July 2010

Calendars from the Historical Society of the New York Courts

September 2013

Calendars from the Historical Society of the New York courts

April 2008

Calendars from the Historical Society of the New York Courts

In front of the Women in the Law Room, June 17, 2013

A most appropriate setting for the reception honoring the 2 newest Court of Appeals judges (Pictured, l. to r.: Justices Pigott, Smith, Rivera, & Abdus-Salaam)

Judicial Portrait Collection

Row of oil paintings at the entrance to the library

Hands-on learning

The School Without Walls Summer Law Camp visiting the Rare Book Room & staff workroom during a tour of the library August 15, 2013

International visitors

A legal delegation from the Ukraine with library staff members September 25, 2013

UB law students visit the library

Students begin their tour of the library on January 23, 2014

Spring 2014

Colorful patches from the library's display on the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

2015 Black History Month display

Celebrating a new generation

Through November 2015

800th anniversary of Magna Carta

April 8, 2016

Lunchtime favorites

New here? Welcome.

Working downtown has some nice benefits, such as a variety of good, locally-owned lunch spots. May we suggest some of our favorite lunchtime choices?

"Orange Glory’s egg salad sandwich is excellent: chunky chopped eggs, chopped olives, lettuce, and just enough mayo on grainy bread. Spend $2 more and get a side and cookie of your choice - it is a deal."

"The Thai basil fried rice with shrimp at Golden Port always satisfies. Extra veggies for a nominal charge makes it dinner."

"I like Java's, for inventive sandwiches like 'The Thing' on tasty bread, and fresh-squeezed lemonade. Not to mention the cookies and baked goods."

"Aunt Rosie’s has the best pizza slices within walking distance, and features a different 'specialty slice' every day."

"I would recommend the Chicken Caesar wraps at Ludwig's. The nice thing is that you can tailor your order and put more on of what you do like and less, or none at all, of what you don’t."

"Temple Bar & Grille has a good menu, good specials. It's small, but they've also got some outdoor seating."

"There's a daily special at Max's [Eastman Place] that has got to be one of best deals going around here. For $8 you get a delicious egg dish, usually omelette with seasonal vegetables and/or some wonderful cheese. It might be an omelette with asparagus; the other week my dish came with three slices of beef tenderloin. And you get great table service and the ambiance. Who knew? Well, maybe we don't want to tell too many people about this."

"The poutine at Vive! An appetizer for several co-workers or one hearty entree, it's sophisticated comfort food that appeals to the gastronomically unadventurous and food snob alike. Also made for sharing: the tartine plate, bruschetta-like little open-faced sandwiches. They're all delightful, but the avocado-grapefruit pairing is brilliant."

There's also Hart's, a fairly recent addition to our downtown food scene - "a grocery store a stone's throw away. They have a deli, sandwich shop, and a grab-and-go case, plus a pleasant seating area."

And lastly, for those venturing slightly farther afield -

"Try Tex-Mex on South Ave. Their food is delicious and their prices are great!"

March 29, 2016

Professional development opportunity

The Appellate Division Fourth Department and the Rochester Black Bar Association are collaborating once again to present an informational program for those interested in learning more about representing children in New York State's supreme, surrogate, and appellate courts. Speakers will include Hon. Shirley Troutman, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Fourth Department; Tracy Hamilton, Director of the Attorneys for Children Program; and Yolanda Asamoah-Wade and Sandra Williams, Attorneys for Children Representatives.

Date: April 11, 2016
Time: 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Location: AFC Program Office, the Riedman Building, 45 East Avenue, 2nd floor
(The Riedman Building is across East Avenue from the Appellate Division courthouse.)

Lunch included!

Register by April 4, 2016 by emailing rbbalaw@gmail.com .

March 2, 2016

Judith S. Kaye

The subject of our new display, which will be up for Women's History Month and continue through the middle of May, was an easy choice. Longest-serving Chief Judge in the history of the State of New York, trailblazer, role model: Judith S. Kaye.

