James Flavin, the twenty-first official Reporter, was born on March 13, 1908. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Syracuse University in 1933, and from Syracuse Law School in 1935. Flavin was appointed Law Clerk to Judge Irving G. Hubbs of the Court of Appeals in 1937, and Clerk in the Office of the Clerk of the Court of Appeals in 1938. He left the Court in 1941 to practice law with Cravath, deGersdorff, Swaine & Wood in New York City. From 1943 to 1945 he served in the United States Army and graduated from the Army Intelligence Japanese Language School in 1945. In 1945 he rejoined the Court as First Deputy State Reporter. Flavinís tenure as State Reporter, from 1953 to 1976, spanned the First and Second Series of the Official Reports. As State Reporter, he was responsible for publishing 180 volumes, including 14 volumes from the First Series (four of the New York Reports, five of the Appellate Division Reports, and five of the Miscellaneous Reports) and 166 volumes from the Second Series (37 New York Reports, 48 Appellate Division Reports, and 81 Miscellaneous Reports). For a two-year period from 1972 to 1974, he also served as Clerk of the Court of Appeals. He was a member of the American, New York State, and Albany County Bar Associations, serving as chairman of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Electronic Legal Research from 1969 to 1973 and chairman of the American Bar Association Committee on Technology and the Courts. An active Rotarian, he was a district governor of Rotary International and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Albany Rotary Foundation. He also was president of the Alumni Association of Syracuse Law School, president of the Albany Historical Society and a member of the University Club of Albany. He was married to Magdaline Piefer, and they had two children. Flavin died in Albany on July 13, 1984.
On May 30, 2008, a celebration of James M. Flavin's pioneering contributions to electronic legal publishing and research was held at the New York Court of Appeals on the occasion of the one-hundredth anniversary of Mr. Flavin's birth. Among those in attendance were Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, Judges of the Court of Appeals, Randy Flavin, the grandson of James, and his family, and other dignitaries from around the state. The Law Reporting Bureau proudly offers the remarks of the speakers at this celebration: Chief Judge Kaye, Bar Association President Katherine Grant Madigan, Miles Bottrill of the Syracuse University School of Law, State Reporter Gary Spivey and Deputy State Reporter Charles A. Ashe. A photo gallery of the celebration is also available.
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