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For people with a similar name, see Robert Earl

Robert Earl (September 20, 1824 Herkimer, Herkimer County, New York - December 2, 1902 Herkimer) was an American lawyer and politician from New York. He was Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals in 1870 and 1892.

Life

He was educated at the Herkimer Academy, and graduated from Union College in 1845. Afterwards he became Pricipal of Herkimer Academy and at the same time studied law with Charles Gray at Herkimer. He was admitted to the bar in 1848, and practiced in partnership with his brother Samuel.

In 1849 and 1860, he was a supervisor of Herkimer County. He was First Judge and Surrogate of the Herkimer County Court from 1856 to 1859. He was President of the Democratic state convention in 1868.

In 1869, he was elected on the Democratic ticket to the seat on the New York Court of Appeals to which Henry R. Selden had been elected in 1863. After Selden's resignation in January 1865, the seat had been occupied by John K. Porter (appointed 1865, elected for the remainder of the term in Nov. 1865, resigned Dec. 1867) and Lewis B. Woodruff (appointed 1868). Earl would have served for the remaining two years of the term, but was legislated out of office on July 4, 1870, when the Court of Appeals was completely re-organized. As the elected judge with the shortest remaining term, as was the rule established by the New York State Constitution of 1846, he was Chief Judge during his half year in office in 1870.

From 1870 to 1875, he was one of the Commissioners of Appeals.

On November 5, 1875, he was appointed by Governor Samuel J. Tilden to the Court of Appeals to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Martin Grover. In November 1876, he was re-elected on the Democratic ticket for a full fourteen-year term, and was re-elected unopposed in 1890. On January 19, 1892, he was appointed Chief Judge again, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of William C. Ruger, and remained on the post until the end of the year. He left the bench at the end of 1894 when he reached the constitutional age limit of 70 years.

He received the honorary degree of LL.D. from Union College in 1874, and from Columbia College in 1887.

He suffered a stroke on November 22, 1902, and died ten days later at his home in Herkimer.

See also

Sources

  • [1] Obit in NYT on December 3, 1902
  • The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (page 361; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)
  • [2] Complete listing of Court of Appeals judges, with portrait
  • [3] The candidates, in NYT on November 1, 1869
  • [4] The candidates, in NYT on November 2, 1876
  • [5] Appointed Chief Judge, in NYT on January 20, 1892
  • [6] Nominated by the Republicans, in NYT on September 3, 1890
  • [7] Candidates for office, in NYT on November 7, 1865 (Rep. Porter vs. Dem. Grover for Court of Appeal)
Legal offices
Preceded by
Ward Hunt
Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
1870
Succeeded by
Sanford E. Church
Preceded by
William C. Ruger
Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals
1892
Succeeded by
Charles Andrews
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