Associate Judge Paul Feinman Announces Immediate Retirement From the Court of Appeals. What Happens Now?

In an entirely unexpected announcement this afternoon, Tuesday, March 23, 2021, just before the Court of Appeals was about to take the bench for its first in-person arguments of 2021, Associate Judge Paul Feinman announced that he was retiring from the bench effective immediately, citing health reasons. Obviously, our first thoughts are of his well-being …

Court of Appeals Returns to In-Person Arguments for the March 2021 Session

With COVID cases on the decline in New York (7-day rolling average of 3.2% COVID positive tests), and in particular in the Capital Region (7-day rolling average of 2%), the Court of Appeals announced this week that it would return to in-person arguments for its March argument session that begins on March 23rd. Since the …

The Fourth Department Reinstates Governor Cuomo’s COVID Restaurant Curfew, and Gives a Lesson on How to Vacate an Order Granted Without Notice Under CPLR 5704(a)

In Gallivan v Cuomo, the Fourth Department gave pandemic litigation watchers and appellate lawyers like me a little bit of everything. It was interesting when Supreme Court issued a temporary restraining order against enforcement of Governor Cuomo's executive order requiring restaurants across the State to close at 10 PM to slow the spread of COVID-19. …

Court of Appeals Leave Grants: September Session Through December Decision Days

For the first half of the New York Court of Appeals 2020-21 argument term, the Court granted leave to appeal in 11 cases. Unlike most years, however, this time the majority came from the upstate Appellate Division departments: 4 came from the First Department, only 1 from the Second Department, 3 from the Third Department, …

New York Court of Appeals’ Year in Review, COVID-19 Edition

This article first appeared in the December 2020 edition of the NYSBA Journal, which can be found here. A direct link to the article is here. 2020 has been a year unlike any other. With the spread of COVID-19 growing in New York exponentially in March, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore and the entire court system …

Associate Judge Leslie Stein Announces Her Retirement Effective June 4, 2021

In a very surprising announcement, somewhat buried in the late afternoon on the day before election day 2020, Associate Judge Leslie Stein announced that she would be retiring from the Court of Appeals bench effective June 4, 2021. Judge Stein, who joined the Court on February 9, 2015, wasn't slated to reach New York's mandatory …

How the Court of Appeals Takes Certified Questions from the Federal Courts and Other States’ Supreme Courts: The 2020 Certified Questions

In addition to leave grants from Appellate Division orders, the Court of Appeals also at times receives requests from the federal circuit courts and other state supreme courts to weigh in on issues of New York law pending in cases out of state. In particular, Court of Appeals rule 500.27(a) provides: Whenever it appears to …

Court System Budget Cuts Force Appellate Division Justices Off the Bench

Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit New York, the state had a huge budget deficit to overcome. With the pandemic decreasing state revenues even further, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently announced a planned $300 million reduction to the New York court system's budget. That's a very large cut, and the courts did not have a choice …

Court of Appeals Leave Grants: January Session through June Decision Days

The second half of the Court of Appeals' 2019-2020 term was certainly eventful, with the pandemic looming largest of all. In mid-March, New York shut down in response to COVID-19 and the Court of Appeals shut down with it. Arguments that were scheduled for the spring argument terms were either held virtually, rescheduled, or submitted …

New York Daily Fantasy Sports Suit: Will New Legislation Moot the Constitutional Challenge to DFS?

After the Third Department declared that DFS violates the New York Constitution's ban on gambling, the thought was that the industry's only savior would be the seven Judges of the New York Court of Appeals. But now there may be another way.Yesterday, Senator Joseph Addabo introduced a new bill that could provide a way around …