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Was there an "appeal" to the Appellate Division in the Columbia eminent domain case? The Court of Appeals gets it wrong

After watching the oral argument June 1 in the eminent domain case involving the Columbia University expansion, I suggested that Court of Appeals Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman was being either incredibly ignorant or faux-naive when he asked if there is "statutorily-provided discovery in this kind of situation."

The answer, of course, is no, and that's why the law favors condemnors more than in any other state.

Deference, and new law

The court's decision last week offered deference to the Empire State Development Corporation's (ESDC) blight findings.

Also, as attorneys at ESDC co-counsel Sive, Paget & Riesel admit, it created new law by "holding that 'civic projects' under the UDC [Urban Development Corporation] Act are not limited to public institutions, and may in fact include projects proposed by private educational institutions."

(What about trade schools and Shoot the Freak?)

Actual ignorance

It also included a line that was not faux-naive but rather incredibly ignorant: There's no appeal to the Appellate Division in eminent domain cases.

Under the Eminent Domain Procedure Law, that's where cases start, which is why there's no "statutorily-provided discovery." They should've gotten that right.