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ALBANY � The Court of Appeals yesterday affirmed a conviction where the defendant made incriminating statements prior to receiving Miranda warnings and then made similar admissions after he was apprised of his rights. People v. Paulman , 99, a case that arose from the Finger Lakes, presented the Court with an opportunity to apply the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2003 decision in Missouri v. Seibert, 124 S.Ct. 2601. In Seibert, the Supreme Court suppressed a confession, even though Miranda warnings had been given. It sought to discourage instances where authorities routinely question suspects without advising them of their Miranda rights, persisting until they confess and then essentially staging a post-Miranda re-enactment of the confession. There was no evidence that police involved in the Paulmancase followed such a protocol on a regular basis. In Albany, the judges said in a unanimous opinion by Judge Victoria A. Graffeo that the New York case differed substantially from Seibert. It noted that in Paulman, there was no evidence that “the unwarned statement [was] elicited through a process of systematic, exhaustive or psychologically coercive questioning.” It also noted the “the break in questioning, change in location and police personnel, and distinctions in the nature of the interrogation” in finding that Seibertis not controlling. The case centered on Kenneth Paulman, who was charged in Canandaigua, Ontario County, with molesting four girls between the ages of 4 and 14. At the time, Mr. Paulman was 18. Mr. Paulman made incriminating statements at four distinct points of his interrogation. He made a statement at his home, before he had been arrested or was in custody. After agreeing to accompany the State Police back to their barracks, Mr. Paulman agreed to “start jotting down” what he had said earlier. Following a 30-minute break during which the suspect was provided food and drink, Mr. Paulman was advised of his Miranda rights. He then made an oral admission, followed by another reading of his Miranda rights and a finally a written admission. A trial court declined to suppress any of the statements and the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, upheld that ruling with respect to three of the statements. It held that the second statement was improper, but found the error harmless in light of the other three confessions. The Court of Appeals agreed. “We conclude as a matter of law that the Mirandized statements in this case were admissible under state and federal constitutional standards,” Judge Graffeo wrote. Ontario County Assistant District Attorney James B. Ritts appeared for the prosecution. John E. Tyo of Zimmerman & Tyo in Shortsville, Ontario County, argued for Mr. Paulman. Other Rulings Also yesterday, the Court: � Reversed a robbery conviction where the trial court refused to permit testimony by a witness expected to impugn the credibility of other witnesses. In People v. Hanley , 112, the Court reiterated that “a party may introduce reputation testimony as a matter of right if the proper foundation has been established.” The Hanleycase arose out of Manhattan, where the defendant was accused of two robberies at Wilson’s Bar on 23rd Street. In both incidents, it was alleged that Thomas Hanley robbed bartenders after placing his hand in his jacket to imply he had a gun. Both bartenders testified against Mr. Hanley and he was convicted and sentenced to a 10-year prison term. At issue on appeal was whether the court had properly refused to permit Mr. Hanley to call another bartender who was expected to testify that the two robbery victims had bad reputations in the community and were considered dishonest. The First Department upheld the conviction with a 3-2 vote, but yesterday the Court of Appeals unanimously reversed in an opinion by Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick. “Defendant had a right to present to the jury a witness with personal knowledge of complainants’ bad reputation for truthfulness and veracity in the community,” Judge Ciparick wrote. She said the trial court’s refusal to allow testimony indicating that the key witnesses “were known in the community to be dishonest was highly prejudicial to defendant as it deprived the jury of a tool to properly assess the credibility of the prosecution’s two key witnesses.” Gary T. Kelder of Manlius, N. Y., appeared for the defendant. Manhattan Assistant District Attorney Sandra E. Cavazos argued for the prosecution. � Held in an insurance indemnification case that had split the lower courts that the National Union Fire Insurance Co. is not obligated to its insured and a vendor for an accident that occurred in a Philadelphia warehouse. Raymond Corporation v. Nation Union Fire Insurance Co. , 95, is rooted in a May 1994 accident. Raymond Corporation manufactures sideloaders, a type of forklift that runs on rails. In 1994, one of its vendors, Arbor Handling Services Inc., agreed to sell two sideloaders to Joseph T. Ryerson & Son, which owns a warehouse in Philadelphia. While awaiting delivery of the new sideloaders, Arbor agreed to provide support for a used Raymond machine that Ryerson had rented from a company in Chicago. The technicians provided by Arbor misassembled the machine and an employee was seriously injured in an accident. A personal injury suit was settled for $6 million, half of which was covered by Arbor’s primary carrier. At issue was whether the vendor’s endorsement made Arbor an additional insured, entitling it to coverage from Raymond’s primary insurer, the National Union First Insurance Co. The Appellate Division, Third Department, overturned the trial court in Chenango County and found that Arbor was an additional insured. Its decision relied on a provision in which the insurer agreed to cover damages “arising out of” the use of Raymond’s products. Yesterday, the Court of Appeals reversed in a 4-3 decision. In the prevailing opinion by Judge Susan Phillips Read, the Court said the policy National issued to Raymond did not encompass personal injury claims resulting from the vendor’s independent negligence. She said exclusions in the policy make that clear. “Our interpretation of the endorsement follows its language and comports with the traditional majority view, the origins of the vendor’s endorsement as an outgrowth of products liability law, and common and economic sense,” Judge Read said in an opinion joined by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Judges George Bundy Smith and Ciparick. Judge Robert Smith dissented along with Judges Albert M. Rosenblatt and Graffeo. “I find the majority’s attempts to give these exclusions some meaning that is consistent with its interpretation of the endorsement completely unpersuasive,” Judge Robert Smith wrote. “It is far-fetched to think that [the exclusion] was intended to cover the very rare case where a manufacturer would not be liable for a product defect but for its assumption of liability in a contract; I am impressed that the majority can come up with a single example � an agreement to waive workers’ compensation protection � but I cannot believe that is what the author of the endorsement had in mind.” Andrew Zajac of Fiedelman & McGaw in Jericho represented the insurance company. Michael J. Hutter of Powers & Santola in Albany argued for Raymond and Arbor. � Reversed an Appellate Division, Fourth Department, ruling involving eight scientists at the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo who claimed they were terminated in violation of the seniority provisions of Civil Service Law �80. The Fourth Department had ordered reinstatement, plus prejudgment interest at a rate of 9 percent per annum. The Court of Appeals, in a unanimous opinion by Judge Robert Smith, said in Bello v. Roswell Park Cancer Institute , 118, that since the statute makes no mention of interest, the Legislature did not intend to provide interest. “Petitioners argue that it is unfair to deny them interest on money that has been wrongly withheld from them,” Judge Robert Smith wrote. “There is force in this argument, but we may not rewrite the statute to achieve more ‘fairness’ than the Legislature chose to enact.” Assistant Solicitor General Robert M. Goldfarb appeared for the state and Josephine A. Greco of Offermann Cassano Greco Slisz & Adams in Buffalo for the scientists. � John Caher can be reached at [email protected] .

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