The New York Constitution Can Help Fix the Backlog of Appeals in the Appellate Division, Second Department

Everyone admits that the backlog of pending appeals in the Appellate Division, Second Department is a problem. As Presiding Justice Alan Scheinkman acknowledged in an op-ed in the NY Law Journal last fall, "it can take as long as 18 months for a civil appeal to obtain a place on the court’s day calendar and …

Bring Your Lunch to the Court of Appeals: A Conversation with Judge Leslie Stein

It's not often that you get the chance to have lunch with a sitting judge of your state's high court, much less in a group of just four other people. Lucky for me, that's the kind of quality programming that the Albany County Bar Association provides. Last time, it was lunch with Justice Michael Lynch …

Are Women Getting a Better Chance to Argue in State Appellate Courts? Like in Most of the Law, the Answer is “It Depends”

There has been a wealth of information recently on just how few women are getting opportunities to argue before the Supreme Court. Inspired by the fantastic piece done by Adam Feldman of Empirical SCOTUS (and @AdamSFeldman on Twitter) that looked at the dearth of women getting chances to argue before the nation's highest court during …

A Conversation with Judge Michael Lynch of the Appellate Division, Third Department

If you're invited to a brown bag lunch with a judge, be sure to bring a lunch. That was the mistake I made this week at the Albany County Bar Association's first quarterly brown bag lunch event with local judges. (In my defense, I ran out of time to grab lunch and wanted to make …

The Trailblazing Women Judges of the Court of Appeals

If you haven't followed the hashtags #WomenJusticeWeek and #WomenJusticeDay on Twitter, you really should. For this past week, Jack Metzler (@SCOTUSPlaces) and the other #AppellateTwitter denizens have been paying tribute to the distinguished women Justices of the Supreme Court and the approximately 125 women Justices of the State high courts. Included in that celebration are …

How to Get to the Court of Appeals: Appellate Division Conflicts and Novel Issues

Few cases ever make it to the Court of Appeals.  The Court's jurisdiction allows precious few grounds for direct appeals, namely, where a substantial constitutional question is directly involved and where there is a double dissent at the Appellate Division on a dispositive question of law.  All other cases get to the Court by seeking …

Governor Cuomo Nominates First Department Judge Paul Feinman to Fill the Late Judge Shelia Abdus-Salaam’s Seat on the Court of Appeals

On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his nomination to fill the Court of Appeals seat left vacant by the tragic death of Associate Judge Shelia Abdus-Salaam.  His pick: First Department Judge Paul G. Feinman, who not only brings more than 20 years of experience on the trial and appellate bench to the Court—a welcome addition—but …

New York Commission on Judicial Nomination Releases List of 7 Nominees for Court of Appeals Seat

The list of names to fill the Court of Appeals seat vacated after the tragic death of Associate Judge Shelia Abdus-Salaam has been narrowed to 7.  In what was a really quick two-week turnaround (the Commission's selection process typically takes months), the Commission on Judicial Nomination reviewed 40 applications, interviewed 16 of the applicants, and …

Court of Appeals Judge Michael Garcia to Interview for FBI Director

Virtually lost in the scandal surrounding the firing of FBI Director James Comey is that the President will now have to pick someone to succeed him as the head of the FBI.  Speculation has run rampant concerning a list of potential new directors, and one name on that list is, according to Politico's sources, Court …

Governor Cuomo’s Hope to Confirm New Court of Appeals Nominee by End of June Legislative Session is Unrealistic

This is an interesting development in the process to appoint a new Associate Judge to the Court of Appeals to fill Judge Shelia Abdus-Salaam's seat.  Although the Governor may want a new Judge confirmed by the end of the June legislative session, it seems highly unlikely that that will be possible. Applications to fill the …

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