Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Judge Lawrence H. Cooke: A Career That Went Beyond the Bench

By Parker Niles
Parker Niles is a 2017 cum laude graduate of Albany Law School. He earned his undergraduate degree in History from Union College.
While in law school, Parker was an Executive Editor for Notes and Comments for Volume 80 of the Albany Law Review. He has also served as a teaching assistant and as a judicial extern for the Hon. Mae A. D’Agostino in the U.S. District Court for Northern New York.
Parker is currently a first-year associate at Holland & Knight in Boston.

Judge Lawrence H. Cooke’s reputation as a judge and then the Chief Judge for the New York State Court of Appeals was well earned.  He did not get a bid to the Court of Appeals on his first try in 1972,  but when he was finally elected in 1974, he was voted in by one of the highest margins ever.

Judge Cooke then went on to become one of the most respected judges to ever sit on the Court of Appeals. He was known for his work ethic, being fair and practical, caring for others, and being a proponent of state constitutional law.

Lawrence Cooke was born on October 15, 1914 in Monticello, New York.  He was born into a family with a background of working in the public sector of the law as his father, George L. Cooke, was the county judge, surrogate judge, and children’s court judge of Sullivan County for many years.

After graduating from Monticello High School, Cooke attended Georgetown University. After graduating from college, Cooke decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and attend law school.  Cooke began his law studies at Harvard Law School, but then soon transferred to his father’s alma mater, Albany Law School.
To read the paper, open HERE.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Baldest Judge on the Bench: Robert Earl of the New York Court of Appeals

Robert Earl
This paper, prepared by a student in the Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar, spring 2017, explores the background, life, and considerable impact of Judge Robert Earl who served on New York's highest court for more than 20 years in the latter half of the 19th century.

Part I explores his upbringing, education, and public service prior to his time on the court. Part II highlights his time on the court, retirement, notable decisions, and prolific writings. Part III discusses his death and impact on the court and the State of New York in general.
To read the paper, open HERE.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Center Staff for the 2017 - 2018 Academic Year

Vincent Martin Bonventre

Wesley Rene, a third-year student at Albany Law School, graduated from the University of Syracuse in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in both Finance and Marketing.

Wesley is currently an associate editor of the Albany Law Review and enrolled in New York’s Pro Bono Scholar Program.  He has also served as a Teaching Assistant, interned with Ayco, a Goldman Sachs Company and worked in the Immigration Law Clinic at the Albany Law Clinic and Justice Center during his time at Albany Law.  Upon graduation, Wesley will be working as an associate for Harris Beach PLLC.

Executive Editor
Erin Kilmer is a student at Albany Law School and Albany Medical College in Albany, NY where she is anticipated to earn a JD and an MS in bioethics in May 2018. She graduated magna cum laude from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY in 2015 with a BA in philosophy.

At present, she is interning with Judge Kahn in the Northern District of New York. She spent summer 2017 in Vienna, Austria, interning at a law firm through a program with the New York State Bar Association. Erin is an Associate Editor at Albany Law Review and works as a research assistant for Professor Tenenbaum doing health law research.

Associate Executive Editor
Anthony Sokolowski, a current second year student at Albany Law School, holds a BA Magna Cum Laude in Political Science which he obtained from Utica College in 2016.

Anthony is currently a sub-editor for the Government Law Review Journal at Albany Law School where he is specializing his research in the issues surrounding child competency when they are defendants in murder cases. He is also a fellow of the Government Law Center which has led to internship opportunities at the Office of the Oneida County Executor. Currently, Anthony interns at the Office of the Oneida County District Attorney where he is a special assignment coordinator assisting in the litigation of crimes arising out of the Drug Enforcement, Special Victims Crimes and Murder divisions.

2016 - 2017 Student Editorial Board

Desiree Santos, a third year student at Albany Law School, holds a B.A. and M.A. in English from St. John’s University, where she graduated cum laude in 2007. Desiree is currently Director of the Pro Bono LGBT Rights Project and Student Liaison for the New York State Bar Association’s Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section. Beyond law school, she is planning to pursue a career in Business Law.
Executive Editor
Jeremy Andrew Millard is currently a 3L at Albany Law School. He graduated from SUNY at Albany in 2011 with a BA Magna Cum Laude in European History and Classical Studies (Latin) and a Master’s Degree in European History focusing on 18th Century France, for which he wrote a Master’s thesis “Rousseau, Robespierre, and the French Revolution: An Examination of the Origins of the Reign of Terror.”


For previous years' staffs, click HERE,

Monday, April 24, 2017

Former NYS Court of Appeals Judge Pigott: A Record of Pragmatism

By Corey Carmello
Corey Carmello is a third-year student at Albany Law School. He graduated from the University at Albany in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. 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 and has served as a teaching assistant. Corey will be working as an associate for Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy upon graduation.

This paper was prepared for Professor Bonventre’s Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar.

During his confirmation hearing, Judge Eugene Pigott said, “I approach each case, I like to say, with a great deal of humility, because I don’t think I’m much smarter than, for example, [the legislature] or the governor or another court . . .” He went on to say that this is the reason he focuses on the legislature’s intent when deciding each case. Pigott explained that he will always start with the statute, and if the legislative intent is clear, he will end with the statute.

An analysis of Judge Pigott’s positions in divided decisions shows that he lived up to the philosophy that he spelled out during his confirmation hearing.  In other words, it is evident from his opinion writing and voting pattern that Judge Pigott highly respected the legislative process, and the decisions made at trial.

