New York State Appellate Courts

State of New York Court of Appeals

Convincing the New York State Court of Appeals to hear your appeal is an exacting task. Except for a limited scope of cases, there is no right of appeal to the Court of Appeals. When an appeal can be taken as of right, a Notice of Appeal should be filed with the Court. In all other circumstances, a “Motion for Leave to Appeal” must be timely filed for your case to be considered. When filing this application to the Court of Appeals, the original motion must be paper-filed and then followed by digital submission. Such applications are usually decided within 6-8 weeks after the return date.

Hearing approximately only 200 cases annually, the Court of Appeals is very selective in granting appeal applications. It is crucial to understand what appeals to the Court to improve the odds of having your application granted. In constructing your argument, it is important to highlight a misapplication of the law or some other injustice that has broad, statewide implications beyond your individual case.

If permission to appeal is granted, a Preliminary Appeal Statement must be filed with the Court. Generally, the Court will then send a scheduling letter setting forth the briefing schedule and filing dates for record material.

Filing a successful application to the Court of Appeals can be daunting. The experts at Appellate Innovations can answer your questions and help ensure that your submission meets the Court’s strict procedural requirements. Call or email us  today to learn more 914.948.2240 or

New York Appellate Division, First Department

The First Department serves New York and Bronx counties, deciding over 3,000 cases a year, many of which are complex commercial cases. And it manages that heavy caseload with its term calendar which sets forth filing deadlines and oral argument dates. Upon filing of the record and opening brief, counsel must file a Note of Issue designating the Term that the case will be considered by the Court. With limited exceptions, the appeal will be heard, whether by oral argument or submission, on the month designated in the Note of Issue. The Court prides itself in publishing decisions approximately 30 days after argument.

Except for original special proceedings and attorney matters, the First Department requires all appeals to be electronically filed on NYSCEF. A case must be initiated electronically within 14 days of filing the notice of appeal. This first step is crucial as nothing can be filed in the case until it is completed. Upon initiation, the Court will assign a case number which must be served on all the parties within 7 days. The experts at Appellate Innovations can help you navigate the complexities of the First Department’s procedural requirements to ensure your appellate filing meets the Court’s rules, setting your appeal on the path to success. Call or email us today to learn more.

New York Appellate Division, Second Department

The Second Department serves the counties of Richmond, Kings, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, and Putnam – roughly half of New York’s population. With such a large territory,  it is understandably the busiest Appellate Division in terms of caseload, with upwards of 4,000 records on appeal filed annually. And to handle all of those cases, the Court has over 20 judges on staff.

The Second Department has expanded mandatory e-filing to include all matters originating and electronically filed in the Supreme and Surrogate Courts in all ten counties. All electronically filed documents must adhere to the Second Department’s e-filing rules, particularly its bookmarking and hyperlinking specifications. All citations within a brief must be linked to the cited authority.  The experts at Appellate Innovations can prepare all of the technical aspects of your appellate filings so that they are fully compliant with the Second Department’s strict procedural requirements. Contact us today at 914.948.2240 or

New York Appellate Division, Third Department

Located in Albany, the Third Department presides over 28 counties, consisting of Judicial Districts 3, 4 and 6. In addition to handling appeals from litigation arising in the Supreme Court, County Courts, Family Courts, Surrogate’s Courts and the Court of Claims of these jurisdictions, the Third Department also hears appeals from decisions and orders originating from State agencies, such as Workers’ Compensation, Unemployment Insurance, and the Tax Appeals Tribunal. With few exceptions, the majority of Third Department appeals are subject to mandatory e-filing. The appellate experts at Appellate Innovations can provide answers to your questions specific to your Third Department appeal. Call or email us today for a free estimate: 914.948.2240 or

New York Appellate Division, Fourth Department

Located in Downtown Rochester, the Fourth Department handles appeals for the 5th, 7th and 8th Judicial Districts, which include the cities of Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse. Over 2,000 appeals and over 5,000 motions and applications are decided by the Court every year. The Court is in session nine terms a year, with the June term reserved for only submitted appeals, motions, and attorney matters and the August term being appropriated for Election law appeals only. All matters are subject to mandatory e-filing.

The Fourth Department has some unique requirements for appellate filings, such as requiring specific colors for brief covers. Most importantly, agreement among counsel on the contents of the Record on Appeal is required in this Court. When perfecting your appeal, the record must include a signed stipulation pursuant to CPLR § 5532 or, in the absence of such an agreement, a certified order from the trial court settling the Record. Taking this requirement into consideration, it is important to compile the record and submit same for opposing counsel’s review as soon as possible. With the fastest turnaround for record preparation in the industry, Appellate Innovations can ensure your record is ready for opposing counsel to inspect within 24-48 hours. Call or email us today to get a free estimate: 914.948.2240 or

Appellate Term - First Department

The New York State Supreme Court Building, the iconic courthouse made famous in films like 12 Angry Men to the Godfather, is home to the Appellate Term, First Department. One of two lower appellate courts, AT1 decides appeals from the Criminal and Civil Courts of the City of New York for New York & Bronx Counties, including appeals from the Housing Part & the Small Claims Part.

In civil appeals before the Appellate Term, First Department, you must obtain a Clerk’s Return to perfect your appeal. To do so, you must submit 5 copies of the printed Record on Appeal, with proof of service and any original Transcript of Proceedings to the Appeals Clerk. The Clerk will then compare the prepared record with the lower court file and will only endorse and transfer the record to the Appellate Term, First Department if it is compliant.  The process is labor-intensive and time-consuming and should be commenced as soon after filing the Notice of Appeal as possible to best expedite your appeal. Appeals from Criminal Court, Small Claims Court, and select civil matters where written permission has been given by a Civil Court Judge or Appellate Term Justice are heard on the original record. For questions about how to perfect your Appellate Term, First Department appeal, contact Appellate Innovations today to speak with an experienced Appellate Consultant at 914.948.2240 or

Appellate Term - Second Department

The Appellate Term, Second Department is comprised of two courts, one serving the 2nd, 11th and 13th Judicial Districts (Kings, Queens and Richmond Counties), and the other the 9th and 10th Judicial Districts (Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam and Dutchess Counties). When perfecting an appeal in the Appellate Term, Second Department, the Court relies on the original record sent to it by the lower court where your case originated. Before that can take place, Transcripts of Hearing Minutes must be settled pursuant to Sec. 1704 as opposed to being settled by way of CPLR 5525.  The process can be slow-paced, but once the record is transmitted, your appeal will be placed on the court’s general calendar. You must then perfect the appeal by filing your brief with the Court within 90 days. Failure to perfect within 90 days will result in the appeal being placed on the court’s dismissal calendar.  Contact Appellate Innovations to learn more about timely perfecting your Appellate Term, Second Department appeal: 914.948.2240 or

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