Albany Law School will be closed today until 4pm due to the weather.
The Fund for Modern Courts and Albany Law School will host the 14th Judge Hugh R. Jones Memorial Lecture on Wednesday, March 29 at 6:00 p.m. at Albany Law School (1928 Building), in the Dean Alexander Moot Courtroom, 80 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, New York.
The Honorable Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of the State of New York (Ret.), will deliver this year’s address entitled, "Justice System Reform as an Engine for Social Change."
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.
The Honorable Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the State of New York, will introduce Chief Judge Lippman. The program will begin with welcoming remarks by Professor Michael J. Hutter of Albany Law School, and Barry A. Bohrer, Chair of the Fund for Modern Courts. The lecture will be followed by a reception in the East Foyer of Albany Law School.
The Honorable Jonathan Lippman, former Chief Judge of New York and Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, is Of Counsel in the New York office of Latham & Watkins and a member of the firm’s Litigation & Trial Department. He provides strategic counsel to clients on New York Law and appellate matters nationwide, and is a leader of the firm’s pro bono practice.
Judge Lippman served as Chief Judge of the State of New York and Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals from February 2009 through December 2015. During his tenure on the Court of Appeals, Chief Judge Lippman authored major decisions addressing constitutional, statutory, and common law issues shaping the law of New York, the contours of state government, and the lives of all New Yorkers.
As the state's Chief Judge, he championed equal access to justice issues in New York and around the country and took the leadership role in identifying permanent funding streams for civil legal services. Chief Judge Lippman made New York the first state in the country to require 50 hours of law-related pro bono work prior to bar admission and established the Pro Bono Scholars and Poverty Justice Solutions Programs to help alleviate the crisis in civil legal services. He strengthened the state's indigent criminal defense system, addressed the systemic causes of wrongful convictions, created Human Trafficking Courts across New York State, and led efforts to reform New York’s juvenile justice, bail and pre-trial justice systems. Judge Lippman championed the state’s commercial division as a world class venue for business litigation, reformed the state’s attorney disciplinary system, adopted the Uniform Bar Exam, and succeeded in the creation of a statewide salary commission for judges.
Chief Judge Lippman has served at all levels of the New York State Court system in a career spanning more than four decades, including service as a staff attorney, administrator and judge. From January 1996 to May 2007, he served as the longest-tenured Chief Administrative Judge in state history, playing a central role in many far-reaching reforms of New York’s judiciary and its legal profession. From May 2007 to 2009, Judge Lippman served as the Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Department, dramatically reducing the court's pending backlogs.
In 2008, Judge Lippman received the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, presented each year by the nation’s Chief Justice to a state court judge who exemplifies the highest level of judicial excellence, integrity, fairness, and professional ethics. Judge Lippman was selected for his “unparalleled ability to promote and achieve reform in the state courts. His leadership in the New York courts contributed to numerous improvements in that state’s justice system and served as an example for courts across the country.” In 2013, the American Lawyer named Chief Judge Lippman one of the Top 50 Innovators in Big Law in the Last 50 Years. A New York Times article in December 2015, stated that Judge Lippman had left an altered legal profession in New York by using “his authority to promote an ideal of lawyering in public service.”
This past summer, Judge Lippman received the American Bar Association’s John Marshall Award, an award whose prior recipients include Supreme Court Justices Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor. Judge Lippman presently serves as the Chair of the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, a 27 person blue ribbon commission, formed to examine the future of the Riker’s Island jail facilities in the context of systemic criminal justice reform.
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 two former Chief Judges of the State of New York — the Honorable Judith S. Kaye and the Honorable Sol Wachtler, and nine 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, Hon. Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick and Hon. Robert S. Smith; Hon. Richard J. Bartlett, a former Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York; and Hon. Randall T. Eng, Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department.
This program offers one Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit of Professional Practice.
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.