I don't know what it is lately with all these short decisions. Overall, the Third Department seems to be trending towards writing shorter decisions (like the Fourth Department). In the case at hand, the shortness of the decision is due entirely to the mootness of the appeal.
PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME
While sex offender cases are very often affirmed on appeal, every now and again they get reversed on appeal, as this one was. However, this is not so much a win for the defendant as it is an administrative adjustment to the underlying judicial determination.
We've got a handful of people who left us in April. For me, the biggest surprise was Bob Hoskins, who seems to have died too young. In 2014, 71 is not very old in the overall scheme of things. Aside from Mickey Rooney and Bob Hoskins, the other three personalities are probably not well-known to most. But they made their own marks nonetheless.
135. Mickey Rooney, 93, September 23, 1920 - April 6, 2014:
Actor; American actor; natural causes
Here's yet another person who, had I not known better, I would have sworn was already dead. Allegedly, this man was the very last of the vaudevillians, having started his career at the age of six in 1926. Having peaked early in life, in 1939, he was nonetheless a Hollywood survivor. He was also a man who was a star's star, beloved and admired by many of his fellow actors. I first came to notice and love him, as a kid, from watching many an old movie on rainy weekends. I also loved him as Dingy Bell in that craziest of movies, "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", from 1963.
I thought I had wrapped this series up, having explored most of the music I'd been listening to back in 1972 and 1973. But I forgot to leave you with the highlights from 1973, as I had done with 1972.
In those now faraway days, a lifetime ago really, Christmas vacation and January would become this wonderful time of reviewing the music for the year and then ranking it in the order of our respective tastes. And while the rankings were purely subjective (there were certain artists we loved, and certain artists we hated), I really am amazed at how the lists have held up over the years. It blows me away that forty years later, I find that my musical tastes have pretty much remained the same. How weird is that?
Yet, then again, maybe it's not so weird after all. I mean, I listened to all this great music in my formative years, thereby locking it forever into place in my memory. And it's not just the fact that the music is so wonderful, it's the fact that the memories associated with that music are probably even more wonderful. Memories of a world that no longer exists.
Another thing: you might think some of these songs hail from 1972 or 1974 - and you would be right. However, they're included here because they peaked in 1973. In other words, these songs are here, in 1973, because they reached their highest position on the Top 100 chart in 1973.
Also, just remember, this list was put together by a couple of knuckleheads who fell in love with music at a young age. Just imagine your 10-year old self creating this list. We'd listen to maybe 300 new Top 100 songs in a given year and winnow them down to the absolute best songs, according to a complicated formula. Looking back, I think we mostly got it right. What do you think?
And listen to those first three songs. Chills, baby. Chills. We knew what we loved.
My favorite song? Impossible. However, for pure weirdness, there is one song here that stands head and shoulders above the rest. I'd tell you but ... I'm so scared your little head would come off in my hands!!! PLAY. IT. AT. ELEVEN!!!
Know my songs, know me. Check out The Soundtrack Of My Life From 1973.
Seems there is a surfeit of short criminal law cases to cover. Not to worry: longer cases will be coming from the looks of the decisions from May 30, 2013.
I analyze DWI decisions if only because they tend to be the most colorful and humorous. Very often, the fact pattern found in such cases makes you laugh out loud at the asininity of the defendant. Here, though, the Third Department completely gutted the fact pattern from its decision.
Another short one. I know it's a bit of a disappointment to analyze short decisions, but it's much more common to come across long decisions. Every now and again, I'll come across interesting but short decisions.
And here we have yet another Anders brief. Always a roll of the dice, as you well know. In this instance, the Third Department agrees with appellate counsel and relieves her of her obligations.
And here is another case that is effectively "Part 2" of the case I previously analyzed in blog post #603. This case is a perfect example of the need for sophisticated encryption an ALL electronic devices. Otherwise, get ready to learn the hard way.
If you read these decisions on a regular basis, over the course of a given period of time (say a year), you will come to recognize that there are certain judges that tend to be appealed with some modicum of regularity (i.e., a lot!). And, of those judges, a handful tend to be reversed on appeal with a corresponding regularity. Judge Hall, the presiding judge of the Warren County Court, is one of those judges. And here is "one of those decisions". And, as always: read the footnotes (there's only one!).
