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Former Court of Appeals Judge Stewart F. Hancock, Jr. represents New York State Senate in Landmark Cases

Syracuse, New York Hancock Estabrook, LLP, Counselors at Law, Hancock, Jr. in an historic argument before the New York Court of Appeals urged the Court to restore to the Legislature its rightful power over the budget under the New York Constitution and to reduce the virtually unlimited power now improperly exercised by the Governor.

Mr. Hancock, former Court of Appeals Judge, represented the New York State Senate in two landmark separation-of-power cases that will have a significant impact on how New York State is governed. Both cases Pataki v. Assembly and Silver v. Pataki focus on the budgetary power that the governor holds over the legislature.

Mr. Hancock, retired from the Court of Appeals in 1993, said that “neither he nor the unanimous panel that decided New York State Bankers Association Inc. v. Wetzler, nor those who drafted the state Constitution intended to allow the governor the fiscal clout he claims to wield.”

“Mr. Pataki has exploited the power to amend existing laws and effect major policy changes without the consent of the legislature,” said Mr. Hancock. Mr. Pataki has changed policy and language to the law in his appropriation bills, and that Mr. Hancock noted, “goes far beyond case law and unconditionally impedes the separation of power doctrine.”

“Judge Hancock has taken on a number of high profile matters since returning to the Firm, said Richard W. Cook, Managing Partner for Hancock and Estabrook, LLP. “These cases will obviously have important implications for the future of the State.”

Prior to serving eight years with the Court of Appeals, Mr. Hancock was an Associate Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, and a New York State Supreme Court Trial Justice. Before his service in the New York judiciary and currently, he practiced law as a partner at Hancock Estabrook, LLP in Syracuse, New York. He also served two years as Corporation Counsel for the city of Syracuse.

Mr. Hancock is counsel to Hancock Estabrook, LLP where he is engaged in appellate practice and serves as arbitrator and mediator in domestic and international commercial disputes and as an expert witness on questions of New York law. He serves on the faculty of Syracuse University College of Law as Visiting Professor and Jurist in Residence and teaches a seminar in Case Analysis and Appellate Advocacy. Mr. Hancock is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and of Cornell Law School.

Hancock Estabrook, LLP, Counselors at Law, established in 1889 is composed of 65 attorneys providing quality and personalized legal representation to businesses, municipalities and individuals. The Firm is located in downtown Syracuse at 1500 MONY Tower I.