The Fund for Modern Courts and Albany Law School will host the ninth Judge Hugh R. Jones Memorial Lecture on Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2011, at 5:30 p.m. in the law school's Dean Alexander Moot Courtroom.
The Honorable Sol Wachtler, Chief Judge (retired) of the State of New York, will deliver this year’s address, "Federalism is Alive and Well and Living in New York."
Named for former New York State Court of Appeals Associate Judge Hugh R. Jones, the lecture series examines important themes in the justice system through research and writing by an experienced and well-respected jurist.
For the 2011 Lecture, Chief Judge Wachtler will examine New York state's certification law, which enables the U.S. Supreme Court, federal courts of appeals and high courts of other states to send unsettled questions of New York law to the Court of Appeals for authoritative resolution, thereby eliminating the need for those courts to speculate over the content of New York law necessary to resolve a pending case.
The Hon. Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the State of New York, will introduce Chief Judge Wachtler. The program will begin with welcoming remarks by Connie Mayer, Albany Law's interim president and dean, and Milton Williams, Jr., chair of the Fund for Modern Courts. The lecture will be followed by a reception in the law school's East Foyer.
The Honorable Sol Wachtler was appointed to the New York State Supreme Court in 1968 and elected to the New York State Court of Appeals in 1972. In 1985, he was appointed Chief Judge of the State of New York and the Court of Appeals, positions in which he served until 1993.
He is currently an adjunct professor of law at the Touro Law Center, where he teaches Constitutional Law, and he is the chief executive of Comprehensive Alternative Dispute Resolution Enterprise (CADRE), an alternative dispute resolution firm based in Great Neck.
While spending six years as Chief Judge for the New York State Court of Appeals, he oversaw the entire New York state judiciary system. Undertaking the task of rebuilding the infrastructure of the courts, he started initiatives designed to improve justice for minorities and women. Some of his other achievements included founding the first commercial and community courts in the state and creating the New York state and federal judicial councils.
The lecture’s title honoree, Judge Hugh R. Jones, was a leader in efforts to ensure fair and efficient courts in New York state. He served as chair of the Commission on Judicial Nomination; chair of the Temporary State Commission on Executive, Legislative and Judicial Compensation; chair of the Select Committee on Correctional Institutions and Programs; president of the New York State Bar Association; and director of the Committee for Modern Courts. Judge Jones also authored a leading article on judging, "Cogitations on Appellate Decision-Making." The previous Jones Memorial Lectures have been presented by eight distinguished former Associate Judges of the New York State Court of Appeals: Hon. Richard C. Wesley; Hon. Howard A. Levine; Hon. Stewart F. Hancock, Jr.; Hon. Richard D. Simons; Hon. Joseph W. Bellacosa; Hon. George Bundy Smith; Hon. Albert M. Rosenblatt; and Hon. Richard J. Bartlett, a former Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York.
This program offers one Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit of Professional Practice. To register, contact The Fund for Modern Courts at 212-541-6741 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fund for Modern Courts is an independent nonpartisan statewide court reform organization committed to improving the court system for all New Yorkers. Modern Courts supports a judiciary that provides for the fair administration of justice, equal access to the courts, and that is independent, highly qualified and diverse. By research, public outreach, education and lobbying efforts, Modern Courts seeks to advance these goals and to ensure that the public confidence in the judiciary remains strong.