Court Observation

Witnessing the arguments at the Appellate Division Second Department courthouse was a thrilling and unforgettable experience. We observed the judges perform their jobs with competence and firmness. The passive aggressive way they handled every appeal case was surreal, the Justices knew exactly what they were doing. Honestly, they could not be more prepared, I was astonished about the back and forth between attorneys and Judges, it felt just like a movie scene. I found surprising how the Judges kept track on every detail about those cases. Since those were appeals, I thought they were going to be more like general disputes.

Court Observation!

The court observation a few weeks back was very interesting and eye-opening! As Professor Coughlin mentioned, it was definitely as if walking into a movie halfway through but overall I had a great experience. It was exciting to witness scenarios we have discussed in class and watch the lawyers in action defending actual cases. I did not expect the tension between Justices and attorneys at certain points but it makes complete sense. The Justices are hearing case after case all day, every day. If their time is being wasted, they will (and should!) make it known. It was entertaining to be able to witness a “hot bench” and watch them all interacting with each case.

Currently, in the program at City Tech, my goal is to be a paralegal rather than a lawyer. This experience did not change that much, I still think being behind the scenes is more appealing for me! Although it made me realize that if I end up being a lawyer that heads to court I will need to make sure I am as prepared as possible for the courtroom. There is no room for error!

Grade ME!!

Dear Students,

Now is your chance to give ME a grade!  Please complete the Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) surveys for each of our courses.  They only take a few minutes, and you can access them through emails sent to your City Tech address, from “NYC College of Technology Course Evaluations,”  You should have received a separate email for each course.

At the end of class on Tuesday, Dec. 7, Peer Mentor Oliver will help you complete the surveys, or you may complete them on your own anytime until this Friday, Dec. 10.  PLEASE do complete them!  They are extremely helpful to me, to the department, to the college — and especially to future students!

Thank you!

Prof. C.


CHANGE in assignment for tomorrow’s class! (Tu. Dec. 7)

Dear Students,

I hope you all enjoyed the weekend and the beautiful Spring-like weather today!  I have “downsized” the assignments for tomorrow’s class (Tue. Dec. 7): YES please still email me your first draft demand letter by 8am, and bring paper copies of your final summons and verified complaint to class to do “legal arts & crafts,” and study for 1101 quiz 4; NO need to read C&W or the Wells Fargo case.  Please see Assignments tab for details, and for major assignments due Thursday, don’t forget!!  Law in Culture and Court Observation assignments to be posted on OL, each worth 5% of LAW 1101 final grade.

Also just a reminder, tonight (Mon. Dec. 6) at 6pm, hear the Chief of Gang Prosecutions for NYC’s Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor speak to Prof. Terel Watson’s class on Zoom.  See my earlier post (in the “home” tab) for the link and other details!

Have a pleasant evening, see you tomorrow (Tues.),

Prof. C.

Meet the Chief of Gang Prosecutions! Mon. Dec. 6, 6-8pm on Zoom

Hello Students!

Prof. Terel Watson graciously extends the following terrific invitation to you — I encourage you to attend if you can, and if you do, let me know!

This Monday, December 6 from 6-8 pm, I am having a guest lecturer visit my Senior Seminar Class.  His name is Nigel Farinha. He is a friend, and more importantly, serves as the Chief of Gang Prosecutions for the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor here in NYC. He notably tried a complex and serious conspiracy/ murder matter involving rapper Bobby Shmurda and some of his companions. I want to open it up to whatever students may be interested in attending. He is a very dynamic speaker. Below is Zoom information should anyone wish to join.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 863 8927 0392

Passcode: capstone


OOOPS!! No quiz tomorrow — SORRY!!

Hello Students!

I am SO sorry for my prior post (which I have now deleted), there is NO quiz in either of our courses tomorrow (Th. Dec. 2)!  Rather, as we discussed last week, 1101 Intro quiz #4 is Tu. Dec. 7 and 1103 Civ Pro quiz #4 is Th. Dec. 9.  I’m sorry for the confusion!

For tomorrow (Th. Dec. 2), please still read M&M ch. 9 (Legal Writing) pp. 251-268 for 1101, and C&W ch. 6 (Statute of Limitations) for 1103.  It would also be great if you could please review this “Demand Letter” assignment that we’ll discuss in class tomorrow.