If one of your nightmares involves being wrongly accused, then this is the case for you. If that given nightmare also involves you being specifically and wrongfully accused of sexual assault, then this case is especially for you. Remember: as you read the decision, imagine yourself to be the young defendant in this case. Scary stuff. Thankfully, this defendant had one of the best appellate attorneys in the entire Third Department arguing his case. Unfortunately, even she was unable to garner a reversal.
In a way, I hope this defendant actually did what he was accused of doing. Otherwise, the legal system has just destroyed a young person's life. Conversely, if this defendant actually did what he was accused of doing, then he deserves to have his life destroyed.
Every now and again, changes have to be made and that's certainly the case with this website. While it is generally structured the way I want it to be, some serious modifications are in order, especially with regard to the listings for my practice areas.
I practice almost exclusively in Family Court, Supreme Court, and the Appellate Division, working on family law matters, matrimonial law matters, and a variety of appeals. My primary market is the county in which I reside, Saratoga County, together with the more populous counties of the Capital District, namely Schenectady County, Albany County, and Rensselaer County.
While fellow attorneys might understand what practicing in these areas entails, most non-attorneys really don't have any idea. And, I find that my website pages for Practice Areas is somewhat deficient in that it fails to fully convey all of the many aspects of the law in which I am regularly involved.
And I need to change that with a simple click of the mouse.
Wow! 600 blog posts! Hard to believe. Some days, these posts are difficult to write and it feels like I'm grinding them out. Other days, I can type away at the computer all day (on a day off) and create as many as 6 or 7 of them in one (very long) sitting.
And, if you haven't already guessed, I love writing appeals as much as I love reading and analyzing them. Give me a call if you've got any questions with regard to any possible appeal. I'd be glad to help. And, as with all other clients, the first hour of the consultation is completely free.
Back to the decisions ...
As if one rejected Anders brief wasn't enough, here we have a second one. Over time, you begin to recognize a pattern with Anders briefs. They tend to be submitted by newbies to the niche of appellate practice. I know, I was one of them. However, when you look to the more established appellate counsel (who shall remain nameless but, if you read these decisions as often as I do, you realize there are a good solid two dozen veteran practitioners in the Third Department), very rarely do they submit Anders briefs and, on those rare occasions when they do, they are rarely overruled by the Third Department.
I also remain of the opinion that, despite what you might think, the Third Department actually WANTS appellate counsel to do as much as they can to avoid filing Anders briefs. After all, an Anders brief is still a brief, so why not just go the extra mile and through in a simple argument or two? How difficult is that?
What the Third Department is really looking for is appellate counsel who is self-confident enough to try to dazzle the hell out of them with compelling legal arguments and incisive legal writing. The Third Department is looking to be entertained, if you will, by a ripping good yarn. Remember: all we have are stories. Tell your story.
This decision is precisely why I will do everything in my power to avoid filing an Anders brief, even on plea agreements. All you have to do is be as creative as possible to get around the ethical requirement of not appealing frivolous matters. And how frivolous can a thing be when a person's liberty is on the line, huh? Any decent appellate attorney should be able to come up with a creative appeal, nine times out of ten, and not have to suffer the indignity of being slapped down (hard!) by the Third Department for failing to rigorously scour the record ... as happened here.
Here is an interesting decision that could have EASILY gone the other way if someone hadn't thought to have the children testify in court. Also, as I read this decision, I had a sneaking suspicion that I knew who wrote it. And I was right: Justice McCarthy! I LOVE THIS GUY! See his fine work in blog post #562. When it comes to procedural and substantive due process, Justice McCarthy holds judges' feet to the fire. We need far more judges like Justice McCarthy.
Let me just say this: Justice McCarthy renews my faith in the legal and judicial systems with his insistence that due process be paramount in all considerations as to the outcome of any litigation. I would much rather lose an appeal with Justice McCarthy than win one without him because only then would I be certain that my client received the highest standards of due process available to him or her. So, yeah, just as there are good wins, there are good losses as well.