A pioneer in elevating the status of administrative law judges, Margaret Giovanniello passed away on January 17, 2016 at 88.
Her accomplishments were staggering. Not only did Judge Giovanniello serve as our president from 1984-’85, she was also simultaneously the president of the Nassau Suffolk Women’s Bar from 1984-’85. She served as president of the Brooklyn Women’s Bar Association (1982-’84), treasurer of the Nassau Suffolk Women’s Bar (1982-‘83), and was a member of the board of directors of the Brooklyn Bar Association (1983-’89).
In 1986-’87 she was elected president of the National Association Administrative Law Judge (NAALJ), and was its first female president. Judge Giovanniello served on the executive committee of the National Conference of Administrative Law Judges from 1994-’98, and the president of the New York Network of Bar Leaders from 1995-’96.
A 1956 graduate of Brooklyn Law School, she partnered with her husband in their law firm, Giovanniello & Giovanniello. By the mid-1970s she had joined the New York State Department of Labor, Unemployment Insurance Division and had begun her career an administrative law judge. In 1976, she and about thirty other judges formed the New York State Administrative Law Judges Association (NYSALJA) as an affiliate chapter of NAALJ, which had only come into existence two years earlier. During her tenure as its president, membership in NAALJ more than doubled.
On October 12, 2015, at the annual NAALJ conference, Judge Giovanniello was awarded the Vic Rosskopf Award for Judicial Professionalism and Ethics, the highest honor that is bestowed by NAALJ. Her contributions to our profession cannot be underestimated and her legacy will live on through all she achieved.