A Tribute to the Honorable Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick

By Andrews, Penelope | Albany Law Review, Winter 2012 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

A Tribute to the Honorable Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick

Andrews, Penelope, Albany Law Review

The end of a remarkable legal career, especially one marked by major changes and challenges, calls both for reflection and celebration. In the case of the Honorable Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, this special recognition is deserved, and timely.

Appointed initially in 1993 to the New York Court of Appeals by Governor Mario Cuomo, father of current Governor Andrew Cuomo, and reappointed in 2007 by Governor Eliot Spitzer, Judge Ciparick's life of service to the law has spanned five decades. Her service on the Court of Appeals ended this past December.

Judge Ciparick served almost twenty years on the New York Court of Appeals. This court of the great State of New York is one of the most distinguished and influential courts in the country, and has produced some of the nation's most outstanding jurists.

Judge Ciparick has received praise as a fine and compassionate jurist, a wonderful colleague, a valuable and thoughtful mentor, a loving mother and wife, and a dancer. These diverse tributes are a testament to her judicial abilities and her overall humanity.

I first met Judge Ciparick a few months ago, soon after my appointment as President and Dean of Albany Law School. I was on a tour of the Court of Appeals hosted by her colleague and Albany Law School alumna, Judge Victoria Graffeo. I was introduced to Judge Ciparick during the tour. Judge Ciparick had a reputation for being engaging, thoughtful, and warm. These qualities of hers were evident during the tour. The judge's presence and participation helped to make the tour memorable.

This issue of the Albany Law Review is dedicated to Judge Ciparick. The several tributes to her service on the Court of Appeals explore the range of legal issues she confronted during her tenure on the court and her contributions to New York jurisprudence in resolving them. Judge Ciparick's retirement perhaps provides a useful opportunity for considering not only her legacy on the bench but also any impact women judges might have on developments in the law and the legal profession. For a variety of reasons, Judge Ciparick's role on the New York Court of Appeals provides an excellent starting point for such an analysis.

As only the second woman appointed to the New York Court of Appeals, Judge Ciparick was a pioneer--for women generally, and women of color particularly. Her retirement thus raises a series of general questions about women on the bench, questions such as the following: Do women judges make a difference, and if so, what is the nature of the core of that difference? Why do so few women serve on New York's higher courts? What are the obstacles to the election, appointment and retention of female judges in New York State? Have women judges in the state generated elements of a jurisprudence that are capable of transforming how courts analyze and resolve concerns that tend generally to afflict women?

These are not small or irrelevant matters. Nor are the answers clear or the problems they reveal easily resolved. Now that women serve on most of the courts in the United States, including on the U.S. Supreme Court, we can expect to see more research directed to these and similar issues.

Judge Ciparick is no stranger to the pages of the Albany Law Review. Through a cursory review, I have come across two articles about the judge. One is by a former student--now a prominent attorney in Albany--John M. Bagyi, in the inaugural issue of our State Constitutional Commentary: Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick: The Court of Appeals' Voice of Compassion. (1)

It is, however, the second article I want to emphasize in these brief remarks. It draws conclusions somewhat related to a point I raise here concerning Judge Ciparick's gender as a member of the Court of Appeals.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this article

Cited article

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

A Tribute to the Honorable Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?