Court observation

The Case

The name of the case i chose is Matter of Marian T. (Lauren R.). This took place on October 14th, 2020. The case is about the adoption of an adult woman who is not capable of giving consent to the adoption due to her disability. This action has worked its way to the court of appeals where the video us taken. The lower courts ruled that Marian did not have the mental faculties to give consent. Caitlin Brennan, council, said that whether or not she has that capacity is not one of the issues they want to bring before the court. The judges however want to press the issue. In a lower court, Dr. Fox tried to argue that while Marian lacks the mental capacity to consent to medical procedures, she is capable of giving consent for other things. However, the lower courts moved on to seemingly agree that Marian lacked the capacity to give consent to adoption. Caitlin Brennan takes the position that the petition made can not go forward due to Marians inability to give consent. The lawyer for the opposition says that Marian can be autonomous and provide consent just not in a conventional “legal” way as we understand it. He also claims Marian can consent nonverbally. Caitlin continues to argue that Marian is an adult not and underage adoptee with the same rights and interests as other adults that must be protected. She continues that nobody should be able to impose a new family structure on her due to her inability to consent.

Personal Response

While watching the case i felt as though the judges were being rather hard on her with their line of questioning. While Caitlin was providing information and citing what statute allows for people to withdraw their ability to consent, one judge quipped and “we would be defining the statute in a way you would disagree with” which i did not think was a good use of court time. I also felt that their line of questioning was pointless, it felt as if a bunch of “what ifs” were being asked for the sake of fun instead of dealing with the case at hand. I personally found Caitlin Brennan’s argument more persuasive. Not only did the lower courts support the opinion but she also had health experts and the legal guardian agree that Marian can not give consent. One thing i did not understand during the hearing was the term “red light”. The judge used that to stop Caitlin from speaking. The term “best interest of the child” also gets tosses around and they don’t really elaborate on it beyond it needing to be decided with discretion.


Matter of Marian

The court I chose to observe was the “Matter of Marian T (Lauren R.)”. This case was about a disabled 18 year old girl who was still in the adoption system. One side argued that she was not able to consent to the adoption due to her disability. while the other began to state, that in fact she could consent to the adoption just not verbally. I felt that Caitlin Connors Brennan was not seeing the full picture. Instead of focusing on what would be best for Marian she constantly said that the young adult just couldn’t give consent. When asked about what would be in Marians best interest Council Brennan would simply veer the conversation away from it and bring the focus back to the consent issue. I also felt that when the judges began to question Brennan, she didn’t have set answers. A lot of her arguments weren’t back up well and made her points seem invalid. I agree with the courts decision to approve Marians adoption. I felt that they considered Marians best interest now and for the future. Upon listening to this case I was surprised to find out Marian was 18. I had thought that once you were 18 you were released from any foster or adoption system.

People v. Lance Williams

In the argument I observed about the People v. Lance Williams case taken place on November 2020, each party had questions and arguments as to why the defendant claimed his possession of a gun was “temporary and lawful” because he held it for a short time and he believed he was in imminent danger. One party had an argument where he said, “I’m struggling with the difference between having a gun legally and or else having an illegally obtained gun that you used in a legal manner.” The attorney has a follow up on his earlier argument that there was a safe disposal as to how the weapon was lawfully obtained. Defendant receives the weapon and events are happening so quickly to process. Williams had every right to believe that he would be in danger for Carson it was completely relevant and lawful with circumstances and under the court’s cases involving situations where a weapon being obtained for self defense at a moment where self defense is imminent and it’s about to happen and that’s what happened.

From what I observed each party had their take on the case and expressed how they felt about it in form of questions. I found each point every party made interesting rather surprising because it opens my eyes more to possible discussions in court. I thought that the judges and lawyers conducted themselves well. The arguments about safe disposal, imminent danger, and having obtained a gun were most persuasive because points they made to answer questions would always go back to the main arguments.

Court observation Killon V Parrotta

The case I chose is No. 163 Killon v Parrotta from Septeember 15,2016 Court of Appeals – Oral Arguments Archive (   The argument I observed was between Killon respondent and Parrotta the appellant located in the court of appeals state of New York. Killon was saying that the Appellate Division did an error when reaching its decision based on the case that was presented to them. That they didn’t look at the previous cases evidence and facts to it just made a decision based on what was presented to them originally. Another reason is not taking in acknowledgment who the initial aggressor was. Parrota disagrees says the court maybe didn’t see the full facts but still believes the one who was concluded as the initial aggressor was in fact the initial aggressor was correct in there veridiction.

