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 …

Former Court of Appeals Judges Dish on the Court, Jurisdiction, and How to Become a Judge

The Albany Law Review’s Chief Judge Lawrence H. Cooke State Constitutional Commentary Symposium this year featured two of the most recent “retirees” from the Court of Appeals, Associate Judges Robert Smith and Eugene Pigott, who reached mandatory retirement age and left the Court in 2014 and 2016, respectively. Entitled “Off the Bench: Reflections on Judging …

Passing of New York Court of Appeals Judge Shelia Abdus-Salaam is a Tragic Loss for New York

As has been reported by numerous outlets, including the New York Law Journal, New York Times, and New York Daily News, among others, the Court of Appeals family lost Associate Judge Shelia Abdus-Salaam on Wednesday when her body was discovered on the banks of the Hudson River.  Judge Abdus-Salaam was the first African-American and Muslim …