Albert Martin Rosenblatt




Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, 1999-2006


by George D. Marlow*

Albert M. Rosenblatt, referred to as a “Renaissance Man” by many who know of his professional, intellectual, and athletic pursuits, is among the most well known and highly respected members of New York State’s Judiciary. He is esteemed for his character, independence of thought, creativity, and love of scholarship . . . . Beyond these traits, his good nature, loyalty, and sense of humor have gained him many friends. His firm grasp of American legal history, English common law, and other ancient writings have become deeply woven into his thought, his own writings, and his speeches. But, it is his patience and decency, his originality, his keen intellect, and his work ethic that have made his name one of the most recognizable on New York’s legal landscape.

These reasons and his own “high opinion of [Rosenblatt’s] talents as a lawyer and a judge,” prompted the renown expert on Federal and New York State practice and procedure, Albany Law School, Distinguished Professor of Law, David D. Siegel, sua sponte, to lobby for Judge Rosenblatt’s appointment to our State’s highest court. As Siegel put it, “[t]urns out I was part of a large constituency of like thinkers.” One such constituent is his former Appellate Division colleague, Hon. William C. Thompson, who said he has “only met two persons who after speaking to them for five minutes you instantly knew they belong on the Court of Appeals. Albert Rosenblatt is one . . . you can instantly feel . . . is a man who encompasses all the attributes of a great jurist, which he is.”

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye expressed her respect, and affection for her colleague as follows:

It’s hard to capture Judge Rosenblatt’s utter uniqueness, his agile mind, endless curiosity, love of learning and unbounded energy, in just a few sentences. He seems to enjoy more than anything going to the absolute depth, or height, of a matter, whether a knotty law issue, or a point of constitutional or court history, or Holmesian history, or a squash game, or clearing land and building a rock garden at his home. He is amazingly productive, simultaneously completing a magnificent Opinion; turning out a book, article or speech (sometimes in verse, or song); lining up and moderating an educational program on subjects such as search warrants, appeals and fair trial/free press; mobilizing the Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York; and locating and enthusing “progeny” of every single Court of Appeals Judge. Have I communicated what a treasured colleague and friend he is? I surely hope so. If I were allowed one more sentence it would concern his devotion to Julie and Betsy.

Early Years

Albert Martin Rosenblatt was born on January 17, 1936 at the Royal Hospital in the Bronx. He was carried home on a blustery winter day to the Rosenblatt apartment in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. His only sibling, Rhoda Rosenblatt Beck, was born 10 years earlier, and for a decade his parents had wanted a second child.

His mother, Fannie Dachs (1891-1975), was in her early forties when she gave birth to Albert. She had come to America from Tomaszow-Lubelski (now in Poland) as a young child in the 1890’s, as part of a foursome, led by her 15-year-old brother Isaac Dachs, accompanied by brother Abraham, about ten, and sister Minnie, approximately age five. Their father, Hirsch Dachs, had arrived in 1889. After a time as a peddler in lower Manhattan, he eventually set up an insurance firm known as I. Dachs and Sons, which in its sixth generation, exists today in Hewlett, Long Island.

Isaac Rosenblatt (1895-1980), Albert’s father, was born in Krzywcze, a village in Galicia. In 1913, his parents bid him goodbye and he went off, alone, on the Ryndam (Rijndam), a ship of the Holland-America Line, “to America for a better life.” For European Jews, sending offspring to America was common at the time.

Almost every other member of his entire family was later murdered in the Holocaust.

Isaac Rosenblatt learned English and earned a degree in pharmacy at night school in New York. On November 27, 1924, he married Fannie. The stock market crash five years later forced a change in direction, however, when Isaac Rosenblatt lost the two pharmacies he had owned. Because he could speak several languages, the Prudential Insurance Company hired him to collect insurance premiums from tenement dwellers in Yonkers. He routinely climbed five flights to collect weekly payments, most under a dollar. Judge Rosenblatt recalls his father’s pride at “never being a penny short” in all his collections, spanning 30 years with Prudential. A comparable lesson among Judge Rosenblatt’s early memories is of his mother. At age four or five, in a supermarket, he was about to take a grape from a fruit shelf. “No,” she said lovingly, “we can’t take the grape. It’s not ours until we pay for it.” Even today, Rosenblatt says he thinks he’d choke on a surreptitiously acquired grape.

Growing up in Washington Heights, Rosenblatt attended Yeshiva Elementary and High School (Talmudical Academy), graduating in 1953. Beginning his undergraduate education at City College of New York, he transferred to the University of Pennsylvania, and was graduated in 1957. He found his experience at Penn liberating and transformative, generating a love of his alma mater. That same year, he entered Harvard Law School. Both Penn and Harvard cost about two thousand dollars per year, most of which Rosenblatt managed with various jobs, including summer jobs at Grossinger’s Hotel in New York’s Catskill Mountains. At Grossinger’s, he met and formed lifelong friendships with fellow busboys and bellhops, including Dr. Sam Basch, Dr. Jerome Grossinger, and Dr. Martin Wolfe. Hotel guests were fond of saying, “Be kind to the summer staff, one of them may someday operate on your liver.”

Rosenblatt was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1961, while still a member of the Army Reserves. His first law job was in New York City with Morris Aarons, who had been New York County Surrogate, and then with William Gold. In 1963, he joined the Poughkeepsie law office of Edward J. Kovacs, who was married to Rosenblatt’s first cousin, Hilda Rothman Kovacs. For the young Rosenblatt, Kovacs was a model in many ways: well educated (Amherst ’28, Yale Law School ’31), a World War II Army officer, a highly respected and dedicated lawyer, a champion golfer. After two years with cousin Ed, the Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office had a vacancy. Assistant DAs were then part-time and allowed a private law practice. Rosenblatt and Kovacs viewed it as a way to gain trial experience. In October 1964, District Attorney Raymond C. Baratta appointed Rosenblatt to his staff of six part-time lawyers. Both Kovacs and Rosenblatt (and Baratta, too, no doubt) expected Rosenblatt, like others, to stay for a while, and then return to full-time practice. But, as Rosenblatt recalls, “Everyone ahead of me in the D. A.’s office resigned or retired and the next thing you know, I was chief assistant.”

When Baratta’s successor, John R. Heilman, Jr. was elected Judge of the Family Court in November 1968, Governor Nelson Rockefeller appointed Rosenblatt Acting District Attorney of Dutchess County. He was not an armchair administrator, but continued to prosecute cases and appeals personally. Among the more celebrated cases was the Timothy Leary drug prosecution. Rosenblatt was gearing up for trial and at the same time considering an offer to join a Denver law firm. He told them he would like to try the Leary case first and then join the firm.

John Heilman’s election was one of the most momentous events of Rosenblatt’s life-not because Heilman won (surprising no one), but because on that November night Rosenblatt met Dr. Julia Carlson, his wife-to-be. A mutual friend, Theresa Davis, had invited Julie to Heilman’s victory party. Julie was an assistant professor of psychology at Vassar College. Rosenblatt was instantly smitten. Although he was battling the flu that night, Julie “saw right through it.” Rosenblatt never did go to Denver. The couple married on August 23, 1970.

Their engagement period was unusual. Rosenblatt was in line for the Republican nomination for District Attorney, which by tradition typically passed to the Chief Assistant. This time, however, another assistant D.A., G. Gordon Liddy, concluded that this rite was no right, and he sought the nomination for himself in a spirited Republican party contest. Although the party chose Rosenblatt, Liddy most assuredly went on to achieve greater name recognition. This writer has been heard to say-more than once and only half jokingly-that Rosenblatt’s first political victory was, as much as anything, responsible for President Richard Nixon’s last defeat.

Soon elected-by better than a two to one margin-Rosenblatt launched a career as one of the most respected District Attorneys in New York. He was elected president of the New York State District Attorneys Association only five years later, and in 1975 was elected Dutchess County Judge by a landslide.

In April 1973, his daughter Elizabeth (known as Betsy) was born. He and Julie threw themselves into the joys of parenthood, raising a beautiful, talented, and delightful little girl who has grown into an accomplished adult. When Betsy was in grade school, Rosenblatt formed a “literary club” for her and a few other gifted kids her age. He would lead them in discussion about books or take them on field trips to places like a dairy farm, a newspaper production room, an aviary, a fire department, a chemistry lab, and even the local jail. Often he would invite visitors: a local pharmacist, a broadcaster, an editor, a musician, a performer, etc. They named themselves the “6:30 Club.” Those of us who worked with him in those days recall him dashing from the office late Monday afternoons to read to Betsy and her friends. This priceless gift from a devoted father profoundly enriched Betsy’s life, influencing her lifelong love of learning and of writing, her love of books, her outstanding academic careers through Arlington High School, Williams College, and Harvard Law School, and her continuing success as an attorney specializing in intellectual property law.

