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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Governor Cuomo Names Court Screening Panel Appointments

Cuomo Names Screening Panel Appointments
The New York Law Journal by Daniel Wise  -  May 4, 2011

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced his picks for the judicial screening panels of the four departments of the Appellate Division and the Court of Claims, subject to state Senate confirmation. Each panel has 13 members; the governor names five to each department committee and 10 to the Court of Claims panel. The remaining members are chosen by the chief judge; the attorney general; the department's presiding justices; and the majority and minority leaders of the Assembly and Senate.
 The chairs of each committee are named by the governor. They are Abby Milstein of Constantine Cannon, First Department; Douglas W. Dunham of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, Second Department; Henry M. Greenberg of Greenberg Traurig, Third Department; Juanita Perez Williams, Syracuse's corporation counsel, Fourth Department; and Eric Corngold of Friedman, Kaplan, Seiler & Adelman, Court of Claims. None of the other officials have announced their committee choices. A full list of Mr. Cuomo's appointments appears below.

First Department

  • Chair: Abby Milstein, partner, Constantine Cannon
  • Robert Stephan Cohen, partner, Cohen Lans
  • Kenneth P. Thompson, partner, Thompson Wigdor & Gilly
  • Maria T. Vullo, partner, Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison
  • Mark C. Zauderer, partner, Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer

Second Department

  • Chair: Douglas W. Dunham, counsel, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
  • Nicholas A. Gravante Jr., administrative partner and general counsel, Boies Schiller & Flexner
  • Benedict P. Morelli, partner, Morelli Ratner
  • Lynn A. Neils, partner, Mayer Brown
  • Jenny Rivera, professor, City University of New York School of Law

Third Department

  • Chair: Henry M. Greenberg, shareholder, Greenberg Traurig
  • William Dreyer, partner, Dreyer Boyajian
  • Lisa Ghartey, assistant attorney general, Office of the Attorney General
  • Ross D. Levi, executive director, Empire State Pride Agenda
  • Theresa B. Marangas, partner, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker

Fourth Department

  • Chair: Juanita Perez Williams, corporation counsel, City of Syracuse
  • John V. Elmore, senior trial counsel and managing attorney, Brown Chiari
  • Kenneth A. Manning, partner, Phillips Lytle
  • Makau W. Mutua, dean, University at Buffalo Law School
  • Anne Beltz Rimmler, partner, Paul William Beltz


  • Chair: Eric Corngold, partner, Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman;
  • Bennett Capers, associate dean for intellectual life and associate professor, Hofstra University School of Law
  • Douglas W. Dunham, counsel, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
  • John V. Elmore, senior trial counsel and managing attorney, Brown Chiari
  • Henry M. Greenberg, shareholder, Greenberg Traurig
  • Theresa B. Marangas, partner, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker
  • Abby Milstein, partner, Constantine Cannon
  • Benedict P. Morelli, partner, Morelli Ratner
  • Kenneth P. Thompson, partner, Thompson Wigdor & Gilly
  • Juanita Perez Williams, corporation counsel, City of Syracuse


in the know said...

The governor should release full background information on these people who will pick our judges. Some of the names cause me great concern.

Anonymous said...

Henry "Hank" Greenberg was specifically contacted in relation to a complaint by a Father alleging systematic denial of due process by multiple Assigned Counsels Appointed by the Third Department in relation to an Appeal at the Third Dept from a Case involving the longest running Foster Care Case out of Columbia County.

The contact to Greenberg while acting as Counsel to NYAG Cuomo came after the NYAG had referred the case over the Inspector General Spatz who had taken no action on the "Referral" by the NYAG.

Some of the Records being systematically diverted from the Father's Appeal included a Finding by Renss County Family Court Judge Catherine Cholakis that the Father's case was "Extra-Ordinary" which has specific Legal Meaning on Appellate Review and yet Records were systematically diverted and not acted upon by nearly 4 consecutive Assigned Counsel's.

Judge Cholakis got the case from Columbia County Judge Paul Czjaka who specifically kept out of the Official Reords an Expert Report by an Expert appointed by the Court at the beginning of the case Recommending Immediate Reunification Efforts for the children and Family. This Report was issued when the Foster Case was barely 3 months old.

