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
The New York Court of Appeals was saddened to learn today of the passing of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, a most beloved colleague since she joined the Court in May 2013. Her personal warmth, uncompromising sense of fairness, and bright legal mind were an inspiration to all of us who had the good fortune to know her. Sheila’s smile could light up the darkest room. The people of New York can be grateful for her distinguished public service. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family, and we will miss her greatly.
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.
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 ; 130 AD3d 1479 ) 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 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: www.courts.state.ny.us/ctapps
Questions may be directed by telephone to the Clerk s Office at (518) 455-7705.
2017 State of Our Judiciary – Wednesday February 22, 2017
Hon. Janet DiFiore presented her first State of Our Judiciary address
as Chief Judge, reporting on the early progress of the court system s Excellence Initiative and announcing additional reforms aimed at improving the administration of justice for all New Yorkers.
While the address had traditionally been delivered in Albany s Court of Appeals Hall, Chief Judge DiFiore presented this year s address in the Bronx, highlighting recent advances in the delivery of justice services in the borough.
The address can be viewed online here: Webcast
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 – 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.