Joseph M. Accetta

  • Adjunct Professor


BA, New York University College of Arts and Science
JD, Brooklyn Law School

Adjunct Professor Joseph M. Accetta is a Court Attorney/Referee in the Adult Guardianship Part of the Supreme Court, Westchester County in White Plains, NY. He has taught Legal Research and Writing, Appellate Advocacy, and Surrogate’s Court Practice at Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, Berkeley College, Mercy College, and Westchester Community College. He is a frequent lecturer on Surrogate’s Court and Guardianship/Elder Law matters for the New York State Bar Association, the Westchester County Bar Association, and many local bar associations and other civic organizations.

Professor Accetta began his legal career in 1992 as a Court Attorney for the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division - Second Judicial Department in Brooklyn. In 1995, he joined the Law Department of the Surrogate’s Court, Westchester County as Principal Law Clerk to the Surrogate, and served in that capacity and as a Court Attorney/Referee until his appointment as Chief Clerk in 2011. He served as Chief Clerk of that Court until 2015. From 2001 to 2015, he was the coordinator and principal lecturer for quarterly CLE programs presented jointly by the Surrogate’s Court and Westchester County Bar Association to train guardians ad litem for their appointments in Surrogate’s Court proceedings.

In 2003, Professor Accetta was awarded the Joseph F. Gagliardi Award for Excellence in recognition of his “loyalty and dedication to the administration of justice” in the Ninth Judicial District of the Unified Court System. In 2012, he received the Community Service Award - United Hebrew Home of New Rochelle, “in recognition of high standards and excellence in making contributions to the community.”

Professor Accetta attended New York University – College of Arts and Science, where he earned a BA in Journalism and Mass Communications (magna cum laude) in 1987, and Brooklyn Law School as a Dean William Richardson scholar, receiving his JD in 1992.