December 20, 2016

Happy Holidays

Wishing you a happy holiday season & a joyful new year

November 10, 2016

How we did it

It was gratifying to have such an engaged audience at the recent New York Library Association Conference interested in learning about our experience of bringing to fruition the digital NYCRR archive, a large and daunting undertaking.

One of the "secrets"? Teamwork!

(From left) Andrew Kloc, Senior Law Librarian, Appellate Division Fourth Department Law Library; Beth Adelman, Director, Charles B. Sears Law Library at SUNY Buffalo Law School; and Jeannine Lee, Director (retired) Buffalo Supreme Court Law Library at the New York Library Association Conference in Saratoga Springs, NY on November 3, 2016

Anecdotes and advice for those contemplating a digitization project

November 3, 2016


The results of the 2016 American Association of Law Libraries Executive Board Election are in, and we're happy to see our friend Beth Adelman, Director of the Charles B. Sears Law Library and Vice Dean for Legal Information Services at the University at Buffalo, has won a seat on the board. Her term will run from July 2017 to July 2020.

October 31, 2016

CLE: The Gavel Gap

We note the impressive list of presenters, including three justices
from the Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

October 13, 2016

MCC paralegal class

Every fall we look forward to hosting legal research classes for the Monroe Community College paralegal program. This year two dozen students, working in small groups, will tackle a formidable packet of research questions at the library through October. We always enjoy seeing the mix of young folk and those pursuing a second career. To paraphrase a librarian who assisted the group, it's a pleasure to work with such interested and interesting people.

October 11, 2016

Lunch & Networking with Hon. Janet DiFiore

October 7, 2016

CLE: Appellate Practice Nuts & Bolts
Major Topics: Want to learn how to handle an appeal from the initial filing of notice all the way through the oral argument? This is the nuts & bolts course for you!

Topics include:

commencing an action, client communication, and motion practice (Part I),

perfecting the record, settling a disputed record, reviewing the record,
and writing the criminal or family court brief (Part II),

and oral argument (Part III).
The final program will also include discussion with current and former Appellate Justices.
Speakers: David M. Abbatoy, Esq., The Abbatoy Law Firm, PLLC
A. Vincent Buzard, Esq., Harris Beach, LLP
Shirley A. Gorman, Esq., Law Office of Shirley Gorman
Alan R. Ross, Esq., Deputy Clerk of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Gary Muldoon, Esq., Muldoon, Getz & Reston
Jane I. Yoon, Esq., Monroe County Public Defender's Office
Hon. Nancy E. Smith, Justice, Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Hon. Joseph J. Valentino, Ret., Justice, Appellate Division, Fourth Department
Hon. Gerald J. Whalen, Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, Fourth Department
MCLE credits: 6.0 Skills (2.0 per program)
Appropriate for all attorneys.
Dates & Times: Part I
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
12:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch will be provided.
(Lunch and registration at 11:30 a.m.)

Part II
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
12:15 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Lunch will be provided.
(Lunch and registration at 11:30 a.m.)

Part III
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Join the Young Lawyers Section for a social hour after the final program!
Location: Monroe County Bar Association’s Rubin Center for Education
1 West Main Street, 5th Floor, Rochester, NY 14614
Registration: Visit the MCBA calendar or email Dianne Nash at
Tuition assistance available.
Submit the application at least one week before the program date.

Jointly sponsored by the Monroe County Bar Association, the Rochester Black Bar Association, and the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys.

October 5, 2016

Upstate New York seminar manuals

The latest crop of National Business Institute upstate New York seminar manuals has come in, and a fine one it is. You'll find these and a wide selection of manuals of interest to local practitioners in our New York Treatises area, at call number KFN 5079 N356.

Personal Injury 101
Title Workshop: From Examination to Commitment
LLC Mistakes to Avoid in Everyday Business Practices
Negotiating Indemnification, Reps, Warranties and More in Business Contracts
Estate Planning for Farmers and Ranchers

and of special interest to some of us -

Advanced Winery and Vineyard Law

September 20, 2016

Free CLE offered by Volunteer Legal Services Project
Major Topics: Remote Document Review/Assembly
Eviction Prevention
Debt Collection
Remote Video Consultations
Speakers: David Kagle, Esq., LAWNY
Anna Anderson, Esq., LAWNY
Mike Grunenwald, ProBono.Net
MCLE credits: 2.0 hours - Skills
Date: Friday, October 7th, 2016
Time: 12:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
(Registration 11:30 a.m.)
Lunch will be served!
Location: Monroe County Bar Association’s Rubin Center for Education
1 West Main Street, 5th Floor, Rochester, NY 14614
Registration: Please register by Wednesday, October 5th, 2016.

