Thursday, November 13, 2014

New York’s Court of Appeals: The Internal Operating Procedures

By Sarah Engster
Sarah Engster, a third-year student at Albany Law School, graduated from American University in 2008 with an interdisciplinary studies degree in communications, law, economics, and government.
Prior to law school, Sarah worked as a Litigation Clerk for an intellectual property law firm in Washington, D.C.  While in law school, Sarah has interned with the Albany County Public Defender’s Office, and continues to intern at the Supreme Court, Appellate Division 3rd Department.
Sarah is currently an Associate Editor for the Albany Law Review, a student editor for the NYSBA Government, Law & Policy Journal, and a research assistant for Professor Patrick M. Connors.
Sarah prepared this paper for Prof. Bonventre's Court of Appeals Intensive Seminar, after which she was selected as this year's Editor-in-Chief for the Center.

New York’s court of last resort, the Court of Appeals, has been held throughout history as one of the most influential appellate judiciaries in the country. Since its creation by the Judiciary Article of the 1846 constitutional convention, the Court’s purpose has been to “unify, clarify, and pronounce the law” of New York.

In any appellate court, the study of judicial decision-making requires a thorough understanding of the substantive jurisdictional, statutory, and constitutional issues that may arise. It is at least as important to understand the personal and collegial dynamics among the justices and the internal procedures that guide them. Attorneys who hope to practice before the Court of Appeals would do well to inform themselves of the basic happenings within the red room and around the Court’s famed round conference table.

This paper focuses on the internal operating procedures that serve as the framework within which decision-making at the Court takes place. The paper also looks at the internal operating procedures implemented by other state high courts across the country.
To read the paper, open HERE.