Tuesday, September 6, 2016

NYCOA Judge Abdus-Salaam: Opinion Patterns [presentations]

Here are two mini-presentations prepared by students in the Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar. One looks at voting patterns in Judge Abdus-Salaam's majority opinions, and the other in her dissents.
It should be noted that, in a decision last week, In Re Brooke S.B., Judge Abdus-Salaam authored a magnificent opinion for the Court on the rights of de facto parents, vindicating a similarly magnificent dissent by then-Judge Judith Kaye in Alison D. (1991), and explicitly overruling that decision which was rendered in one of those shamefully superficial unsigned majority opinions.


Stacy Mazzara



To view Stacy Mazzara's mini-presentation on Judge Abdus-Salaam's majority opinions, click HERE.

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Sarah Baker











To view Sarah Baker's mini-presentation on Judge Abdus-Salaam's dissenting opinions, click HERE.

NYCOA Judge Abdus-Salaam: Patterns from Majority Opinions (presentation)

By Stacy Mazzara
Stacy Mazzara graduated with highest honors from Albany Law School in 2016. She received her a B.A. in Communication Studies and Spanish from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 2013. During law school, she served as an Associate Editor of the Albany Law Review, interned at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office, and completed a field placement with the Honorable Mae A. D’Agostino of the Northern District of New York. She will begin her career at the Nassau County District Attorney’s Office this fall.
This presentation was prepared by Stacy for Professor Bonventre's Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar. It focuses on Judge Abdus-Salaam's ten most recently authored majority opinions (at the time) to discern any patterns.

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NYCOA Judge Abdus-Salaam: Patterns from Dissenting Opinions (presentation)

By Sarah H. Baker
Sarah Baker graduated from Albany Law School this past spring. She did her undergraduate work at SUNY Geneseo, graduating in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. During law school, Sarah was an Executive Editor for Notes and Comments for Volume 79 of the Albany Law Review. She served as a judicial intern for the Honorable Mae A. D’Agostino in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York. She also had the opportunity to intern for the Claims Bureau of the New York Attorney General’s Office, the Saratoga County District Attorney’s Office, as well as serving as a research assistant at Albany Law.
This presentation was prepared for Professor Bonventre’s Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar. It reflects Sarah's research on Judge Abdus-Salaam, focusing on her ten most recently authored dissenting opinions (at the time) to discern any patterns. 

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

New York's Former Chief Judge Lippman: Dissents [presentation]

By Kerry L. Cunningham
Kerry Cunningham graduated from Albany Law School this past spring. She did her undergraduate work at Gettysburg College, graduating in 2012 with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Religious Studies.
While in law school, Kerry served as the Managing Editor of Research and Writing for the Albany Government Law Review and as the Executive Treasurer of the Student Bar Association. Additionally, she interned with Roemer Wallens Gold & Mineaux LLP during her second and third years.
This presentation was prepared for Professor Bonventre's Court of Appeals Intensive class in the Spring of 2016.

This PowerPoint presentation is the product of research regarding the voting patterns of former New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's voting patterns. It is based on the dissenting opinions Lippman authored throughout his 9 year tenure on the New York's high court.

His dissents evince a strong dedication to and passion for equal justice for the less advantaged, and this is especially conspicuous in criminal cases. This presentation focuses on four of these dissents. Two are from his first two years and two from his final two years on the Court.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

NYCOA Judge Pigott: Opinion Patterns (presentations)

Here are two mini-presentations prepared by students in the Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar. Students each chose a current member of New York's highest court and looked for patterns in recent opinions written by the chosen Judge. In these presentations, one student looked at Judge Pigott's majority opinions and the other looked at his dissents. 


Corey Carmello


 To view Corey Carmello's presentation on Judge Pigott's majority opinions, click HERE.
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Eric Brenner















To view Eric Brenner's presentation on Judge Pigott's dissenting opinions, click HERE.

NYCOA Judge Pigott: Majority Opinion Patterns (presentation)

By Corey Carmello
Corey Carmello is a second-year student at Albany Law School. He graduated summa cum laude from the University at Albany in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. Since starting law school, Corey has interned with Judge Lawrence E. Kahn, of the Northern District of New York; the Albany County District Attorney’s Office; and the Appeals and Opinions Bureau of the New York State Attorney General’s Office. He is also a member of the Albany Law Review. Corey will be working as a summer associate for Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy this summer, and hopes to work there as an associate upon graduation.
This presentation was prepared for Professor Bonventre’s Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar.

