As I mentioned in a previous blog post, it would seem to make more sense for the Third Department to transfer the six (6) eastern Southern Tier counties of Broome, Chemung, Cortland, Schuyler, Tioga, and Tompkins to the Fourth Department while the Fourth Department should transfer the three (3) western Adirondack counties of Herkimer, Lewis, and Oneida to the Third Department. That would certainly provide a more logical demarcation of central and western New York from the eastern portions of the state. And in exchange for the city of Binghamton, in Broome County, the Third Department would get the twin cities of Rome and Utica, in Oneida County.
It's certainly within the Legislature's prerogative to do so (pursuant to article 6, section 4(a) of the New York constitution), though, given the longevity of the current arrangement, it might be best not to screw around with the current department system, since it does seem to work rather well. Another reason not to change the current system is that the decisions from the Third Department not only seem to be more numerous, they are definitely more comprehensive. I can't tell you how many times reading a Fourth Department decision feels like reading tea leaves; many of the decisions are decidedly unhelpful. If and when I get around to reviewing Fourth Department decisions, you'll see what I mean.