Coming from a family of lawyers, Judge John S. Lansden always knew he wanted to get into something related to law.
“At the end of the day it’s the rule of law that makes civilization what it is,” said Lansden. “And I always appreciated that it’s not just as simple as reading a bunch of statutes, it’s the enforcement of it.”
Born in Knoxville, Tennessee, Lansden made the move to the Big Apple when he was just a child but didn’t make his way to Queens until he decided to attend St. Johns University School of Law.
Although in his second year of law school he worked in a medical malpractice defense firm, after applying for a campus interview he became really interested in real estate, landlord and tenant law.
“And the rest is history,” he said.
After graduating in 1991, he went on to work for a number of landlord and tenant and real estate firms, including Penn & Proefriedt. In 1997 he became a member of the New York City Loft Board. In 2001 he became the court attorney for Housing Court Judge Timmie Erin Elsner.
“I always felt that one should learn to become a lawyer before one becomes a judge,” he said. “It was always important for me not just to represent my clients, but to end up with a right decision.”
Lansden was appointed as a Housing Court judge in 2003 and later became Supervising Judge of Kings County in 2007. In his second term, in 2012, he was appointed as Supervising Judge of Queens County Housing Court, where he will serve for five years.
“Our priority is always to provide service to the citizens of Queens, whether you are a landlord or a tenant,” he said. “We are focused on providing justice as it is both defined and intended.”
He is currently in the process of possibly being reappointed for a third term and hopes to be able to continue serving Queens County.
“I really enjoy working in the Housing Court,” he said. “Even though I did not grow up in Queens, I feel very much at home in Queens now. I’m very comfortable.”
When he is not in the courtroom, Lansden enjoys spending his time with his three-year-old son, wife and other family members who live in the borough.