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OPENING STATEMENTS: Law, Jurisprudence, and the Legacy of Dutch New York


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Albert M. Rosenblatt and Julia C. Rosenblatt, editors

Explores the influence of Dutch law and jurisprudence in colonial America.

No society can function without laws, that set of established practices and expectations that guide the way people get along with one another and relate to ruling authorities. Although much has been written about the English roots of American law and jurisprudence, little attention has been paid until recently to the legacy left by the Dutch. In Opening Statements, a broad spectrum of eminent scholars examine the legal heritage that New Netherland bequeathed to New York in the seventeenth century. Even after the transfer of the colony to England placed New York under English Common Law rather than Dutch Roman Law, the Dutch system of jurisprudence continued to influence evolving American concepts of governance, liberty, women's rights, and religious freedom in ways that still resonate in today's legal culture.

"Opening Statements addresses only a short chapter in the long history of America. Its judgments will not be without dispute, but then, as the eminent Dutch historian Pieter Geyl once wrote: 'History is an argument without end.' There can be no doubt, however, as to the value of those seeds of freedom that were deeply planted in New Netherland. They produced a revolutionary harvest that causes us to appreciate what the Dutch inspired. A small country, the Netherlands—yes—but always a powerful ally for America in the unending struggle for a well-ordered society where freedom and justice prevail." ~ from the Foreword by William J. vanden Heuvel

"Opening Statements is a richly illustrated volume that offers a tantalizing and sometimes surprising view of jurisprudence in the Dutch colonial period and its lasting impact on modern life and law. A litigious people, the Dutch in New Netherland were also practical and pragmatic, turning to the law to settle disputes and to redress grievances. Opening Statements helps us understand what the Dutch rule of law meant to them, how it translated within the British legal system that was imposed after 1664, and what of it has become permanent legacy in America's legal and constitutional system. The essays are clearly and informatively written and provide keen insight into the character of the Dutch colonial system, the values of those who lived within it, the way in which those values and cultural traditions informed their legal system and, most importantly, into the elements of that system that are still evident today." ~ Christine W. Ward, New York State Archives

"A fascinating voyage through the intriguing subject of the Dutch influence on our law, jurisprudence, and the New York we know today! Remembering the English takeover in 1664, I find myself again and again asking 'What if?' as I conclude each essay by a world-class scholar (whose ample footnotes can carry the reader into far deeper waters), a pleasure cruise enhanced by a breathtaking array of magnificent illustrations. Yes, this captivating volume proves beyond doubt that the subject of the Dutch influence on New York deserves more than a once-a-century celebration." ~ Judith S. Kaye, Chief Judge of the State of New York (Ret.)

Albert M. Rosenblatt is a Judge (Ret.) of the New York Court of Appeals, a Judicial Fellow at New York University, and of counsel to McCabe & Mack. His books include The Judges of the New York Court of Appeals: A Biographical History. Julia C. Rosenblatt is the coauthor (with Frederic H. Sonnenschmidt) of Dining with Sherlock Holmes: A Baker Street Cookbook. Together, the Rosenblatts coauthored Historic Courthouses of the State of New York: A Study in Postcards.

Excelsior Editions, an imprint of State University of New York Press

This book can be purchased on the SUNY Press website or by calling 703-661-1575.






The Judges of The New York Court of Appeals: A Biographical History
The Judges of The New York Court of Appeals: A Biographical History

Edited by Hon. Albert M. Rosenblatt
Forward by Hon. Judith S. Kaye

This important reference work provides a comprehensive, authoritative guide to 160 years of the important legal legacy of the New York Court of Appeals, featuring original biographies of 106 chief and associate judges and hundreds of illustrations. Each entry features a full personal and professional biography as well as concise coverage of landmark cases, key opinions and a detailed context for understanding the legacy of each jurist. This book will be an essential resource for the New York legal community, scholars, students and practitioners of the law around the nation.

This book may be purchased through Fordham University Press. The book retails for $150, but may be purchased for the special price of $87.50 plus $5.50 shipping and handling.

CLICK THIS LINK, and use the Promo Code "Judg" at checkout.







Historic Courthouses of the State of New York: A Study in Postcards by Albert & Julia Rosenblatt.
Historic Courthouses of the State of New York: A Study in Postcards by Albert & Julia Rosenblatt.

by Hon. Albert M. & Juliet Rosenblatt

Courthouses have long served as the historical images for the counties in which they are built. Since the early 1900s, these monuments have been featured in historic picture postcards that served as inexpensive travel sourvenirs and today provide an accurate visual record of our past.

This volume features rare postcard images of county courthouses throughout the state, along with a detailed narrative of notable trials and anecdotes, as well as the history of each county courthouse.

Through this book, the reader will gain an appreciation for these great, public courthouses, and gain an understanding of how each community has changed over the years, and how things remain the same.

The book may be purchased from the Society for $54.95, including shipping via USPS.

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