This paper will discuss (1) his deference to the legislature;  (2) his deference to the trial courts;  (3) his record on criminal law cases;  and (4) it will discuss which Judges were most frequently on the other side of his majority opinions, and for which types of cases.
To read the paper, open HERE.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

New York's Former Chief Judges: Kaye & Lippman [mini-presentations]

Here are two mini-presentations prepared by students in the Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar. One by Ashley McDonough on the late former Chief Judge Judith Kaye, and the other by Robert Sohm on the immediate past Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

Ashley McDonough

To view Ashley McDonough's mini-presentation on Chief Judge Kaye, click HERE.


Robert Sohm

To view Robert Sohm's mini-presentation on Chief Judge Lippman, click HERE.

New York's Former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman [mini-presentation]

By Robert Sohm
Robert Sohm is a third-year student at Albany Law. He graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 2013 with a degree in Finance.
Rob is the Executive Editor of Business for Volume 80 of the Albany Law Review. He has served as a judicial intern in the U.S. District Court for the Hon. Thomas J. McAvoy. Additionally, Rob has been a teaching and research assistant at Albany Law.
Upon graduation, Rob will be working at Jones Day in Cleveland.

(click on any slide to enlarge)

New York's Former Chief Judge Judith Kaye [mini-presentation]

By Ashley McDonough
Ashley McDonough is a third-year student at Albany Law.
Prior to law school, Ashley graduated from York College with a degree in Political Science, and she was a paralegal for six years.
Ashley is an Executive Editor for Notes and Comments for Volume 80 of the Albany Law Review. She has also served as a judicial intern in the U.S. District Court for the Hon. Christian F. Hummel and is a teaching assistant at Albany Law.
Ashley will be joining the law firm of Jones Day after graduation.

(click on any slide to enlarge)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Polygraph Evidence: Circuit Court Approaches to Admissibility

By Anthony Kershaw
Anthony Kershaw is a third-year student at Albany Law School. He graduated with honors from Kean University in Union, New Jersey in 2011 with a major in Political Science. He is currently a member of Albany’s Government Law Review and serves on that journal's executive board as the Managing Editor for Research & Writing.
During his second-year at Albany Law, Anthony involved himself in two trial competitions. He served as a defense advocate in a homicide trial. He also served as the plaintiff’s counsel in a negligence lawsuit, where Albany Law placed higher than Harvard Law and many other competitive teams. His active involvement in trial law is what inspired him to write his paper on the admissibility of polygraph evidence in the courtroom.
When he's not in the classroom or engaged in school activities, Anthony works as a Law Clerk for Flink Smith Law in Albany.

Among the many jurisdictions that continue to refuse to admit polygraph evidence, there are a growing number that are finding polygraph testing to be reliable under certain circumstances for purposes other than proving the truth of the results. For example, since the general acceptance test regarding scientific evidence was invalidated in 1993, some federal courts have concluded that a general exclusion of polygraph evidence is invalid and that such evidence may be admitted in particular cases if the evidence meets the requirements of various provisions of the Federal Rules of Evidence.

One particular instance occurred in the District Court of Arizona, where the defendant was indicted for bank robbery and moved for evidentiary hearings as to the reliability and admissibility of polygraph evidence. The court held that polygraph evidence is sufficiently reliable to satisfy requirements of the evidentiary rule governing expert testimony and that a court must consider the rules of evidence, as well as the purposes for which the polygraph evidence should be admitted, and it’s prejudicial effect.

This article aims to take a closer look at polygraph evidence and its admissibility through the eyes of the Circuit Courts. For over forty years, from 1975 to December of 2015, a growing number of Circuit decisions have found polygraph examinations to be reliable in some way, whether the results were used for a limited purpose or whether the evidence was allowed in to rebut an assertion of coercion. Today, trial courts still have vast discretion in deciding issues of evidence, and many would agree, that as long as the evidence has more probative worth than prejudicial effect, it should be admitted.
To read the paper, open HERE.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

The Impact of BOREALI: New York’s Rulemaking Process and Article 78 Challenges

By Brittney M. Walker
Brittney Walker is a 2016 graduate of Albany Law School. She holds her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Pace University and a MBA from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
While at Albany Law, Brittney served as Editor in Chief of International Law Studies. She also competed in the Karen C. McGovern Senior Prize Trials Moot Court Competition.
In her free time, Brittney enjoys traveling, reading a good book, cooking and spending time with her family.
She prepared this paper for Prof. Rose Mary Bailly's Administrative Law course.

This paper examines two recent cases that deal with issues that arise when an administrative agency oversteps its authority. Specifically, it looks at three New York City agencies: the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the New York City Board of Health, and the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.

In doing so, this paper compares how these different agencies each acted beyond the scope of their authority. They did so by acting in a legislative capacity and enacting laws that they lacked the authority to enact.

At the center of these three cases is Boreali v. Axelrod, a 1987 decision of the New York Court of Appeals. The question in Boreali was whether the Public Health Council, a state agency, had the authority to regulate smoking in public places or whether this was a power designated solely to the legislature.

The Court explained that, while the legislature granted powers to the Public Health Council, these powers were limited to acting as an administrative agency and not a rule-making authority. Furthermore, the Court maintained that, had the legislature adopted a law prior to the enactment of the agency’s regulation and the agency had simply added to the already adopted law, then the agency's ban on smoking would have been appropriate.

But in the absence of such a prior law, the agency's promulgation was an overreach of authority and, therefore, invalid.
To read the paper, open HERE.