Betsy proves all of this so easily in her following written contribution to her father’s biographical sketch:

It seems strange to write a biography of someone who is so clearly at the top of his game, but one must consider posterity. Thanks to the ubiquity of the legal press, history will most likely remember Dad’s clear, concisely written opinions. If that is all for which he is remembered, though, history will be short-changed. His prolific writings criss-cross over a wide range of topics, including law, history, skiing, Sherlock Holmes, and – most impressively – the intersections between them. His writing-and, in some ways, his world view-reflect the twin philosophies ‘you can say almost anything, as long as it’s funny’ (a view espoused, if not coined, by a young man named Maynard Bernstein, a friend-of-a-friend whom Dad hastens to point out that he never met), and ‘be concise, be concise, be concise’ (a phrase often attributed to E. B. White, whom Dad also never met). His love of writing shines through in my favorite articles of his, which are unlikely ever to appear on Lexis or Westlaw: a celebration of skiing in the rain; a tongue-in-cheek lesson on the difference between ‘may,’ ‘must,’ and ‘shall’; and a look at the influence of Victorian divorce law on the Sherlock Holmes mysteries; to name a few. He has written extensively on most of his pastimes (aside from his more athletic passions of playing squash and doing yard-work, but he has a long career of writing ahead of him), but he cannot be summed up by his writings. Most notably, his writings do not fully reflect his dedication to family. Dad was the youngest in a close-knit extended family, and although the family has spread into a modern diaspora, he remains close to cousins up and down the Eastern seaboard. Similarly, he maintains close ties with the pals he made decades ago at Grossinger’s. They call each other the chazzers, (Yiddish for people who overeat) and they still gather nearly every year. And our immediate family is no exception: we three Rosenblatts are a close bunch (and mutual admiration society). Dad devoted himself to being a supportive father, encouraging me to be creative, intellectual, musical, and athletic. He took steps to provide an environment where these traits would grow in me and in others; when I was in grade-school, he set up the 6:30 club, to challenge us intellectually in a fun environment. The group thrived even through High School. Although the lure of practicing west coast law drew me to Los Angeles several years ago, Dad and I still talk often, and collaborate on writing projects. And after 36 years of marriage, he and Mom not only write books together, but also still hold hands in the supermarket. I hope that closeness-as much as his legal scholarship, athleticism, and humor-is remembered to posterity.

Rosenblatt was 39 in 1975 when elected Dutchess County Judge. Three years later, a local respected Supreme Court Justice, Joseph Hawkins, faced the end of his term. Hawkins was the only Democrat from Dutchess County in decades to be elected to that post. Recognizing this moment as an opportunity to retrieve the seat, leading Republicans invited County Judge Rosenblatt to seek the position, but he declined. He knew that any Republican candidate would likely prevail over Justice Hawkins, but privately said he did not wish to be remembered as one who, after only three years on the bench, and at age 42, was arrogant and impatient enough to bring down such an outstanding public servant. They could easily find a qualified candidate, and his turn, if it ever came, would come soon enough.

It came in 1981, when Justice Hawkins’ successor, Joseph D. Quinn, died in office. Ironically, Rosenblatt faced Hawkins, who was again nominated by the Democrats. After a dignified and cordial campaign, Rosenblatt prevailed over his friend Joe Hawkins. Shortly after Election Day, and in part as a lesson in civility for eight-year-old Betsy, he invited Hawkins to the Rosenblatt home for a simple, quiet dinner with his family to enjoy each other’s company. They remained friends until Justice Hawkins died several years later.

Supreme Court Justice Rosenblatt enjoyed the new challenges. He fondly compares his Supreme Court role to that of a rabbi in a shtetl (Yiddish for the small Jewish villages sprinkled across Eastern Europe until decimated by Hitler during World Ward II), working with lawyers to reach amicable agreements. He created a friendly but dignified atmosphere in which well over 90% of his cases never had to lumber their way to trial. Jack Schachner, his Supreme Court law clerk, observed, “His tenure on the trial court bench was characterized by his apparent ease in making rulings on evidentiary questions, the pleasure he took in being so closely involved with juries, and the uncanny ability he had to fashion settlements in lawsuits . . . as contentious as disputes between the Hatfields and the McCoys.”

In 1987, Justice Rosenblatt was appointed the state’s Chief Administrative Judge, a selection widely approved by New York’s judges who knew of his intellect, his judicial experience “in the trenches,” his integrity, and his tact. During his two-year tenure, he created the New York State Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics, an act he considers among his most significant. It is a diverse group of 26 judges who render formal ethics opinions and guidance, cloaked with the force of law [see Judiciary Law ‘212 (2)(l)(iv)]. Any of New York’s 3,300 judges, who preside in every court from Village Courts to the New York State Court of Appeals, may seek and obtain a Committee opinion. By the Summer of 2006, this group had written over 2,500 formal ethics opinions in 19 years, had given judges informal ethics guidance on thousands of other occasions, and had given scores of judicial ethics seminars. Its members have gained the trust and confidence of judges statewide.

Among his many other significant administrative gains, he established a comprehensive program for improving court facilities statewide, aided in creating the Judicial Commission on Minorities, the Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children, and the Committee to Improve the Availability of Legal Services. His jury reform initiatives included such measures as lengthening the period between jury service from two to four years and establishing the “stand-by” and “call-in” systems to decrease the time prospective jurors spend in the courthouse. He also established new court records management systems, and caused the State to adopt new rules to govern the imposition of sanctions for frivolous litigation.

A Man of Character

Whether trained in the law or not, we all know the mix of traits that forecasts the highest quality of justice society can expect from any judge. Common sense, brilliance, scholarship, an excellent education, hard work, experience, attention to detail, patience, sensitivity, tact, courtesy, and dignity are all unquestionably important, but none influences how a judge decides and behaves as fundamentally and as indispensably as integrity. Judge Rosenblatt richly possesses all these traits, but none more than his integrity. It is the virtually inevitable result of the earliest examples set, and lessons taught, by his parents, Fannie and Isaac.

One early demonstration of his character came in 1970. A teacher in Dutchess County’s rural Town of La Grange was arrested for flying an American flag with green stripes instead of red to express his support for the environment. In the midst of public outcry on both sides of the debate about this controversial flag, D.A. Rosenblatt refused to prosecute the teacher despite some harsh criticism from the community. Sixteen years later, Judge Rosenblatt reflected on those events and how much they taught him about prosecutorial power. “You realize how silly that is, but that was a hot potato. Some people felt it was desecration, but to my mind it was freedom of expression. That case sent me into the darkest recesses of the libraries in constitutional history to see what the D.A.’s powers were and whether he has to do something he doesn’t want to do.”1 Despite the political pressures from some of the same people who helped elect him, the 34-year-old D.A. held steadfast to his First Amendment principles. He refused to compromise what he plainly saw as a prized legacy of our founding fathers.

Judge Rosenblatt’s humanity has expressed itself many times, in many ways, and toward many people. In 1979, when the Vietnamese “boat people” were initially deemed unwelcome as they approached our shores in crowded dinghies, vulnerable to the might of the sea and in utter desperation, he reminded us all in a letter to the editor that such disregard of our collective immigrant past is antithetical to many of America’s most valued ideals. He ended his letter by observing: “The American heritage goes well beyond regimental immigration-sharing among nations. If the other nations are reluctant, then let them be. We see ourselves and hold ourselves out as special, and we should strive to act that way.”2

Another example of his empathy emerged in a legal dispute between adoptive parents and a biological father. The couple had lovingly reared three-year-old Daniel since he was four days old. His late-coming natural father unsuccessfully petitioned Family Court to wrest Daniel from his loving home, and then appealed. In Rosenblatt’s Appellate Division concurring opinion in Matter of John E. v. Doe, 164 AD2d 375, 386 (2d Dept.1990), and in a rare written display of his emotion, undoubtedly born of his genuine concern for this child, he called the lawsuit’s objective “a wrenching uprooting that so palpably disserves Daniel, that it amounts to a denial of his constitutional right to liberty, on a scale certainly no less than the [father’s] asserted liberty
interest. The [father] can better survive defeat in this litigation than can Daniel.”

