Cortland Native, Former Supreme Court Judge Honored With Portrait in County Courtroom (Video Included)

Cortland native and former Supreme Court judge honored with portrait in County Courtroom. (Photo Source: Kevin L. Smith/Cortland Voice).

Cortland native and former New York State Supreme Court judge Phillip Rumsey was honored with a painted portrait of himself on Saturday, which will be displayed in the main courtroom of the Cortland County courthouse.

William Benson, a portrait artist out of Ithaca, painted the portrait of Rumsey.

Rumsey served in the trial court from 1994 to 2017, and was elected in 2017 as an associate justice in the third department appellate division. He retired in 2019.

Since 2008, Rumsey has served as a member of the Civil Pattern Jury Instructions Committee. He served as the president of the NYS Association of Justices of the Supreme Court in 2011.

Rumsey graduated from Cortland High School in 1967. He went on to graduate from Hamilton College in 1971, and the Syracuse University College of Law in 1975.

He served in the practice of law from 1976 to 1993. He also served in the following positions:

  • Military Police Unit of the U.S. Army National Guard (1971-77)
  • Assistant District Attorney for Cortland County (1976-79)
  • Assistant County Attorney (1980-83)
  • Town Attorney for the Town of Cortlandville (1983-93)
  • Counsel to the New York State Senate Standing Committee on Agriculture (1985-86)
  • Legislative Counsel to State Senator James L. Seward (1987-93)
  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the Cortland Memorial Hospital (1980-1997) (served as chair in 1989-90).

Rumsey has lived in Homer since 1978 with his wife, Marie. Phillip and Marie have three children and three grandchildren.

Here is a video of Rumsey’s portrait unveiling ceremony: