At Witt’s End: Edward King deserves Brooklyn Civil Court Judgeship

Meet Ed King
Attorney and army Veteran Edward Harold King speaks with his neighbor. Kings was nominated by the Brooklyn Democratic Party to become a Civil Court Judge. Contributed photo.
Stephen Witt

Be it far from me to weigh in on the job of Brooklyn’s Democratic District leaders, but if I did Attorney Edward King would be my backfill pick for the Kings County Civil Court bench seat.

The seat is expected to open up after the district leaders this week decide who out of a pool of 25 candidates will get the Democratic nod for 10 open State Supreme Court bench seats on the November general election ballot. Among those expected to get the nod is current Civil Court Judge Craig Walker, which would open the backfill slot on the court.

Sources say the district leaders are divided on who will get the civil court slot between King and Stephen Burzio. Currently, many of the Black district leaders are said to be supporting King, while Assemblywoman and female district leader Maritza Davila and former Brooklyn Democratic Chair and male district leader Frank Seddio are supporting attorney Stephen Burzio.

While Burzio certainly has the connections and some experience, King has excellent legal experience as well as well-rounded life experience.

Additionally, King, 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 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.

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.”

Politics being what it is, King does not have a lock on the Civil Court slot, but he certainly is well-qualified for the bench seat. It would be nice to see him get the nod.