Judge Bert A. Bunyan
“CLEO allowed me to close an eight (8) year hiatus from formal education and to further demonstrate some ability and promise that enabled me to pursue a legal career. Absent CLEO many law career opportunities might not have been afforded to me.
Over the years I have expressed my gratitude and support of CLEO’s undertakings and will continue to do so. Again, I humbly accept this recognition, and again, thank you for it.”
The Honorable Bert A. Bunyan was elected Justice, New York State Supreme Court, Second Judicial District, in January 2002. He was born and raised in Brooklyn’s Beford-Stuyvesant community where he attended both public and parochial schools. He is a graduate of Bishop Loughlin High School. Judge Bunyan earned a B.S. from Virginia State University and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia in 1974 where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow (Martin Luther King, Jr.).
Prior to his election to the Supreme Court (NY), Justice Bunyan was elected in 1995 in Kings County, as Judge of the New York City Civil Court. During his term, he was also assigned to the Criminal Court of the City of New York of Kings County. Before that he served as an Administrative Law Judge at the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board. He was appointed in 1986 to that position by former Governor, Mario Cuomo. His broad legal experience includes many years with the Federal Government as a supervising, and trial attorney for both the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the National Labor Relations Board.
During the years between graduating from college and attending law school, Justice Bunyan was a social worker, and thereafter a school teacher at P.S. 91 located in Brooklyn. This was followed by a two-year stint in the military as a Provost Marshal of a post in Germany. After completion of his tour of duty, Justice Bunyan returned to New York where he was quite successful as an IBM marketing representative. Foregoing this promising business career, Justice Bunyan pursued a law career hopeful of making a more significant contribution to his community.
Justice Bunyan had chaired the Metropolitan Black Bar Association Scholarship Fund, Inc. That scholarship fund has awarded thousands of dollars annually to qualified minority law students. He has chaired the Bedford-Stuyvesant Legal Services Corporation which provides legal services to income eligible residents. Justice Bunyan is particularly proud of his service as a mentor in the Youth Empowerment for Success Mentoring Program where he was the recipient of a distinctive service award from one of its sponsors, The Children’s Aid Society. Additionally, he is a member/officer of numerous other bar/judiciary related civic and social organizations.
In February 2002, the Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz awarded him a citation for his outstanding contributions to the Brooklyn Community. Also, in 2002, Justice Bunyan was recognized by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Alpha Upsilon Chapter, as its Citizen of the Year. In June 2003, Justice Bunyan was inducted into his alma mater, Virginia State University’s Hall of Fame. In October 2008, Justice Bunyan received the Al McIntosh Community Service Award from the Brooklyn U.S.A. Athletic Association.
Justice Bunyan is married to Van T. Ly-Bunyan, and has three children and five grandchildren. He is an active member of Queen of All Saints Church and serves on its Parish Pastoral Council, as well as the Pastoral Council of the Diocese of Brooklyn (The Bishop’s Council) as its vice chairman. His hobbies include tennis, walking, art, music, and travel.