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Featured Case

Judge Conducted Excessive Questioning of Witnesses, New Trial With a Different Judge Ordered

The Second Department ordered a new trial because the judge conducted excessive questioning of trial witnesses: “... [T]here must be a new trial, before a different justice, because the Supreme Court conducted excessive and prejudicial questioning of trial witnesses. Although defense counsel did not object to most instances of judicial interference, we reach this contention in the exercise of our interest of justice jurisdiction (see CPL 470.15[6][a]...). ‘While neither the nature of our adversary system nor the constitutional requirement of a fair trial preclude a trial court from assuming an active role in the truth-seeking process,’ the court’s discretion in this area is not unfettered’ ... . The principle restraining the court’s discretion is that a trial judge’s ‘function is to protect the record, not to make it’ ...”. People v. Sookdeo, 2018 N.Y. Slip Op. 06040, Second Dept 9-12-18

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New York appellate courts release, on average, between 150 and 200 decisions per week. The CasePrepPlus service summarizes the most significant decisions, which include substantive discussions of the facts and the law, into one-paragraph summaries, which are prefaced by succinct headings, allowing the reader to quickly decide whether a case is of interest. Each summary is linked to the full decision. Keeping up with the decisions released the week before, a process which could easily take an individual attorney numerous hours every week, takes only minutes with CasePrepPlus.

Summaries are written by Rochester-based attorney Bruce Freeman. For his bio, click here.