This VLSP seminar is free of charge in exchange for a commitment to handle one (1) “Closing the Gap” VLSP pro bono case within one year of the date of the seminar.

VLSP has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an accredited provider of continuing legal education in the State of New York.

September 6, 2016

If this year's election is too contentious for you,

it may comfort you to know it’s been even worse in the past. For your edification and perhaps consolation, we offer an online version of our current display.

   Election of 1800  
John Adams vs. Thomas Jefferson

... vs. Aaron Burr

- Uglier than 2016, and weirder than them all -

Much like today, by the time this election happened, one can imagine many were happy to see it end. But there was a problem. A big problem. So big that we were forced to amend our Constitution in order to solve it.

The Constitution originally gave each member of the Electoral College two votes. Whoever received the largest majority of votes became President, and whoever came in second became Vice-President. It was expected that the electors would cast one vote for the presidential candidate, and one vote for his running-mate. Jefferson won a majority of the electors—73, but since each elector had two votes, so did his running-mate, Aaron Burr. This meant both men were technically tied, leaving each with an equal claim to the presidency. The tie had to be broken by the House of Representatives.

Burr could have ended the controversy by disavowing any claims to the presidency and accepting the vice-presidency. However, Burr, branded an opportunist by even the most sympathetic historians, did not do this. Instead, he made it known that he would accept the presidency if Congress so chose. The result was surreal: a presidential candidate and his own running-mate squaring off in an election within the House of Representatives for the highest office in the land.

Enter Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton was a member of the Federalists, the sworn enemies of Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans. Hamilton strongly disliked Jefferson, but he hated Aaron Burr. Hamilton lobbied members of Congress to choose between the lessor of two evils and elect Jefferson. Still, it took the House 36 ballots to break the deadlock and choose Jefferson as our nation’s third president. Burr, for his part, became the VP and the most reviled man in American politics. Jefferson never forgave him; in fact, he (unsuccessfully) put Burr on trial for treason in 1807.

Pro-Jefferson ad
Pro-Jefferson ad
Pro-Adams ad
Pro-Adams ad

The ads above seem tame when compared to these attacks:

[John Adams has a] “hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

[If Jefferson is elected] “murder, robbery, rape, adultery, and incest will be openly taught and practiced.”

Further reading:
Jefferson's Vendetta

   Election of 1876  
Samuel J. Tilden vs. Rutherford B. Hayes

- Violence. Fraud. Backroom deals. Messiest election ever. -
(Yes, even messier than 2000.)

The election of 1876 has cast a shadow that still lingers with us today, although most of us know nothing about it. In this absurd election, held only 11 years after the end of the Civil War, the same passions and prejudices that ignited that conflict were played out at the ballot box. Yet, ballots did not decide this election. Ultimately, it was decided in a smoke-filled back room at Washington, D.C.’s Wormley Hotel.

The mess that was the “election” of 1876 was possible because of the still-fractured status of the nation as it attempted to heal the wounds of the Civil War. Most of the former Confederate states had only recently seen federal troops removed from state governments, resulting in a re-assertion of white dominance (via the Democratic party) over black “freedmen.” However, three states, Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, remained under federal military control. The Reconstruction Era was breathing its final breaths.

DEMOCRATIC "REFORMER": "You're as free as air, ain't you? Say you are, or I'll blow your head off."
The problem was that white Southern Democrats had no intention of being “reconstructed.” Their goal was to terrorize, intimidate and marginalize blacks by whatever means necessary. The Ku Klux Klan was born in this time. Along with other paramilitary organizations like the Red Shirts, the KKK worked with the Democratic Party to ensure blacks would not vote Republican.

Amidst widespread violence and intimidation of black voters, every single former Confederate state voted for Tilden, the Democrat. In Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, the three states that were still occupied by the military, federal officials disqualified many of the Tilden votes because it was known they were procured by fraud, resulting in apparent victories for Hayes. However, the locally-elected Democratic governments in the three states certified the original vote counts, which awarded apparent victories for Tilden. In the rest of the former Confederate states, the votes for Tilden were allowed to stand, because those states were now controlled by local white Democrats.

