Court Community Gathers on a Football Saturday to Celebrate the Life of Judge Mordue

Published: October 2, 2023

FCBA President Adam Katz and Mordue Scholarship Recipient Tyriese Robinson join Judge Mordue’s family, including his wife Chris (center), at the September 23 event celebrating Judge Mordue’s life and legacy

More than 100 people filled Dineen Hall at Syracuse University College of Law (“SUCOL”) on Saturday morning, September 23, to celebrate the life of Senior United States District Judge Norman A. Mordue, who died on December 29, 2022. They honored him in the way he would have wanted – by telling stories, watching SU football, and having a good time.

Following brief remarks about his experience of interning for and practicing before Judge Mordue, FCBA President Adam Katz described the purpose of the FCBA’s newly endowed scholarship at SUCOL: to provide military-connected students with the financial means to study law at the alma mater of Judge Mordue (’66, L ’71). Katz then announced the scholarship’s inaugural recipient: Tyriese Robinson, a proud veteran of the United States Air Force. Tyriese served with distinction at Pearl Harbor, in Hickham, Hawaii, then attended Clemson University, where he was elected president of its Student Veterans Association. He chose to attend law school at SUCOL because of its deep and abiding commitment to serving veterans. While attending SUCOL, Tyriese volunteers as a student attorney in the Veterans Legal Clinic, where he helps veterans submit disability claims to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. After graduation, Tyriese plans to live in Central New York and become a prosecutor.

United States District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby briefly recounted Judge Mordue’s early life – from attending Manlius Military Academy, to playing half-back at Syracuse University (with Floyd Little and Jim Nance, all coached by Ben Schwartzwalder), to suffering a battlefield injury and receiving multiple commendations during the Vietnam War (which included a Bronze Star). Judge Suddaby then discussed Judge Mordue’s distinguished service as an Onondaga County Assistant District Attorney (which included his successful prosecution of serial killer Robert Garrow), his bipartisan election as a state court judge, and his storied career as a federal court judge.

Among the attendees of the event were Judge Mordue’s family (including his wife Chris, his daughter Jackie, and his sons Michael and Danny), federal court judges (including Chief U.S. District Judge Brenda K. Sannes, U.S. District Judge Glenn T. Suddaby, U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino, Senior U.S. District Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr., Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrew T. Baxter, U.S. Magistrate Judge Daniel J. Stewart, and recalled U.S. Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles), state court judges (including Syracuse City Court Judge James H. Cecile and retired Onondaga County Court Judge Stephen Dougherty), federal court staff (including Clerk of Court John Domurad, Chief Deputy Clerk Dan McAllister, and Court Reporters Eileen McDonough and Jodi Hibbard); federal defense counsel and prosecutors (including Lisa Peebles, Stephen Green, Lisa Fletcher, and Nico Commandeur); SUCOL faculty (including Lauryn P. Gouldin); distinguished practitioners (including Emil Rossi and Anthony Gigliotti); and other friends.

After the event, everyone went to the JMA Wireless Dome to watch the Syracuse Orange beat the Army Black Knights, 29 to 16. During the football game, both the scholarship and its inaugural recipient were announced. The general consensus was that Judge Mordue would have been pleased.