Public Litigation



On occasion, the Commission is a party to a lawsuit or other legal proceeding in court. For example, a judge may commence a lawsuit against the Commission, typically pursuant to Article 78 of the CPLR, in order to stay the Commission from pursuing a disciplinary complaint against the judge. Such proceedings are public pursuant to Judiciary Law Section 4, notwithstanding that the Commission’s investigation of the judge is subject to the confidentiality mandate of Judiciary Law Section 45.

Sometimes, a third party (such as a witness or an associate of the judge) may commence a lawsuit against the Commission, or the Commission itself may initiate a proceeding, such as to enforce a subpoena with which a witness did not comply. Such proceedings may commence under seal but usually are unsealed, in whole or in part, after the court considers briefs and recommendations by the various parties involved.

Court rulings in such cases may address significant procedural issues or uphold important legal principles, as illustrated in the matters below.

Year Litigant Summary in Annual Report
2022-2023Commission v Peirez & Smith
2022-2023Mora v Koch
2012-2014Rubenstein, Seth 2015 NYSCJC Annual Report page 17
2011-2012Holzman, Lee 2013 NYSCJC Annual Report page 19
2011-2012Piraino, Andrew 2013 NYSCJC Annual Report page 19
2008-2010Judge "W" 2011 NYSCJC Annual Report page 15
2006-2007Shelton, Marian 2008 NYSCJC Annual Report page 18
2002-2005Spargo, Thomas 2006 NYSCJC Annual Report page 19
1980 Nicholson, Gary 1981 NYSCJC Annual Report page 46