The result of this was chaos. Three states’ electoral votes were being claimed by both parties, and the only thing anyone agreed on was that those electoral votes were “disputed.” When the rest of the electoral votes were tallied up, the result was 184 for Tilden and 165 for Hayes. The number needed for a majority was 185. Not counting the 20 disputed votes, Tilden was only electoral vote shy of the presidency. Hayes could only become president if all 20 of the disputed votes were awarded to him.

The nation faced a Constitutional crisis. With no guidance to be found in the Constitution or historical precedent, the politicians on both sides bickered for months, right up until the day before the new president was to be sworn in. At an infamous meeting at Washington’s Wormley Hotel, the “Compromise of 1877” was worked out. All 20 disputed electoral votes would be awarded to Hayes, the Republican, who would become president. In exchange, the Republicans agreed to remove all remaining federal troops from the South.

The result was disastrous for the Republicans. Sure, they “won” the battle that was the election. But they’d lost the war: the moment federal troops left the South, blacks were effectively disenfranchised. Jim Crow laws abounded, and the Southern Democrats reversed with impunity the gains that blacks had made during Reconstruction. These wounds are still with us today, 140 years later.

Further reading:
Centennial Crisis: the Disputed Election of 1876

   Election of 1828  
Andrew Jackson vs. John Quincy Adams

- The ugliest of them all -

Rachel Jackson
Rachel Jackson
There have been closer elections (2000, 1877, 1960). There have been more violent elections (1877). But as for sheer ugliness, nothing can quite match 1828. It is the only presidential election in American history to have gotten so ugly, so dirty, so downright cruel that it killed the first lady before her husband served a day as president.

Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams knew each other well—they had faced each other (and a few others) in the previous election of 1824. That election had to be resolved in the House of Representatives, because no candidate received a majority of the electoral votes. Jackson had won the most, by a fairly comfortable margin, but through a deal that came to be known as the “Corrupt Bargain,” he was denied the presidency in favor of Adams. Jackson swore revenge. He eventually got it, but paid a horrible price.

The deeply personal attacks reached depths that have never quite been matched (though many have tried.)

Adams, the sitting president, is accused of pimping for the czar or Russia, among other things:

• John Quincy Adams served as ambassador to Russia from 1809-1814. One of Adams’s chambermaids, a young woman, had expressed a desire to meet the czar. The czar agreed to allow Adams to bring her to his court, where they engaged in a very short, very mundane and very public conversation. Somehow, Jackson’s supporters twisted this event into a story involving Adams “procuring prostitutes for the czar.”

• Adams was accused of transforming the White House into a “gambling den” because he installed a pool table. Then some more creative mudslingers declared that the pool table had been purchased with government money, allowing Adams to wager the “public treasury” on games of billiards. (Adams did purchase and install the pool table, but with his own money and by all accounts he had no time ever use it.)

• Adams was called an aristocrat, and was accused of spying for Europe with the intent of introducing monarchy in America. Never mind that during the four years he served as president, or at any point in his life did he ever even hint at desiring a monarchy.

• Adams’s father, the recently deceased former president John Adams, was called “the worst president…ever” and a “traitor” by Jackson’s supporters. It was claimed that the younger Adams was “unfit to carry his father’s water.” Adams was so offended by the insults to his dead father that he virtually ceased all campaigning.

Jackson was called a murderer, and his wife and mother were both disparaged:

• Jackson was accused of being a murderer. He had indeed shot and killed a man in a duel in 1806, but that was not the source of the insult. Instead, it was for the execution of soldiers for desertion that served under him during the War of 1812. Handbills were circulated featuring six coffins, one for each soldier executed.

• Jackson’s mother was called "a common prostitute, brought to this country by the British soldiers," after whose service she "married a MULATTO MAN, with whom she had several children of which number General JACKSON IS ONE!!!"

• Jackson’s wife, Rachel, was called a “bigamist” because of a previous marriage, a “whore” and in the most childish insult of all, fat. Jackson loved his wife dearly, and was deeply affected by the insults. Rachel was affected too, so much so that when she suffered a heart attack and died shortly after her husband’s triumph in the election. Jackson remarked, “In the presence of this dear saint[Rachel], I can and do forgive all my enemies. But those vile wretches who have slandered her must look to God for mercy.”

