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Albany, N.Y., came to a virtual standstill Tuesday with all government buildings in a state of lockdown. Gov. George Pataki closed all state offices, including the Capitol. The federal courthouse and federal office building were closed and under guard. Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye closed all court facilities and postponed the four cases the Court of Appeals was scheduled to hear Tuesday. To inquire about court openings: call the State Court hotline at: (800) 268-7869 or (888) 268-7869. By late in the afternoon, it was decided that the court would open today, but would hear only two cases: People v. Enrique Rojas, 132, which had been scheduled for Tuesday; and Reiss v. Financial Performance Corp., 135, which was calendared for today. Although the criminal appeal involves attorneys from Syracuse, both attorneys scheduled to argue Reiss v. Financial Performance Corp. are from Manhattan: Joseph M. Weitzman for Reiss and Howard Grun of Kaufman Friedman Plotnicki & Grun for Financial Performance. Other cases scheduled for argument Tuesday and today will be placed on the calendar for October, according to court spokesman Gary Spencer. All personnel assigned to the New York State Court of Claims, which is housed in 5 World Trade Center, apparently escaped unharmed, Office of Court Administration spokesman David Bookstaver reported late Tuesday afternoon. The state attorney general’s office earlier in the day had expressed concern about the safety of its lawyers with court dates at the Court of Claims. At least three Court of Claims judges had chambers in the World Trade Center: S. Michael Nadel; Alan C. Marin; and Alton R. Waldon, Jr. Justice Stephen W. Fisher, administrative judge of the supreme court in Queens, said that he ordered the three supreme court buildings in Queens closed late in the morning after being warned by a police officer that a plane had been spotted heading in the direction of the courthouse at 88-11 Sutphin Boulevard. Fisher added that shortly after the news of the attack broke, he ordered all jurors not assigned to cases to be sent home. A short time later, after getting a phone call from the city’s Department of Correction that it wanted to return any inmates at the courthouses to the prison on Rikers Island, Fisher ordered staffing of the courthouses reduced to a skeleton crew and stopped all trials so that jurors could go home. Michael B. Mushlin, an evidence professor at Pace University School of Law who had jury duty at the 71 Thomas Street courthouse in Manhattan, reported that court officers were sending jurors home when he arrived shortly after 9:30 a.m. The civil courthouse on Thomas Street is about eight blocks north of the World Trade Center.

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