Introduction

By Rosenblatt, Albert M. | Albany Law Review, Fall 2008 | Go to article overview

Introduction


Rosenblatt, Albert M., Albany Law Review


Thank you for putting this together, Professor Bonventre. The plan for this program grew, I think, out of our book on the history of the New York Court of Appeals. In its magnificent court room we have seen oil paintings of the Court's Judges. We recognize some but there are many about whom we knew very little, and so the idea was generated: why not a book revealing who they are?

Vince pointed out that the book is on sale and I appreciate the promo but hasten to add that the book was written pro bono, and every penny goes to the Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York. And so I hope you will freely go forth and buy copies for your friends, families, relatives, neighbors, and even total strangers.

I am privileged to make these wonderful introductions and you will see that the present members of the Court of Appeals will each talk about a past Judge of choice. The rules were set down by Professor Bonventre: The Judges may not select Judge Cardozo or any living Judge. So, short of that, it was anyone they like, and you will soon see why they chose a favorite.

I will now introduce the Judges even though they really need no introduction. We have heard about Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye in glowing terms and we all agree that she is one of the great Chief Judges of all time. Having served with her I can attest first hand to that. This is her last year and it is going to be a bittersweet event for all of us, but her legacy will live on forever. She is going to talk about Judge Lawrence H. Cooke (1914-2000) and I see Judge Cooke's family here. They rose before to a round of applause.

We will then hear from Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, who is seated over there--you can see her smiling at us. My wonderful friend Judge Ciparick joined the Court in 1994. Before that she had been counsel to the State's Judicial Conference. She is a graduate of Hunter College and St. John's Law School. She will be talking about Judge Vito Titone (1929-2005) with whom she served.

After that we will be hearing from our good friend Judge Victoria A. Graffeo, a graduate of State University of Oneonta and of this distinguished law school. After that, she served as counsel to Assembly Minority Leader Pro Tempore. Did I pronounce that right?

Pro tempore, the accent is on the tempore. She joined the Court in 2000 after having served as New York State Soliciter General. I had the great pleasure of being on the Court with her and like the others she is a marvelous colleague. She will be talking about Judge Francis Bergan (1902-1998). I hear oohs and aahs out there; yes, he was a favorite son.

My first visit to the New York Court of Appeals as an assistant district attorney involved a leave application before Judge Bergan; it was probably about 1965. I got to the court house, knees shaking a little bit, and arrived at his office, and there he sat at a desk; he's very neat. On the desk was absolutely nothing. Not a shred of paper. I thought, this must be a very good job. I soon realized that he carried everything around in his head.

We will be hearing from the illustrious Judge Susan Read, a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School, before that from Ohio Wesleyan University. …

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