Faculty Information

  • Biography

    B.S., Union College
    J.D., Brooklyn Law School
    M.A.P.A., University of Virginia
    Ph.D., University of Virginia

    Clerked for Judges Matthew J. Jasen and Stewart F. Hancock Jr. of the New York State Court of Appeals. Held U.S. Supreme Court Judicial Fellowship. Served in U.S. Army Military Intelligence and Judge Advocate General's Corps. Joined Albany Law School in 1990. Has taught as a visiting professor at Syracuse University College of Law and the Maxwell School of Public Affairs. Author of "Streams of Tendency" on the New York Court:Ideological and Jurisprudential Patterns in the Judges' Voting and Opinions (W.S. Hein). Published recent articles on judicial decision making, state constitutional law, criminal and civil rights, legal ethics, and New York Court of Appeals. Founding editor-in-chief, Government, Law, & Policy Journal (New York State Bar Association). Editor, State Constitutional Commentary and director, The Center for Judicial Process.

    Prof. Bonventre is also the author of New York Court Watcher, a blog devoted to commentary on developments at the Supreme Court, the New York Court of Appeals, and other state supreme courts nationwide. And he is the founder and Director of the Center for Judicial Process.

    Many of his publications can be accessed at SSRN.​

  • Center for Judicial Process

    ​The Center for Judicial Process is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization devoted to the interdisciplinary research and study of courts and judges, including decision-making and voting, the judicial role and selection, and other facets of the judicial process. The Center's mission is to encourage such research and study and to provide a forum for publication.

    The organization of the Center, as well as the research and study undertaken and published, is intended to be primarily the work of students. It is operated by a staff of students of Albany Law School, under the direction of Albany Law School Professor Vincent Martin Bonventre. The Center, however, welcomes law students and law-related graduate students nationwide to participate in the work of the Center and to contribute research and study of the judicial process for publication.

    Ultimately, the Center's aim in encouraging and publishing judicial research and studies is to serve as a valuable educational resource for the academic community, public officials, journalists, and the public at large.

  • Recent Presentations

    Taylor Law Conference [PPT], 5/16/08: "Public Sector Labor Law in the Kaye Court"

    Rockefeller Institute [PPT], 10/15/07: "NY Court of Appeals: The Judges, Selection & Making of the Current Court"

    NYS Legislative CLE [PPT], 12/14/06: "The Pataki Court"

    Rockefeller Institute [PPT], 11/06: "The Court of Appeals: 'Non-Political Merit' Appointment"

    New York Court of Appeals Criminal Law Update [PPT], 11/05

    The Cornell PowerPoint Presentation [PPT] -- i.e., The NYSBA Criminal Justice Section Fall Meeting at Cornell University, 11/08/03​

  • Selected Media Commentary

    New York Law Journal

    Defense Bar Considers Rosenblatt The 'Swing' Vote on Criminal Justice Issues By John Caher

    ....as the 69-year-old judge heads into his last year on the bench before mandatory retirement, there is a recognition in the defense community that with the increasingly polarized Court of Appeals...Judge Rosenblatt's vote is crucial....

    [T]he New York State Bar Association's Criminal Justice Section.... were joined by Albany Law School Professor Vincent M. Bonventre, who for the last 15 years has tracked the voting patterns of Court of Appeals judges.

    The professor's research, presented at the Bar Association event, validated statistically what other panelists noted anecdotally.

    Mr. Bonventre's study of voting patterns in 67 criminal cases over several years shows that:

    • Three of Republican Governor George E. Pataki's appointees - Judges Victoria A. Graffeo, Susan Phillips Read and Richard C. Wesley (now of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit) - have never taken a more pro-defendant position in a criminal case than the majority of the Court.
    • Judge Rosenblatt, also an appointee of Mr. Pataki, has never taken a more pro-prosecution position than the majority of the Court. In other words, he has never broken from a pro-defendant majority to join a dissent favoring the prosecution.
    • Two members of the Court - Judges George Bundy Smith (an appointee of Democratic Governor Mario M. Cuomo) and Robert S. Smith (an appointee of Mr. Pataki) - have parted with the majority at times to advance a pro-defendant position, and at times to argue for the prosecution.
    • Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick are voting for the defendant more frequently than they were a few years ago. Some commentators have suggested that the consistently conservative positions taken by Judges Graffeo, Read and Wesley have nudged the chief judge and Judge Ciparick back toward the left, where Mr. Bonventre's study shows they were before Mr. Pataki exerted his influence on the Court.

    "Wesley, Graffeo and Read never - not once - disagreed with a pro-prosecution position on the Court," Mr. Bonventre said in an interview last week. "They all have dissented, but every time it was to take a more pro-prosecution position. On the other hand, Rosenblatt never disagreed with a pro-defendant position of the Court. Not once. Every single time the Court decided in favor of the rights of the accused, Rosenblatt was with the Court. Every time he disagreed, he took a position more protective of the rights of the accused. I find that staggering."

    Still, Mr. Bonventre said, Judge Rosenblatt is hardly "the poster judge for the rights of the accused, like his predecessor," the late Vito J. Titone, who served from 1985 to 1998.

    "Titone was by far the most pro defendant, liberal judge on the Court," Mr. Bonventre said. "Rosenblatt is not that. His voting is not nearly as liberal as Titone's, but it is also nothing like the other Pataki appointees - Wesley, Graffeo and Read. He is the non Pataki judge."

    October 16, 2005
    Albany Times Union

    Packed dockets hinder justice - Watchdog group says Schenectady County needs 2nd county judge By ANNE MILLER

    The Schenectady County courthouse is overwhelmed. The caseload is so heavy that a statewide watchdog group has singled out the county as desperately in need of another full-time county judge. [But] Rensselaer County snagged an additional county judge in the last round of new judicial postings. The county has some need, but it's also home to the state Senate majority leader.

    "That's insane -- but that's politics," said professor Vincent Bonventre, of Albany Law School. "The politicians and parties are pretty jealous of their judgeships. The politicians and parties in other counties don't want to part with their judges. You end up having to move them around."

    In the late 1970s, the concept of moving judges to help in busy courts was hatched under Court of Appeals Chief Judge Lawrence H. Cooke, who desperately needed judges in New York City. The rural judges revolted, unwilling to forsake their quiet homes for a week in the Bronx courts....

    Rarely does the Legislature create new judgeships two years running...."To create a bunch of judgeships and come back again and create a bunch of other judgeships -- that's not likely," Bonventre said.

    July 08, 2005
    New York Law Journal

    Obituary: Judge Vito J. Titone Jr. By John Caher

    Vito J. Titone Jr. - a Staten Island judge who proudly carried the banner of liberalism in a long career that concluded with 13 years on the Court of Appeals - died Wednesday night, a day after his 76th birthday. He had long struggled with diabetes and related health ailments....

    Albany Law School Professor Vincent M. Bonventre, who clerked at the Court of Appeals during part of Judge Titone's tenure and has tracked the Court since, said Judge Titone "was the most reliable defender of constitutional rights against government abuse."

    Mr. Bonventre added that Judge Titone "really believed that the primary function of courts and judges is to stand between the government and the individual. He was the most loved and loveable figure in the courthouse."

    July 7, 2005
    The Associated Press / New York Newsday

    Former Court of Appeals Judge Vito Titone Dies

    Vito J. Titone, who served 13 years on the state's highest court and penned landmark decisions on issues ranging from child custody to police searches, has died at a nursing home in New York City. He was 76....

    Vincent Bonventre, a professor at Albany Law School, said Titone stood his ground against criticism that he was too liberal from politicians such as Gov. George Pataki and former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

    "He was just far and away the most reliable protector of constitutional rights [against] government abuse throughout his tenure on the court," Bonventre said. "Even when the court came under harsh criticism for being too liberal by politicians ... Judge Titone just dug his heels in and was steadfast. He really was remarkable."

    June 27, 2005
    The New York Times

    In Reversals, Questions for Ex-Judge Challenging Morgenthau By LESLIE EATON

    It was hardly an unusual moment in the career of Leslie Crocker Snyder, a New York State judge known for tough talk and long sentences, who is now running for Manhattan district attorney....Judge Snyder has historically had a very strong record of prevailing when her decisions have been appealed....[T]he Court of Appeals....which tends to focus on cases with broad legal applications, has upheld Ms. Synder in 7 out of the 11 appeals since 1988. "That's a pretty darn good record," said Vincent M. Bonventre, a professor at Albany Law School who studies the Court of Appeals.

  • Streams of Tendency

    Streams of Tendency, Hein Cite
    "Streams of Tendency" On the New York Court: Ideological and Jurisprudential Patterns In the Judges' Voting and Opinions (W.S. Hein, 2003)
    Title Page
    Table of Contents
    STREAMS OF TENDENCY ON THE NEW YORK COURT may be ordered directly from the publisher, W. S. Hein
    Order and Review/s


 Books Content Query



  • The Best of New York's Court of Appeals, New York Law Journal, October 2013

  • Toward the Lippman Court: Flux and Transition at New York’s Court of Appeals, 73 Albany Law Review 889 (2010)

  • The Fall of Free Exercise: From ‘No Law’ to Compelling Interests to Any Law Otherwise Valid, 70 Albany Law Review 1150 (2008)papers.cfm



  • Book Review, reviewing Bernard S. Meyer, Burton C. Agata and Seth H. Agata, THE HISTORY OF THE NEW YORK COURT OF APPEALS, 1932-2003, 49 American Journal of Legal History 497(2007)

  • Changing Roles: The Supreme Court and the State High Courts in Safeguarding Rights, 70 Albany Law Review 841 (2007)papers.cfm

  • Appellate Division on Appeal: The Justices' Rates of Agreement, Rejection, and Vindication by the Court of Appeals, 70 Albany Law Review 983 (2007) (with Jason A. Cherna and Jessica Blain-Lewis)Bonventre.Article.pdf

  • Judicial Activism, Judges' Speech, and Merit Selection: Conventional Wisdom and Nonsense, 68 Albany Law Review 557 (2005)papers.cfm

  • Judicial Politics? What is New?, The Christian Science Monitor, September 24, 2003, at 9

  • Richard C. Wesley: Voting and Opinion Patterns on the New York Court, 66 Albany Law Review 1065 (2003) (with Todd A. Ritschdorff and Erika L. Bergen)


  • Court of Appeals Update, 2000 & 2001: Conservative Voting, Narrow Rulings, 65 Albany Law Review 1085 (2002) (with Kelly M. Galligan)

  • Albany Law School on the High Court, 64 Albany Law Review 1155 (2001)

  • ALS on the High Court, Albany Law School Magazine 18 (Spring/Summer 2001)

  • Public Law at the New York Court of Appeals: An Update on Developments, 2000, 64 Albany Law Review 1355 (2001) (with Amanda Hiller)

  • Tribute to Chief Judge Lawrence H. Cooke: 1914-2000, 64 Albany Law Review 1 (2000)

  • Tribute to Chief Judge Lawrence H. Cooke: 1914-2000, 2 (no.2) Government, Law & Policy Journal 8 (2000)

  • The Diallo Case, "People v. Boss": Panel Discussion, 63 Albany Law Review 969 (2000)

  • Book Review, reviewing ALL THE LAWS BUT ONE: CIVIL LIBERTIES IN WARTIME by William H. Rehnquist, 221 (no. 21) New York Law Journal 2 (Feb. 2, 1999)

  • Editor-in-Chief, Government, Law and Policy Journal (semiannually, vol.1- , 1999-continuing)

  • Editor's Foreword, Government, Law and Policy Journal (semiannually, vol.1-, 1999-continuing)

  • Constitutional Law: Many Constitutional Challenges Fail, 220 (no. 67) New York Law Journal S3 (Oct. 5, 1998)

  • Court of Appeals Bashing: Political Rhetoric, Media Hysteria, and Reality, The Defender 60 (July 1997) (with Judi De Marco)

  • Court of Appeals Bashing: a Reality Check, 69 (no. 5) New York State Bar Journal 10 (1997) (with Judi De Marco)

  • State Constitutional Jurisprudence: Decision Making at the New York Court of Appeals (State Constitutional Law: Adjudication and Reform) (Panel Discussion), 13 Touro Law Review 3 (1997)

  • Court Bashing and Reality: A Comparative Examination of Criminal Disposition at the New York Court of Appeals and Neighboring High Courts, 36(no.1) The Judges' Journal (American Bar Association) 8 (1997) (with Judi A. DeMarco)

  • Yes: Litigants Deserve a Justice with an Open Mind (A Right to Talk: Has Justice Scalia Compromised His Objectivity with a Public Remark?), 83 ABA Journal 72 (February 1997)

  • Editor's Foreword, State Constitutional Commentary, (special annual issue), Albany Law Review (vol. 60-, 1997-continuing)

  • Editors' Note, State Constitutional Commentary, (special annual issue), 59 Albany Law Review 1540 (1996) (with J. Dormer Stephen)

  • Editor, State Constitutional Commentary, (special annual issue), Albany Law Review (vol. 59-, 1996-continuing)

  • Professional Responsibility, 1994-1995 Survey of New York Law, 46 Syracuse Law Review 765 (1995)

  • New York and the Supremes: State Constitutional Law on the Rebound at the Court of Appeals, 5(no. 4) State Constitutional Commentaries and Notes 19 (1995)

  • New York's Chief Judge Kaye: Her Separate Opinions Bode Well for Renewed State Constitutionalism at the Court of Appeals, 67 Temple Law Review 1163 (1994)papers.cfm

  • Court of Appeals - State Constitutional Law Review, 1991, 14 Pace Law Review 353 (1994)

  • Changing Course at the High Court, 20 (no.3) Empire State Report 55 (1994) (with John Powell)

  • The New York Court of Appeals: An Old Tradition Struggles with Current Issues, 22 Perspectives on Political Science 149 (1993)

  • Professional Responsibility, 1992 Survey of New York Law, 44 Syracuse Law Review 453 (1993)

  • Religious Liberty as American History, 17 (no. 2) Update on Law-Related Education (American Bar Association) 41 (1993)papers.cfm

  • Foreword: Dedication to the Honorable Stewart F. Hancock, Jr., 9 Touro Law Review 545 (1993)

  • The Duty of Fair Representation Under the Taylor Law: Supreme Court Development, New York Adoption, and a Call for Independence, 20 Fordham Urban Law Journal 1 (1992)papers.cfm

  • Fair Representation Under the Taylor Law: Federal Development, State Adoption, and Prospects for Independence, in TAYLOR LAW: 25 YEARS OF PUBLIC SECTOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING (Government Law Center, Albany Law School, 1992)

  • Tilting the Scales of Justice, 18 (no.6) Empire State Report 21 (1992)

  • State Constitutional Adjudication at the Court of Appeals, 1990 and 1991: Retrenchment is the Rule, 56 Albany Law Review 119 (1992)

  • Professional Responsibility, 1991 Survey of New York Law, 43 Syracuse Law Review 505 (1992)

  • State Constitutional Recession: The New York Court of Appeals Retrenches, 4 Emerging Issues in State Constitutional Law 1 (1991)

  • Court of Appeals - State Constitutional Law Review, 1990, 12 Pace Law Review 1 (1991)

  • Police Powers and the State: National Security, Freedom and Amendments II & III, in MORE THAN MERE PARCHMENT - THE BILL OF RIGHTS (New York State Bar Association, 1991)

  • Professional Responsibility, 1990 Survey of New York Law, 42 Syracuse Law Review 697 (1991)

  • Professional Responsibility, 1989 Survey of New York Law, 41 Syracuse Law Review 475 (1990)

  • Beyond the Reemergence: "Inverse Incorporation" and Other Prospects for State Constitutional Development, 53 Albany Law Review 403 (1989)papers.cfm

  • State Constitutionalism in New York: A Non-reactive Tradition, 2 Emerging Issues in State Constitutional Law 31 (1989)papers.cfm

  • Professional Responsibility, 1988 Survey of New York Law, 40 Syracuse Law Review 527 (1989)

  • A Classical Constitution: Ancient Roots of Our National Charter, 59 (no.8) New York State Bar Journal 10 (1987)

  • An Alternative to the Privilege Against Compulsory Self-Incrimination, 49 Brooklyn Law Review 31 (1982)papers.cfm

Forthcoming Publications

Selected Achievements

In the News

  • Professor Vincent Bonventre was interviewed for the NPR segment "Court of Appeals Back on Track, After Lengthy Vacancies" on Feb. 12, 2015.

  • ​Professor Vincent Bonventre was a guest on Talk 1300 radio, discussing Court of Appeals appointments with host Fred Dicker on Feb. 9, 2015.

  • ​Vincent Bonventre, a professor at Albany Law School who closely follows the Court of Appeals, said Justice Fahey was a safe choice for the governor because of his experience. “He certainly has a reputation for being collegial and I imagine he will have no problem getting through,” he said.

    From the article "Cuomo Selects Another Democrat for New York’s Highest Court" in The New York Times on Jan. 15, 2015.

  • ​Professor Vincent Bonventre was a guest on Capital Tonight on Nov. 3, 2014, to discuss the Supreme Court’s pregnancy discrimination case, as well as the list of candidates to fill the New York Court of Appeals’ forthcoming vacancy.

  • ​Professor Vincent Bonventre was interviewed for the public radio segment "State's Highest Court Will Begin The New Year Down 2 Judges" that aired around New York state, including on WAMC, North Country Public Radio and WXXI, on Dec. 2, 2014.

  • ​Professor Vincent Bonventre was featured in a NCPR segment about "From Ferguson to Canton, why should we believe in the grand jury?" on Nov. 20, 2014.

  • Professor Vincent Bonventre was interviewed for the public radio segment "Senate To Miss Deadline to Approve Court Pick" that aired on WXXI and other stations on Nov. 14, 2014.

  • ​But Albany Law School Professor Vin Bonventre said he wouldn't be surprised if the U.S. Supreme Court does take a same sex marriage case before the end of the year."

    By the time the U.S. Supreme Court finally decides to hear one of these cases, there's going to be tens of thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands, of same sex marriages in the U.S. They're not going to be able to undo that," said Bonventre.

    From the segment "Same-Sex Couples Can Wed in 5 More States, Experts Predict More to Follow" by Time Warner Cable News on Oct. 6, 2014,

  • ​Professor Vincent Bonventre was a guest on Capital Tonight to discuss the new Supreme Court term on Oct. 6, 2014.

  • ​Professor Vincent Bonventre was interviewed by North Country Public Radio for "Cuomo faces deadline to choose high court nominee" on Oct. 1, 2014.

  • Vincent Bonventre, an Albany Law School professor, said the lack of verified facts in the conflict and the broad discretion attorneys general have in how to act make judgments about Schneiderman's role difficult.

    "It's all very murky and a lot of it is because he's not talking and some of the people who are talking don't seem to be making it any clearer," he said. Bonventre noted some commissioners, including co-chairman William Fitzpatrick, were quoted by the Times in private emails complaining about interference by Cuomo, yet publicly say there was none.

    "But if there was something that pretty clearly ought to be investigated because it was suspicious, he should have investigated it," Bonventre said of Schneiderman. "What isn't clear is exactly what was going on. Fitzpatrick says everything was wonderful. But we're pretty sure everything wasn't wonderful."

    From the article "Moreland controversy becomes issue in AG's race" in Newsday on July 29, 2014.
  • Albany Law School professor Vincent Bonventre said he doesn’t expect Cuomo or his aides would face obstruction of justice charges or other legal problems for simply trying to control the panel.

    “But if he or anybody in his office interfered with subpoenas, with the activities of the commission, to cover possible crimes of corruption, that’s not legally permissible,” he said.

    From the article "Moreland Commission members being made deputy attorneys general could come back to bite Cuomo" by the New York Daily News on July 25, 2014.
  • Professor Vincent Bonventre appeared as a guest on Time Warner Cable News' Capital Tonight to discuss recent court decisions related to the Affordable Healthcare Act on July 22, 2014.
  • Professor Vincent Bonventre talked about recent Supreme Court decisions with Susan Arbetter on the Capitol Pressroom on June 30, 2014. The same day, Professor Bonventre was also a guest on Time Warner Cable News' Capital Tonight with Liz Benjamin.
  • Professor Vincent Bonventre discussed the Supreme Court decision on prayer during town meetings as a guest on WCNY's Capitol Pressroom on May 9, 2014.

  • Professor Vincent Bonventre appeared on YNN's Capital Tonight to discuss the Supreme Court case on religion in government on Nov. 6, 2013.
  • Professor Vincent Bonventre was interviewed by North Country Public Radio for "No consensus on raising judicial retirement age to 80."

  • "You need somebody with wisdom," said Vincent Bonventre, an Albany Law School professor who favors extending the retirement age. "We just lose too many of the very best judges when they're hitting their stride."

    From the article "Just warming up at 70?" in the Times Union on Oct. 19, 2013.

  • Professor Vincent Bonventre was interviewed for the Associated Press article "Should NY Court of Appeals judges be allowed to serve until age 80? Voters will decide" on Sept. 26, 2013.
  • Professor Vincent Bonventre was interviewed about the Supreme Court's ruling on affirmative action at colleges and universities for YNN on June 24, 2013.
  • Vincent Bonventre, an Albany Law School professor, notes that Gov. Mario Cuomo replaced the lone black judge in 1992 with another African-American. Bonventre says Abdus-Salaam has been a "strong" midlevel court jurist who is "moderately liberal."

    From the article "Cuomo watch: Court picks maintain diversity" in Newsday on April 7, 2013.
  • According to New York Court Watcher, a blog maintained by Professor Vincent Bonventre of Albany Law School, the list of seven potential nominees includes three blacks; three women; four appellate judges; three private litigators; one openly gay attorney; six candidates from New York City and one from Buffalo; and no academics, Hispanics, Asians or Republicans.

    From the article "Most Bar Groups Ever Size Up Seven Candidates to Fill Vacancy" in the New York Law Journal on March 22, 2013.
  • Professor Vincent Bonventre appeared on YNN's Capital Tonight to discuss the Supreme Court hearings on same-sex marriage on March 29, 2013.
  • Professor Vincent Bonventre appeared on YNN's Capital Tonight program to talk about same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court on Feb. 25, 2013.
  • The newly partisan tone was evident in the confirmation hearings for Mr. Cuomo's first nominee for the Court of Appeals, Jenny Rivera, who was questioned for hours over two days before being approved on a party-line Judiciary Committee vote. Ms. Rivera is expected to be confirmed in a floor vote, but the intense hearing was unusual, said Albany Law School professor Vincent Bonventre.

    "Senate judiciary hearings in New York state have been a waste of time in the past. Usually they're nothing more than rubber-stamping whoever the governor sends before them," Mr. Bonventre said.

    From the article "GOP Rebels as Cuomo Shifts Left" in The Wall Street Journal on Feb. 5, 2013.
  • Professor Vincent Bonventre was interviewed for the article "Rivera Would Face Steep Learning Curve On NY's Top Court" on the Law360 website on Jan. 23, 2013.

  • Professor Vincent Bonventre was interviewed by YNN for "President lays out gun control plan, reaction still fresh to NY’s law" on Jan. 16, 2013.
  • Professor Vincent Bonventre appeared on YNN's Capital Tonight to discuss Professor Jenny Rivera's nomination to the state Court of Appeals on Jan. 16, 2013.

  • Albany Law School Professor Vincent Bonventre, who has written and commented on the court, said Rivera brings with her a "paper trail of scholarship devoted to domestic violence, feminist jurisprudence, equality and the upward mobility" of Hispanics.

    "This is someone who might fall into the category of critical legal theorist or critical legal feminist, somebody who looks at these issues…from a very, very different angle," Bonventre said. "There just isn't any question in my mind that if the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee read her stuff, some of them will be a little uncomfortable with it, not because there is anything 'bad' in there, but it may be a kind of scholarship they are not used to. It is the kind of legal scholarship that says in society, in the legal profession, this is what is happening to women, this is what is happening to Latinas at home, and the law is not addressing it."

    From the article "CUNY Law's Rivera Named to Fill Ciparick Seat" in the New York Law Journal on Jan. 16, 2013.
  • But Albany Law School professor Vincent Bonventre said Cuomo hasn’t shown much of an ideological hand in his nominations.

    “If he’s like his dad, he won’t stick to just liberal Democratic appointments,” said Bonventre. “His dad appointed as many Republicans as Democrats and as many conservatives as liberals.

    “Certainly, he’s been interested in diversity, like his dad was,” Bonventre added, noting that the younger Cuomo made Randall Eng the state’s first Asian-American presiding judge for the Appellate Division, one step below the Court of Appeals.

    From the article "Andy can court all new judges" in the New York Post on Jan. 1, 2013.

  • Cuomo, if elected to a second term in 2014, would be able to appoint all seven members of the court during his tenure. The other five members would either reach retirement age or the end of their 14-year terms during Cuomo's second term, said Vincent Bonventre, an Albany Law School professor who follows the court.

    Bonventre said former Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, added conservative-leaning judges during his three terms from 1993 through 2006. Pataki's predecessor, Democrat Mario Cuomo, and the current governor's father, appointed judges with a mix of views, Bonventre said.

    "Is he going to be like Pataki and stick with his own ideology and own party, or is he going to be pick from both sides of the ideology and partisan line?" Bonventre said of the current governor. "He's going to have plenty of opportunity."

    From the article "List of Judges For State's Highest Court Sent to Cuomo" by Gannett News Service on Dec. 8, 2012.

  • Professor Vincent Bonventre talked about the Supreme Court and same-sex marriage in an interview on YNN's Capital Tonight that aired Dec. 10, 2012.

  • Court watchers contacted by Law360 agreed Tuesday that, while lower courts in New York sometimes refer generally to the Legislature's role in setting policy, the state's highest court rarely gets into that kind of detail.

    "It's very out of the ordinary and I'm sure it's borne from the fact that Chief Judge Lippman likely hates this outcome," Albany Law School professor Vincent M. Bonventre said.

    Bonventre said that Lippman and the other Court of Appeals judges wrote an opinion that is "faithful to court precedent" — including Valdez v. City of New York — which requires plaintiffs to establish the existence of a special duty of care owed to them by the state.

    From the Law360.com article "Tragedy Prompts Top NY Court To Back Marine Insurance Bill" on Dec. 5, 2012.

  • "What can you complain about with this list?" asked Vincent Bonventre, an Albany Law School professor and veteran court watcher who has complained about plenty of lists in the past. "If you want people with judicial experience, you've got it. If you want diversity, you've got it. If you want women, you've got it. From their educational background to their career experience, it is a very strong list and different kind of list."

    From the article "Experts Point to Experience, Diversity of Candidates on List" by the New York Law Journal on Dec. 4, 2012.

  • In 2008, Albany Law School professor and former Court of Appeals clerk Vincent Bonventre wrote on his blog, New York Court Watcher, that the percentage of criminal decisions that favored defendants nearly doubled in the 18 months after Jones joined the high court.

    "Jones has compiled a voting record that shows strong sympathy for arguments protecting the rights of the accused," wrote Bonventre, who was not available on Tuesday.

    From the article "NY Court of Appeals Judge Jones dies at 68" by Reuters on Nov. 6, 2012.

  • Vincent Bonventre, professor at Albany Law School and expert on the state’s highest court, said Jones was a junior judge on the court, but had written several important majority and dissenting opinions in his relatively short time of service.

    . . .

    “He did a lot of heavy lifting at the court,” Bonventre said. “He was a guy with a lot of guts.”

    From the article "State high court judge dies of heart attack" in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on Nov. 6, 2012.

  • “I honestly think that the court was troubled by the lack of evidence,” Michael Hutter, a professor of law at Albany Law School, said of Thursday’s decision.


    Vincent Bonventre, a professor of law at Albany Law School who studies the Court of Appeals, said Malone “stuck his neck out” with his dissent, which ultimately drove the decision by the state’s highest court.

    “He had the guts to say what was wrong with it, and he got every single vote on the Court of Appeals. That’s quite a statement,” he said. “Really in large measure, it’s because Judge Malone wrote such a strong dissenting opinion at the Appellate Division and really caught their attention.”


    “It looks as though this is is a 6-1 decision; it’s actually 7-0 that the conviction should be thrown out,” Bonventre said. “One of the judges said that the conviction is so bad that the prosecution should not be even be allowed to get another trial. You rarely see something like that."


    However, Hutter said the other six judges may have indeed been swayed by concerns Malone raised about the adequacy of the evidence, but stopped short of actually ruling the evidence was insufficient.


    “I think they were reluctant to say that the evidence was insufficient,” Hutter said. “Judges are reluctant to substitute their views for the jury. Sometimes, when they reverse murder convictions it’s because of technical errors, things like that, substantive errors. They don’t always like to reverse for insufficiencies.”

    According to Hutter, the Court of Appeals hears about 90 criminal cases a year, and upholds the convictions in about 75 percent of them. An overturned murder case is uncommon, but not unheard of.

    “I think that Judge Malone’s decision is right on the money,” he added. “This is a very questionable case.”


    However, Hutter of Albany Law School said he’s doubtful the third trial will lead to a different result unless it is reviewed by a different kind of jury.

    “The same evidence is going to be used again,” he said. “And quite frankly, unless the defense counsel can pull a sympathetic jury, I’m sure there’s going to be another conviction. I think making the correction of the two (trial) errors here is not going to mean anything, unless you get a different pair of eyes that look at this.”

    From the article "Appellate court judge may have played key role in overturning Cal Harris' conviction" in the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin on Oct. 20.

  • Vincent Bonventre, Professor of Law at Albany Law School, said the state’s highest court does, from time to time, reverse murder convictions. But its decision on the Harris case is remarkable, he said, in that the entire court agreed.

    “The Court of Appeals didn’t even view this as a close case,” he said. “That’s what’s unusual.”

    From the article "Cal Harris murder conviction reversed; third trial ordered" in the Binghamton, N.Y., Press & Sun-Bulletin on Oct. 18.

  • Professor Vincent Bonventre was interviewed on YNN's Capital Tonight to preview the forthcoming U.S. Supreme Court term on Oct. 1.
  • “Nobody has any idea what he is going to do,” said Vincent Bonventre, professor at Albany Law School and expert on the state court. “But Governor Cuomo is a brilliant politician, and certainly, like all governors, politics will play a huge part in his selection.

    “That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s going to try to score political points by putting somebody totally incompetent on the court,” Bonventre said of the first-term governor. “But politics will play at least as much a part of his decision as merit — that’s just reality.”

    From the article "Several vacancies upcoming on New York state's high court" in the Rochester, N.Y., Democrat and Chronicle on July 16.

  • “These two cases might create the perfect opportunity for the Court of Appeals” to wade into the controversy over police tactics, said Vincent Bonventre, an expert on the court who is a professor at Albany Law School.

    Professor Bonventre said it seemed the majority in the Manhattan appeals court rulings was announcing what amounted to a new policy: “We are going to start looking at these stop-and-frisks a lot more closely.”

    From the article "Courts Putting Stop-and-Frisk Policy on Trial" in The New York Times on July 10.

  • But regardless of timing, the points are valid, said Vincent Bonventre, law professor at Albany (N.Y.) Law School who believes the law should be upheld.

    "The conservatives' own philosophy suggests they should uphold Obamacare," Bonventre said. Respect for court precedents and deference to elected officials are "fundamental principles of conservative justices."

    From the article "Obama echoes conservatives on 'activist' court" in the San Francisco Chronicle and other Hearst Newspapers on April 8.

  • Vincent M. Bonventre, an Albany Law School professor, called the ruling “a big step.”

     “The kind of evidence, which in the past people relied on more heavily than anything else, now the Court of Appeals is saying, ‘Yeah, we understand a lot of these confessions might be false,’ ” he said.

     From the article "State Court Allows False-Confession Experts, but Bar Is High" in The New York Times on March 29.

  • Professor Vincent Bonventre was a guest on Capital Tonight, New York's statewide political TV program, to discuss the U.S. Supreme Court's treatment of the Affordable Care Act on March 26.

  • Professor Vincent Bonventre was interviewed by YNN's Capital Tonight on Jan. 24 about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the case of United States v. Jones, which decided that using a GPS device to track a suspect did constitute a search. Professor Bonventre explained the ruling and the impact that it could have on other cases.