Judith S. Kaye, 1938-2016

Chief Judge, 1993-2008
Associate Justice, 1983-1993
New York State Court of Appeals

On August 4, 1938, Judith Ann Smith was born in Monticello, New York to Polish immigrants Benjamin and Lena Smith. She graduated from Monticello High School and went on to Barnard College.

While at Barnard, she studied Latin American Civilization. She was really interested in becoming a journalist but journalism was not offered as a major at Barnard. She served as editor-in-chief of the Barnard Bulletin, covered the Barnard College campus beat for the New York Herald Tribune, and graduated in 1958 with hopes of becoming a foreign correspondent. After college, she worked as a reporter for the society page of the Hudson Dispatch in Union City, New Jersey.

Judith decided to go to law school hoping to increase her chances of becoming a foreign correspondent. While in law school, she worked as a copy editor during the day and attended classes at night. She also served as associate editor of the law review while there. In 1962 she graduated cum laude from New York University (NYU) School of Law and was inducted as a member of the Order of the Coif, a scholastic honors society.

She worked for two years at Sullivan & Cromwell as an associate where she met Stephen Rackow Kaye. They were married in 1964. She transferred to the legal department of IBM before returning to New York University to serve as part-time assistant to Dean Russell Niles. In 1969 she joined Olwine, Connelly, Chaise, O’Donnell & Weyher, becoming its first female partner in 1975.

Governor Mario Cuomo nominated Judith S. Kaye to the NYS Court of Appeals in 1983, despite her “not qualified” rating by the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York. Governor Cuomo’s appointment was based on his interviews with her and the opinions of people he valued, who had “overwhelmingly endorsed” her appointment. She was the first woman appointed as Associate Justice to the Court of Appeals.

In November 1992, then Chief Judge Sol Wachtler resigned and a new vacancy in the Court arose. Governor Cuomo nominated Judge Kaye to the position of Chief Judge in February 1993. Her nomination was unanimously confirmed by the Senate and, on March 23, 1993, she was sworn in as the 22nd Chief Judge of the NYS Court of Appeals and its first female Chief Judge.

During her tenure as Chief Judge, she worked tirelessly to reform the courts as well as restructure and reorganize the court system to be more in tune with the needs of society. She took the Court into the 21st century, both literally and figuratively, addressing outdated court buildings as well as the “Y2K” challenge. Judge Kaye got the Court and its staff through the September 11, 2001 tragedy in New York City, comforting families of fallen members of the Court staff. She continued to work with local communities and towards reforms in gender bias and inequality. She forged on even in the face of personal tragedy when her husband passed away in November 2006.

Judge Kaye was perceived as a liberal who cared for the rights of women and families, a protector of the Constitution and the rights given by it, and an advocate against the death penalty.

Of her opinions, one of the most notable was her dissent in Hernandez v. Robles (7 NY3d 338, July 6, 2006) which declared marriages between couples of the same sex unconstitutional. Disagreeing with the Court, Chief Judge Kaye wrote:
It is uniquely the function of the Judicial Branch to safeguard individual liberties guaranteed by the New York State Constitution, and to order redress for their violation. The Court's duty to protect constitutional rights is an imperative of the separation of powers, not its enemy.

I am confident that future generations will look back on today's decision as an unfortunate misstep.
Judith S. Kaye style
Homage to Kaye style
On June 24, 2011, almost five years after Judge Kaye’s dissent, the Marriage Equality Act was signed into law.

In 2008, Judge Kaye retired from the Court and joined the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom. She continued to be active in the Historical Society of the New York Courts and spoke before various organizations.

On January 6, 2016, Judith S. Kaye, retired Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals of New York State, succombed to cancer. In an article from the New York Daily News, dated January 11, 2016, her daughter described her death by saying:
She did not lie down for death. When my brothers found her, she was sitting up. She never stopped making an impact. Like a stone that skips across the water, she left ripples that will be felt for an eternity.
She is survived by three children, Luisa, Jonathan and Gordon Kaye; seven grandchildren; and a brother, Allen Smith.

