On November 6, Mark Masler ’93 was elected to the New York State Supreme Court. Masler will represent the state’s 6th Judicial District, which includes Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Delaware, Madison, Otsego, Schulyer, Tioga, and Tompkins Counties.
Masler was raised in Broome County and graduated with a degree in agricultural business and finance from Cornell University in 1982. After a stint as an agricultural loan officer at NBT Bank, Masler, along with his wife, Bernice, spent the rest of the 80s working with Bernice’s parents on their dairy farm.
A win at a 1989 Farm Bureau Discussion Meet competition sparked an interest in advocacy that led Masler back to Cornell for law school. “I found law school to be exhilarating,” he recalled in a campaign speech.
He graduated in 1993 on his thirty-third birthday and spent the next fifteen years growing his law practice with Harris Beach at its Ithaca offices. From 2008 to 2019, he served as attorney and principal law clerk to New York State Supreme Court Justice Phillip R. Rumsey, who sat on both the Trial Court and, later, the Appellate Division. During his ten years in the position, Masler wrote more than 900 decisions.
In February 2019, Malser announced his candidacy for the New York State Supreme Court. During his campaign, he was endorsed by New York State Senator James L. Seward as well as six retired New York State Supreme Court justices, including Rumsey.
In his candidacy announcement speech, Masler said that his varied experiences as a lawyer and a community member had equipped him well for the uniquely broad range of subjects considered by the New York State Supreme Court. “Being a justice requires more than just an understanding of the law,” he said. “It also requires an understanding of the people who appear before the court, and a deep respect for the fact that your decisions will have a deep and lasting impact on their lives.”