Well I really can’t say much of the case because I don’t fully understand it for example what didn’t the appellate division not see that made the case invalid in the eyes of Killon. I found it surprising how Killon and I can be wrong mentioned previous cases and how they were resolved intertwining to make a point. As well as the remedy for the verdict to be reinstated. The judges and lawyers job was interesting one I couldn’t hear so well maybe she was sick. The other sometimes interrupted which they can do at any time but I think they should waited to see maybe they get to their question. They conducted themselves as very professional and people who aren’t their to play to hear what they got to say and why they believe such thing as well as kind of serious and mean. I found Parrota arguments more persuasive even though I couldn’t really understand what he meant at the beginning confusing me if he agreed with Killon or no about facts and evidence. I liked what he said of who could be the initial aggressor and why stating his reason and facts why Killon is wrong with that point.

court observation

The court case that I have observed was Matter of the Hon. Paul H. Senzer from June 2020.  In this case a judge was taken to court on the context of him sending vulgar and sexist emails to lawyers and clients. As a result of that they are now on trial trying to decided whether or not he should be removed. In this case to my understanding the defendants lawyer is trying to argue to the judges that the punishment that they are giving the judge who has committed these acts is considered as way too harsh, basically that the crime doesn’t fit the punishment. The other party to my understanding is trying to point out that this judge should be held accountable for his actions for disrespecting a individual based off of their gender being that he was sexualizing a women, and also that he knew what he was doing.

Honestly my personal response to this would be that I believed that everyone conducted themselves in an appropriate matter. No one was like yelling or talking over each other or doing things alone those lines. I believe that the judge who committed the act of sending those emails was wrong only because hearing that kind of news puts a bad rep on judges, because in my eyes I look at it as if this was probably the only time he got caught doing this rather then it being his first time doing it if you understand what i’m saying. Also I feel as if the defendants lawyer kept repeating the same thing and trying to make it seem as if the judge who committed the wrongful act did not know what he was doing or as if what he was doing was not bad. In my eyes he made it seem as if it was just a mistake. The other parties side I feel as if he did his best trying to point out why what the judge did was wrong and why he should be punished for it. He tries to tell why the judge having these gender biases , and being inappropriate is something in which he should be held accountable for. I do not think anything surprises me about this case. I feel like I understand what was going on I do not think I understand what the judges was asking or trying to say very well though. I feel like I found the other parties side more persuasive because I feel like he provided many reasons to why what he did was wrong. I think the defendants lawyer did a good job at citing cases even though they did not really go with what the judge did.

Court observation

The court case that I observed was “Matter of Marian T (Lauren R.)” From October 2020 . It was discussed/argued about the mental capacity of an adult adoptee on whether she was able to consent to her adoption. It was said that she had an intellectual disability and that 2 psychologist believed that she was incapable of making decisions on her adoption. The other party argued that the people she lived with, in their care it seemed as though she felt loved and happy.

Although it seemed as though the party who wanted the case dismissed was very aggressive during her argument, some of her points did not seem valid enough. She talked about the adoptee not being able to inherit assets and the judge strikes a valid point that she can inherit assets from her adoptive parents. Also, she claimed she wouldn’t get medical benefits, but I don’t see how it matters who her parents are in order to be medically taken care of. I believe the judges were very firm and asked valid questions to both parties. Also, I found it surprising that someone over 18 can get adopted.

Court observation

The argument that I chose to review is The matter of New York civil liberties vs New York police department Council. The argument occurred on November 14th 2018. Essentially the argument is about how judges in the NYPD are interpreting laws that govern Police Officers. The New York City police department council are in favor of a foil request which essentially means that they’re okay with police information being public records. However they believe in certain circumstances there should be a redaction, meaning that they should be able to hide or move certain confidential parts of these texts. Arguments that the Civil Liberties made were that should they have to go in and decide for every case what is or isn’t acceptable to be released, and that this would be time consuming. Or Atleast that I what I got from the 30 minute long video.

What I found surprising/interesting was that there wasn’t already a law against releasing specific information. As I feel this would protect the victim in for example, sex crimes. I like how the lawyers and judges conducted theirselves, they were very respectful and apologized when they miscommunicated or left out crucial information. I found the judges more persuasive because I get no being able or having the power to wave this notion. However the Lawyers made good points too. I didn’t understand however, a lot of the terminology they used and the laws they referred to as they were only referred to by number. I found this important because it just shows how a lot of Law is about memorization and good memory is important to have in court.

Matter of Marian T (Lauren R.)

So this case was heard in October of 2020.v. As per my understanding, this case revolves around the adoption of a lady named Marian and how her consent was required for adoption. According to the video, Marian didn’t have the capacity to consent whether she wants to be adopted or not because of her mental disabilities or she’s not capable of that. She was under the custody of New York State Mental Hygiene Legal Services and got the lawyer through court I think and it’s called ad litem. The court approved the adoption because Appellate division courts are allowed to do such things if a person is not capable of it, doesn’t matter if it’s a child or an adult. The Appellate Division correctly decided according to the statutes that were provided to express the statutory (legal written law) to dispense with Marian’s consent and that the court did not abuse its discretion when it said that she is “incapable” of taking her own decisions as per what I got. 

