LII Collection: New York Court of Appeals

[for more on authoring with LII collections and materials, see our descriptions of building blocks for authors]


While in most states the highest court is called the Supreme Court, New York's highest court is its Court of Appeals.
The statutory provisions governing the court's jurisdiction and procedure are found in Article 56 of the New York Civil Practice Law & Rules. Seven judges sit on the Court. For biographical information on and pictures of the current members of the Court click here.

The Court's address is: 20 Eagle St., Albany, NY 12207-1095. Phone: (518) 455-7700.

Extent and currency:

The LII offers full text of all New York Court of Appeals decisions since 1990. The LIIBULLETIN-NY is a related collection of student-written casenotes on important decisions of the court which was initiated two years ago.

Decisions of the court are available within a week of their being handed down, or sooner. We deviate from this somewhat during the summer months.

Source information:

Digital text retrieved from the Court's BBS and archived with interim citations by J. Richardson Lippert, II, of
Franklinville, NY.

Direct (pinpoint) linking to particular decisions:

URLS are based on the NY2d cite for the case, eg. becomes Cases handed down during the current term (and therefore lacking cites to the official reporter) follow a system of interim cites which we assign based on the order in which the cases are received.  There are two ways in which you might discover the URL.  The first is simply to search the collection for the title. The second is to check and see if there is an LIIBULLETIN-NY commentary on the case; if there is, it will contain a link to the full text of the decision.

URLs based on interim cites are changed to the official cites each summer.  We are currently (June 1997) planning to add an engine which will allow the two to interoperate.


Location of search form:
Fields or metadata you can search or otherwise use:
The MUSCAT search engine we use does not use fielded data, except for weighting purposes (it assigns greater weight to data inside tags). We do not currently add any metadata to decision headers, but by Fall 1997 plan to include party names, citations where applicable, dates of decision, lawyers appearing, and  names of opinion authors.
Captive searches:
Full text of the New York Court of Appeals decisions can be searched by appending your search terms to the URL
For example, a captive search for divorce decisions might look like
<A HREF="">Look here for divorce decisions</A>
and one for child custody might be
<A HREF="">Child custody decisions are here</A>
Note that multiple terms are separated by plus signs. More help on captive searches is available on this site.

Interesting uses of this collection:

LIIBULLETIN-NY is a casenoting project in which students prepare detailed analyses of Court of Appeals decisions within a week of their release by the court; the analyses are then distributed to a large group of subscribers (more, as of this writing, than subscribe to any one of our print journals) via e-mail.  The framework for the bulletin could be applied to the work of other courts, or to a topically-focussed (eg. copyright or admiralty) selection from the decisions of multiple courts.
As part of a course in Policy Making in Natural Resource Agencies at UC Davis
Professor Geoffrey Wandesford-Smith describes one part of his course as "an exploration of judicial review, which will take students into the library and onto the network in search of legal resources, like those indexed at Cornell's Legal Information Institute. Analytical considerations having to do with internal controls on agencies that arise from management practices, bureaucratic culture, and professional norms will be woven through all four of the projects.
As a resource for the welding and steel fabrication industry.
This site is a little short on explanation, but they apparently feel that Rothstein v. Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. is a must-read for welders and steel fabricators. Interestingly, we found this one worthy of commentary for other reasons entirely.

Conditions for use:

Copyright in the underlying marked up html files which implement the hypertext features of these World Wide Web
tables of decisions is held by Cornell University. Distribution of this version on the Internet, does not constitute consent to any use of the underlying hypertext markup for commercial redistribution either via the Internet or using some other form of hypertext distribution.