Justice Diccia T. Pineda-Kirwan currently sits on the Supreme Court of Nassau County where she has presided since 2019. She was elected to the New York State Supreme Court, Queens County in November 2009, after having served as a judge in the Civil Court of the City of New York, Queens County since January 2003. She is the first Latina elected to the bench and to public office in Queens, and the first female Dominican-born judge elected in the state of New York. Prior to serving as a judge, Justice Pineda-Kirwan worked in the judicial branch for more than 13 years – first as a Law Assistant in the Civil Court, then as a Principal Law Clerk in the New York State Supreme Court.
Born in Baitoa, Santiago in the Dominican Republic, Justice Pineda-Kirwan immigrated to the U.S. in 1964, joining her family who had arrived before her in Hollis, Queens. In 1997, she graduated Cum Laude from Queens College. Years later, having already started a family but eyeing a career in public service, Justice Pineda-Kirwan joined the inaugural class of the City University of New York Law School at Queens College. While pursuing her law degree as a single parent, she co-founded the CUNY Law School Child Care Center. She earned her Juris Doctorate in 1986.
Justice Pineda-Kirwan is a member of the Supreme Court Justices Association, the National Association of Women Judges, the Latino Judges Association (formerly the Association of Judges of Hispanic Heritage), the Catholic Lawyers Guild, the Dominican Bar Association, the Association of Dominican Judges, the National Hispanic Bar Association, and Judicial Friends. She is also a board member of the CUNY School of Law’s Board of Visitors, and a former board member of the Latino Judges Associaton. She was a co-founder and Advisory Member of the Latino Lawyers Association of Queens County and a founding member of CUNY Law’s Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA). CUNY Law’s LALSA named a Summer Service Fellowship in her honor to benefit students working in legal non-profit organizations whose work focuses on communities of color.
The pride and joy of her career has been mentoring the hundreds of law students who have participated in her Judicial Internship Program and the Sonia & Celina Sotomayor Judicial Internship program, as well as law students and lawyers from the Dominican Republic through the Association of Dominican Judges. In November 2022, at the invitation of the Dominican Judiciary, she visited the Dominican Supreme Court to address the challenges facing the administration of justice in the Dominican Republic and the United States.
Justice Pineda-Kirwan has also served several community organizations, including the Latin American Cultural Center of Queens, the Latin American Women’s Council, The Queens Hispanic Coalition, the Embassy of Latin American Women of Queens and the Asociación Benéfica Cultural Father Billini.
Justice Pineda-Kirwan has been recognized by many individuals and organizations in her career, including the Commission of Justice of the Dominican Republic and APEC; the Universidad Autonoma de Santo Domingo, El Colegio de Abogados de la República Dominicana; the Dominican-International Federation of Women in Commerce; the Latino Lawyers Association; the Dominico-American Society; El Diario La Prensa; and the Corona-Elmhurst Center for Economic Development. In 2003, she received a Presidential Medal for Civil Merit from the President of Dominican Republic.
Justice Pineda-Kirwan is a proud mother of three children – Shannyn, Christopher and Lauren – and an even prouder grandmother to four grandchildren: Caiden, Quinn, Rosalind and Mirabal. In her spare time, she enjoys dancing, traveling, watching foreign films … and spending time with her grandchildren.