Arthur Engoron Biography: The Arthur Engoron Biography That Grips You

Arthur Engoron (born May 14, 1949) grew up in Brooklyn, New York. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School, graduating in 1967. Engoron went on to receive his B.A. in History from Columbia University in 1971. He then attended Brooklyn Law School, graduating with his Juris Doctor degree in 1974.

Law Career

After passing the bar exam, Engoron began working as an associate attorney at a small firm in Manhattan. He gained experience in various areas of law including personal injury, family law, and criminal defense.

In 1982, Engoron opened his own private practice focused on civil litigation. He handled cases involving contracts, professional malpractice, and business disputes. Over the next 20 years, Engoron earned a strong reputation as an intelligent and strategic litigator.

Judicial Career

In 2003, Engoron was appointed as a judge on the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan by Mayor Bloomberg. During his early years on the bench, Engoron presided over high-profile cases including:

  • A major real estate dispute between developers over a parcel of land in Midtown, resulting in a $100 million judgement.
  • A medical malpractice case against a prominent surgeon that ended in a $30 million dollar plaintiff’s verdict.

Notable Recent Cases

More recently, Justice Engoron has adjudicated several controversial and newsworthy cases:

Donald Trump Contempt Order

In April 2022, Engoron held former President Donald Trump in contempt of court for failing to comply with a subpoena issued by the New York Attorney General requiring Trump to turn over certain financial documents. Engoron ordered Trump to pay $10,000 per day until he complied. Trump was able to avoid the fine by submitting affidavits detailing his efforts to locate records responsive to the subpoena.

Robert Durst Trial

Engoron presided over real estate heir Robert Durst’s trial for murder from early 2020 until Durst’s death in January 2022. The trial examined Durst’s alleged killing of his close friend Susan Berman in 2000. Engoron made several key rulings during the trial, including allowing the admission of evidence related to Durst’s involvement in his wife’s 1982 disappearance. In November 2021, a jury found Durst guilty of first-degree murder.

Judicial Philosophy

Justice Engoron is considered a moderately liberal judge who strictly construes the law as applied to the unique facts of each case. He thoroughly analyzes legal arguments and applies reason and common sense.

Engoron believes the judiciary plays an essential role in upholding justice and protecting individual rights. In his view, “Judges should interpret and apply the law faithfully without being swayed by politics, power, or wealth.”

At the same time, Engoron rejects judicial activism that extends beyond the intended scope of the law. In a 2021 interview he stated: “While I believe judges sometimes must make difficult calls, we should take care not to usurp the role of legislators by creating laws from the bench.”

Balancing Multiple Interests

In adjudicating cases, Engoron carefully weighs the interests and rights implicated on both sides of a dispute. He strives to issue rulings that balance such factors in a fair and equitable manner consistent with the law.

As evidenced by his handling of high-stakes cases like the Trump contempt order, Engoron does not shy away from bold actions he views necessary to promote justice and accountability. However, he tempers his decisions with logical reasoning grounded in facts and the applicable legal standards.

Personal Life

Arthur Engoron has been married to his wife Barbara since 1977. They have two adult children named Susan and David and three grandchildren.

Outside of his judicial responsibilities, Engoron enjoys playing chess, reading history books, and gardening. He has a reputation for being studious, earnest, and introspective.

Despite the prominence of his judicial role, Engoron leads a relatively quiet and private personal life centered on family. He resides primarily in Brooklyn, the borough where he grew up.


Over his extensive legal career spanning over four decades, Arthur Engoron has established himself as an intelligent, thoughtful, and principled jurist. As a Supreme Court Justice in Manhattan for nearly twenty years and counting, Engoron has presided over proceedings in some of the most complex and high-stakes civil disputes in New York.

Engoron’s recent contempt finding against former President Donald Trump and murder conviction of Robert Durst demonstrate his commitment to fearlessly applying the law even when it involves powerful public figures. While avoiding judicial overreach, Engoron leverages his authority on the bench to promote fair outcomes and accountability.

With many active years ahead, Justice Arthur Engoron will likely continue to shape notable cases and make his steady mark on New York’s legal landscape. His balanced approach and judicious temperament have earned widespread respect throughout his tenure.


What was Arthur Engoron’s educational background?

Arthur Engoron graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1967. He went on to receive his B.A. in History from Columbia University in 1971, followed by his Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School in 1974.

What types of law did Engoron practice privately before becoming a judge?

After passing the bar, Engoron worked at a Manhattan law firm for several years gaining experience in areas like personal injury, family law, and criminal defense. In 1982 he started his own practice focused mainly on civil litigation involving contracts, professional malpractice, and business disputes.

What Mayor appointed Engoron as a Supreme Court Justice?

In 2003, Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Arthur Engoron to the New York Supreme Court bench in Manhattan.

What ruling did Engoron make involving former President Trump in 2022?

In April 2022, Justice Engoron held former President Donald Trump in contempt of court for failing to comply with a subpoena from the New York Attorney General seeking Trump’s financial documents. Engoron ordered Trump to pay a fine of $10,000 per day until he produced the subpoenaed records.

Is Arthur Engoron registered with a political party?

No, as a Justice of the New York Supreme Court, Arthur Engoron does not officially belong to any political party. Judicial election rules require candidates to run without partisan affiliations.

What honorary positions has Engoron held throughout his career?

Some of Engoron’s notable honorary positions have included President of the Brooklyn Bar Association in 1990 and Chair of an American Bar Association committee on judicial compensation from 2009-2014.

Has Engoron taught or lectured at any law schools?

Yes, Engoron has guest lectured at law schools such as his alma mater Brooklyn Law School, New York University School of Law, and Cardozo School of Law on topics like trial strategy, ethics, and effective advocacy.

What opinions has Engoron expressed on cameras in the courtroom?

Engoron has remarked that he sees the merits of arguments on both sides. While cameras could enhance transparency and allow more public monitoring of judicial proceedings, he recognizes valid due process concerns over how recordings could potentially prejudice jurors.

Outside of high-profile cases, what types of trials occupy most of Engoron’s time?

Aside from widely publicized cases, much of Engoron’s trial work involves complex civil litigation such as commercial disputes between corporations and shareholders. These cases adjudicate matters like contract breaches and fiduciary duties.