Rosenblatt’s ability to approach cases individually, with devotion to legal principles and precedent, an open and analytical mind, and healthy doses of scholarship, compassion, and common sense is the reason many lawyers and judges refer to him as the “lawyers’ judge.” In his concurring opinion in the controversial death penalty case of People v. LaValle, 3 NY3d 88, at 131 (2004), he expressed his philosophy that “most often . . . judges are ruled not by their stomachs but by their minds, their judicial experience, and their constitutional training and analysis.” Whether one agrees with his decisions or not, he is widely viewed as independent and, as the court’s “centrist,” he often casts the “swing” vote. This writer once heard a layman say that a courtroom is a place where people occasionally need to come, but where they “must always feel safe” knowing the judge will listen to both sides, take them seriously so as to understand their views, and decide cases on the merits, without bias. That is what Judge Rosenblatt has done every day since he first donned his robe in January 1976.

Moreover, he does it all with humility. As this writer stood beside him as his first law clerk on that first day in Duchess County Court, watching everyone in the courthouse rush to please “the new man on the bench,” he turned and said, “George, if it ever looks to you like I’m starting to believe I’m entitled to this level of deference, please make me stop.”

His humility and his sensitivity to others show in a 1987 story commemorating his appointment as Chief Administrative Judge. A New York Law Journal reporter, Daniel Wise, asked this writer about the new Chief’s “personal side.” Wise was told of a 1977 incident involving this writer’s youngest son, Joshua Marlow, and his four-year-old friend Betsy Rosenblatt. He apparently believed the anecdote revealing enough to include in his subsequent front page story.3 The two were nursery school classmates. One day, Betsy invited Josh to dinner at the Rosenblatt home. Concerned Josh’s severely limited culinary tastes might pose a problem for his unsuspecting hosts, his Dad forewarned Betsy’s Dad that Josh was a picky eater with a taste only for French toast, cucumbers, peanut butter, french fries, and hot dogs. The Judge’s easy going response calmed this anxious parent, and Josh joined the Rosenblatts for dinner. On the ride home from his evening’s social encounter, Josh was asked how he enjoyed his dinner with Betsy. He liked it and added, “The French toast and cucumbers were good.” When asked what Betsy ate, he said, “She ate French toast and cucumbers.” Finally, when asked what Al and Julie had eaten, he replied, “They ate French toast and cucumbers too.” A revealing anecdote, particularly considering that the Rosenblatts maintain close ties with world-renowned chefs at the Culinary Institute of America, but they joined these preschoolers for an entrée of French toast and cucumbers-a peculiar epicurean “delight”-served for the sole purpose of putting a little friend at ease.

Excelling On and Off the Court

Judge Rosenblatt has always risen to the top in virtually every activity attracting his interest, a level of success born of his limitless energy, his focus, his creativity and his ability to work with others in a good-natured way. Perhaps, the best extracurricular demonstration of that style is in his intense interest in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories, a fascination beginning in his teen years. It is an interest he and Julie have pursued most often together. They team-taught a course in 1993 at Vassar College, titled, “The Life and Times of Sherlock Holmes”; Julie co-authored a cookbook in 1976 with the Culinary Olympic gold medal chef, Frederick Sonnenschmidt, entitled Dining With Sherlock Holmes, a collection of old English recipes of the famous detective’s favorite meals interwoven with references to Holmes stories. Julie described the book to one reporter saying, “There are three meals described in nearly every Holmes story. That’s a lot of raw material. From the season of the year and the setting of [each] story it is possible to deduce what was eaten and how it must have been prepared,” and adding, “It’s a kind of mock scholarship that’s tongue in cheek and really fun.”4

For decades, Judge Rosenblatt has been active in Sherlockian scholarship and mock scholarship, both locally and in the national organization known as the Baker Street Irregulars. In 1988, he was invited to deliver a lecture at The Harvard Law School Library introducing the Holmes exhibit, “Sherlock Holmes and the Law.” Over the years, he and Julie have arranged sumptuous black tie dinners to commemorate events in Holmes’ “life,” attracting hundreds of kindred spirits from near and far for celebrations that honor Sherlock in every utterance and culinary morsel. One of these unique dinners caught the attention of The New Yorker magazine, featuring Julie in its “The Talk of the Town” section in the November 22, 1976 issue. On an equally fun-loving level, he engaged in a public debate in 1986 with Vassar College Professor Lynn Bartlett, about the authenticity of the Spielberg movie “Young Sherlock Holmes.” One way Rosenblatt views his lifelong captivation with Holmes stories is: “I think . . . that my fascination is with the period of about 1895 when the world appeared to be in order . . . And the atmosphere was one of fog and rainy nights and cobblestones on Baker Street . . . The period, of course, includes all that goes along with the gaslit world of Victorian illusion. Holmes represents all that is just, a man who devoted all of his intellectual powers against the forces of wickedness and evil.”5

Rosenblatt also has a passionate love of history, particularly constitutional and legal history. In early 1997, New York’s Chief Judge Judith Kaye called Appellate Division Justice Rosenblatt with a task she hoped would pique both interests. She asked him to unearth a long-shelved mystery of the Court of Appeals’ past, namely, the whereabouts of a likeness of Charles Ruggles. Judge Ruggles, a former Congressman, was one of the very first Associate Judges on the Court beginning at its 1847 birth. He later became New York’s Chief Judge, and was the first, and until 1999 the only, person from Dutchess County ever to serve on the Court. Judge Kaye could not have entrusted this task to a more fitting and motivated historical detective, seasoned as he was by countless hours “in the company of Holmes.” Justice Rosenblatt enlisted his friend, the late John J. Gartland, Esq., himself a Dutchess County history buff, to join the quest. After months of effort, undeterred by blind alleys and false leads, they learned of one tiny photo, located in the Senate House in Kingston, N.Y. Rosenblatt later recounted their next step in a pamphlet about their successful hunt, adding just a “tad” of literary license:

[Rosenblatt and Gartland] immediately drove over the Mid-Hudson Bridge to the Senate House in Kingston, where they feasted their eyes on this small object, the quest for which had, by then, reached dramatic proportions almost on a par with the search for The Maltese Falcon.

Financed by the local McCann Foundation Trust, of which he was the trustee, Gartland commissioned an artist to recreate Ruggles’ likeness in two portraits. One now hangs in the Court of Appeals Courtroom amid portraits of other Chief Judges. Gartland donated the second painting to Dutchess County to assume a place of honor in the stately old county courthouse on Poughkeepsie’s Market Street.

Rosenblatt has shared his passion for history many times. For example, he was instrumental in creating the Historical Society of the Courts of New York, and he was honored by the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s invitation to deliver the 55th Cardozo Memorial Lecture in March 2003. In it, he narrated the high and low points of the rule of law going back to the dawn of history. His title, “Long Night’s Journey Into Day” (24 Cardozo Rev. 2119 [2003]), expressed his viewpoint as did his concluding comment:

But I am fervently optimistic because we are smart enough-and I think courageous enough-to realize that we are not at high noon, and because we have history behind us, whispering valuable lessons in our ear. We are Americans, and we originate culturally in continents that include Europe, Africa, and Asia. In a manner of speaking, however, we are part Sumerian, part Hebrew, part Greek, part Roman, part Christian, part Scandinavian, part Celtic, and part Anglo-Saxon, we have managed to learn a good deal from our fore-bears. That is our legacy, and it will guide us well into the future.

He thus conveyed his universalist attitude emphasizing that humanity cuts across all lines, be they national, gender, ethnic, religious, color, or the like.