This presentation is the result of research conducted on the past 10 majority opinions—i.e., in non-unanimous cases--written by Judge Eugene Pigott of the New York Court of Appeals. A pattern of deference to the trial court and to the legislature, and a general pattern of being pro-prosecution was apparent from this research.

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NYCOA Judge Pigott: Dissenting Opinion Patterns (presentation)

By Eric Brenner
Eric Brenner is a second-year student at Albany Law School and graduated with honors from Siena College in 2014 with a degree in Finance.  Eric is the Executive Managing Editor for Volume 80 of the Albany Law Review.  He has served as a judicial intern in U.S. District Court for both the Hon. Lawrence E. Kahn and the Hon. Charles J. Siragusa.  Additionally, Eric has been a teaching assistant and research assistant at Albany Law. 
This presentation was prepared for Professor Bonventre’s Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar.

Before beginning research, I was aware that Judge Pigott has been one of the Court's more frequent dissenters. In his 10 most recent authored dissents, 9 were in criminal cases. Of these, Judge Pigott dissented alone in 6.  His dissents appear to focus on policy concerns, practicality, and giving deference to the trial court. Judge Pigott’s dissents are very articulate in the way in which they examine the precedents and the facts in the record.

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Immuno AG: The Court of Appeals Strikes Back

By John Chiaramonte
John Chiaramonte is a third-year student at Albany Law School. He graduated from Wake Forest University in 2012 with a double major in Political Science and English.
John currently works part-time as a legal assistant for New York Business Development Corporation, a small business lending company. He is also the assistant coach for the men’s and women’s tennis teams at Siena College.
While his main focus in law school has been business transactions, John found his interest was piqued researching defamation law in New York. This paper was prepared for Professor Bonventre’s Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar.

For years the New York Court of Appeals has served as the beacon of reason for many other state courts. It was no different when the court confronted the issue in Immuno AG. v. Moor-Jankowski (Immuno II).

The Immuno case serves as a great example of a defining moment where the New York Court of Appeals differentiated state law from federal law, refusing to be bullied by the highest federal court in America. The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive look at the seven year Immuno trilogy.

The paper begins with a background of state and federal law, then examines the Court of Appeals’ first ruling in Immuno I. It proceeds to the Supreme Court’s decision in Milkovich v. Lorain Journal Co., and ends with the Court of Appeals’ second ruling in Immuno II.

This paper concludes that the ruling of the Court of Appeals in Immuno II reestablished a foothold for New York in libel cases.
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To read the paper, open HERE.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Chief Judge Lippman on Employee Benefits

A Consistent Supportive Vote
By Max Lindsey
Max Lindsey graduated Albany Law School, summa cum laude, in 2015. He previously attained his bachelor's degree from Western State Colorado University, in Gunnison, Colorado.
At Albany Law, Max served as class president for the Class of 2015 on the Student Bar Association for his 2L and 3L years. He served as a senior editor on the Albany Law Review, which published his note, When Every Drop Counts: Addressing Hydrologic Connectivity as a Climate Change Issue.
Max participated in several moot court programs, making it to the final round in Albany Law School's Gabrielli Appellate Advocacy Competition, as well as the semi-final round in Albany Law's Senior Prize Trial Competition, and the National Law and Religion Appellate Advocacy Competition at Touro Law Center.
Currently, Max lives in the Albany, New York area, is expecting his first child in March 2016 with his beautiful wife Kelsey, and is working as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Mae D'Agostino in the Northern District of New York.
He wrote this paper for Professor Bonventre's Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar.


New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman [retired Dec. 31, 2015] was a consistently liberal voting member on the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. This voting tendency is nowhere more evident than in cases involving employment questions and employees’ entitlement to certain benefits.
This paper will assess Chief Judge Lippman’s voting patterns and key points made in his opinions regarding employment decisions.  An analysis of the number of votes and opinions authored by Lippman, coupled with a textual examination of the scope and language employed within several opinions – including unanimous decisions, divided cases, and dissenting opinions – will demonstrate a strong pattern and identify the overriding values in Lippman’s employment jurisprudence.
Out of the forty-one cases analyzed, Chief Judge Lippman sided against the employee on only five occasions, each of which was a unanimous decision. He did not author any opinions, join the majority in any divided case, nor join any dissenting opinions that went against the employee.
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To read the paper, open HERE.