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gold scales law books and a gavelThe New York Law Journal’s article entitled Are Times Changing For Old-School Town and Village Courts In New York? is rhetorical. It answers the question by telling us that there is no change in that out of the 1,850 town and village judges statewide, 1,110 are not lawyers.

Colonial justice where judges had to “ride the circuit” on horseback prior to our founding as a nation in 1787 and thereafter for a hundred years, has largely been done away with everywhere except in upstate New York where the New York State Magistrates’ Association continues to cling to that legal, idiosyncratic concept of non-lawyers as judges. With over 100,000 attorneys in New York State, the notion that there is a shortage of lawyers to serve as judges in these rural courts is outmoded to say the very least.

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