I’M SORRY again!  See you tomorrow!

Prof. C.

NO meeting tomorrow! (Tues. Nov. 30) & court observation assignment

Hello Students!

I hope you all enjoyed a happy and safe Thanksgiving and long weekend.  Just a reminder, we will NOT meet for class tomorrow!!  (Tues. Nov. 30)  In place of that class, I’ll meet with each of you at times we’ve scheduled between tomorrow (Tues.) and Thursday to discuss your summons and complaint assignment.

I also hope you enjoyed our visit to the Appellate Division Second Department last week!  I sure did.  To satisfy the “court observation” requirement for 5% of your LAW 1101 grade, by the end of this week, please write a post of about one paragraph (100-200 words) or more, reflecting on the experience.  For example, what did you find interesting, or surprising; what would you like to understand better; how did the experience affect your views of the legal practice, or your career goals; or anything else!  You may address the cases themselves, or the actions and interactions among the lawyers and judges, or our interactions with court personnel and judges, even our visit to the farmers’ market!  Anything that left an impression on you.  Please choose “court observation!” as the category.

Enjoy your Tuesday and Wednesday, see you in class Thursday!


Prof. C.



Info on city jobs for LGBTQ+ Students and Allies!

Hello Students! 

On Tues. December 7th from 1:00-2:15 pm, City Tech’s Academic Minor in Gender & Sexuality Studies is hosting a virtual event  entitled “Civil Service 101 for LGBTQ+ Students and Allies.” The Department of Citywide Administrative Services will discuss Civil Service career options in NYC and how to apply for them. There will be a representative from the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene who will discuss the LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group, jobs currently available, and services that the department provides for the LGBTQ+ community.  Click here to register for the program.

Find information about all of City Tech’s academic minor programs here. 

Cheers!  Prof. C.


TRIP tomorrow! (Tue. Nov. 23) to Second Department!

Dear Students,

Happy Monday!  Just a reminder, tomorrow (Tues. Nov. 23) we will take a TRIP!! to observe oral arguments at the Appellate Division Second Department.  We’ll meet at our regular time and room (10am in A409), hold class till 11am discussing your draft complaints (due 8am tomorrow), then we will take the short walk to the courthouse, and you’ll be “dismissed” after the arguments from there.  This will satisfy the “court observation assignment” for LAW 1101 (along with a short written response).  If you can’t attend in person, you should be able to watch the arguments live through this link:  That can count for the assignment, though not for attendance in tomorrow’s classes.  I REALLY hope everyone will attend in person!  It will be really fun, and we can stop at the Farmer’s Market afterward.  🙂

Another reminder: please email me your revised summons and first draft complaint by 8am tomorrow (Tuesday) so we can review some of them in class.  In your email, please include times you’re available next week (Nov. 29-Dec. 2) to meet in person or on Zoom to discuss your draft summons and complaint, to help you finalize them.

Please also let me know your preferred schedule for our final exams: LAW 1101 on Tues. Dec. 14 and LAW 1103 on Th. Dec. 16, as currently planned; OR both exams on Th. Dec. 16;  OR both exams on Tues. Dec. 14 with a “wrap-up” class/activity on Thurs. Dec. 16.  So far, the only two votes I’ve received are to have both exams Tues. Dec. 14 with “wrap-up” activity on Thurs. Dec. 16.  Make your voice heard!  We’ll decide in class tomorrow.

You do NOT need to bring your CPLR tomorrow!   🙂 Have a pleasant evening, see you in the morning!

Prof. C.

We’re going to court! Tues. Nov. 23

Hello Students!

Just a reminder (and fyi to students who were absent today 🙁 ): This coming Tues. Nov. 23, we will hold regular class from 10-11am on campus, then we will take a TRIP!! to the nearby Appellate Division Second Department courthouse to observe live appellate oral arguments!  It will be really interesting and exciting, and it will fulfill the “court observation” requirement for your LAW 1101 course grade!  (Along with a short writing assignment to be discussed.)  There is a remote alternative for the assignment (but not for class attendance) if you do not attend the trip.  I REALLY hope you will all attend, but if not, please contact me and I will provide details.

Have a good weekend!

Prof. C.