Adopted September 15, 2020
The mission of the Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction is to:
- Engage attorneys, members of the judiciary, judicial staff, academics, and other interested parties in discussion of current issues in appellate practice;
- Report on the need for statutory and procedural rule changes to improve the administration of justice in state and federal appellate courts located in New York;
- Educate attorneys and pro se litigants about the subject of appellate practice by producing educational materials and sponsoring programs to enhance their skills in perfecting, briefing, and arguing appeals, and engaging in appellate motion practice; and,
- Act to promote access to appellate courts and assist the administration of justice by, for example, supporting programs to aid indigent litigants with pending appeals.
The committee’s newsletter, Leaveworthy, addresses significant appellate practice decisions, both state and federal, that: 1) clarify the law, especially if lower courts had inconsistent rulings or interpretations on the issue, and 2) provide illumination on useful appellate practice techniques. We also plan to cover news about procedures, personnel and rules in the appellate courts.
In March 2014, the committee produced a detailed report examining the rules of practice of the four Departments of the Appellate Division and made recommendations about the extent to which they can be made uniform for the benefit of both the courts and practicing attorneys.
The committee’s report recommending changes in the procedures for criminal leave applications to the New York Court of Appeals was adopted by the Association’s Executive Committee in November 2009.
The committee’s September 3, 2010 report discusses its views on, and the pros and cons of, an electronic filing system in the New York Court of Appeals.
Moot Court Program Launched for Court of Appeals Cases
The Committee offers a Moot Court Program to counsel with cases in the New York Court of Appeals. Any attorney with a case in the Court of Appeals can apply and request that the Program “moot” his/her argument before a panel of 3-7 “judges,” made up of experienced appellate practitioners and former judges. Following the simulated argument by counsel, the judges will provide the attorney with a candid evaluation, including the strengths and weaknesses of counsel’s presentation and suggestions for improvement.
This program will be a particular benefit to solo practitioners and counsel from small firms who may not have experience in the Court of Appeals or the opportunity to moot an appeal.
For further details, and application forms to request a moot argument and to volunteer as a judge, click here.
New York’s Appellate Terms: A Manual for Practitioners
The New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction is devoted to improving the practice of appellate law and appellate court operations in the State of New York and developed this Manual in mid-2014 as part of that mission. This Manual provides an overview of appeals in the Appellate Terms in the Appellate Division, First and Second Judicial Departments. We hope it will be a helpful resource for practitioners in the Appellate Terms. Click here to view and download this Manual.
Pro Bono Appeals Program Expanded
The committee provides pro bono representation in selected appeals to the Third and Fourth Departments. Previously, the program focused on family law appeals, but now the following topics are covered: education, family stability, health, housing, personal safety, public benefits, and subsistence income. If you are interested in learning more about our program, please click here for a program brochure. For an application, please click here.
Conflicts & Differences Among the Appellate Divisions/Split Decisions