February 2nd, 2011

Ice Storm

The view outside my door this morning. Good thing I brought work home with me. And with Mrs. NYPILB recovering from knee surgery from her little Killington accident, she’s kinda pleased I’m here.

I was looking for a legal angle on this, but frankly, I can’t find one. But I do have the picture. And about an inch of ice on the walkways I had shoveled after the last big storm.

And I also have a couple of happy kids that did the “snow dance” last night, by wearing pajamas inside out and putting big spoons under their pillows. It worked. Snow day at school, with Westchester County pretty well iced in.

Good thing I had this running gear for my feet, to keep me upright as I went to take the picture and de-ice the car.

And here is another view of the very same tree, taken in the fall. Looks a bit different.

Now back to the brief I’m working on.


April 18th, 2008

Across from the Courthouse

Some courthouses are quite grand. The Supreme Court buildings in New York and Queens are two fine examples.

But then there are others. The Bronx Family Court, for instance, is one of the most dreadful buildings around, where it can take two hours for people just to get inside, so they can tear their hearts out over broken families. The Family Court shares space with the Criminal Court. And this picture, showing a Third Worldish assault on the senses with its signs and solicitations, was taken directly across from the entrance. You won’t find too many folks from BigLaw entering an appearance here.

Storefront lawyers’ offices. Bail bondsmen. Eateries. Process servers and Notaries. And if you click on the picture to blow it up, you will see the sign for Judges Only parking. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.


January 7th, 2008

Brooklyn Supreme Court — 1/7/08 — Justice Steinhardt

I enjoyed doing the photo essay from the Queens courthouse in December so I did another. Today’s subject is the Brooklyn Supreme Court (aka Kings County), complete with religious and legal iconography, New York City signs and architecture, and Justice Marsha Steinhardt, who permitted the photograph from chambers. Click the images for much better views.

The courthouse stop on the subway is Court Street-Borough Hall, that serves seven subway lines. The first part of the station opened 100 years ago. The signs are mosaics. The ancient subway station contrasts with the 1958 courthouse.

Outside the courthouse is a Christmas creche, placed by the Catholic Lawyers Guild. Carved in relief on the facade of the courthouse is Moses with the Ten Commandments. Do these present legal issues?

Inside the courthouse, my preliminary conference (where initial discovery schedules are set) runs into a small issue for which we need a ruling, and we head upstairs to see Justice Steinhardt.

The case: Brain damage following hip replacement surgery.
The issue: Defendant’s request for a medical authorization for the medical insurer.
The objection: It would include items unrelated to the case.
The ruling: Request denied with leave to renew after depositions.

A day in the life of a courthouse and a trial attorney.


December 19th, 2007

Queens Supreme Court, 12/19/07, Justice Agate

Today I try an experiment. I took a small camera with me to Supreme Court in Queens for a conference with the idea of creating a small photo essay. Will I repeat this? Beats me, but many lawyers never see the inside of a courthouse. And documenting a court’s life and times might be fun. And no one else is doing it. At right, the subway sign exiting the F train at Sutphin Boulevard.

At left, the courthouse as viewed from the north. Form time to time, repossessed homes are auctioned off on the courthouse steps.

At right, the courthouse entrance. They really don’t build them like this anymore.

At left, Justice Augustus Agate conferencing today’s case in chambers. My thanks to the judge for permitting the picture. Unfortunately, the more informal photo of the judge without the robe was blurry, and that is the one I really wanted since that is the way such conferences often take place.

Subway sign. Heading back to the office.

A typical morning in the life of a trial lawyer.