Judge Ciparick: Kind-Hearted and Generous

By Perry, Joseph | Albany Law Review, Winter 2012 | Go to article overview

Judge Ciparick: Kind-Hearted and Generous


Perry, Joseph, Albany Law Review


I had the distinct pleasure of serving as one of Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick's law clerks during her final three years on the bench at the New York State Court of Appeals. In reflecting on my experience working in Her Honor's chambers, I could write pages about Judge Ciparick's unwavering principles, her intellect, her tireless work ethic, and her remarkable ability to approach each and every case with the freshness of an open mind. In so many ways, however, these attributes speak for themselves--through the countless number of opinions Judge Ciparick authored over the course of her nineteen-year tenure at the Court.

Instead, I choose to dedicate this tribute not to Judge Ciparick, the awe-inspiring, trailblazing judge, but to Judge Ciparick, the kind-hearted, warm, and generous person. Indeed, shortly after I joined Her Honor's staff, I quickly discovered that I was more than just one of her law clerks. I was now "one of the family"--the "Ciparick family." Today, the family consists of Her Honor, her dedicated secretary, and twenty-two law clerks! During the course of my clerkship, I have gotten to know each one of the "siblings." Acquainting with my "older" siblings was easy. Always welcome, Judge Ciparick's former law clerks routinely visited Her Honor's Manhattan chambers for lunch. Through these visits, I learned how invested Judge Ciparick was in the achievements of all her staff, both past and present.

For example, ever proud of the New York State judiciary, Judge Ciparick has faithfully steered many of her former law clerks toward thriving careers within the court system. In fact, Judge Ciparick is not afraid to boast that two of her former law clerks are now judges themselves. Most recently, Judge Ciparick beamed with pride as her former law clerk, Anthony Cannataro, won a hard fought election to become a Manhattan Civil Court judge. In the months leading up to the election, now-Judge Cannataro frequently called Judge Ciparick, updating her on the highs and lows of the campaign. Having gone through a judicial campaign of her own, to become a supreme court justice, Judge Ciparick welcomed these phone calls and relished in the details. Anyone who spoke with Judge Cannataro throughout his campaign knew how much he appreciated Judge Ciparick's unconditional moral support. To Judge Ciparick, she was simply supporting one of her "children" in the only way she knew how--with love and compassion.

Judge Ciparick did not simply delight in the professional successes of her staff. She cared--and continues to care--a great deal about our personal lives. …

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