ORAL HISTORIES

The Society began its Oral History Project in 2005 to document the reminiscences of retired judges and lawyers who are prominent members of the New York Bench and Bar. It features judges retired from the State’s high court, the Court of Appeals. The Interviewers are selected by the Subject and include former law clerks and other members of the legal community familiar with the Subject’s career in the law and with NY jurisprudence.

The Subjects speak about their backgrounds, their childhoods, and events that shaped them as they also reflect on their contributions to New York’s law and legal process. This produces a broad look at the unique histories of those working with the Rule of Law in the State and the nation.

The Society prepares a transcript of each interview. The transcripts of the interviews are reviewed by the Subjects and the Interviewers for clarity and accuracy and corrected. The New York State Law Reporting Bureau then edits the transcripts to conform to consistent protocols. Citations of cases and statutes have been added. Full names of individuals referred to have been provided. Formal names of courts referred to are also provided. In the case of Court of Appeals judges, the transcripts are reviewed by the New York State Court of Appeals. The final versions of the transcripts are then deposited into the Society’s archives and are made available on the website.

Oral histories are not intended to present a complete, verified description of events. They represent the spoken personal account of a Subject. They illustrate the Subject’s thoughts, perceptions, and reflections. They are unique and irreplaceable.

All uses of transcripts are covered by signed agreements between Subjects, Interviewers, and the Society. The information is thereby made available for purposes deemed suitable by the Society, such as research and education. All copyrights and literary rights in the transcripts, including the right to publish, are reserved by the Society. No part of any transcript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Society.

Certain interviews were conducted outside the Society’s Oral History Project and are noted as such following the PDF link. Such interviews were transferred to the Society by agreement and have become part of the Society’s archives. No part of any such transcript may be quoted for publication without the written permission of the Society.

Please Note: Some oral histories are noted as subject to future annotation and technical revision. In these transcripts, footnotes supplying citations of cases and statutes and biographical information for public and historical figures mentioned in the transcript may be added. In addition, formatting and similar irregularities may be corrected and page numbering may be adjusted accordingly.


To date, the Society has conducted interviews of the following individuals. Transcripts currently available on the website are noted with a PDF icon which opens to the transcript. Transcripts are added as completed:


NEW YORK STATE COURT OF APPEALS JUDGES

Oral History: Hon. Joseph W. Bellacosa
Hon. Joseph W. Bellacosa

Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals (1987-2000)

[Interviewed: 08/05/2009]

Oral History: Hon. Joseph W. Bellacosa PDF


Oral History: Hon. Lawrence H. Cooke
Hon. Lawrence H. Cooke

Chief Judge of the State of New York (1979-1984)

[Interviewed: 08/30/1990]

Oral History: Hon. Lawrence H. Cooke PDF    Interview conducted outside the Society’s Oral History Project.


Oral History: Hon. Stewart F. Hancock, Jr.
Hon. Stewart F. Hancock, Jr.

Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1986-1993)

[Interviewed: 06/18/2011]

Oral History: Hon. Stewart F. Hancock, Jr. PDF


Oral History: Hon. Matthew J. Jasen
Hon. Matthew J. Jasen

Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1968-1985)

[Interviewed: 04/15/2005]

Oral History: Hon. Matthew J. Jasen Video   Interview conducted outside the Society’s Oral History Project.


Oral History: Hon. Judith S. Kaye
Hon. Judith S. Kaye

Chief Judge of the State of New York (1993-2008)

[Interviewed: 09/26/2011, 09/28/2011, 10/19/2011, & 10/20/2011]

Oral History: Hon. Judith S. Kaye PDF


Oral History: Hon. Howard A. Levine
Hon. Howard A. Levine

Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1993-2002)

[Interviewed: 05/10/2012]


Oral History: Hon. Bernard S. Meyer
Hon. Bernard S. Meyer

Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1979-1984)

[Interviewed: Between 2000-2002]


Oral History: Hon. Albert M. Rosenblatt
Hon. Albert M. Rosenblatt

Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1999-2006)

[Interviewed: 12/21/2009]


Oral History: Hon. Richard D. Simons
Hon. Richard D. Simons

Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1983-1997) & Acting Chief Judge (1992-1993)

[Interviewed: 04/04/2003 & 09/05/2003]

PDF link   Interview conducted outside the Society’s Oral History Project.


Oral History: Hon. Richard D. Simons
Hon. Richard D. Simons

Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1983-1997) & Acting Chief Judge (1992-1993) / Chief Trial Judge and Chief Appellate Judge of the Oneida Nation Tribal Court

[Interviewed: 08/02/2017]


Oral History: Hon. George Bundy Smith
Hon. George Bundy Smith

Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1992-2006)

[Interviewed: 08/19/2009]


Oral History: Hon. Robert S. Smith
Hon. Robert S. Smith

Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (2004-2014)

[Interviewed: 08/17/2017]


Oral History: Hon. Sol Wachtler
Hon. Sol Wachtler

Chief Judge of the State of New York (1985-1992)

[Interviewed: 12/21/2011]

Oral History: Hon. Sol Wachtler PDF


Oral History: Hon. Richard C. Wesley
Hon. Richard C. Wesley

Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1997-2003) / Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2003-Present)

[Interviewed: 05/17/2012]

Oral History: Hon. Richard C. Wesley PDF




OTHER NEW YORK STATE JUDGES

Oral History: Hon. Richard J. Bartlett
Hon. Richard J. Bartlett

Chief Administrative Judge of New York (1974-1979)

[Interviewed: 02/25/2005, 05/13/2005, 09/02/2005, 02/08/2007, & 03/04/2015]

Oral History: Hon. Richard J. Bartlett PDF   Interview conducted outside the Society’s Oral History Project.


Oral History: Hon. Milton Mollen
Hon. Milton Mollen

Presiding Justice, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 2nd Department (1978-1990)

[Interviewed: 07/21/2009]

PDF link   This transcript is subject to future annotation and technical revision.


Oral History: Hon. William C. Thompson
Hon. William C. Thompson

Associate Justice, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 2nd Department (1980-2001)

[Interviewed: 05/15/2009]

PDF link   This transcript is subject to future annotation and technical revision.




LEGAL LUMINARIES

Oral History: Helaine M. Barnett, Esq.
Helaine M. Barnett, Esq.

Chair, Permanent Commission on Access to Justice

[Interviewed: 09/14/2017]


Oral History: Robert B. Fiske, Jr., Esq.
Robert B. Fiske, Jr., Esq.

Attorney

[Interviewed: 12/01/2015]

PDF link   This transcript is subject to future annotation and technical revision.


Oral History: S. Hazard Gillespie, Esq.
S. Hazard Gillespie, Esq.

Attorney

[Interviewed: 05/26/2009]

PDF link   This transcript is subject to future annotation and technical revision.


Oral History: Hon. Norman Goodman
Hon. Norman Goodman

New York County Clerk (1969-2014)

[Interviewed: 09/30/2009]

PDF link   This transcript is subject to future annotation and technical revision.


Oral History: Michael F. McEneney, Esq.
Michael F. McEneney, Esq.

Director of Court Operational Services, New York Office of Court Administration

[Interviewed: 05/18/2010]


Oral History: Michael F. McEneney, Esq.
Roy L. Reardon, Esq.

Attorney

[Interviewed: 03/10/2016]

PDF link   This transcript is subject to future annotation and technical revision.


Oral History: Charlotte Smallwood-Cook, Esq.
Charlotte Smallwood-Cook, Esq.

District Attorney, Wyoming County, New York (1950-1953)

[Interviewed: 07/13/2011]

Oral History: Charlotte Smallwood-Cook PDF



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