He celebrates the nation’s unique history, in part, because he has never forgotten his good fortune having been born on this soil to immigrant Jewish parents who so easily could have been annihilated by Nazi brutality. At a 2002 Independence Day celebration in Philadelphia, he was invited to give the “American response” to Lord Peter Goldsmith, the United Kingdom’s Attorney General, who spoke of the links of freedom between our two countries, joined by Magna Carta. For Rosenblatt, the event was unforgettable, enabling him to reveal how he felt about his place as an American, and his love of the Rule of Law. “As an American,” he said “I trace my condition to Magna Carta. For us, it is at the root of our Republic and it gives us our political heartbeat . . . Our commitment [to due process of law] epitomizes all we believe in as Americans, and the values we share with our British cousins . . . that the government does not own the people; it is the people who own the government.”6

A prolific writer, Judge Rosenblatt authored dozens of works, but also enjoys occasional collaborations. On the professional side, he and Chief Judge Kaye co-edited several issues of the New York State Bar Journal. Their brainstorming yielded a number of “theme issues.”7 Some articles they wrote themselves, while they invited others in and outside the legal profession also to contribute. Although most were serious writings on the law and closely related topics, some were lighthearted, such as in the “Wordsmith” issue where the Judge and Chief Judge “traveled” through the legal lexicon citing oddities and quaint usages.

In 1989, he collaborated with this writer on a piece about a local luminary, Rabbi Erwin Zimet, days after his death. Some would say we risked our friendship by trying to jointly eulogize such a beloved leader. We joked also that the article was so seamless that only the most perspicacious would be able to discern which one of us composed each sentence or phrase.8

But, nothing has pleased him more than collaborating with his wife and his daughter.

Julie is an accomplished writer in her own right, and daughter Betsy had been raised at the Rosenblatt dinner table to appreciate the use and power of words. Indeed, at 17, she finished first in the nation among 35,000 entrants, with a speech on “Democracy, The Vanguard of Freedom,” which she wrote and delivered. The generous scholarship prize she won from the Veterans of Foreign Wars helped pay for her first year at Williams College.

Among those collaborations, the Rosenblatts (Julia and Albert) are publishing a book (pro bono for the Historical Society of the Courts of New York) describing the history of New York State courthouses. Together, they also wrote “Six Member Juries in Criminal Cases: Legal and Psychological Considerations,”9 a number of book reviews featuring Sherlock Holmes, and several popular articles in Harper’s Magazine, the New York Times, and various skiing publications (see published writings segment, infra).

Spurred by the bicentennial of the ratification of the United States Constitution on Dutchess County soil, Judge Rosenblatt composed “A Puzzlement,” a constitutional crossword puzzle for the American Bar Journal (Nov. 1990). There are many other examples of his ability and inclination to find humor and an element of playfulness through the use and analysis of language. They include, among others, such writings as “Shall, Must, or May,”10 in which he set out to prove that in legal writings “shall” may mean “may,” and “may” may mean “must”; “Pleaded or Pled,”11 in which he counseled the proper usage of each with a debt to William Shakespeare; and, finally, in “Palsgraff, Through the Eyes of Sherlock Holmes,”12 where we can read his highly informed musing about how the legendary detective would uncover the identity of the explosive-carrying culprits. Recently, he wrote an entertaining account of his first appellate argument as a young assistant D.A. entitled, “How I Got to the New York Court of Appeals.”13

Rosenblatt’s talent for expressing his thoughts “with his pen” is not limited to prose. He has often delighted his friends and other audiences with his flare for the poetic, and he and Betsy collaborate annually on a Sherlock Holmes-themed year in review, which they write in verse.14 Two other warmly received efforts came in 1988 and again 2006 before gatherings of the New York Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. Instead of a typical speech, he addressed the plight of the matrimonial attorney in a 38-stanza poem he composed for the occasion.15 These are a few of the stanzas which evoked the groups’ thunderous applause:

* * * * * * * * * * * *

As a Justice who has a few thoughts to advance,
I thank you tonight for providing a chance
To reveal what it is like: all the woes, all the kicks,
In the home of the brave: DRL 2-3-6.

That statute is cited, and pleaded and used,
The more times you read it, the more you’re confused.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Is the property separate, and how can you tell?
A medical license is not made to sell.
One doctor said no! And persisted in tryin’
And if you think he’s right, just ask Mrs. O’Brien.

The life of a lawyer is no easy lot,
And sometimes the deal will come down to one pot.
The client is typically worn and distraught.
Her nerves are at edge and his temper is taut.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

And so ends this chapter
For husband and wife,
Who leave, bittersweet,
To begin a new life.

Yet for lawyers it isn’t
A fork in the road.
It’s just one more case.
Where you’ve lightened the load

* * * * * * * * * * * *

So I wish you a life
That is stout and robust
With all that is fulfilling,
Rewarding, and just.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Judge Rosenblatt’s humor and scholarship are matched by his athletic prowess. He shares a love of skiing with Julie and Betsy, and all three have been certified ski instructors. In addition to joining Julie in teaching Betsy to navigate snow-covered mountains gracefully, beginning when she was barely old enough to walk, Rosenblatt also devoted himself to teaching handicapped children to ski. One of his most poignant moments was given him by a 13-year-old cancer victim whose left leg had been amputated, and whom Rosenblatt taught to ski down a mile-long trail on Connecticut’s Mohawk Mountain.

After he began his Court of Appeals tenure, so near to Eastern New York’s mountains, he annually treated his law clerks to a ski outing. One young clerk, Michael Dimino, with commendable humility, described the four-decades-older Judge as having “expertise on the squash court [that] is legendary,” causing many considerably younger judges and lawyers to

succumb . . . to his athletic prowess. He often spends portions of afternoons [on ‘the court’] after oral argument or in the midst of drafting opinions . . . , keeping himself physically fit and refreshing his mind, enabling him to continue working on cases well into the night. The clerks who have been fortunate to play with him on those occasions well know the twinkle in his eye when he has run his opponent all over the floor, leaving his younger companion wheezing and defeated, and then announces it is time to begin discussing the case of the day.

In 1997 and 2001, Rosenblatt was chosen to represent his age group and country as a member of the United States Maccabiah Squash (Master’s) Team. When asked about his career as an amateur athlete, Rosenblatt, pointing to his genetically inherited gifts, joked that his grandfather was “All-Shtetl” in hockey.

Justin Long, one of his clerks on the Court of Appeals, invited the Judge to his wedding and wrote, “I expected him to have an interesting time chatting with my friends from law school and meeting my family. I did not expect him to start a traditional Russian-style kick dance, squatting and throwing his legs straight out with unabashed flair. Those of us decades his junior had no chance of keeping up.” As clerk Gordon Lyon noted the Judge’s youthfulness at age 69, “His extraordinary athletic agility and stamina are apparent not only to his squash-playing and skiing colleagues but to anyone who sees him bounding up the courthouse stairs in Poughkeepsie with his law clerks doing their best to keep up with him.”

Appellate Division and Court of Appeals Years

In 1989, Governor Mario Cuomo designated Judge Rosenblatt an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, where he served until Governor George Pataki appointed him to the Court of Appeals in December 1998. He excelled in both courts’ collegial atmosphere, enjoying friendships with his judicial colleagues and appreciating the legal minds and delightful personalities of the courts’ legal and other support staffs. As his law clerk, Michelle Schauer, recalls, “[Justice] Rosenblatt was considered by the Appellate Division employees to be a ‘regular guy,’ and a ‘mensch.’ He could often be seen talking to them about their interests and activities. He made it a point of trying to personally meet each Appellate Division [court] attorney, frequently inviting groups of them to join him for lunch.”

In January 1999, he began his work on the Court of Appeals, with the sentiment, “I hope I have the wisdom. I know I have the will.” He had both. One of his first law clerks in that Court, James Lagios, recalled Judge Rosenblatt’s delightful swearing in ceremony in the following way:

“In a good-natured ceremony filled with warmth and laughter, Judge Rosenblatt was sworn in as the 103rd Judge of Court of Appeals-the last Judge to join the Court in the 20th century. Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye thoughtfully introduced him as a distinguished jurist, a prolific author, a former district attorney, a Baker Street Irregular, a son of Dutchess County, and a world class athlete. Considering his background, Chief Judge Kaye forecasted that Judge Rosenblatt would prove to be a ‘lively contributor of fresh ideas’ as the Court began its work in the new millennium.”

Following Chief Judge Kaye’s heartfelt welcome, Governor George E. Pataki poked fun at some of Judge Rosenblatt’s heavily footnoted writings on myriad topics. According to the Governor, the work that might have cinched Judge Rosenblatt’s nomination was his definitive scholarly treatment of the grammatical controversy surrounding the proper use of the word “plead” versus “pleaded.” The Governor observed that “wherever Judge Rosenblatt is, a sense of humor cannot be out of place.”

