Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Thursday, April 19, 2007

If they gave out a prize for best Supreme Court Part, the judge I was just before might retire the trophy. A few months back I agreed to undertake an Article 78 against the City of Buffalo to have a curb cut permit issued on my block revoked. I'm an utter rookie at Article 78 proceedings, and am very gingerly feeling my way forward in the dark. Today's hearing on the respondent's motion to dismiss resulted in an extremely fair baby splitting, along with a timetable that was also completely reasonable. In all, a perfectly civilized day in court, working towards what I feel sure will be a fair result. I love it when the system works like that. It happens mostly when you have a judge like mine this morning-- intelligent, concerned with fairness, and patient. I say it all the time: temperament is the most important qualification for the bench. Watching the argument before ours I was struck by how carefully the Court handled the matter. Everyone in the courtroom got a little education on a statute I'd never had occasion to look at, and in the end it seemed crystal clear that the judge's decision was right and fair. It's a hard job when it is done right-- whenever I'm assigned in that part I feel good, because I know that getting it right is what they care about.

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