Lippman said the fact that he and Ciparick see eye-to-eye on most cases since he joined the court came as no surprise to him.
He said he and Ciparick have known each other for more than 40 years and both spent many years in the bureaucracy of the court system before becoming judges.
"We have been on the same wavelength for a lifetime," Lippman said. "Our view of the world is not that different. We both grew up as city kids, she in Washington Heights and me on the Lower East Side. We both worked our way through the court system. So I don't think it's that surprising that we were very close friends and more often than not on the same side on the cases."
Gerard Rath, who clerked for Ciparick from August 2005 to February 2008, said the judge sought to maintain a collegial working atmosphere in her chambers even with the intense workload.
"We would all have lunch together and everybody talked about the cases they were working on. We shot ideas back and forth," said Rath, who is now with Shaub, Ahmuty, Citrin & Spratt in Manhattan.
Like other Court of Appeals judges, Ciparick talks often about the close-knit nature of the court and how its members, be they Republican or Democrat, male or female, conservative or liberal, upstaters or downstaters, develop personal ties.
"There are no political divides in terms of our caring for each other," Ciparick said. "There are no political or social or ideological divides. It may be in our decisions, but not our personal lives."
As with any 70-year-old who has spent nearly 20 years at the same job, Ciparick has experienced many of life's milestones, good and bad, at her workplace. Her father and husband both died during her tenure on the court. She has watched her daughter, a professional singer and performer, grow up. And she has become a grandmother.
She said she spent her worst day as a judge, Sept. 11, 2001, watching with her horrified colleagues on a television in Kaye's chambers in Albany as the terror attacks on the World Trade Center unfolded.
"We all gathered in the conference room. And Judge George Bundy Smith, who is a very religious manhe is a deacon of his church, and he had a Biblehe brought it in and it was incredible. He said a prayer. And we found ourselvesJews and Catholics and Protestantsjust holding each other's hands. It was just sort of spontaneous and we all prayed with him."
In 2008, Ciparick said she felt a personal disappointment when the Commission on Judicial Nomination submitted a list of seven names to Governor David Paterson from which he had to select a nominee to succeed Kaye as chief judge.