The very next morning after his first sitting, Rosenblatt called this writer at home at 7:30. Asked from where he was calling, the Judge said he was in his Albany chambers, working since 5:00 a.m.. This writer remarked that many of us know Court of Appeals Judges put in long hours while in session in Albany, but not quite from 5:00 a.m. The “rookie” Judge confided, “I was so excited to begin, that I just couldn’t sleep. So, I decided not to waste time trying!”

David Markus, one of his Court of Appeals clerks, writes:

A jurist of Judge Rosenblatt’s experience and talent might have been forgiven for a little ipse dixit, but such was not his way: he was so intellectually honest that he invited us to discern the law with him, to push him, to challenge assumptions and clarify ambiguities. As much as the skill and love he brought to his craft, I will never forget Judge Rosenblatt’s intellectual generosity, or ever fully repay him for it.

Rosenblatt’s brainstorming sessions with law clerks “were an open forum for intellectual discussion and debate,” says clerk Mike Garvey. His clerks describe how they would dissect cases using chalk and a blackboard to visualize legal concepts and draw conclusions, and how, as told by clerk Lisa Dell Aquila, they would have “screen sessions” late at night, gathered around a computer, until, according to clerk Dan Paisley, “every footnote was perfect and the clerks were completely familiar with the history of every point of law since medieval England.”

His well-known work ethic was aptly described by Gabe Torres, one of his law clerks who in 2002 assisted in Rosenblatt’s sole dissent in People v. Sanchez, 98 NY2d 373, 394 (2002), as follows:

No one works harder than Judge Rosenblatt. But no one is as modest as Judge Rosenblatt, either. So if asked, he would never divulge that in those warm days in early July 2002, the Judge and his young clerk poured sweat and brain cells into this case until the sun rose over the great city of Albany-at 5:00 a.m. On more than one occasion, the Judge and I were leaving Albany chambers as one of his colleagues on the Court was arriving for work.

Despite late nights and long hours, law clerk Tim Kerr expressed similar sentiments, no doubt shared by all of Judge Rosenblatt’s former clerks, noting, “The truth is, a clerk couldn’t ask for a more intelligent, experienced, respectful judge or a better mentor.”

Roy L. Reardon, a prominent New York attorney and contributing writer and observer of Court of Appeals case development for the New York Law Journal, summed up Judge Rosenblatt’s performance:

The Judge’s appointment to the Court in 1998 coincided with when I began writing, with my partner, the column for The New York Law Journal called ‘The Court of Appeals Roundup.’ Over the years he has shown himself as a scholarly, independent and thoughtful jurist whose opinions consistently evidence a rigorous examination and respect for legal precedent, history and common sense. His many years as a trial and appellate judge, coupled with his service as a prosecutor, have provided him with a wide range of personal experience that is reflected in his opinions. His opinions also show his respect for the views of his colleagues on the Court, while at the same time his willingness to disagree where he deems it appropriate and to serve as a catalyst for changes in the law which he pursues within the Court in a gentle, persuasive and yet persistent way. Finally, the Judge can best be described as a quintessential centrist who takes a stance on each case solely on the merits as he sees it and has not been seen to hold any ideological preference from which one could predict his view in any given case.

Special emphasis is due Reardon’s praise of Rosenblatt’s “respect for the views of his colleagues on the Court, while at the same time his willingness to disagree . . . .” There are many of us who believe our entire society sorely needs more such role models. During his eight years on the State’s highest court, Judge Rosenblatt has relished the opportunity to help shape New York’s law with clear and crisp writing. His intellect, common sense, and uncommonly clear legal expression never hide from their central role in his decision-making. History will likely remember Judge Rosenblatt as much for his direct and elegant prose as for the many other qualities described here.

So, it is fitting that this biography close with a few of the Judge’s more memorable articulations of law:

In Matter of Guido v. Goord, 1 NY3d 345, 349 (2004), a case of statutory interpretation, he wrote: “‘In any case’ means in any, and we cannot conclude that by saying ‘any’ the Legislature meant some and not others . . . ” Elsewhere, he articulated the law’s view of statutory construction: “where the lawmakers’ purpose is as clear as it is here, we will not bend their words into the shape of a loophole.” New York City v. Stringfellows of NY, 96 NY2d 51, 56 (2001). And, in trying to reconcile two discrete statutes, Rosenblatt noted that while “on the face of [the two statutes] there is trouble [,] . . . [i]t is not the function of the court . . . to declare one statute the victor over another if the statutes may be read together, without misdirecting the one, or breaking the spirit of the other.” Along the same lines, in seeking to find a common sense guide to the “law of the case” doctrine, Judge Rosenblatt stated that it:

does not contemplate that every trial ruling is binding on retrial . . . If that were so, a Judge conducting a retrial would be corseted by each of the previous Judge’s evidentiary rulings, including those, for example, dealing with leading questions, or the manner in which an exhibit is marked or shown to a jury or some other discretionary call. Obviously, distinctions must be made. People v. Evans, 94 NY2d 499, 504 (2000).

In People v. Molnar, 98 NY2d 328, 335 (2002), involving a warrantless entry into an apartment, Rosenblatt observed, “. . . no person, let alone a murderer, can, in the name of constitutional privacy, expect to harbor a dead body without generating official cognizance and action.” In the same opinion (at 334), responding to a defendant’s suggestion that a warrantless entry is constitutionally within the emergency exception only if the police immediately break in, Rosenblatt said:

. . . defining an emergency with the rigidity defendant proposes may encourage police, so as to give their actions the appearance of an emergency-to break in prematurely, before exhausting other reasonable means of gaining access. It would be an ironic result were we to ‘punish’ the constabulary by suppressing the evidence merely because they took the time to exercise judgment and circumspection before resorting to force.

This follows his earlier statement in People v. Darling, 95 NY2d 530, 537 (2000): “‘Strict compliance’ does not entail hypertechnical or strained obedience, nor is common sense its enemy.”

In People v. Gee, 99 NY2d 158, 164 (2002), dealing with eyewitness identification, he wrote,

Defendant’s claim boils down to his assertion that the clerk’s identification of the robber was tainted by her having taken a second look (on video) of the self-same robber shortly after the robbery. We cannot agree with this proposition or easily conceive of how viewing a clear image of the robber is an ‘undue’ or improper suggestion of what he looked like.

In another case relating to taped surveillance-this time in tort cases-the Judge observed that “surveillance tapes, when properly authenticated, can be powerful evidence against plaintiffs who are videotaped while engaging in physical activities that contradict their claimed injuries. Graphic descriptions of that type will undo the plaintiff who complains that he can’t walk, unaware that he has been filmed playing rugby.” Tai Tran v. New Rochelle Hospital, 99 NY2d 383, 387 (2003).

His opinions often employ elegant phrasing. He summed up the concept of preservation of error in People v. Kelly, 5 NY3d 116, 121 (2005), by observing, “In all, the impropriety was protestable but unprotested, curable, and cured.” Yet, he is known to sprinkle his opinions with everyday, ordinary language to make a point clear, as in People v. Savinon, 100 NY2d 192, 198 (2003). When construing the meaning of the word “availability” of a witness, Judge Rosenblatt wrote, “But, as one might put it in the colloquial, there is unavailable and unavailable.” Clarifying “due diligence” in People v. Diaz, 97 NY2d 109, 115 (2001), he said it “requires that when the People try to secure a witness’s presence at trial, they communicate in language the witness can understand. And there should be no question about the witness’s understanding. The matter should not be left to surmise or impressions as to the witness’s capacity to appreciate the conversation fully.”

His approach of mixing practicality with compassion is apparent in many decisions. For example, in Broadnax v. Gonzalez, 2 NY3d 148, 154-155 (2004), Rosenblatt wrote:

Although in treating a pregnancy, medical professionals owe a duty of care to the developing fetus . . . , they surely owe a duty of reasonable care to the expectant mother who is, after all, the patient. Because the health of the mother and fetus are linked, we will not force them into legalistic pigeonholes.

And, in Mark G. v. Sable, 93 NY2d 710, 723 (1999), he again evinces his compassion, explaining the importance of substance over procedure when courts must make decisions about children in foster care. He wrote, “The government may not decide to deny a foster child’s safety or entitlements and seek to justify the denial by showing that its processes or procedures were fair. No amount of procedure can justify the wrongful denial of an entitlement.”

