Burner Prudenti Law, P.C. is pleased to announce that Matthew Kiernan, Esq., former Public Administrator of Suffolk County as appointed by the Surrogates Court, has joined the firm as Counsel. Kiernan brings decades of legal experience that includes time in private practice, public service, the court system, and academia. The hiring adds to the firm’s recent expansion of its Trust & Estates and Elder Law practices.
“We are very excited to welcome Matthew Kiernan to the firm,” said Nancy Burner, Founding Partner. “His distinguished and longstanding commitment to serving Suffolk County and New York state along with his exceptional trust & estate and guardianship work is a significant boon for the firm and for our clients.”
In his role as Public Administrator, Kiernan served as fiduciary for numerous estates and guardianships, marshaling estate assets, paying creditors, searching for heirs, making distributions to beneficiaries, and coordinating estate administration and litigation with outside counsel. He held the position on two separate occasions, from 1998-2002, and again from 2018-2023.
From 2011-2016, Kiernan was Special Counsel to Judge Gail Prudenti, then Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York, advising Judge Prudenti on issues involving the administration and operation of a court system with 3,500 Judges, over 15,000 personnel and a budget in excess of two billion dollars.
“I’m so pleased to be working with Matthew again. He is an outstanding lawyer and problem solver who will work tirelessly for our clients,” said Judge Gail Prudenti, Partner.
From 2002-2010, Kiernan served as Deputy Clerk of the Court and Director of Professional Services, and then Clerk of the Court for the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department — the highest non-judicial position in the Court.
After leaving the court system, Kiernan joined the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University where he worked from 2016-2018. He held a number of positions including Associate Dean of Academic Operations, Faculty Administrative Editor of the Family Court Review, and Adjunct Professor, teaching the Family Court Review Seminar and the Guardianship 17-A Practicum.
Kiernan also served as Hofstra Law’s Director of Policy and Planning for the Center for Children, Families, and the Law, and as a member of its Executive Board assisting the Center’s Executive Director in all phases of the operation, structure, and development of the Center, including the launching of its two demonstration projects: Guardianship for Indigent and Developmentally Delayed Youth and a mediation project for separating and divorcing parents.
He earned his J.D. from Villanova University and his B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.