As was noted previously, the Court of Appeals divided 4 to 3 in a total of 10 cases during this 6 month period. Of those cases, 7 were criminal appeals, 3 were civil. Despite this much smaller number, however, several very notable patterns still emerge.
Here are the cases and their lineups [Again, click on any lineup pic to enlarge.]:
Sherman v. NYS Thruway Auth. (5/5/16): the slip and fall claim was precluded because a storm was held to be still in progress.
Wally G. v. NYC Health & Hosps. Corp. (6/9/16): the city defendant's possession of the relevant medical records was held not to excuse the late notice of claim of the defendant's medical malpractice.[4-3]
Pasternak v. Laboratory Corp. of Amer. (6/30/16): the airline pilot's causes of action in fraud and negligence against the defendants who performed and evaluated the FAA required random drug test were held to be not sustainable under New York law.
Alright, that's all there is. But as noted above, a few notable observations can be made (and are summarized in the graph below the following discussion).
Chief Judge DiFiore was in the majority in all 3 cases. Recall that she was in the majority in 6 of the 7 closely divided criminals cases--more frequently than any other member of the Court. That's a total of 9 out of the 10 decisions in which the Court split 4 to 3.
Judge Eugene Pigott was also in the majority in all of these civil cases. But that contrasts with his being in the majority in only 3 of the 7 closely divided criminal cases. That's a total of 6.
Similarly, Judge Michael Garcia was in the majority in all of these civil cases, but was in the majority in only 2 of the 7 corresponding criminal decisions. His total was 5.
Judge Sheila-Abdus-Salaam was in the majority in 5 of the 7 closely divided criminal decisions--she, along with Judge Eugene Fahey, was 2nd only to DiFiore on that score. But she was in the majority in only 1 of these civil cases. Total: 6.
As for Judge Fahey, his being in the majority in 5 of the 7 closely divided criminal cases sharply contrasts with his being in the dissent in all 3 of these civil cases. Total: 5.
Like Fahey, Judge Jenny Rivera was in dissent in all 3 civil cases. That means that her total being in the majority in all the 4-3 decisions was 4--all in criminal cases. That also means that she and Fahey, who voted together in all 3 of these civil cases, voted together, whether in the majority or dissent, in 7 of the total 10 closely divided cases: 4 criminal and 3 civil.
Rivera was together with Abdus-Salaam, the other multiple dissenter in these civil cases, just as many times: in 5 of the criminal cases and 2 of the civil.
Judge Leslie Stein was in the majority in 2 of the 3 closely divided civil cases. That number added to her majority votes in 3 of the corresponding criminal appeals brings her total to 5--exactly half of the 10 combined criminal and civil 4-3 decisions.
Here's all that in a graph:
(click to enlarge.)
Well, there it is in beautiful technicolor!
One last point about these 4-3 civil cases. In each one, the Court decided against the injured plaintiff seeking compensation. Is that a trend? A pattern when all the divided civil cases--not just the 4-3's--are considered? And is there a corresponding conservative pattern in the criminal cases? And patterns in the individual Judges' voting records?
We'll see beginning in the very next post.