Four Vie For Two Seats On Justice Court Bench in Southampton


Presiding over one of New York State’s busiest local courts, Southampton Town’s four town justices are each elected to a term of four years, and serve on a rotating monthly basis to hear a variety of cases affecting a broad spectrum of laws. The 2020 adopted town budget shows a salary of $78,115 for town justice.

Voters will be asked to select two of four candidates featured here.

Incumbent Judge Barbara Wilson has been a town justice for 24 years and has served as justice for the Village of Southampton since 2002. Running on the Republican ticket, she served as an assistant district attorney for Suffolk County prior to her election to the bench. She majored in criminal justice at Suffolk County Community College, earned dual majors in Black studies and social sciences at Fordham University and received her law degree from Touro Law Center. She’s a member of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island board and volunteers with the Girl Scouts. She also teaches religious education and continuing legal education.

Patrick J. Gunn is on the GOP slate as well. A nearly-30 year resident of Southampton Town, he is a U.S. Navy veteran and one time Suffolk County assistant district attorney. As an ADA, he worked in several bureaus including narcotics, major crime and the East End bureau. He was assistant town attorney and public safety director for the Town of East Hampton. In that role, he oversaw departments involved in code enforcement and was responsible for the operational and financial management of the code enforcement, fire marshal, and building departments. He’s worked in the Southampton Justice Court system as both prosecutor and defense attorney, and believes he has the experience, inter-personal skills and temperament to be a successful judge.

Raised in Sag Harbor, Adam Grossman currently lives in Hampton Bays, where he has owned his home for 20 years. Running on the Democratic line, He is an attorney who has practiced law for 28 years. For two years, in 1998 and 1999, he served as Riverhead Town Attorney, where he worked closely with the Riverhead Town Board, and additionally served as special prosecutor of town code violations, while also gaining critical knowledge and experience in the operation of town government. In 2002, Mr. Grossman was appointed to the Southampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals, where he has served for 18 years.

Shari Oster has almost 30 years of experience practicing law in Suffolk County. She’s represented clients in Family Court and District Court, and was employed as an attorney for the Mental Hygiene Legal Service. As an associate attorney, she represented vulnerable and marginalized people providing legal representation in the Supreme, County and Surrogate’s courts in both Nassau and Suffolk County. She became a lead counsel in guardianship cases for the agency. She has been a resident of Suffolk County for more than 50 years, has deep family roots in the Southampton community and has lived in Southampton for the last 20 years. She’s running on the Democratic Party line.