In 2005, the Society established an oral history program to document the recollections of retired Judges of the New York State Court of Appeals (New York's highest court), retired judges and justices from other courts in the State, and prominent New York lawyers. Starting in 2009, all interviews were videotaped. Interviews prior to that time were either audio or video taped. Interviews were conducted by informed interviewers, familiar with both the person interviewed and New York jurisprudence.
This archive covers almost a century of New York State's legal history. Interview subjects are invited to not only reflect on their contributions to the law and legal process, but also on their childhoods, backgrounds, and the historic events which shaped them as people and legal luminaries. The result of this broad outlook is a project that has captured a unique look at the history of the workings of the Rule of Law in both New York and the nation.
The Society is in the process of preparing a transcript of the recording of each interview for its archives, and developing protocols that will govern the availability of this material to the public.
At this time, no transcripts are available to the public, except the oral history discussed below. The Society has no immediate plans to make the video recordings available to the public.
On April 4 and September 5, 2003 an oral history interview with NYS Court of Appeals Judge Richard D. Simons was conducted for the Society by David E. McCraw, Counsel, The New York Times Company. Mr. McCraw served as a clerk to Judge Simons from 1992 to 1994, The interview was published in our journal, New York Legal History, Vol. 1, 2005:
To date the Society has collected the oral histories of the following individuals:
NEW YORK STATE COURT OF APPEALS JUDGES
Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals (1987-2000)
Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1986-1993)
Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1968-1985)
Chief Judge of the State of New York (1993-2008)
[Interviewed: 09/26/2011, 09/28/2011, 10/19/2011, & 10/20/2011]
Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1993-2002)
Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1979-1984)
[Interviewed: Between 2000-2002]
Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1999-2006)
Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1983-1997) & Acting Chief Judge (1992-1993)
[Interviewed: 04/04/2003 & 09/05/2003]
Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1992-2006)
Chief Judge of the State of New York (1985-1992)
Associate Judge, New York Court of Appeals (1997-2003) / Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2003-Present)
OTHER NEW YORK STATE JUDGES
Chief Administrative Judge of New York (1974-1979)
[Interviewed: 2/25/2005, 5/13/2005, 9/02/2005, & 2/08/2007]
Presiding Justice, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 2nd Deptartment (1978-1990)
Associate Justice, New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, 2nd Deptartment (1980-2001)
New York County Clerk (1969-Present)
Director of Court Operational Services, New York Office of Court Administration
District Attorney, Wyoming County, New York (1950-1953)
The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York 140 Grand Street, Suite 701 White Plains, N.Y. 10601 914.824.5717