2006 Hugh R. Jones Memorial Lecture

The Fund for Modern Courts and Albany Law School hosted the fifth annual Judge Hugh R. Jones Memorial Lecture on Monday, October 16, 2006 at the New York State Court of Appeals in Albany, New York. The Honorable Joseph W. Bellacosa, Associate Judge (retired) of the New York Court of Appeals, will deliver this year’s address entitled, Cogitations on the Special Prosecutor Paradigm: Is the Cure Worse than the Disease?

For the 2006 Lecture, Judge Bellacosa will examine the distribution of governmental powers in the context of the Special Prosecutor/Independent Counsel paradigm and demonstrate how it is counterproductive to allow a Special Prosecutor to operate outside the bounds of the constitutional limits that function interdependently to constrain the three branches of government.

Judge Bellacosa has a long a distinguished record of public service. After completing a 14-year term as Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals in 2000, Judge Bellacosa returned to his Alma Mater to assume the Deanship of St. John’s University School of Law. He also served as Chief Administrative Judge of the State’s Unified Court System from 1985 to 1987.


Judge Bellacosa began his public service as law secretary to the Hon. Marcus G. Christ, Presiding Justice of the New York State Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department. Following that he was a faculty member and Assistant Dean at St. John’s Law School before assuming his position as Chief Clerk of the Court and Counsel on the New York State Court of Appeals. He has been a member of a wide range of committees and associations, including his service as Chairman of the New York State Sentencing Guidelines Commission and the New York State Chief Judge’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Dependency in the Legal Profession. He also is the recipient of many awards and professional recognitions and is the author of Practice Commentaries to McKinney’s eight-volume Criminal Procedure Law of the State of New York and of numerous published articles and works.

The lecture’s title honoree, Judge Hugh R. Jones, was a leader in efforts to ensure fair and efficient courts in New York State. He served as Chair of the Commission on Judicial Nomination; Chair of the Temporary State Commission on Executive, Legislative and Judicial Compensation; Chair of the Select Committee on Correctional Institutions and Programs; President of the New York State Bar Association; and Director of the Committee for Modern Courts. Judge Jones also authored a leading article on judging, Cogitations on Appellate Decision-Making.

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