In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson named Pollack as a judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Pollack took senior status in 1983 but never fully retired, presiding over cases for the rest of his life. Pollack was known for enforcing strict deadlines on counsel, forcing cases either to settle or to go to trial, and other judges sometimes referred cases to him for this purpose. He was the oldest federal judge still sitting when he died in 2004 at the age of 97.
Pollack's docket included a wide variety of civil and criminal cases, although as a senior judge Pollack had greater control over the selection of cases assigned to him, choosing to specialize in cases involving finance issues, as he had in private practice. Pollack presided over several high-profile securities cases, including the litigation arising from the failure of Drexel Burnham Lambert and cases arising from sales of internet related stocks by Merrill Lynch.
- Biography of Milton Pollack in the Federal Judicial Directory.
- Damien Cave, "Milton Pollack, Noted Federal Judge, Dies at 97", New York Times, August 16, 2004.