• Judith Kaye, first woman to serve as N.Y. chief judge, honored at Lincoln Center memorial service. New York Daily News, dated January 11, 2016. Information downloaded on February 12, 2016 from http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/memorial-held-judith-kaye-female-n-y-chief-judge-article-1.2493148
• Special Kaye, Judge Judith S. Kaye, by Jeffrey Toobin. New Yorker, dated December 15, 2008. Information downloaded on February 12, 2016 from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2008/12/15/special-kaye
• Jewish Women’s Archive: Sharing Stories Inspiring Change – Encyclopedia. Information downloaded on February 10, 2016 from http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/kaye-judith
• Historical Society of the New York Courts entry on Judith Smith Kaye. Information downloaded on February 10, 2016 from http://www.nycourts.gov/history/legal-history-new-york/luminaries-court-appeals/kaye-judith.html
• New York’s New Abolitionists: Who are they? Information downloaded on February 10, 2016 from http://www.newyorksnewabolitionists.com/

February 10, 2016

To Kill a Mockingbird

Put down the remote and join other cinephiles at the Dryden Theatre Friday to watch the top legal movie of all time (ABA Journal). This special screening is being presented to tie in with Geva Theatre's production of Christopher Sergel's stage adaptation of the Harper Lee novel, which starts Tuesday. Post-show talkbacks will be featured Thursday, February 25th on "The Civil Rights Movement" and Thursday, March 3rd on "The Criminal Justice System."

And in related news, there's lots of buzz today about a new stage adaptation by the Oscar- and Emmy-winner behind "The Social Network" and "The West Wing" that is set to open on Broadway next year.

February 4, 2016

Building a Legacy

Congratulations to two of the Appellate Division's own who will be honored at the upcoming Rochester Black Bar Association's Annual Awards Reception: Karen Bailey-Turner, Esq. will be receiving the Trailblazer Award and Brittany A. Jones, Esq. will be presented the Excellence in Leadership Award.

Date: Thursday, February 25, 2016
Time: 5:30-8:30 pm
Location: Nixon Peabody LLP, 1300 Clinton Square, Rochester
Cost: $30.00 Members; $40.00 Non-Members

RSVP by February 21, 2016.

To purchase tickets visit http://rbbalaw.org/new2/event-registration/annual-awards-reception-2016/

February 2, 2016

2016 Black History Month

shield of Delta Sigma Theta
Pictured: shield of Delta Sigma Theta,
the sorority of Justice Rose Sconiers
Did you know that Alpha Phi Alpha, the first and oldest successful African-American collegiate fraternity, was founded in 1906 at Cornell University? And that Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Justice Rueben Davis were all Alpha Phi Alphas? If you'd like to learn more, check out our Black History Month display, where this year we honor historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Greek organizations.

January 29, 2016

From A to Z

Popular with our patrons, the New York State Bar Association's Practical Skills Series covers nineteen different practice areas, from arbitration to zoning. These annual softbound volumes offer step-by-step guidance, practice tips, checklists and forms (almost all of the titles include Forms on CD) in a format and size practitioners seem to find useful. This year we've been able to purchase a second set to meet demand.

Arbitration and mediation
Business/corporate law and practice
Criminal law and practice
Debt collection and judgment enforcement
Elder law, special needs planning and will drafting
Labor law and workers' compensation
Limited liability companies
Matrimonial law
Mechanic's liens
Mortgage foreclosures
New York residential landlord-tenant law and procedure
Probate and administration of decedents' estates
Real estate transactions--commercial property
Real estate transactions-- residential property
Representing the personal injury plaintiff in New York
Social security law and practice
Zoning and land use

And new this year, Legislative highlights.