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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.
Statement from Chief Judge Janet DiFiore on behalf of the New York Court of Appeals
August 5, 2017
The Court of Appeals is saddened by the death of George Bundy Smith, who served with great distinction as an Associate Judge of the Court from 1992 to 2006. A freedom rider during the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, Judge Smith remained soft-spoken, self-effacing, and completely dedicated to fairness and justice for all people throughout his career. As then-Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye said of him in 2005, "George is a man of few words, but they are absolutely the right words." He leaves our nation a better place than he found it. We will miss him deeply.
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.
Associate Judge Paul Feinman

On June 21, 2017, the New York State Senate confirmed Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s nomination of Paul Feinman to the position of Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals of the State of New York. 

Notice to the Bar - Primary Election Appeals

The Clerks' Offices of the Court of Appeals and the Appellate Division Departments release the following joint scheduling announcement:

The Departments have scheduled and reserved only the following dates to consider appeals related to the September 12, 2017 primary elections:

First Department - Tuesday, August 22, 2017
(Wednesday, August 23, if necessary)

Second Department - Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Third Department - Thursday, August 24, 2017

Fourth Department - Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Court of Appeals has scheduled Wednesday, August 30, 2017 and, if necessary, Thursday, August 31, 2017 to consider appeals and motions for leave to appeal related to primary election matters.

Because there is limited time available between the primary election sessions of the Appellate Divisions and the Court of Appeals, parties who seek to have matters placed upon the Court of Appeals motions or appeals calendars must contact the Court of Appeals Clerk's Office for filing instructions promptly (usually at the time the decision of the Appellate Division is made known).

All parties, election boards and affected courts are expected to proceed expeditiously with all phases of election matters so that the requirements of these special sessions can be met. Details concerning adherence to and compliance with the schedule may be sought by communication with the respective clerks' offices, as the need arises.

Full Notice to the Bar
Notice to the Bar - Licensing of Legal Consultants (Part 521)

The Court has amended its Rules for the Licensing of Legal Consultants (Part 521). Under the newly amended rules, the Chief Administrator of the Court is authorized to implement procedures for the biennial registration and reporting of foreign legal consultants with the Office of Court Administration. This amendment will facilitate more meaningful public oversight of consultant conduct and will allow for periodic updates of contact and professional status information.

The rule amendments are effective July 12, 2017. A copy of the Court's order amending the rules can be found here: Full Notice to the Bar

Notice to the Bar - Amicus Curiae Participation

On March 28, 2017, the Court of Appeals heard oral argument in Carlson v American International Group, Inc.  By order dated April 4, 2017, the Court has directed the case to be reargued.  The Court invites amicus curiae participation from those qualified and interested.

The appeal involves an insurance action to collect an unpaid judgment arising from an underlying wrongful death action as a result of a motor vehicle accident.  The Appellate Division (130 AD3d 1477 [2015]; 130 AD3d 1479 [2015]) held that American International Group, Inc. did not “issue or deliver” an insurance policy in New York, thus precluding plaintiff from bringing suit against AAIC under Insurance Law § 3420(A)(2). 

The appeal also presents the issue of whether defendant DHL Express (USA), Inc. hired the vehicle involved in the motor vehicle accident, thereby implicating DHL’s hired auto insurance coverage.

Amicus motions must comply with section 500.23 of the Rules of the Court of Appeals.  The appeal has been calendared for reargument on Wednesday, October 18, 2017.  Pursuant to Rule 500.23(a)(iii), amicus motions must be noticed for a return date no later than September 11, 2017. The Court’s Rules and access to the parties’ briefs and record material through the Court-PASS system is available on the Court’s website at:

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

Full Notice to the Bar

Notice to the Bar - 2018 Calendar of Sessions

The Court of Appeals today releases its 2018 Calendar of Sessions. The schedule includes the appeal sessions as well as the Court's conference days, which are scheduled for June 26 and 27 and December 6 and 7. August 29 and 30 are special election appeals session days.

Full Notice to the Bar
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.


Current Case Summaries
Yearly Session -2017 | 2018
(About Court Sessions)


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Arguing at the Court of Appeals

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