All defendants convicted of a crime, regardless of whether that conviction was the result of a plea or guilty verdict after trial, are entitled to appeal their conviction as a matter of right.
The Appeals Bureau, led by Chief Paul J. Williams, III, responds to appeals brought in Erie County Court, the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department and the New York State Court of Appeals. Appeals are also brought on behalf of the People in those courts. Appellate attorneys also defend against Federal habeas corpus petitions; motions for post-judgment relief pursuant to CPL Article 440; as well as petitions for a writ of error coram nobis.
Prosecutors assigned to the Appeals Bureau must also respond to Freedom of Information (FOIL) requests, civil matters involving the District Attorney’s Office, CPLR Article 78 petitions, and motions to unseal records. Assistant District Attorneys assigned to the bureau also act as legal counsel to all other attorneys in the office. Appellate attorneys are active in the Continuing Legal Education process, creating written material and giving lectures on various legal topics.