The Appeals Bureau is responsible for the litigation of the office’s cases after conviction. That litigation includes responding to appeals filed by defendants in the Appellate Division, which is New York State’s intermediate appellate court, and to the New York Court of Appeals, which is the State’s highest court. The Appeals Bureau also prosecutes appeals by the District Attorney from certain adverse rulings by trial judges. The Appeals Bureau responds to defendants’ habeas corpus petitions in federal district court and litigates appeals to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In addition, assistant district attorneys in the Appeals Bureau are often called upon to advise trial prosecutors regarding complex legal issues and to provide legal training to the office on a number of specialized topics.
The Criminal Court Bureau oversees the office’s legal and support staff operating in the non-specialized court parts of Brooklyn Criminal Court at 120 Schermerhorn Street. The bureau works closely with other bureaus within the office to ensure that prosecutors assigned to handle misdemeanor cases in criminal court receive appropriate supervision. The bureau staff meets regularly with representatives from the court and defense bar to troubleshoot any systemic problems and to make sure that Brooklyn’s misdemeanor cases are processed fairly and efficiently.
The Early Case Assessment Bureau (ECAB) screens all arrests that occur in Brooklyn, determining whether a prosecution will be declined or will go forward and if the latter, what charges will be brought. ECAB staff members interview police officers and, in some instances, victims and witnesses. The bureau drafts the charging document (i.e., the complaint) upon which the defendant will initially be arraigned, and prepares supporting documents and notices to be submitted in court. Assistant district attorneys in the bureau also staff and supervise prosecutors in the arraignment court parts in Brooklyn’s Criminal Court.