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Patrick M. Connors, a professor at Albany Law School, discusses civil procedure decisions handed down by the New York Court of Appeals during its 2013-2014 term, including a case that tackles the issue of whether something more than mere relevance is required for disclosure from a nonparty.
Paul Shechtman, a partner at Zuckerman Spaeder, writes about noteworthy decisions that stood out among the 98 criminal cases the court decided during the 2013-2014 term, including a Second Amendment challenge to a gun conviction.
Evan H. Krinick, managing partner of Rivkin Radler in Uniondale, writes: This past term, the court issued nine significant insurance law decisions, including one for which it heard reargument and vacated a unanimous—and highly controversial—ruling that it had issued near the end of its 2012-2013 term.
Jeffrey S. Lichtman and Richard A. Menchini, partners at O’Hare Parnagian, write: Over the past year, the New York Court of Appeals has handed down three decisions that provide clear and broadly applicable interpretation of both statutory rules and common law principles in tort cases, including whether New York recognizes medical monitoring as an independent cause of action or as an element of damages.
Joseph P. Sullivan, of counsel to Holland & Knight and a former Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, in New York, writes: Appellate advocacy is an art, not shared by every lawyer solely as a result of legal training or even practical legal experience. Effective appellate advocacy is a specialty, the key to which, as in every aspect of the law, is thorough preparation.
Scott Chesin and Michael Rayfield of Mayer Brown in New York write: An effective appeal begins at trial. In virtually every appellate court in this country, the general rule is that an issue must first be presented to the trial court before it can be raised on appeal. New York is no exception.
Donna Aldea, a partner at Barket, Marion, Epstein & Kearon, writes: While perhaps counterintuitive, the way to win an argument is not to deliver a pre-prepared speech, harping on the strongest points of your case, which have already been fully briefed and have probably already persuaded the court, but to use every minute of your precious argument time to confront the difficult issues head on.
Harry Steinberg, a member of Lester Schwab Katz & Dwyer, writes: It is always good advice to think long and hard about the possible consequences of perfecting an appeal. One of the consequences of not carefully considering whether the proposed appellant has been aggrieved—and an embarrassing consequence at that—is dismissal of the complaint on a purely procedural ground.
Gregory Silbert and Kami Lizarraga of Weil, Gotshal & Manges write: Until the mandate issues, the appellate court’s decision is non-final and you rely on it at your own risk. Understanding the mandate can be critical for determining when an appellate court has jurisdiction and whether an appellate decision supplies the law of the case.