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The Court of Appeals, New York State's highest court, is composed of a Chief Judge and six Associate Judges, each appointed to a 14-year term. New York's highest appellate court was established to articulate statewide principles of law in the context of deciding particular lawsuits. The Court thus generally focuses on broad issues of law as distinguished from individual factual disputes. There is no jurisdictional limitation based upon the amount of money at stake in a case or the status or rank of the parties.
 
Excellence Initiative
On February 8, 2016, Chief Judge DiFiore announced the Excellence Initiative, a detailed and comprehensive evaluation of current processes and procedures to determine what is working well and what needs to be improved in the New York State Unified Court System. For more information on this initiative, including how comments may be submitted to the Chief Judge, please see Excellence Initiative.
 

Court of Appeals Hall Centennial

On January 8, 1917, the historic building at 20 Eagle Street was renamed “Court of Appeals Hall,” and the Court of Appeals heard oral argument for the first time in its new home.  In 2017, the Court celebrates this centennial anniversary by rededicating Court of Appeals Hall to the administration of justice.  A 1917-2017 Court of Appeals Hall Centennial Celebration brochure – including information on the building, courtroom, Judges, cases and counsel – is available here.  Highlighted in the brochure are prominent and historical cases argued or decided in 1917.  The briefs and records for some of the cases may be accessed here: Tauza v Susquehanna Coal. Co.; Wood v Lucy, Lady Duff-Gordon; DeCicco v Schweizer; People v Sanger; and Matter of Fowles.
 
 
Notice to the Bar - Amicus Curiae Participation

A Judge of the Court granted defendant leave to appeal in People v Otis Boone. The appeal is proceeding in the normal course of full briefing and oral argument.

Following a jury trial, defendant was convicted of two counts of robbery in the first degree. The two complainants, both of whom are white, described their assailant as African-American, and picked defendant out of a line-up and identified him at trial as the person who had robbed them of their cell phones during two separate incidents. Supreme Court denied defense counsel's request for a jury instruction regarding the unreliability of cross-racial identifications because defendant presented no evidence on the issue and did not raise it on cross examination. The Appellate Division affirmed (129 AD3d 1099 [2nd Dept 2015]). Defendant argues that the trial court's refusal to give a cross-racial identification instruction deprived him of a fair trial where the evidence connecting him to each robbery rested on a single-witness identification.

The Court invites amicus curiae participation from those qualified and interested.

Amicus motions must comply with section 500.23 of the Rules ofthe Court of Appeals.

Questions may be directed by telephone to the Clerk's Office at (518) 455-7705.

Full Notice to the Bar
 
Notice to the Bar - Word and Page Limits

After considering all public comment received, the Court of Appeals has amended its Rules of Practice, effective June 22, 2016. Principal briefs filed on normal course appeals, certified questions and review of the determinations of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct will be subject to a 14,000 word limit. Requests to exceed the limit may be made by letter. Rule 500.11 submissions (the Alternative Procedure for Selected Appeals), reply briefs, amicus curiae briefs and briefs in response to amicus curiae briefs will be subject to a 7,000 word limit. The amended Rules provide corresponding page limits for briefs that are handwritten or prepared on a typewriter. The new word and page limits will apply to all appeals for which the preliminary appeal statement is filed on or after the June 22 effective date.

In addition to the adoption of the word and page limits, section 500.20(d) was amended to clarify that only one request for reargument or reconsideration per party of a specific criminal leave application is permitted.

Questions may be directed to the Clerk's Office at (518) 455-7701 or (518) 455-7702.

Full Notice to the Bar

 
COURT CALENDAR
 
 
 

Current Case Summaries
Yearly Session -2016 | 2017
(About Court Sessions)

 

  Court-PASS Public Access and Search System  
  Public Access And Search System  

  Oral Arguments Live  
(Refer to Calendar for Date and Times)
  Oral Argument Archive
(including Transcripts)
 
  Other Important Webcasts  

Court of Appeals Virtual Tour

Video Orientation:
Arguing at the Court of Appeals

(Orientation Transcript)