Newly-elected New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Friday appointed Barbadian-born Justice Sylvia O. Hinds-Radix as the City’s Corporation Counsel, becoming the first Caribbean-born woman to serve in that capacity in the city’s history.
As Corporation Counsel, Justice Hinds-Radix will lead the City’s Law Department, which is primarily responsible for providing legal representation to the City, the Mayor, other elected officials, and City agencies in all affirmative and defensive civil litigation.
Justice Hinds-Radix, who currently serves as an associate justice of the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department, a position she was appointed to in 2012, conducted the Mayor’s swearing-in ceremony, on Jan. 1 at the Times Square New Year’s Celebration in midtown Manhattan.
The eminent jurist, who, in 2020, was designated a member of the New York State Constitutional Bench, is highly likely to be confirmed as Corporation Counsel by the 51-member New York City Council.
“The Law Department plays an indispensable role in providing the legal architecture needed for the administration to carry out its vision,” said Mayor Adams, the second Black man to become Mayor of New York City after the late David N. Dinkins, in appointing Justice Hinds-Radix as Corporation Counsel.
“Sylvia Hinds-Radix has not only the brilliant legal min but also the emotional intelligence needed to lead the department as our next Corporation Counsel,” he added. “I congratulate her on her history-making appointment.”
Prior to her appointment to the Appellate Division, Justice Hinds-Radix served as Administrative Judge for Civil Matters in the Second Judicial District for three and a half years.
In her capacity as Administrative Judge, she oversaw both the New York State Supreme Court, Civil Term and the New York City Civil Court, which also encompasses the Housing Court of the City of New York.
Hinds-Radix, the first and current president of the Brooklyn-based Caribbean American Lawyers Association (CALA)m was elected to the Supreme Court, Kings County (Brooklyn) in November of 2004, and served as a New York City Civil Court Judge, from 2002 through 2004, spending her first year in the Criminal Court of Kings County.
She began her legal career at District Council (DC) 37 Municipal Employees Legal Services, where she was a supervising attorney. DC 37 is the largest union representing municipal workers in New York City.
In February 2021, New York’s Unified Court System’s Committee to Celebrate Black History Month, The Tribune Society, Inc., and the Judicial Friends Association bestowed the Hon. Theodore “Ted” Jones Lifetime Achievement Award on Justice Hinds-Radix.
Justice Hinds-Radix received the award during the groups’ annual Black History Month celebration.
Brooklyn-born Theodore Theopolis Jones, Jr. (Mar. 10, 1944 – Nov. 6, 2012) was a judge on New York State’s Court of Appeals.
In July 2020, Justice Hinds-Radix, a graduate of Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., was elected president of CALA.
On her election at the time, she said she epitomized the statement, “it takes a village to raise a child,” by the outstanding work she does in giving back to her own community.
A staunch advocate for children’s education, every Saturday morning, Justice Hinds-Radix said she and her family tutor young people at the Brooklyn-based Barbados Ex-Police Association.
She is also a former President of the Nathan K. Sobel American Inns of Court, the Second Vice President of The Judicial Friends, a Board Member of the Women in the Courts Committee and a member of the Board of Directors for the St. Gabriel’s Senior Citizens Center and the St. John’s Bread and Life Agency in Brooklyn.
Justice Hinds-Radix served as the president of the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association and the Supreme Court Justice of the City of New York.
She is also a member of several organizations, including the Brooklyn Bar Association; the New York State Association of Supreme Court Justices; the New York State Bar Association; Catholic Lawyers Guild; Columbian Lawyers of Brooklyn; the Association of Black Women Attorneys; the New York County Lawyers Association; JALBCA; Puerto Rican Bar Association; Latino Judges Association; The Tribune Society; the Metropolitan Black Bar Association; the National Bar Association’s Judicial Section; and the Caribbean American Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc., as well as being an active participant in several workshops conducted at the Judicial Institute.
Justice Hinds-Radix is the recipient of many awards, including The Gold Crown of Merit, which was conferred on her by the Governor General of Barbados on the nation’s celebration of its 39th anniversary of its independence, one of the nation’s highest honors.
She has also been honored with the Shirley Chisholm Award, in honor of the late Caribbean American congresswoman, of Barbadian and Guyanese parentage, awarded to Justice Hinds-Radix by the Barbados Consulate in New York in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of Barbados’ Independence.
Justice Hinds-Radix has been honored with the Golda Meir Award, bestowed by the Jewish Lawyers Guild, as well as the Beatrice M. Judge Award and the Sybil Hart Kooper Award by the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association; the Distinguished Judiciary Award and the President’s Award by the Catholic Lawyers Guild; the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the Advancement of the Caribbean Diaspora; and was named one of the Top Women in Business by the Home Reporter.
Justice Hinds-Radix is also the recipient of the 2019 New York State Bar Association’s Diversity Trailblazer Award.
Justice Hinds-Radix earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts; her Master’s degree in political science from Long Island University in New York; and her Juris Doctorate (JD), law degree, from Howard University School of Law.
In addition to being admitted to practice law in the State of New York, Justice Hinds-Radix is also admitted to the United States Federal Court: Southern and Eastern Districts of New York.
Justice Hinds-Radix is married to Grenadian-born dentist, Dr. Joseph Radix, and they are the proud parents of three daughters, one of whom, Jovia, is also a lawyer. The Radixes reside in Brooklyn.
“I am honored to have been nominated by Mayor Eric Adams to undertake this tremendous responsibility of representing the people of this great City, as New York City’s Corporation Counsel,” said Justice Hinds-Radix on her appointment.
“At this particular time in our history, with all of the challenges that we are facing, I look forward to ensuring that fairness and justice are carried out for the residents of the City of New York,” she added.