Justice Joseph Golia retires after a life — and love — of law

| editorial@queenscourier.com |

E. Peter Drakoulias-101

Justice Joseph Golia retired from the bench after 30 years.

As Justice Joseph Golia retires from the bench after 30 years, another Golia may be starting her own career as a judge.

It’s the dream of many parents for their children to follow in their footsteps professionally. But with the dedication and enjoyment Golia has for his career, it’s no surprise that he inspired his daughter Donna to serve on the court.

Golia’s own parents helped lead him into law. Raised in Corona and Flushing, he didn’t grow up with a lot of money, and his parents wanted him to have a profession that made him “control [his] own future.”

Golia studied engineering and graduated from NYU in 1959, and got his J.D. from New York Law School in 1965.

He wanted to combine engineering management with his law career. But he couldn’t find a job that merged the two fields.

He eventually found a job working on the legal staff of the Hartford Insurance Group in New York from 1965 to 1968, then worked as an assistant district attorney for Queens County until 1973.

While working at the DA’s office, and only in his 30s, he had a heart attack. His near death experience made him think about job security for his wife and small children. As a judge he could still “stay in the system” and have more opportunities for promotion.

After clerking for the New York State Supreme Court, he became a New York City Civil Court judge in 1982. He was elected to the Queens County Supreme Court about five years later and was also appointed an Associate Justice for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, in 2001. Both positions he held until his retirement.

“To be a judge is a remarkable position,” he said. “You can do a lot of good.”

Golia has had over 600 cases and has tried defendants ranging from drug cartels to NYPD officers, both civilly and criminally.

Unlike the U.S. Supreme Court, judges cannot serve for life. They must retire by the end of the year of their 76th birthday. Golia just turned 74 in May, and is ending his judicial career early.

As a retiree, Golia has plenty to keep him busy. First and foremost is his family: wife Rosalie; son Michael, 42, a radiologist; daughter Donna, 41, an attorney who was just nominated to be a judge on the New York City Civil Court; and his grandchildren, Michael, 12, Nicole, 7, Matthew, 5 and Isabella, 3.

He also has his charity work, serving on the Boy Scouts of America, Queens County Council and St. John’s University’s Italian Cultural Center, as well as his coin and stamp collections.

But even with all these activities and people to keep him busy, Golia has devoted his life to the law, and is thinking about becoming special counsel to a law firm or a judicial hearing officer.

“I can’t sit at home. I definitely want to do something,” he said.

  • Anonymous

    You killed Sunny Sheu.

  • http://www.facebook.com/alexhiggins732 Alexander Higgins


    Sunny Sheu was investigating this corrupt judge for allowing his home to be illegally foreclosed on and was kidnapped by police officers who threatened Sheu’s life if he didn’t dropped the investigation.

    Sheu found evidence that could be used to convict this judge for other financial improprieties and was found murdered 3 days later due to blunt force trauma to the head.

    The police covered it up and no investigation into this judge for those financial crimes, the judge’s involvement with Sheu’s mortgage or the police cover has been done.

    This needs and much more need to be investigated.

    No one else finds it an odd coincidence this judge takes an early retirement just weeks after being implicated in such a scandal?

  • http://ifthethunderdontgetya.blogspot.com ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®©

    An independent prosecutor should be appointed to investigate Justice Joseph Golia and his handling of the case of Sunny Sheu.

  • anonymous

    How does a judge end up with millions of dollars worth of real estate?

  • Anonymous

    You are a murderer

  • Elmo

    he killed Sunny Shew
    explains how this murderer got away, I hope this guy burns in hell along all his accomplices

  • Anonymous

    of course you love the law. you can do whatevr u want

  • Anonymous

    will he be tried for the sunny sheu case and why is his daughter getting handed a judgeship bribe money and did he kill sunny and how long involved in corruption

  • Anonymous swed

    He is part time judge and part time gangster. this asshole need to be judged

  • http://www.detectivemoglia.com Dan

    this case is shockingly similar to what is happening to me right now. I am being stalked and harrassed by a detective named John Moglia who is trying to kill me for publishing true facts about the details of a false arrest that he made against me in december of 2011. he has ruined my life, I have nothing to live for and I intend to keep telling my story until he kills me just like sunny sheu. I will die a true hero just like sunny. please see my website http://www.detectivemoglia.com for more details.

  • Jake