Practitioners before the First Department say that Pataki's appointments have made a court that was even in the best of times a tough place for criminal defense lawyers to win rulings, into a far harsher venue.
"There has been a sea change in terms of how they are deciding cases," said one attorney who has long practiced there. "What would have been considered far to the right [on the court] is now the center."
Bloomberg's lawyers would have appealed the contempt motion regardless of the court's makeup. But they're sure to get a sympathetic ear from the Pataki-era bench as to why the city shouldn't be punished for violating a judge's order that they were keeping too many in jail for too long for too little.