Mary D. Dorman

Mary D. Dorman

Mary D. Dorman

Born in Tunis, Tunisia, to American diplomats, Mary D. Dorman grew up in the Middle East. She first visited Orient in the early fifties to her Grandmother’s house on Village Lane. Graduated from St. John’s School of Law in 1974. Her law practice includes First Amendment advocacy, employment and civil rights litigation and litigation at the United Nations.

Ms. Dorman has served as Special Master of the Supreme Court of New York for 25 years. She served as Democratic Party District Leader for the 75th Assembly District in Manhattan from 2004 to 2014.

In 1995, she successfully represented the plaintiff in Claxton vs. The United Nations, a precedent setting sexual harassment case resulting in the establishment of standards to ensure an harassment free work environment for UN employees.

Ms. Dorman’s clients include artists, galleries, performance venues and curators. She was co-counsel in Finley vs. NEA, a landmark First Amendment case decided by the Supreme Court in 1999. Finley vs. NEA, was initiated  to challenge the then NEA veto of performance art fellowship that had been unanimously recommended for Karen Finely and three other performance artists.

She is former Counsel to the National Campaign for Freedom of Expression, an arts advocacy organization. She has also represented hundreds of civil disobedience demonstrators including members of ACT-UP, Women’s Action Coalition (WAC), and members of the Irish Lesbians and Gays Organization (ILGO). She is a former president of Feminists for Free Expression and a former member of the LGBT/NYPD Advisory Committee, which regularly meets with NYC Police Commissioner regarding LGBT issues. Not to be forgotten is her position as the Commodore of the Orient Yacht Club.

Ms. Dorman’s Awards include The Uncommon Women Award for outstanding contributions to the women’s community. She has been honored as “An Artist in the Courtroom” for her First Amendment work; the National Organization for Women/NYC Women of Power and Influence Award and an award from NY National Employment Lawyers Association for “Courageous Plaintiffs and Their Attorneys”.

Other cases include Connors vs. NYPD resulting in a million dollar jury award against the NYPD for discrimination and, in 2012, Wasserstrom vs. The United Nations, the first case in which the U.N. Dispute Tribunal found that a whistleblower had been retaliated against by the United Nations and the first award of attorney’s fees.

Mary has returned form Cambodia where she worked with local and international feminist leaders on the issues facing women garment and sex workers.

— Freddie Wachsberger

Founders Award Recipients

The Founders Award is given each year to a woman who has made a difference in the North Fork Women for Women Fund organization, and in the lives of those in our community.

Please read about these spectacular women: