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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Another Cohen Takes the State Money and Runs

Retiring Clerk Says State's Package Came at Right Time
The New York Law Journal by Joel Stashenko - September 20, 2010

ALBANY, NY - Stuart M. Cohen, after 14 years of managing the day-to-day operations of the state's highest court as its clerk, has announced his retirement as of Nov. 24. "Nobody's indispensable, least of all me," Mr. Cohen said in an interview Friday at the Court of Appeals in Albany. "It's a challenging job and it's tiring, frankly. I am not going to kid you, I'm a little tired." Mr. Cohen, 57, who went to work at the Court 25 years ago, said that an early retirement program being offered to state court employees was a major factor in his decision to step down from the $136,500-a-year job. "Until this thing [the early retirement incentive] came along I had not considered leaving, that was always somewhere a little ways off on the horizon," Mr. Cohen said. "This incentive, when it came along and I determined it would apply to me to give me 30 years [of state service], that's what really got me thinking about it."

The cash-strapped state is offering incentives to court workers and other employees to "boost" their ages to the retirement threshold of 62 or their state service to 30 years in return for their beginning their retirements early without penalty (NYLJ, June 1). Court officials expect more than 10 percent of non-judicial workers to take advantage of the benefit. Mr. Cohen said he wants to provide better care to his parents, who are both in their late 80s, and he probably will return to a solo practice like the one he maintained in Brooklyn in the early 1980s after graduating from New York University School of Law. The Court of Appeals announced that it has designated Andrew W. Klein, who has been one of two consultation clerks since September 1990, to succeed Mr. Cohen. Consultation clerks sit with the judges during their closed-door discussions of cases and advise them on issues of appealability and reviewability. Mr. Klein has also overseen in recent years the preparation of the Court's written rulings for release to the public. Mr. Cohen also attended the judges' conferences. He said he has rarely volunteered a thought to the judges unless they asked him for his opinion or a question of court precedent. Mr. Cohen is only the 17th appointed clerk since the position was established in 1869. Between the formation of the Court in 1846 and 1869, clerks were elected statewide. He said Friday that in addition to "managing" cases before the Court—making sure briefs and other papers were filed or responded to on time—he frequently talks to dissatisfied lawyers or other litigants once decisions appear. "This is not the kind of job where there's really any training for or preparation for," Mr. Cohen said. "The law is a big part of it, but it's not the only part. In a lot of ways, the other parts have been more challenging. There are a million things you don't learn about in law school. You don't learn about renovating a building. You don't learn about dealing with personnel. You don't learn about dealing with angry pro ses who don't understand why they've been unsuccessful in their litigation." Mr. Cohen said that as long as members of the public are not abusive, all who write or call the Court get a response. Mr. Cohen has also presided over the posting of Court of Appeals' rulings on its Web site and the beginning of electronic filing at the Court. The current chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, credited Mr. Cohen in a statement with making the Court "more efficient, transparent and accessible to the public."

Joseph Bellacosa, the former Court of Appeals judge who was clerk of the Court from 1975 to 1983, said he was the first clerk invited into the confidential conferences where judges revealed their positions on cases still under consideration by the judges. Mr. Bellacosa said the clerk has evolved in that role into a kind of chief counsel to members of the Court as they deliberate over cases. The clerk is also the staffer on the Court of Appeals that New Yorkers are most apt to have contact with, said Mr. Bellacosa, a judge on the Court from 1987-2000. "The clerk is the face of the Court to the public and to lawyers," Mr. Bellacosa said. Judith S. Kaye, a member of the court from 1983 to 2008 and chief judge from 1993 to 2008, said Mr. Cohen kept the workings of the Court "well oiled" so judges could focus on hearing and deciding cases and not on procedural issues. By being allowed into judges' conferences, Mr. Cohen is "at the elbows" of members of the Court as they deliberate over cases, said Ms. Kaye on Friday. "He is privy to their most private, most serious discussions of the Court," she said. She described Mr. Cohen as the "face of the Court." Joel Stashenko can be reached at jstashenko@alm.com.

Andrew W. Klein
Age: 57
Professional: Consultation clerk, Court of Appeals, 1990-present; assistant consultation clerk, 1983-90; litigation associate, Whiteman Osterman & Hanna, 1983-84; litigation associate, Whitman & Ransom 1980-83; law clerk, Court of Appeals central legal research staff, 1977-80.
Education: B.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1974; J.D., St. John's University School of Law, 1977.
Personal: Married with no children, lives in Middleburgh.


