Randolph F. Treece was appointed on April 26, 2001, Magistrate Judge to the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York. On September 14, 2009, Judge Treece was re-appointed to a second term as United States Magistrate Judge. His chambers are located in Albany at the James T. Foley Courthouse. Mr. Treece is the first African-American to be appointed to the federal judiciary in the Northern District of New York and the first person of color to be appointed or elected to the judiciary at any level, state or federal, in 104 years in eastern, upstate New York. James Campbell Matthews, an African-American, served as a judge to the Recorder Court (now known as City Court) for Albany in the 1890s.
Prior to his appointment as Magistrate Judge, Mr. Treece served as Counsel to the Office of the State Comptroller in H. Carl McCall’s administration and directed and coordinated all aspects of the Division of Legal Services in accordance with the Comptroller’s overall goals, objectives and philosophy. Prior to his appointment as Counsel in February 1999, Mr. Treece served as First Deputy Capital Defender of the New York State Capital Defender Office, appointed in September 1995 to manage the Albany Office and provide trial level representation to those accused of murder in the first degree who may face the sentence of death.
Randy Treece was born and raised in Troy, New York, the oldest of three children of Marguerite Smith and John Treece. He attended schools in the Lansingburgh School District graduating from Lansingburgh High School with a Regents Diploma and as a member of the Honor Society. Mr. Treece graduated from Siena College in 1970 with a B.B.A. in Accounting.
After graduation, he worked with the big eight accounting firm of Peat, Marwick and Mitchell until he entered Albany Law School in 1973. He earned a Juris Doctorate from Albany Law School in 1976 and promptly commenced a private practice, specializing in criminal law and litigation. Mr. Treece maintained this private practice for eleven years. While in private practice, he also served as an Assistant Public Defender for Rensselaer County and taught at two area junior colleges. During his stint as Assistant Public Defender, he handled hundreds of cases in all of the trial courts and served as lead trial counsel on several high profile criminal cases. In 1987 Mr. Treece joined the New York State Department of Law as an Assistant Attorney General, practicing civil litigation until September 1995. There he handled many voluminous and complex tort cases filed against the State.
In 1989, Mr. Treece was appointed an adjunct professor at Albany Law School, a position he presently maintains. In addition to teaching trial tactics, Mr. Treece has instructed a public defender criminal law clinic, conducted legal educational seminars, and occasionally is asked to be a guest lecturer in other law school classes as well as at other law schools and colleges.
Mr. Treece possesses a strong commitment to his community and has served on countless community boards of directors. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Albany Law School, and the former Board of Trustee of the Capital District YMCA, Hudson Valley Community College and Siena College. He served on three committees of the New York State Bar Association and as a former delegate to the House of Delegates. He also served on the Board of Director’s of the New York Bar Foundation as Treasurer. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Albany County Bar Association for approximately ten years, serving as Treasurer of this association and served as Chair of the By-Laws Committee and the Association’s Minority Lawyers Subcommittee and is the author of this Association’s Minority Hiring Project and Diversity Internship Fellowship Program. He served as Board Member, Executive Vice-Chair and Acting Chair in 1996 of the Urban League of Northeastern New York, Inc.
Further, he has served on the Honorary Board of the Women’s Law Project, Advisory Board of Albany Law School’s Government Law Center, Advisory Board of Albany Law School-NAACP Legal Assistance Program and is one of the founders and former President of the Capital District Black Bar Association, now the Capital District Black and Hispanic Bar Association, and served as the President of the National Bar Association Region II Bar Foundation.
The Chief Judge of the New York Court System, Judith Kaye, appointed Mr. Treece to serve on the Jury Project that recommended many significant improvements to New York State’s jury system. Many of these recommendations were made into law. This appointment came after the Capital District Black Bar Association’s report on minorities and juries, principally written by Mr. Treece, which received the Root/Stimson Award and is cited as an authority on the subject matter by other jurisdictions. He also sat on the New York State Bar Association’s Judicial Selection Committee and for five (5) years served in a similar capacity for the City of Albany.
Mr. Treece has been the recipient of an array of honors and awards. In January of 1996, Mr. Treece was awarded the Thurgood Marshall Justice Award from the Albany Chapter of the NAACP. On October 20, 1997, the New York Chapter of American Civil Liberties Union bestowed its Roland J. Smith Award for exemplary legal service upon him. In April 1998, the Urban League of Northeastern New York presented him with its McNamee Award for outstanding services as a Board Member. In April 1999, the Albany Law School Alumni Association bestowed its Distinguished Service Award upon Mr. Treece. The Albany County Bar Association in 2000 bestowed its 1999 President’s Award and in the same year the Troy Boys and Girls Club inducted him into its Hall of Fame. On September 21, 2001, Mr. Treece’s high school inducted him into its Hall of Fame. That same year Omega Phi Psi named him 2001 Citizen of the Year. The Center for Law and Justice bestowed its Frederick Douglas Award upon Mr. Treece in 2002. Also in 2002, the New York State Franklin H. Williams Judicial Commission on Minorities presented him with its Millennium Award. In March of 2004, Albany Law School bestowed its Distinguished Alumni in Government Award; in April, the Capital District Black and Hispanic Bar Association presented him with an award for Distinguished Service to Attorneys of Color; and, on October 15, the Troy Chapter of the NAACP presented him with its Outstanding Leadership Award. In late 2008, the Capital District YMCA bestowed its President’s Award for 2009. In 2014, the Albany Chapter of the NAACP bestowed its Medgar W. Evers Award, and in 2015, Albany Law School bestowed its Legal Profession Leadership Award.
Over the years, Mr. Treece has been active in many school and community discussions and presentations to students of all ages and grades. He coauthored an interdisciplinary education project for elementary schools entitled, “Crime on a Sesame Seed Bun”. Mr. Treece assists the Albany YMCA with its youth basketball league, coached youth basketball teams and has given tennis instructions. Mr. Treece has delivered speeches in the community on a variety of legal topics and has served as a panelist on many community and legal forums.
Mr. Treece remains an active athlete. He continues his competitive interest in basketball, tennis and fitness. A jazz aficionado, he pursues this art and its artists with loving devotion. To that end, he writes a jazz review for a local jazz society.
Mr. Treece is married to Deborah S. Day-Treece. He has one child, Shani Anasa Treece, who graduated from Hampton University with honors. He is the proud grandfather of Nzinga Anasa Braswell born May 3, 1999 and godfather to several young boys.