheck by paycheck, and cannot afford FOOD. They will sacrifice their own comforts, to support the happiness and a better life for others who are even less fortunate than they are. They are the true salt of the earth. Now, even if you do make progress, sniff around, and find that this judge IS guilty, it is doubtful anyone will listen to you. I hope that I am wrong. But it seems that the corrupt cover the corrupt, and the corrupt usually always win. That is why places on earth that hold positions of high authority must be held by the righteous. This should be our goal, if it is possible. Let the unrighteous have their gains...because one day, when we least expect it, all those who have gained in life via the hardship of others...will lose it. They will be stripped of their earthly positions, and judged by their behaviors. They will be held accountable for EVERY decision, right or wrong. But, not to be defeatist, there is still time left. Time left to choose between right, and wrong. It would be nice, if today, everyone faced with a choice to do good, or to do evil, will make the right one. For we are our brother's keeper, and you E.M., just exercised this obligation. All others, who stand in the way of justice, and attack the righteous, either by ignorance or intent, will have their day of judgment. In life, it seems like a great idea to be the wolf, but in the end, it is far better to be the lamb. There are no better virtues than honesty and kindness, qualities that are so rare today. But, they do exist...so here is to a new day, and hopes for a better world. It IS possible. Thank you for your words, E.M., and for being bold and righteous, and not being afraid to question. Question everything, but pick your battles, and with a humble heart and a contrite soul, we can stand up against the wrongdoing of the world. Peace, to all.
Martha Nassauer December 04, 2013 at 09:40 AM
Here's an addendum: I have a proposal. For all those feeling convicted by their own acts of greed, let today be a new day. Without being obvious, take the proceeds of any wrongful acts, and give them away. To the needy, to the sick, to the poor. Nobody needs to know, just you. There are those who may say, "why should I give my stuff away to the freeloaders, to the lazy, to the illegals even." My answer, it doesn't matter who the receiver is really, what matters more is the heart of the giver. For if the proceeds fall into the hands of those who are not righteous, it matters not. We are only accountable for what we do, and what is in our hearts. But there are plenty of deserving souls who could use a warm meal today, or a bed to sleep in. Start small, and you will see how purging doing the right thing truly is.
E.M. Maxx December 04, 2013 at 11:38 AM
Thank you MNassauer your post calmed me down a bit... I know I shouldn't be surprised when people do the wrong thing ( I'm just a wee bit past 40 ...egad !!) and I'm not naïve ... I guess it was seeing Miss Cahill's grinning face on this site .... it pushed me over the edge .... This should make everyone think: A judge can lie and steal yet make decisions about peoples lives ?!?! But thanks again for understanding !


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