Stuart M. Cohen
Age: 57
Professional: clerk of the state Court of Appeals, 1996-present; Deputy clerk, 1987-96; law clerk to former Court of Appeals judge Sol Wachtler, 1985-87; law clerk to former Court of Appeals judge Jacob D. Fuchsberg, 1982-83; appellate law research assistant, Appellate Division, Second Department, 1980-82; solo practitioner, 1979-80.
Education: B.A., Connecticut College, 1976; J.D., New York University Law School, 1979.
Personal: Divorced with no children, lives in Rensselaer.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

"It's a challenging job and it's tiring, frankly. I am not going to kid you, I'm a little tired." Mr. Cohen, 57,

Lying & hatred does that,
it slowly kills all involved, most of us really want the same thing
Justice, Kindness and Love!

Sheldon Silver step down for allowing evil to rule our State!

Eliot Bernstein said...

HMMMMMMMMMMMDINGER, is this the same Stuart M. Cohen a PORKSOUR SMELLY ROSE in disguise. What was his private practice years, why are they missing names.

In April 2009, Stuart M. Cohen, a former senior partner at Proskauer Rose in New York, New York, brought his extensive commercial real estate practice to the firm and the present name of the firm, Ferguson Cohen LLP was adopted. Our attorneys offer a wealth of combined experience in the areas of Trusts & Estates, Commercial and Residential Real Estate, Pension Planning, Asset Protection, Succession Planning, Corporate Counsel, Tax Planning & Litigation, General Litigation and Family Law.

For our clients convenience, Ferguson Cohen LLP maintains satellite offices at 1 North Lexington Avenue, White Plains, New York, and also at 1185 Immokalee Road, Naples, Florida.

A good nose said...

Another rat leaving the possibly sinking ship. Rats have this self protective mechanism to protect themselves. Fearful that Cuomo will be fail to rise from the swamp he flourishes in, leaving the rats exposed.

Anonymous said...

Is that why the Lupinetti's are moving permanently to California to escape their criminal activities and begin their new criminal enterprise career in California. DO not be fooled Lupinetti's I have already passed your names along for others to continue the job of exposing you over there and every where you go. Bernadette E. Lupinetti, Esq. is a pig that sells children in child custody cases for the purposes of trafficking minors for sexual performances.

Eliot Bernstein said...

Yes, legal vermon is right and I always say the last thing you see from above of a sinking ship is the rats asses. In this case, the rats will have already pushed the women and children into the ocean to die, like the lawyer scum they are and so this should be the largest a-hole in history viewable from space.
eb

Whose this Klien dude and why are they hiding his bio from the web???

Anonymous said...

Will Palidino go after the corruption that is rampant in this state?

The media certainly is treating Cuomo with kid gloves and going all out in smearing Palidino.

Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Is it getting a wee bit too hot for you Mr. Cohen? Can you see the handwriting on the wall? You will find in the very near future that corruption doesn't "pay"! We don't care where you hid the money honey we'll find it and get you locked up! LOL have a great retirement Zerb!

Anonymous said...

The media must be afraid of change, it is easier to let someone else do the dirt than yourself and it keeps you looking innocent!
Hey Media, grow up and be fair, we need change in this Corrupt State!
Everyone knows that within their hearts!

Anonymous said...

Paladino can get the corruption that is rampant, he just needs a CorruptBastards phone line and he will knock them down with Tips from the citizens who want change........

Anonymous said...

Did anyone take that piece of trash out, Norm Viti, he has smelled like bad FISH since early 1995.........

Anonymous said...

maybe the bottom feeding pond scum FISH should be floating upside down!

Anonymous said...

Andy doesn't say too much to allow the Media to get headlines and skew everything!

Anonymous said...

Andy doesn't say too much to allow the Media to get headlines and skew everything!

Anonymous said...

this Stuart Cohen who is retiring has been there at the court of Appeals in Albany for a Very long time and it does not look good to accuse as being a member of a firm without proof of same. that does not mean there may not be problems but it does mean it is wise to hold back personalized attacks without knowing facts and especially name calling attacks.

Pro se Fool said...

When Cohen talks about ‘angry pro ses who don't understand why they've been unsuccessful in their litigation," he obviates how many of them there must be.
They are angry because they know that the ONLY reason for their lack of success is that JUDGES DON’T ALLOW PRO SE LITIGANTS TO PREVAIL.

DAMN! What an outrage. Our honorable Courts; in fact our entire Third Branch of Government is the GREATEST CONSUMER FRAUD IN THE WORLD.

Anonymous said...

JUDGES DON’T ALLOW PRO SE LITIGANTS TO PREVAIL.


that is because they already committed a multitude of felonies before it got to PRO SE and they cover for each other

when Louisa wins, she should start a PRO SE Group, then we can tell each other how these bastards work!

Anonymous said...

the above comment from 8:46 am seems right on the money in most all ways.

Anonymous said...

the cancer of corruption must be cut from the entire judicial system. Our country can not survive what is going on in the state and federal courts much longer.

Where is law enforcement?

Eating donuts.......

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
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