Introduction of the Panelists

Article excerpt

DEAN ANDREWS: Let me start by thanking the members of the Albany Law Review for putting together this program. You do a splendid job, and it's a great delight to work with you. Thank you. I also want to welcome all the esteemed guests, the members of the Court of Appeals, alums, staff, faculty, and students to this event.

This is a special occasion, not just because we have the full Court of Appeals bench here today, but also because the newest member of the bench, Judge Jenny Rivera was my friend and colleague at CUNY Law School for fifteen years. So I'm really, really thrilled that she's joining us today.

It is my task to introduce the Honorable Jonathan Lippman, who is the Chief Judge of the State of New York and the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. As you know from his biography, he was appointed by Governor Patterson in January 2009 and confirmed by the New York State Senate in February 2009.

I'm not going to read his biography. You have these biographies in the program, but I think it is worth noting that Judge Lippman has a particularly deep and robust knowledge of the court system here in New York. I don't think I'm engaging in hyperbole when I state that no other person knows the court system like Judge Lippman. As you will note from the program, he has served over four decades in numerous roles, starting as an entry-level court attorney and making his way up through the court system. If we were so inclined--and as a good Catholic I'm so inclined--we could appoint him the judicial pope of New York.

In this contemporary moment in our society, in which the legal profession is often treated with disdain, sometimes with hostility, and sometimes contempt, Chief Judge Lippman's vision is a powerful antidote to such hostility, disdain and contempt. In his four years as Chief Judge, he has demonstrated in the most compelling ways what the law should mean and should be, not just for the powerful and privileged amongst us, but also those who are marginalized and disempowered. Access to justice, which is his clarion call to all of us, represents the finest of what the legal profession is all about.

There are many things about Judge Lippman's tenure that I can talk about to illustrate his commitment to access to justice, but I've been given two minutes to do this introduction, and I think I may have reached the limits here. So let me conclude by becoming personal here with Chief Judge Lippman, and to give you a few paparazzi-type snippets about him. And this is courtesy of Google, Twitter, and Michelle Mallette.

Chief Judge Lippman is an avid New York Yankees and Knicks fan. He once worked so late into the evening on a project that shortly after leaving the office, he couldn't remember if he was on his way home after a long day, or on his way back from a short respite at home, showing he's a very hard working man. And the third bit of Google and Twitter information, Stephen Colbert has invited Chief Judge Lippman countless times to be on his program, and Jon Stewart has done the same. Judge Lippman has not accepted their invitations, because he's a little nervous about their lack of decorum. This last fact is based on a true rumor.

So I'd like to say in closing that since Chief Judge Lippman was appointed as Chief Judge, he has spoken at Albany Law School four times, including this symposium, and he has a great relationship with the school and the Law Review. And we are very grateful for that. Thank you.

PROFESSOR BONVENTRE: Don't you just love that Dean? I don't know where she gets the accent from, I'm pretty sure she was born in Brooklyn.

As the Faculty Advisor for the Law Review, I'd like to welcome you all here tonight. And I'd like to give special thanks to the Law Review students, who always make me look good. I'd especially like to thank our Editor-in-Chief, Mary D'Agostino, who actually has been juggling her duties with being a mother of a newborn infant, Lucca, who by the way was just screaming down in the Law Review suite. …