William H. Pauley III, Judge in Trump Hush Money Case, Dies at 68

Those crimes represent “a far more insidious harm to our democratic institutions,” the judge said. “Somewhere along the way Mr. Cohen appears to have lost his moral compass.”

Mr. Cohen was ordered to pay nearly $2 million in fines, forfeitures and restitution. In 2020, he was among the federal inmates released early to home confinement because of concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Judge Eleni M. Roumel of the United States Court of Federal Claims, who had been Judge Pauley’s law clerk, recalled his “admiration of well-prepared lawyers and vocal dislike of the uncivil or unprepared,” and described him as “a skilled, principled jurist.” “What really distinguished him was his innate sense of fairness,” Judge Roumel said by email. “It is evident in his opinions and in the way he treated lawyers and litigants. He developed a well-earned reputation for being serious on the bench and for making sure that every person, regardless of background, was heard in his courtroom.”

William Henry Pauley III was born on Aug. 14, 1952, in Glen Cove, N.Y., to William Henry Pauley Jr., a supervisor at the Long Island Lighting Company, and Mildred (Phillips) Pauley, a homemaker.

After graduating from Glen Cove High School, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics in 1974 from Duke University, where he also received a law degree in 1977. He worked as a deputy attorney for Nassau County and was then in private practice. From 1984 to 1998, as an enrolled Republican, he was also assistant counsel to the minority leader of the New York State Assembly.

He was nominated to the District Court in 1998 and served for two decades before assuming senior status in 2018. He had been chairman of the court’s security committee and was on its Covid-19 response team.

In addition to his son William, he is survived by his wife, Kimberly (Frank) Pauley; two other sons, Kendall and Adam; and a brother, Arthur.

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