In Memory of The Hon. Stewart F. Hancock, Jr.
On February 11, the Hon. Stewart F. Hancock, Jr. passed away at the age of 91.
All of us at Hancock Estabrook who knew and loved Judge Hancock have suffered a great loss with his passing. We will miss his quick wit, his clever turn of a phrase and his ever-present good will. We will miss his youthful enthusiasm and his self-deprecating sense of humor, his love of the law, his scintillating intellect and his vital energy.
Judge Hancock enjoyed an extremely long and distinguished career, including eight years as a judge with the Court of Appeals. Prior to that, he was an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department and a New York State Supreme Court Trial Justice. He also served two years as Corporation Counsel for the City of Syracuse. Both before and after his years with the judiciary, he practiced with our Firm, most recently serving as counsel following his retirement from the Court of Appeals in 1993. While at the Firm, Judge Hancock focused his practice on appellate matters, acted as arbitrator and mediator and was an expert witness on questions of New York law in both domestic and international cases. He was a member of the faculty of Syracuse University College of Law as Visiting Professor and Jurist in Residence where he taught a seminar in Case Analysis and Appellate Advocacy. He also provided pro bono representation on appeals for Hiscock Legal Aid Society and served as the Chief Appellate lawyer for the Oneida Indian Nation Tribal Court.
Judge Hancock was a graduate of the United States Naval Academy, where the yearbook described him as having a “quick mind” and “upholding the good qualities of Yankee territory.” Following graduation, Judge Hancock served three-and-a-half years of active duty, then attended Cornell Law School where he graduated sixth in his class and received his LL.B. degree in 1950. While at Cornell, he was Vice President of the Students Law Association, won the award for second highest marks on the comprehensive examinations and was a member of the Board of Editors of the Cornell Law Quarterly. After law school graduation, Judge Hancock requested to return to active duty as a Reserve officer when the Korean War began and was assigned to the USS St. Paul in the Sea of Japan off Korea.
The Judge is survived by his wife, Ruth, five children and 13 grandchildren. Details regarding a memorial service will be announced when they are finalized.