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New York appellate judges defend trial judges from criticism

New York City, NY: Michael Cardozo, the top legal advisor to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said in a speech in December 2009 that while the state's trial judges are overworked and underpaid, they are also responsible for delays in decisions. Cardozo said that the "entire culture must be changed" to "improve judicial accountability and, with it, judicial performance."

In response, 18 of 20 justices of the First Judicial Department of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court published a letter in the New York Law Journal sharply dissenting from the tenor of Cardozo's remarks, saying that the remarks were “insulting,” “imperious” and “misguided”. Luis Gonzalez, the First Department's Presiding Justice, told the New York Times, “We felt compelled to speak on behalf of the trial judges. Sometimes they may feel a lot more constrained, maybe even handcuffed, in response to criticism.[1]

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  1. New York Times, "From State Judges, a Rebuke of a Top Bloomberg Adviser," December 17, 2009