Brooklyn Attorney Edward King will commemorate Veterans Day this week as he has done the past few years: attending the Black Veterans for Social Justice gathering and then go to the Brooklyn Community Church, of which he is a founding member and the deacon.
Kings, who served in the U.S. Army from 1972-75, is also looking to become one of the few male African-American judges in the Kings County Court system. Currently, there are 62 judgeships to hear major civil and criminal cases and only Justices Craig Walker, Reginald Boddie, Larry Martin and Rupert Barry are male African-American.
“We don’t have too many African American males or veterans on the bench at all and I think in Kings County there needs to be more,” said King, who is thinking of running for a Civil Court bench seat next year.
The only son of five children, King was raised by a single parent in Harlem. Growing up, he personally witnessed inequities in housing, education, and the administration of basic services in his community. As a result of his life experiences, he developed a resolve, not only to improve his personal circumstance but also to pursue social justice for others.
After the Army, King attended City College of the City University of New York where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Urban Legal Studies. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Antioch Law School in 1983. For the past 35 years, King has been a solo practitioner, specializing in general civil law and is admitted both to the New York State Bar and to the federal courts at both the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York.
“What I do with most things is how I will treat litigants in the courtroom,” said King. “I will try to treat everybody fairly and treat everybody with respect. One of the things I find the courts lacking is you have to listen to the litigants. As a Civil Court Judge, I will try to give everyone a fair shot. And give them a just result based on the facts, circumstances and the law.”
King began his legal career in 1983 as a law assistant to the Hon. Milton F. Tingling (deceased), Civil Court, New York County, and as a principal court attorney to the Hon. Randolph Jackson, Supreme Court, Kings County.
After leaving the court system in 1988, King began representing clients in private law practice, where he has been a tenacious advocate and problem solver on behalf of his clients. A skilled litigator, he also provides legal counsel on transactional matters focusing on real property, landlord/tenant, bankruptcy, and trusts and estates.
In recent years, with the advent of predatory lending, King has litigated cases on behalf of clients faced with the prospect of losing their homes. As appellate counsel, King has argued numerous appeals in the Appellate Division. As corporate counsel, he has advised Housing Development Fund Corporation tenant shareholders of the legal, financial and ethical obligations of cooperative ownership and management.
A firm believer in the principle “to whom much is given, much is required,” King generously gives his time to community service. He regularly participates in “Know Your Rights” forums sponsored by civic groups and churches to educate communities throughout the city about legal issues.
Since 2017, he has served as a pro bono attorney in the New York County Lawyers Association’s Certificate of Relief from Civil Disabilities Project, which assists formerly incarcerated individuals reintegrate into society.
King also is a member of 500 Men Making a Difference, a nonprofit started in Central Brooklyn in which the neighborhood’s Black men get involved in local civic activities such as park cleanups and food distribution.
“People are looking for somebody as a judge who is well-rounded and experienced. Someone who can yield both an empathetic hand or a tighter grip. Based on law clerk, military and administrative law judge experience, I know I can give everybody a fair shot and that’s why I think I would be a great judge in the court,” said King.