I actually second the Appellate Division court because in these situations courts are authorized to approve an adoption even without the consent ( grant permission or agreement of a person to do something) of a person of an adult adoptee. And discretion was not abused because as per what I understood, she’ll get every support an adoptee gets like she’ll be an heir of her adoptive family if she gets away from her biological family and that’s the law. I observed many things like the judge said that if a person is 18 or older and they are unable to consent or if they don’t have “capacity” for it, they can never get adopted. One more thing I observed is that the council (female) said that the state had gotten her custody by her own biological parents when she was a kid which was really shocking for me because I’ve never seen something like that. I was thinking that her parents might have died or something else would’ve had happened that’s why she got adopted. One thing that I really liked about the male council was how he mentioned that Marian is considered “not capable” of making decisions and didn’t even ask if she needed the attorney or if she wanted to appeal to the bigger court but she thinks she could’ve. I like how they both were convincing justices that her adopters or petitioners whatever you want to call them really have a deep emotional attachment with Marian and want her to be a member of their family and she wants the same. The court actually considered her best interests (related to financial and inherit I think) after it was proven by the female council as she kept mentioning best interests. She was saved and cared for in their house, and she was flourishing if I put it in simple words. And how it’s really good for her financially too. One thing that was confusing for me that at the beginning of the video, the council (female) said that Marian’s psychologists proved that she has been diagnosed with a profound intellectual disability her whole life. And the Surrogate court had all the expert opinions and documents that said that she has a lack of ability to provide consent but at the end of the video, she was saying how she’s going to lose a lot of services, distribution of assets, and cannot inherit from her biological family. Like what she meant by that?


Court Observation


This case is JPMorgan Chase Bank, National Association v Caliguri. The month and year that this case was written is November 17, 2020. In the best way that I can understand this case is between a bank and a loan service. Based on my assumptions there was a form of miscommunication because apparently there was an open case prior. And because there was a case and it’s now close there some documents missing for this new case at hand and now the judges are trying to understand why they can’t have the original notes needed for this case and Mr Herzberg who is Caliguri’s lawyer is explaining how he was told that it wasn’t needed from the case prior but the judges are now trying to make him understand that it’s needed now because not only does he not have the original notes but it also seems like he doesn’t have any evidence to defend his case. And the judges are trying to make him understand that what happened in the case prior is not the same thing that will happen in this case because this is two different things.

What I found interesting is that as an attorney you should know that you will always need evidence and that it’s best that the sources and notes that you bring are original because it makes the case go smoother because the judges like to go straight to the point. The only thing that I wished is that the Judges gave Mr Herzberg the opportunity to speak  because you can never get the information that you need if you keep on cutting the person off while they speak. Not that i’m entirely agreeing with what Mr Herzberg did. I Liked Mr Schoenfeld’s presentation because he presented himself well and gave evidence at the spot.

Court Observation

Court of Appeals – Oral Argument Archive


Tuesday, June 02, 2020 12:11

Based on this argument, the question being brought to the court is whether or not the actions taken against “Paul H. Sender”, due to his hostile words that were deemed “problematic”, when it comes to referring to someone inappropriately based on their gender, identification and so forth, were fair. It is argued that Mr. Senzer while he sent certain emails, which though he thought was private, decisions in this matter, did not necessarily reflect on his entire career as a judge. They confounded by arguing that Mr. Senzer, though his reasoning was weak, had no ill, or monetary, will, which is came to his comments. These arguments were continued based off of the positive aspects of the judge serving on the court. It’s overall argument is concluded by saying though the judge made these comments, he sincerely regrets them, and considers the council’s decision to remove him from the bench did not quite fit well in accordance to the basis of dismissal. On the other hand, those opposing the judge in discussion, argued that the words used, “reduced a woman, a female professional, which is a thing that is rarely done when talking to a male.” They continued to say that, “any language, over a period of time, that denigrates the court system as a whole, is problematic.” These individuals concluded by saying the occasional use of terms in question is not what’s being reflected in the case, but rather the use of these terms overtime by someone bestowed with these honorable duties, was wrong and the decision for removal was well warranted due to the knowledge that these comments were wrong, the overtime use of these languages, and inability to be sensitive and aware towards the individuals (victims) in question. Also, it argued that the judge, is able to commit such actions, could easily make decision that could be seen as a  reflection of all his colleagues as well, which is not what the courts stand for.

Personally for me, I found no surprise in this case. The reason for this is because I looked at this case from a straightforward perspective. A judge, someone aware of laws, that has provided over many cases overtime, is aware of the time and place of things, even with this knowledge, if they are able to still making certain derogatory comments, are well aware of their actions, and should be punished in accordance of regulations set in place. He is grown men and I cannot see how there is even a case in the given circumstance. I do also believe that the judges defense was very contradictory. How do you go to court to defend a client, but essentially also admits the the client is wrong, what he did was he did was not right, then continue saying he had a good history as a lawyer, so all should be forgotten!? That’s what’s wrong with this system, there’s too much expectations of leniency, and abuse of individuals, especially those that are knowledgeable about these things. I feel that the opposing side of the argument conducted themselves with more candor, posture and humanity. Meanwhile the judge defense was stuttering trying to find excuse and defend someone he know deep within was wrong, but still tried to find these excuses, making his argument sound weak and made up. Therefore, with all considered, I found against the judge, side was more persuasive. Throughout this argument, I did find some difficulties due to the use of language, but was able to piece together most of it. I am assuming due to their experience on the bench and elsewhere, results in the difference with how they communicate. All in all, while this is now something I found joy in reading due to the whole point of the case, I did find it very informative.