His opinions are also logical and, at their core, fair. Rosenblatt applied this approach in favor of firefighters in Giuffrida v. Citi Bank Corp., 100 NY2d 72, 82-83 (2003). He said,

Defendant’s argument that the cause of plaintiff’s injuries was his lack of oxygen misses the mark: plaintiff’s air supply ran out because he remained inside the burning building operating the last water hose so that his fellow firefighters could escape. The depletion of plaintiff’s air supply was not a superseding cause of his injuries. It was the result of an act of courage that was part of plaintiff’s efforts in battling the blaze.

In Osborn Memorial Home v. Chassin, 240 AD2d 143, 149 (2d Dept. 1998), he addressed equal protection with similar clarity:

A tax or assessment will rarely fall with exquisite perfection and equality on all who are slated to pay. The relative impacts cannot be measured with the precision of an eyedropper. To meet equal protection criteria, however, there must be general uniformity of treatment of those similarly situated . . . .

When courts were in the early days of grappling with issues arising from emerging areas of internet use and communication, with its high speed and convenient forms of electronic transmissions, Judge Rosenblatt’s foresight and practical sense shone in Lunney v. Prodigy Services Company, 94 NY2d 242, 249 (1999) when he wrote:

[W]e are unwilling to deny Prodigy the common-law qualified privilege accorded to telephone and telegraph companies. The public would not be well served by compelling an [internet service provider] to examine and screen millions of e-mail communications, on pain of liability for defamation.

In placing SEQRA laws in perspective, Rosenblatt wisely wrote, in Weiss v. Planning Bd. of Poughkeepsie, 130 Misc2d 381 (1985):

The courts are not forums for the exploitation or subversion of environmental enactments. SEQRA was promulgated with lofty objectives as a shield to insure the preservation and enhancement of resources which are esthetically, culturally, and environmentally valued. It is not there to be rattled as a sword which threatens to bleed the opposition to death by interminable litigation.

And, in addressing the Legislature’s attempt to inject fairness into the process of awarding matrimonial counsel fees, Rosenblatt wrote in O’Shea v. O’Shea, 93 NY2d 187, 192 (1999):

In transferring the counsel fee provisions from Civil Practice Act section 1169 to Domestic Relations Law section 237(a) the Legislature also deleted the word ‘necessary’ from the statute, removing any requirement or interpretation…that the less affluent spouse be entirely spent down before being entitled to counsel fees. This advanced the objective that marital litigation is best shaped not by the power of the bankroll but by the power of the evidence.

Dissenting in New York Times v. New York City Fire Department, 4 NY3d 477, 493 (2005), he focused on the issue of access to 911 transcripts of September 11, reasoning that granting access

will give the public the clearest picture of how the first responders reacted, and that picture should be as comprehensive as possible . . . . Of course, no one can rightly expect perfection and exquisite orderliness in the face of an attack as horrific as this one. Exposing mistakes may prove discomforting, but this will pale in the face of the unforgettable heroics that we will always associate with September 11. For every person critical of an error or omission, ten thousand voices will rise up in praise of the firefighters, police officers, and others who risked life and limb in the line of duty.

Emphasis on fairness has made Judge Rosenblatt a strong champion of equality in many contexts. Addressing gender equality in custody cases, he was among the earlier judges to insist that the law be blind about gender. In Linda R. v. Richard E., 162 AD2d 48 (2d Dept. 1990), he wrote,

. . . the custody-seeking mother who works outside the home should not be penalized for her employment, anymore than should the father. To do so would often confront one parent-in this case the mother-with the Hobson’s choice between livelihood and parenthood, while exacting a lesser standard on the other parent-in this case the father. If a mother is held to a more rigorous standard, the legislative presumption of gender-neutral custody determination, and with it, the ‘best interests of the child’ test, is upset.

In a case where he was unsure if an accused was actually guilty of the crimes of which he was convicted, and operating within the law’s constraints, he used the moral force of language and of his high office to encourage prosecutors to re-evaluate a case. Thus, in People v. Calabria, 3 NY3d 80 (2004), a matter which Rosenblatt referred to in his concurring opinion as “a troublesome case where the proof of guilt is thin and the evidence somewhat contradictory,” he added:

I recognize that in the Appellate Division and in our Court the District Attorney has argued to uphold the conviction. That’s understandable, given the jury’s verdict and the prosecution’s natural unwillingness to undermine it. But this is a particularly disquieting case, one that calls for a new and fastidious layer of review. If on further investigation the District Attorney shares these concerns, he has the power and, I am confident, the motivation, to take whatever steps are appropriate to do justice (id. at 84).

Although a former prosecutor, he revealed his balanced view of criminal justice in his dissent in People v. Sanchez, 98 NY2d 373, 394 (2002), in which he criticized the extension of the depraved indifference murder statute. Later, in People v. Schulz, 4 NY3d 521 (2005), Rosenblatt was uneasy about a post conviction ruling in which a Supreme Court Justice denied a defendant’s application to vacate his conviction without conducting a hearing. In his partial dissent he said,

the possibility of defendant’s actual innocence is too high to justify denial of the CPL 440.10 motion without a hearing. The majority determined that the case is legally sufficient, and no one can quarrel with that. My discomfort stems from the combined effect of two rulings . . . [P]rosecutorial inaction would be lawful, but regrettable. The interests of finality count for a great deal, and may be alluring, but they are not always consistent with the higher ends of justice (id. at 531, 534).

In the Summer of 2006 Judge Rosenblatt was appointed to the faculty of NYU Law School as a judicial fellow in a part-time role.


Julia and Albert Rosenblatt’s daughter, Betsy, is an intellectual property litigation attorney with Irell and Manella in Los Angeles, CA. She is a graduate of Williams College (’95) and Harvard Law School (’99).


*Out of concern that I write too much or too little, I have asked George D. Marlow, with whom I enjoy a close personal and professional relationship, to write this segment. He had been an Assistant D.A. when I was District Attorney of Dutchess County, and later served as my first law clerk. He is now a Justice of the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department. He also received editorial input from my daughter, Betsy Rosenblatt, Esq.
I am grateful for their efforts.


This biography appears in The Judges of the New York Court of Appeals: A Biographical History, ed. Hon. Albert M. Rosenblatt (New York: Fordham University Press, 2007). It has not been updated since publication.


Sources Consulted

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Published Writings Include:

Legal Publications

The New York Court of Appeals: A Biography of Its Judges, Fordham University Press, (forthcoming 2007).

Historic Courthouses of New York: A Study in Postcards, Turner Publishing Co. (forthcoming 2007).

“How I Got to the New York Court of Appeals,” 8 Journal of Appellate Practice and Process (forthcoming Feb. 2007).

“The Interaction of Law and Psychiatry: A Voyage over the Ages,” 70 Alb. L. Rev. 969 (2006).

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A Tribute to Judge Matthew Jasen, 69 Albany Law Review 391 (2006).

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New York Appellate Practice, Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction, New York State Bar Association, pp. H71 H100 (2005); New York Appellate Practice, Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction, New York State Bar Association, pp. F13 F30 (2003); New York Appellate Practice, Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction, New York State Bar Association, pp. 641 659 (2001); New York Appellate Practice, Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction, New York State Bar Association, pp. 211 235 (1993); New York Appellate Practice, Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction, New York State Bar Association, pp. 191 219 (1991).

The Complete Search Warrant, Annotated, Division of Criminal Justice Services, 1973 1987, 1997, consol. ed. Nov. 2004.

“The Riot Act” (address given at the annual conference of The New York State Magistrates Association), The Magistrate, Winter 2004, p. 4.

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Introduction, Annual Report, New York Court of Appeals, 2003.

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“The Fifty Fifth Annual Benjamin N. Cardozo Lecture: The Law’s Evolution: Long Night’s Journey into Day,” 24 Cardozo Law Review, No. 5, pp. 2119 2147; also, The Record of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 58 The Record 142, Spring 2003.

“Floor by Floor, Building Radiates Justice, History,” Poughkeepsie Journal, Mar. 20, 2002.

Issue co editor (with Chief Judge Judith Kaye), New York State Bar Journal, “The Jury in the New Millennium,” Vol. 73, No. 5, Jun. 2001.

Issue co editor (with Chief Judge Judith Kaye), New York State Bar Journal, “Fifty Years of New York Law,” Vol. 73, No. 1, Jan. 2001.

