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May 31, 2006

An Appeals Court Setback for Critics of Atlantic Yards

The NY Times covered yesterday's Appellate Court ruling in an article by Nicholas Confessore:

A state appeals court dealt a setback to opponents of the proposed Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn yesterday, reversing the disqualification of a lawyer who had advised both the complex's developer and the state agency that is conducting an environmental review of the project.

A five-judge panel of the State Supreme Court's Appellate Division found that Justice Carol Edmead, who disqualified the lawyer, David Paget, in February, "misapprehended material facts and misapplied the applicable law" when she ruled that Mr. Paget's work for the Empire State Development Corporation was on its face a conflict of interest because he had also been a consultant to the developer, Forest City Ratner.

In the same unanimous and strongly worded ruling, the court found that Justice Edmead, a Supreme Court judge in Manhattan, had acted correctly when she refused to block the demolition of six buildings on the 22-acre site where Atlantic Yards would be built. That decision had been appealed by opponents of the development.

In a statement, Candace Carponter, a lawyer and a member of the leading group opposing the project, Develop Don't Destroy Brooklyn, said that the group was disappointed by the ruling and would explore other legal challenges to the project.

"We believe in the moral correctness of our case, and are confident that this decision will inspire the public's vigilance and scrutiny to grow even stronger," she said.

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Posted by lumi at May 31, 2006 9:23 AM