This article first appeared in slightly modified form in
New York Law Journal
September 13, 2007
Appellate Division Review
by E. Leo Milonas and Frederick A. Brodie
The Honorable E. Leo Milonas
Frederick A. Brodie
Andrew C. Smith and Dennis J.
Callahan, litigation associates at
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman,
assisted in preparing this column.
Ever wondered what the Appellate Division was up to 100 years ago? In 1907,
the Appellate Division, Third Department, considered a libel action brought by
the manufacturer of “Dr. Williams’ Pink Pills for Pale People.”1
The pink pill purveyors had advertised that their product would “enrich the
blood,” prevent “drooping and fading,” restore a “rosy blush to the cheek” and
cure numerous ailments, including paralysis.
The pink pills’ producers took issue with a volume entitled “The Great American
Fraud,” authored by Samuel Hopkins Adams, a famous muckraker of the day
who suggested that the pink pills’ performance fell far short of Dr. Williams’
A century later, frauds are still with us. The pink pills, however, are not - perhaps
in part because the Third Department allowed Mr. Adams’ publisher to counter
the pink pill promoters’ defamation claim with a defense of truth.
We present below notable decisions issued during the past quarter by the
justices of the Appellate Division’s four departments, who continue in the path
forged by their brethren of a century ago.
Campaign Finance. The New York City Campaign Finance Board exceeded its
authority when it promulgated a rule2 that categorically banned the use of public
funds to reimburse third-party advances, the First Department declared in
Mossa v. New York City Campaign Finance Board.3 While the New York City
Campaign Finance Act prohibits the use of public funds for eight specific
categories of expenditures, the court explained in an unsigned