“‘Palsgraf’ Through the Eyes of Sherlock Holmes, New York Law Journal, Nov. 30, 2000, p. 2, col. 3.

“Valley Helped Shape Our Constitution,” Poughkeepsie Journal, Dec. 6, 1999.

“Pioneering Attorney Drew Little Attention” [article on Anna G. W. Daley], Poughkeepsie Journal, Nov. 14, 1999.

“4 Local Lawyers Helped Form Today’s System” [article on James Kent, Smith Thompson, Charles Ruggles, and Egbert Benson], Poughkeepsie Journal, Oct. 10, 1999.

“Never Again: Holocaust Memorial,” Voice of the Dutchess Jewish Community, 1999.

“Wisdom of Rabbi Drew from Justice” [article on Rabbi Erwin Zimet], Poughkeepsie Journal, 1999.

“Dewey Vied with FDR,” Poughkeepsie Journal, Jul. 30, 1999.

West’s New York Practice Series, Vols. 25 26, General Practice in New York, Chap. 37, “Civil Appellate Practice Before the Appellate Division and Other Intermediate Courts,” Chap. 38, “Criminal Appellate Practice Before the Appellate Division and Other Intermediate Appellate Courts,” Chap. 39, “Civil and Criminal Appeals to the Court of Appeals,” co author with Stuart Cohen and Martin Brownstein, 1998.

The New York State District Attorneys Association: An Illustrated History, 1998, 371 pp.

Lost and Found: A Study in the Portraiture of Judge Charles H. Ruggles, privately printed by the McCann Foundation, 1998.

Issue co editor (with Chief Judge Judith Kaye), New York State Bar Journal, “Lawyers as Wordsmiths,” Vol. 69, No. 7, Nov. 1997.

Issue co editor (with Chief Judge Judith Kaye), New York State Bar Journal, “The Law as We Approach the 21st Century,” Vol. 66, No. 4, May/Jun. 1994.

“Brief Writing and Oral Argument in Appellate Practice,” New York Appellate Practice, New York State Bar Association Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction, October/November 1991, pp. 191 219; New York State Trial Lawyers Quarterly, Vol. 24, Nos. 1 2, Fall/Winter 1993 1994.

Issue co editor (with Chief Judge Judith Kaye), New York State Bar Journal, “Commercial Law in New York State Courts,” Vol. 65, No. 4, May/Jun. 1993.

“Religious Liberty in the United States,” The Queens Bar Bulletin, Oct. 1992, p. 4.

Book review of The Language of the Constitution by Thurston Greene, New York Law Journal, Jan. 9, 1992.

“Poughkeepsie Helped Foster Bill of Rights,” Poughkeepsie Journal, Dec. 15, 1991.

“The Foundations of the New York State Supreme Court (1691 1991): A Study in Sources,” New York State Bar Journal, Vol. 63, No. 4, May/Jun. 1991, p. 10.

“Pleaded or Pled?” New York Law Journal, Apr. 2, 1991.

“Reflections,” Dutchess County Bar Association 70th Anniversary Publication, Dec. 1989.

“For the Disabled,” Bill of Particulars, Publication of New York State Trial Lawyers Institute, co author with Jack E. Schachner, May June 1989. Reprinted New York State Bar Journal, Nov. 1989.

“CPLR 78CA Law Day Reflection,” New York Law Journal, May 3, 1989.

“Alternative Dispute Resolution: A New York Primer,” The Arbitration Journal, Vol. 44, No. 1, co author with Jack E. Schachner, March 1989. Reprinted, New York State Bar Journal, Vol. 61, No. 2, Feb. 1989.

“Objectives of Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedures Described,” New York Law Journal, Jan. 18, 1989, p. 37, col. 3.

Report of the Chief Administrative Judge to the Legislature, the Governor, and the Chief Judge of the State of New York on the Effect of Audio Visual Coverage on the Conduct of Judicial Proceedings, State of New York, Unified Court System, 1989.

“Women in the Courts: A Historical Perspective,” New York Law Journal, Nov. 1, 1988.

“Matrimonial Lawyers” (verse), New York State Bar Journal, Vol. 60 , No. 5, Jul. 1988.

“Happy Birthday, New York,” New York Law Journal, Jul. 25, 1988.

“Due Process of Law: A Fulcrum for the Ages,” New York Law Journal, May 2, 1988.

“The New Year Sets Moments for Progress Evaluation,” New York Law Journal, Jan. 27, 1988.

“To the ‘Mighty Joe Gag'” (poem for retiring Judge Joseph F. Gagliardi), New York Law Journal, Jan. 4, 1988, p. 2, col. 5.

Street Law: A Course in Practical Law, 2d ed. & 3d ed., West Publishing Company, St. Paul, 1975 1987 (Chapter).

“For a Judge, Election Days Rank Up There with Weddings,” White Plains Reporter Dispatch, Nov. 26, 1987.

“Post Election Musings,” New York Law Journal, Nov. 17, 1987.

The Guilty Plea, Annotated, New York State Office of Court Administration, 1974 1987.

“Some Thoughts on Law Day of Chief Court Administrator,” New York Law Journal, May 1, 1987.

New York Judge’s Bench Book, Chapters E and F (Trial Procedures; Juries), Lawyers Cooperative Publishing Company, 1987.

“A Review of the Decisions of Judge Matthew J. Jasen,” Buffalo Law Review, Vol. 35, No. 1, Winter 1986; “Jasen’s Legacy: Elegant Style and Clarity in 800 Decisions,” New York Law Journal, Dec. 26, 1985, p. 1., col. 3.

“E. B. White and Legalese,” New York Law Journal, Nov. 4, 1985.

“Voir Dire Reform, Judges Face Dilemma with Shall, Must or May,” New York Law Journal, Jun. 13, 1985.

“Crime and Justice in New York, Proceedings of the Governor’s Conference on Crime,” Presentation Statement, Jun. 1982.

“Understanding State’s New Drug Laws,” New York Law Journal, Apr. 4, 1974, p. 1.

“‘Stale’ Probable Cause in Search Warrants,” Search and Seizure Law Report, Feb. 1974.

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“Understanding the New Drug Laws: The Chain of Evidence,” New York Law Journal, Sep. 19, 1973, p. 1.

“Understanding the New Drug Laws: Recidivist Statutes: Elevating the Degree of Crime,” New York Law Journal, Sep. 7, 1973, p. 1, and Sep. 10, 1973, p. 1.

“Understanding the New Drug Laws: Hallucinogens and Stimulants,” New York Law Journal, Sep. 5, 1973, p. 1.

“Understanding the New Drug, Sentencing Laws,” New York Law Journal, Aug. 31, 1973, p. 1.

“Six Member Juries in Criminal Cases: Legal and Psychological Considerations,” St. John’s Law Review, Vol. 47, No. 4, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt, May 1973, pp. 615 633; New York State Bar Journal, Jun. 1974 (Reprinted).

“Sentencing Statutes for First Offenders,” New York Law Journal, Apr. 4, 1973, p. 1.

“Flag Desecration Statutes: History and Analysis,” 1972 Wash. U. L. Q., Spring No. 2, pp. 193 237.

“Issues in Freedom of Religion,” The Prosecutor, Journal of the National District Attorneys Association, Vol. 6, No. 2, Mar.-Apr. 1970 (also published in New York Law Journal, Apr. 24, 1970, p. 1).

“Unlawful Drugs and The First Amendment,” New York Law Journal, Apr. 24, 1970.

“Ski Area Liability,” 18 Harvard Law School Bulletin 12 (1967).

Non legal Publications

Concept and narrative, yearly calendars of The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York (2002 2007).

The Sherlockian Year in Review (verse), Baker Street Journal, Spring 2006, p. 14, co-author with Betsy Rosenblatt.

The Sherlockian Year in Review (verse), Baker Street Journal, Spring 2005, p. 13, co-author with Betsy Rosenblatt.

The Sherlockian Year in Review (verse), Baker Street Journal, Spring 2004, p. 11, co-author with Betsy Rosenblatt.

The Sherlockian Year in Review (verse), Baker Street Journal, Spring 2003, p. 11, co-author with Betsy Rosenblatt.

The Sherlockian Year in Review (verse), Baker Street Journal, Spring 2002, p. 11, co-author with Betsy Rosenblatt.

The Sherlockian Year in Review (verse), Baker Street Journal, Spring 2001, p. 11, co-author with Betsy Rosenblatt.

