The transition to a new chief judge for the first time in more than 15 years defined the New York Court of Appeals in its 2008-09 term, perhaps as much as its rulings did.

The court made significant decisions striking down the constitutionality of the warrantless use of global positioning devices to track criminal suspects and of a Rochester curfew on youths under age 17. Judges also upheld the criminal convictions of L. Dennis Kozlowski and Mark J. Swartz for looting Tyco International.

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