Changing Judge In Middle of Trial In New York

In People v. Thompson, (222 AD2d 156, 159, 645 NYS2d 884 [2d Dept 1996], affd 90 NY2d 615, 687 NE2d 1304, 665 NYS2d 21 [1997]), the judge who began the criminal trial was replaced in midtrial by another judge, and the appellate court held that absent demonstrable prejudice, substitution by a new trial judge who has reviewed and become thoroughly familiar with the trial record was proper. (Id., at 157.) More recently, in People v. Thomas, (45 AD3d 483, 847 NYS2d 160 [1st Dept 2007]), a judge became incapacitated during a criminal trial. The court held that in the absence of undue prejudice, she could be replaced by a substitute jurist who indicates on the record the requisite familiarity with the proceedings.