Further reading:
Andrew Jackson, Portrait of a President

August 23, 2016


We're excited to have made the Daily Record today - a story about our New York Library Association award for the NYCRR digitization project is on page seven.

Also in the paper today is a nice selection of photos from Friday's reception in Buffalo for the three new Appellate Division Fourth Department Associate Justices. It appears to have been quite the event, with attendees including Court of Appeals Justice Eugene F. Pigott, Jr., retired AD 4 Justice Jerome Gorski, past and present NYSBA presidents, and a frequent library patron or two!

July 26, 2016

We won an award!

The library’s project to digitize the NYCRR has won a Notable New York Documents award from the New York Library Association! NYLA Chair Rosemary LaSala states that these awards "honor outstanding information products by state and local government units in New York [and] ... recognize the commitment of government agencies to making information available to the public."

We and our partners in the undertaking, the Charles B. Sears Law Library at the University of Buffalo Law School and the State Supreme Court Law Library in Buffalo, have been invited to speak about the digital archive at NYLA’s annual conference this fall.

Fun facts: NYLA, founded in 1890, was the first statewide library organization in the United States; one of its founding members was Melville Dewey (as in Dewey Decimal System), who was NY State Librarian at the time.

June 28, 2016

painting of Ali by pop artist John Stango
By John Stango, CC BY-SA 3.0
The dedication in this book reads: “To all those with the courage to take a stand.” For Muhammad Ali in 1966, that stand was his refusal to be drafted into the Army to fight what he considered an unjust war in Vietnam. Ali’s refusal was based on religious grounds; he repeatedly stated that, as a Muslim, he was not to take part in any wars “unless declared by Allah or The Messenger.” This book, originally published in 2000, takes an in-depth look at the five-year legal battle which ensued, resulting in Ali being stripped of his titles and banned from the sport during the peak of his boxing career. While his case wound its way through the legal system on its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, Ali endured illegal wiretapping and surveillance by the FBI, continued outright racism, death threats, and nearly universal condemnation in the media. However, in 1971 the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Ali, relying on a delicate legal theory which would make any litigator proud. The “behind the scenes” story of the Supreme Court’s deliberations on this case are as compelling as the man whose freedom was at stake, and were the focus of the 2013 HBO film of the same name. Both this book, and the HBO film, come highly recommended for anyone interested in this turbulent period of our history.

Originally appeared in our newsletter of November 2014

June 6, 2016

2016 Jazz Festival parking & street closings advisory

Tents will be set up in two parking lots close to the library - AllPro Parking at 86 Gibbs Street and Regents Park Station at 61 East Avenue. See our Transit & Parking page  for alternatives.
Street Closings
Gibbs St. (from East Ave. to E. Main)
Monday, June 20 (Midnight) to Monday, July 4 (Midnight)
Chestnut St. (from East Ave. to E. Main)
Friday, June 24 (6AM) to Sunday, June 26 (2AM)
Friday, July 1 (6AM) to Sunday, July 3 (2AM)
East Ave. (from E. Main to Scio) & Chestnut (from Broad to East Ave.)
Friday, June 24 (5PM-Midnight)
Saturday, June 25 (5PM-Midnight)
Friday, July 1 (5PM-Midnight)
Saturday, July 2 (5PM-Midnight)
Main St. (from Gibbs to Chestnut, not including Gibbs or Chestnut)
Friday, June 24 to Saturday, July 2 (5PM-Midnight)

May 31, 2016

Supreme Court Style Guide

Amongst the responsibilities of the library is purchasing reference materials for courthouse staff. When we received a request "from upstairs" for The Supreme Court's Style Guide last month, we also ordered a copy for the library. Intended as an internal document, the guide became available to the public after an attorney who practices before the Court found it in the Court's library and made a copy, to which he added notes. A lively summary of the guide appears on Lawyerist as The Secret Style Guide the Supreme Court Doesn’t Want You to Read.

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." Update 9/26/16: Vive has closed.

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 .

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
• Special Kaye, Judge Judith S. Kaye, by Jeffrey Toobin. New Yorker, dated December 15, 2008. Information downloaded on February 12, 2016 from
• Jewish Women’s Archive: Sharing Stories Inspiring Change – Encyclopedia. Information downloaded on February 10, 2016 from
• Historical Society of the New York Courts entry on Judith Smith Kaye. Information downloaded on February 10, 2016 from
• New York’s New Abolitionists: Who are they? Information downloaded on February 10, 2016 from

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

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.