Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick: A Kind and Talented Jurist

By MacVean, Rachael M. | Albany Law Review, Winter 2012 | Go to article overview

Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick: A Kind and Talented Jurist


MacVean, Rachael M., Albany Law Review


Is it possible for a jurist to be too nice or too kind? If so, Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick approaches the line, and you can count me among her many, many admirers for that quality.

When I started with the Court of Appeals' Central Legal Research Staff in 2007, just three months after finishing law school, one of the most intimidating aspects of the job was the prospect of actually speaking with the judges about a case I worked on. What if I made a mistake or overlooked a dispositive statute? My bosses and senior coworkers assured me that all seven judges were actually quite nice and unlikely to fire me on the spot. In particular, I noticed that when people spoke of Judge Ciparick, they could not help but smile as they universally described her as nice, sweet, kind.

My first one-on-one interaction with Judge Ciparick occurred during my second year with the Court of Appeals. I worked on a motion for leave to appeal for which the moving party requested expedited treatment. Judge Ciparick, as the reporting judge, was required to approve my report on the motion before it was circulated to the entire court. Because the court was in session, I took the report to her chambers myself. It was after 9:00 p.m., so I did not expect the judge to still be there. Ha! Nine o'clock, it turns out, was fairly early for Judge Ciparick and her clerks during session. Not only was she still there, she asked me to stay, while she and I, and one of her clerks at the time, read the report together. It might have been terrifying for a new attorney to sit watching while a judge of the highest court in the state inspected her work, but Judge Ciparick has a way of putting people at ease. We talked about the case; she made a few changes to the report and approved it for circulation. Because of our positive interaction, I went home that night and worked on my resume and cover letter, which I delivered to her the next day.

Several months later, I received a call from Judge Ciparick, offering me a job in her chambers. …

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