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Appellate Court to Try Cases at UB Law School

By Ilene Fleischmann

Release Date: March 24, 2009

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The public will get an opportunity to watch one of the state's most influential courts in action next month when the University at Buffalo Law School hosts a full day of appellate judge arguments beginning 10 a.m. on April 9 in the Francis M. Letro Courtroom in John Lord O'Brian Hall on UB's North (Amherst) Campus.

A panel of five appellate judges will listen to oral arguments from some of the area's most accomplished attorneys, as well as conduct a typical court workday. UB Law School students, as well as others interested in how the Appellate Court conducts business, are invited.

"We were very pleased to accept the invitation extended to us by Law School Dean Mutua to conduct a session of our court at UB Law School," said Presiding Justice Henry J. Scudder of the Appellate Division, Supreme Court, Fourth Judicial Department. "We hope the students benefit from the opportunity to observe oral arguments and see the court at work."

Scudder will head a panel that will include Justices Salvatore R. Martoche, Eugene M. Fahey, Erin M. Peradotto and Samuel L. Green. Scudder credits Peradotto for coordinating the arrangements for the session with the law school.

Law School Dean Makua Mutua said he hoped this Appellate open house would be one of many opportunities for UB to host this kind of program for his students and the public.

"It is a chance for our students and faculty to observe first-hand the complex and varied jurisprudence of the Appellate Division," Mutua said.

The Appellate Division is New York State's intermediate level appellate court. The State of New York is divided into four judicial departments, and each department exercises its jurisdiction in a separate geographic region. The Fourth Department is comprised of 22 counties in Western and Central New York. The court hears civil appeals from the Supreme Court, Surrogates Court, Family Court and Court of Claims, and criminal appeals from the Supreme Court and County Court in those 22 counties.

The Appellate Division, Fourth Department is comprised of 11 justices designated by the governor from among the justices of the Supreme Court. The Appellate Division courthouse is located in Rochester.