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Robert Sherlock Smith Edit Profile

Robert Sherlock Smith, American state appeals court judge. Member American Bar Association, New York State Bar Association (vice chair committee court administration 2001-2004), Association Bar City New York (committee federal legislation 1981-1984, committee on judiciary 1984-1987, committee on bicentennial of the United States Constitution 1988-1991), Federalist Society New York (president lawyers chapter 1994-2003).


Smith, Robert Sherlock was born on August 31, 1944 in New York City. Son of Robert and Janet W. (Welt) Smith.


He graduated from Stanford University in 1965 and from Columbia Law School in 1968, where he was editor-in-chief of the law review.


American Insurance Association v. Lewis, 50 N.Y. 2d 617 (1980); Groh v. Halloran, 86 A.D. 2d 30 (1st Dep't 1982); SHAD Alliance v. Smith Haven Mall, 66 N.Y.2d. 496 (1985); Airline Pilots Association v. UAL Corporation, 874 F.2d. 439 (7th Cir. 1989); Alliance of American Insurers v. Chu, 77 N.Y. 2d. 573 (1991); In re Estate of Feuer, 622 N.Y.S.2d 619 (3d Dep't 1995); O'Dell v. Netherland, 65 United States.L.W. 4506 (United States. Sup. Ct. 1997). Smith retired on December 31, 2014, due to the State Constitution's requirement that judges retire at the end of the calendar year in which they reached the age of 70. From 1968 to 2003 he practiced law in New York City with the firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, taking a one-year leave of absence in 1980-81 to serve as Visiting Professor from Practice at Columbia Law School. In private practice, Smith was best known for representing a shopping center in a case, Shad Alliance v.

Smith Haven Mall, that established that the right of free speech does not require shopping centers to allow people to hand out literature on their property. For representing United Airlines' pilots' union in its attempt to take over United Airlines. And for arguing two death penalty appeals before the United States Supreme Court.

On November 4, 2003, he was appointed by Governor George Pataki to the During his first year, he emerged as the court's most vigorous questioner from the bench. In October 2011, Smith gave the keynote address at the Seventh Annual Friedrich A. von Hayek Lecture, "The Hayekian Judge," sponsored by New York University Journal of Law and Liberty. He was introduced by Richard Epstein.

Judge Smith teaches a class at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law with former dean David Rudenstine called "Authority and Liberty." Notable opinionsHe wrote a plurality opinion in Pataki v. Silver, upholding the Governor's power over the state budget. He wrote a dissent in People v.

LaValle, in which the majority ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional. On July 6, 2006, Smith wrote the main opinion in Hernandez v. Robles, a 4-2 decision, declaring that same-sex marriage in New York was not constitutionally required, and was to be left to the legislature.

Chief Judge Judith Kaye wrote the dissent. On October 23, 2007, in People v. Taylor, he chose to side with the majority in upholding People v.

LaValle, on the grounds of stare decisis. Smith became a partner in New York City law firm Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP on January 1, 2015, one day after retiring from the.


Member: The Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Member: Committee on Federal Legislation, 1981-1984. Committee on the Judiciary, 1984-1987. Committee on the Bicentennial of the Constitution, 1988-1991).

New York State and American Bar Associations. Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies (President, New York Lawyers (Chapter, 1994—). American College of Trial Lawyers.


Married Dian Goldston Smith, August 31, 1969. Children: Benjamin Eli, Emlen Matthew, Rosemary Friedman.