Presiding Justice Gerald J. Whalen announced earlier this year that oral argument of cases before the New York State Supreme Court, Fourth Judicial Department will be broadcast live over the internet. The public may watch the webcasts from most internet connected devices including smart phones and tablet computers by visiting the Appellate Division website at http://www.nycourts.gov/courts/ad4/ and clicking on the “Watch Live” icon, or by browsing directly to a new internet link at http://ad4.nycourts.gov/go/live. Additionally, a digital archive will be available on the Fourth Department website for on-demand viewing, generally within three business days. Oral arguments will be screened for the disclosure of confidential information and may not be included in the digital archive.
The Legal Aid Bureau’s Chief Attorney of the Appeals and Post-Conviction Unit, Tim Murphy, was featured in the Buffalo Law Journal last month discussing the value that such accessibility and transparency bring to our judicial system:
It is important that the public have an opportunity to see arguments made in a court as powerful as the Appellate Division’s Fourth Department, according to Timothy Murphy, chief attorney for appeals and post-conviction at Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo.
That goes especially for his many indigent clients and their families. Murphy leads a 14-person unit — the largest of its kind outside of New York City — mandated to represent the indigent in criminal appeals in Cattaraugus, Erie, Genesee and Orleans counties. Post-conviction work covers crimes from murder and larceny to street and sex crimes and even some white-collar work.
In January, when the Appellate Division began streaming arguments online, there were important implications for Murphy’s clients and others with interaction or interest in the court.
It grants access to those who didn’t have access before, he said. Some of the families are from the Buffalo area and elsewhere and may be unable to get to Rochester to view the proceedings of the Fourth Department.
Those with a stake in a case and others who are interested can view the webcasts at http://ad4.nycourts.gov/go/live.