They were two of the most notable corruption convictions in recent political history, two entrenched New York power brokers seemingly brought to justice, their cases reverberating well beyond the wood-paneled walls of the Statehouse in Albany.
And in a span of less than three months, both convictions were overturned.
The legal turn of events in the cases against Sheldon Silver and Dean G. Skelos, the two former New York State legislative leaders, is almost certain to resonate in another corruption case unfolding just across the Hudson River in the federal courthouse here where the defendant is United States Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat from New Jersey.
What has given Mr. Silver and Mr. Skelos a reprieve was the ruling last year by the United States Supreme Court overturning the conviction of the former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell. In its unanimous decision, the court severely narrowed the definition of the kinds of official acts a politician must perform to be considered as having partaken in an illegal quid pro quo.