Ciparick also penned 62 dissents and seven concurring opinions while on the court.
'A Superb Talent'
Ciparick, whose parents were natives of Puerto Rico, was born in New York City, grew up in Washington Heights and attended Hunter College and St. John's University School of Law. She taught social studies and physical education at a junior high school while working her way through law school.
She said she did not come to the Court of Appeals feeling bound to rule a certain way because she was the first Hispanic on the court, or its second woman.
Mario Cuomo, who had earlier appointed the first woman, Kaye, to the court, noted as much at the news conference on Dec. 1, 1993, when he introduced Ciparick.
"If you made someone a judge or elected them a governor because of their ethnicity, you'd be doing the wrong thing," said Cuomo, a former law clerk on the court. "If you are able at one and the same time to select a superb talent, a truly competent person, and make the point that sex, culture and ethnicity will not stand in the way of a competent person, then that is a glorious opportunity, and I'm glad we had it with Judge Ciparick."
Ciparick recalled nearly two decades later, "I thanked governor Cuomo for finally giving the Hispanic community a seat at the judicial table. Maybe I brought a different perspective [being the first Hispanic on the court], but I didn't feel different than anybody else because of my ethnicity or gender. You bring your own experiences, your lifetime experiences, whether they are your familial experiences or your professional experiences or whatever. You don't leave that at the door."