Ironically, the Assistant DA that was involved in the case beforer Judge Paul Czajka of Columbia County was Catherine Leahy Scott who placed the case against the father in front of a Grand Jury alleging an "injury" to the Father's stepdaughter YET Leahy Scott Withheld ANY ACTUAL Medical Testimony and Witnesses from the Columbia Memorial Hospital to establish the Injury.

The Grand Jury action ONLY came after Judge Czjaka Jailed the Father shortly after the Father complained to the Commission of the State OCFS under Gov Pataki that he was Not being Reunited with his Sons as required by Law and as Recommended by the Expert who's Official Report never made it to the Official Records.

ADA Leahy Scott later became head of the Criminal Division for NY AG Andrew Cuomo and was in the Criminal Division when the Father Petitioned AG Cuomo for review and corruption charges.

Gov Cuomo has since elevated Leahy Scott to First Deputy Inspector General under Ellen Biben.

No Response or action from Henry Greenberg occurred while he was in the Office of AG as counsel.

County Judge Cholakis had gone on record saying this was the "worst" case she had ever seen when the Czjaka case first came to her Court and these Transcripts are some of the Records that were Systematically kept out of the Third Dept Appeals process.


Anonymous said...

anyone ever think it was interesting that the William Dreyer firm in Albany, with Dreyer now named to Cuomo's "review" team, had been hired by Interstate Industrial which is the company that was at the center of the Bernard Kerik case alleging ties to the Mob?

Dreyer's firm represented Interstate Industrial before the Third Dept in 2003:

By 2005, the New Jersey Attorney General and Gaming Enforcement Division had the following to say about Intersate Industrial:

"The Attorney General noted that the complaint outlines how Gaming Enforcement presented information at the original Interstate hearing, and has since developed further information, that the DiTommaso brothers had ties to the DeCavalcante and Gambino organized crime families dating back to the 1980s. The complaint also charges that the DiTommasos gave false information to Division investigators in an attempt to mislead them concerning the DiTommasos’ relationship with former New York Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who was nominated as the United States Secretary of Homeland Security.

According to the complaint, Joseph Watts, a Gambino associate, and Dominic Borghese, a Gambino solider, met in the 1980s with Frank and Peter DiTommaso and were paid $60,000 for “protection,” including the handling of any union problems that arose at Interstate. The protection money was paid in two $30,000 installments, once in the summer and once at Christmas time.

In another instance outlined in the complaint, Anthony Capo, a cooperating witness for the federal government, had a conversation with another organized crime associate, Anthony Rotondo, in which Rotondo told Capo: “The DiTommasos were ‘with’ the DeCavalcante Family and its boss, John Riggi.” Capo was given employment by Frank DiTommaso at the recommendation of Rotondo, according to the complaint."

An Oct 2009 NBC report showed State Senator Joe Bruno had paid William Dreyer's firm and another over $400,000 for Defense fees on public corruption charges with many of the fees paid by Campaign funds.

In 2003-2004 former counsels to Governor Cuomo turned lobbyists were representing Interstate Industrial in NYC matters.

The same lobbyists donated upwards of $50,000 to NYAG Andrew Cuomo's run for Governor.

who knows what is what here? but does this pass the smell test?

Anonymous said...

he picked insiders
Why did he ask say some in school professors that teach law should have been on the pannel. All theses people have for themselves and thier law firms a conflict of interest.

Anonymous said...

how is the filter doing on the comment posted just after 11:41 am?

Anonymous said...

Lippman and Silver each pick the most sleazy using the same dirt bag. Cuomo picks the highest bidder from that same dirt bag. After that it doesn't matter.

Anonymous said...

How many of these bums are really Mario's (father of "Andy Boy") picks ? Remember that Mario placed Judith Kaye in the head chair. We all know what a wonderful head Judge she was, Oh yet!

Anonymous said...

I was wondering why Skadden Arps had three of the top positions, when I say the mention of Kaye above. Then it all made sense. She works for them.

I guess we all know where this will lead.

Anonymous said...

wasn't that Morelli Ratner firm involved in the mess surrounding the Esposito case? seems like that firm's name has popped up in some other interesting threads?

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