“The Sherlockian Year in Review” (verse), Baker Street Journal, Spring 2000, p. 9.

“Poughkeepsie Celebrates History, Culture, Industry: Milestone Marks Pride” [article on the 200th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Poughkeepsie], Poughkeepsie Journal, March 28, 1999, p. 23A.

“The Sherlockian Year in Review” (verse), Baker Street Journal, March 1999, p. 8.

Editor, Baker Street Christmas Annual “The Best of the Pips,” 1999.

“The Sherlockian Year in Review” (verse), Baker Street Journal, March 1998, p. 14.

“The Sherlockian Year in Review” (verse), Baker Street Journal, March 1997, p. 66.

“The Sherlockian Year in Review” (verse), Baker Street Journal, March 1996, p. 16.

“Looking Back: July 4, 1776 1995,” Pawling News Chronicle, June 29, 1995; and “Today, Remember the People Behind America’s Freedom,” Poughkeepsie Journal, July 4, 1995.

“The Sherlockian Year in Review” (verse), Baker Street Journal, Mar. 1995, p. 47.

“Afterword,” Vincent Starrett, Collected Poems [The Vincent Starrett Memorial Library, Vol. 1] (Peter Ruber ed., Metropolitan Toronto Reference Library 1995).

“The Influence of Melancton Smith,” Plattsburgh Press Republican, co author with Julia C. Rosenblatt, May 10, 1994 [May 7, 1994?].

“The Sherlockian Year in Review” (verse), Baker Street Journal, Mar. 1994, p. 46.

“The Baker Street Irregulars” (verse), Baker Street Journal, Mar. 1993.

“Stangerson Unmasked,” Baker Street Journal, Dec. 1992.

“The Utopian Sherlock,” Baker Street Journal, Jun. 1992.

“The Baker Street Irregulars Annual Dinner” (verse), Baker Street Journal, Mar. 1992.

“History of Religious Tolerance,'” The Voice of the Dutchess Jewish Community, Dec. 1991.

“The Fireworks of Independence,” Poughkeepsie Journal, Jul. 4, 1991, p. 6A.

The Samuel F. B. Morse Bicentennial Publication (Young Morse Historic Site), Apr. 27, 1991.

“Toast to Mrs. Hudson” [toast preesnted at the 1987 dinner of the BSI] in A Singular Set of People (Marlene Aig and David Galerstein, eds., Magico 1990).

“A Puzzlement” [Constitutional crossword puzzle], American Bar Association Journal, co author with Julia C. Rosenblatt, Nov. 1990.

“Do the Fight Thing,” Ski Magazine, Nov. 1989.

“Cafe Tamayo,” Ski, Oct. 1989, co author with Julia C. Rosenblatt.

“The Planting of an Empire” (verse), The Dutchess Historian, publication of the Dutchess County Historical Society, Vol. 16, No. 4, Summer 1989.

“Memories of Matt the Man,” Poughkeepsie Journal, May 24, 1989.

“A Race the World Won’t Forget,” Ski Magazine, Apr. 1989.

“To Joseph F. Gagliardi,” Empire State Court Notes, Vol. 6, No. 4, Dec. 1987.

“The Case of the Immortal Detective,” Empire State Institute for the Performing Arts at the EGG publication, Sep./Oct. 1987.

“The Scotland Yarders,” Baker Street Miscellanea, Vol. 51, Autumn 1987.

“Kids on Skis by I. William Berry and A Pictorial History of Downhill Skiing by Stan Cohen” (book review), Poughkeepsie Journal, Dec. 2, 1986, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt.

“Ski Windham: Where Congeniality Prevails,” Ski, Dec. 1986, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt.

“The Other Ski Clinic,” Ski Magazine, 1986 Buyer’s Guide issue.

The Sherlock Holmes Crossword (a monograph on the origins of the Baker Street Irregulars), co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1985.

“New Year’s Resolutions,” Poughkeepsie Journal, Dec. 31, 1985.

“Toni Matt’s Magic Moment,” Poughkeepsie Journal, Apr. 15, 1985, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt.

“Winter Plays a Special Music,” Poughkeepsie Journal, Mar. 22, 1985.

“Divorce, Canonical Style: Arthur Conan Doyle on Victorian Practices,” Baker Street Journal, Mar. 1985.

“Two Old Timers Recall the Glory Days of Skiing,” Poughkeepsie Journal, Feb. 5, 1985, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt.

“Challenging Our Linguistic Reach,” Essence of Stowe (1985 1986).

“Handicapped Gain Confidence on Snow,” New York Times, Nov. 19, 1984, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt.

“Ode to West Road,” Pleasant Valley Voice, Jun. 28, 1984.

“Hail Sherlock’s Music!,” Baker Street Journal, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt and Betsy Rosenblatt.

“Elementary, Dear Watson,” UPI: Plattsburgh (NY) Press Republican, May 9, 1983; Peekskill (NY) Sunday Star, May 8, 1983; Berkshire Eagle, May 12, 1983; Lawrence (MA) Eagle Tribune, May 9, 1983; Hartford Courant, May 6, 1983.

“Serene Mohawk,” Ski, Jan. 1983, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt.

“Skiing in the Rain,” Skiing, Spring 1982, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt.

“In the Tracks of Sherlock Holmes,” Skiing, Feb. 1982.

Photograph and description, entitled “For a Taste of the Wild,” Yankee Magazine, Jul. 1981.

“A Light Look at Recent Findings on Skiing and Alcohol,” Peekskill (NY) Sunday Star, Jan. 11, 1981.

“Willard Mountain, Liliputian Discovery,” Ski, Jan. 1981.

“Who’s Who in Sherlock Holmes” (book review), Hudson Valley Magazine, Dec. 1980, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt.

“Orwellian Future Ahead for Sports?” Miami Herald, Nov. 16, 1980.

“Weekend by Tania Grossinger and Andrew Niederman” (book review), Hudson Valley Magazine, Oct. 1980, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt.

“Acrobat Skis at Mohawk,” Lakeville (Ct.) Journal, Mar. 6, 1980.

“Searching for the True Spirit of the Olympic Games,” Poughkeepsie Journal, Feb. 24, 1980.

“The Brethren,” by Bob Woodward and Scott Armstrong (book review), Poughkeepsie Journal, Jan. 13, 1980.

“Holmes Books Stuff the Sherlock Gourmet” (book review), Poughkeepsie Journal, Oct. 21, 1979, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt.

“Boat People and Our Heritage,” Letter to the Editor, Poughkeepsie Journal, Jul. 29, 1979.

“A Legal House of Cards,” Harper’s Magazine, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt, Jul. 1977.

“Sherlock Holmes: The Literary Year in Review” (a review of 14 books), Poughkeepsie Journal, Feb. 22, 1976, co author with Julia Carlson Rosenblatt.

“On Pate de Foie Gras Pie, In Defense of Watson,” Baker Street Journal, Jun. 1973.

“After the Fall,” Skier (publication of United States Eastern Amateur Ski Association), Vol. XVI, No. 5, Feb. 1968.

“Area Liability: What the Courts Say,” Ski Business, Spring 1964.



  1. Poughkeepsie Journal, May 18, 1986 p 2B, col. 3.
  2. Poughkeepsie Journal, July 29, 1979.
  3. New York Law Journal, April 3, 1987.
  4. Pleasant Valley Voice, October 30, 1980, p.1.
  5. Middletown Record, June 20, 1976, p. 8
  6. The entire response is at
  7. These theme issues included: “Commercial Law in the New York State Courts” (Vol. 65, NY May/ June 1993); “Lawyers as Wordsmith” (Vol. 69 No. 7, November 1997), “Fifty Years of New York Law” ( Vol. 73 No. January 2001), and “The Jury in the New Millennium” (Vol. 73 No.5 June 2001).
  8. In fact, a local attorney, Kenneth Bernstein, a former English teacher, did correctly identify certain portions we each had written.
  9. 47 St. John’s L. Rev. 615 (1974).
  10. NYLJ, June 13, 1985.
  11. NYLJ April 2, 1991.
  12. NYLJ November 30, 2000 p.2 col. 3.
  13. Journal of Appellate Practice and Process Vol. 8 Issue 2, Feb. 2007.
  14. Baker Street Journal, Spring Issues, 2001-2006.
  15. New York State Bar Journal, July 1988, updated for the 2006 meeting.
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