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New York City
June 2003

New York State Judicial Institute Opens at Pace University School of Law

Thirty years ago, only 13 organizations were providing education to help U.S. judges keep up with pressing social issues that had an impact on their courts.

When it opened on the campus of Pace University’s law school in White Plains, New York, the New York State Judicial Institute became the latest sign of how much educational help judges are getting now. It is one of at least 70 state and national organizations in the U.S. offering at least 1,900 programs a year to more than 100,000 judicial branch employees.

The Institute is the nation’s first judicial training and research facility custom built by and for a state court system.

It officially opened with remarks by New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman, New York Lt. Gov. Mary Donohue, Solicitor General Caitlin J. Halligan, the Institute’s Dean Robert G. M. Keating, Pace University President David A. Caputo, and New York State Bar Association President Lorraine Power Tharp.

A year-round “college for judges” and a judicial research center, the JI provides seminars and workshops to help judges with “pressing societal issues such as domestic violence, drug addiction, juvenile crime and environmental abuses,” says New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, a longtime advocate of such education.

White Plains was chosen as its location because it is convenient to both New York City and Albany, with a downtown containing good accommodations for visiting jurists. The Pace law school, founded in 1976, already is ranked #3 in the nation for environmental law programs.

The Institute’s dean, Robert G. M. Keating, is a widely respected former Administrative Judge for the New York City Criminal Court and more recently, Director of the Center for Judicial Studies at the Pace law school. He has been a private attorney and business executive and was Coordinator of Criminal Justice for New York City Mayor Edward Koch.

The programs planned for the Institute’s first few months provide a glimpse of what courts and judges must keep abreast of. It will be covering the new integrated domestic violence courts, jury trial innovations, drug court techniques, domestic violence, The United Nations environmental program, litigation involving prison reform, guardianships, and the human genome project.

In the future, Keating says the Institute will bring in judges from countries abroad that are revising their civil systems to make them more predictable for international businesses.#

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