May 24, 2015

How To Conduct Free Legal Research Using Google Scholar In 2015 (Part 1) |

Nicole L. Black:

For many lawyers, Google Scholar is an incredibly appealing option since it's free. I last wrote about Google Scholarback in 2012 and some of the features have changed, while others have been added. So that's why I'm writing this updated two-part blog post series on Google Scholar. I'll explain the ins and outs of using Google Scholar to conduct legal research, focusing on the basics in this post and then in next week's post, I'll highlight some of the more advanced features.


Agile Blog | The Because We Love You Sale

1Password creates strong, unique passwords for every site, remembers them all for you, and logs you in with a single tap. 

 1Password for the iPhone, iPad, Mac or PC is currently on sale for 30% off.

May 21, 2015

Benitez v United Home of N.Y. LLC

2015_30794 by Leonard E Sienko Jr

Decision of Interest - Professional Responsibility - Bank awarded summary judgment on liability against closing attorneys who failed to disclose subject premises did not have certificate of occupancy

May 15, 2015

Report Foreign Financial Account(s) by June 30

If you have a client with one or more foreign bank or financial accounts exceeding $10,000 in value, you must file a Report of Foreign Bank Account(s) (FBAR) by June 30. Reports must be filed electronically through the BSA E-Filing System using FinCEN Report 114. 

For e-filing questions or help, call the BSA E-Filing Help Desk at 866-346-9478 or e-mail  

For more information, see the FBAR Reference Guide on

May 14, 2015

The "Indestructible" ioSafe SoloPro and Rugged Portable External Hard Drives--Sam Glover


Reviewing an external hard drive is not generally very interesting. The best ones are no-frills, empty drives. Since you cannot test long-term reliability in the short term, the feature that matters most is effectively un-testable.

The ioSafe drives are good external hard drives. They come in attractive packages for reasonable prices (about $250 for the 1TB SoloPro, and $160 for the 500GB Rugged Portable), and have plenty of space for backing up your client files. They also leave out the crapware that tends to come with external hard drives.

Ending the review there, however, would utterly fail to do justice to the ioSafe drives. Unlike a regular drive, these are built to protect your data from the kind of abuse that would turn a regular drive into a pile of particles.

Here is a closer look at the first drives you might be able to trust with your most-important data--without a secondary backup.

IoSafe master 020107

IoSafe master 020107 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


UPDATE--Sam Glover:  I don't think you'll be sorry if you get the ioSafe Solo G3.


UPDATE--Sam Glover: If you just want a solid backup drive and you don't want to pay a lot for it, get the WD Elements 2TB portable drive. It's nothing fancy, just a 2-terabyte external hard drive about the size of a pocket Moleskine notebook. And since it gets all the power it needs from your computer's USB port, you only need the one short cable (which is included). Everything about it -- including the price -- make it a near-perfect basic backup solution.

May 13, 2015

Family Lawyers' Top Software Picks - Family Lawyer Magazine

Family law attorneys need the same kinds of practice and case management software as their colleagues working in other areas of the law, but they also have unique needs, such as: performing calculations regarding child and spousal support payments, calculating the tax implications of property division, and creating/tracking child custody arrangements, to name just a few. Whether it be filtering your document for run-on sentences, simplifying child custody and visitation, or managing your practice's billable hours, there's likely to be software or an app to help improve your productivity and better serve your clients. We reached out to judges and family lawyers for a sampling of products they thought were integral to their daily practice of family law; here's what some of them had to say.

Worker fired for disabling GPS app that tracked her 24 hours a day [Updated] | Ars Technica

by   -  May 11, 2015 

A Central California woman claims she was fired after uninstalling an app that her employer required her to run constantly on her company issued iPhone--an app that tracked her every move 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Plaintiff Myrna Arias, a former Bakersfield sales executive for money transfer service Intermex, claims in a state court lawsuit that her boss, John Stubits, fired her shortly after she uninstalled the job-management Xora app that she and her colleagues were required to use. According to her suit (PDF) in Kern County Superior Court:

Read more here.

May 11, 2015

Legal Loop: A week with the apple watch: first impressions | NY Daily Record

By: Nicole Black  May 8, 2015 

Nicole Black:

I've had my Apple Watch for a little over a week now. I bought the lowest priced Apple Sport Watch with a white band and I've worn it daily. I've had a chance to use many of its current functions and figured I'd share my first impressions with you now and then revisit the topic in a month or so once I've had a chance to travel with my watch -- because I expect its features and apps will be particularly useful while traveling.


In my opinion, Apple Watch the gateway drug to wearables and in a few years, people will be wearing smart glasses, contacts and more. As a society we're just not ready for that yet. But Apple Watch is a good bridge to that future.

May 10, 2015

Drone Vandalism Is Now A

Chris Mills:

By this point, drones have been co-opted into most human activities: proposalsreligion, and yep, porn
As of Wednesday morning, you can also add vandalising a gigantic NYC billboard to that list.

There are going tho be even more legal issues with increasing drone use.  I foresee an area of practice developing.  

NSA decision--2nd Circuit Rules Against Telephone MetaData Mass Surveillance

NSA decision by USA TODAY

May 6, 2015


Investigative and Expert Reports Re Footballs Used During Afc Championship

New York to Move to Uniform Bar Exam - Legal Ease Blog

Allison C. Shields:

Despite opposition from many lawyers and bar associations throughout the state, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced today that New York State will begin administering the Uniform Bar Exam (UBE) beginning in July of 2016.

According to this article, Lippman made the announcement at a Law Day celebration in Albany, claiming that the adoption of the UBE will allow New York to remain the gold standard for the profession, and stating that it will allow New York law graduates greater portability and flexibility of their law licenses.

Read more:

May 5, 2015

Position Announcement--Office of the Federal Public Defender--Research and Writing Attorney

May 5, 2015

Position Announcement
Office of the Federal Public Defender
Research and Writing Attorney 
The Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Northern 
District of New York is seeking applicants for the 
position of Research and Writing Attorney for its 
Syracuse, NewYork office.  The Research and
Writing Attorney provides advanced research 
and writing services to assistant federal defender 
staff on trial and appellate cases. The Research 
and Writing Specialist writes briefs, motions, 
petitions for certiorari, and legal memoranda.

(Please see full announcement below).


Announcement Date:
April 24, 2015
Closing Date:
June 5, 2015



How to Apply

Send cover letter, resume, and writing sample to:   


Matthew Landy, Administrative Officer
Office of the Federal Public Defender
39 N. Pearl St., 5th Floor
Albany, NY  12207


or in PDF to 


NDNY-Federal Court Bar Association, Inc.
(315) 422-2799

May 4, 2015

U S v Skelos 15 Mag 1492 (Filed)

U S v Skelos 15 Mag 1492 (Filed) by JosefaVelasquez

May 3, 2015

Periscope on the App Store on iTunes

Periscope lets you broadcast live video to the world. Going live will instantly notify your followers who can join, comment and send you hearts in real time. The more hearts you get, the higher they flutter on the screen.

Other features:
[+] REPLAY: When your broadcast is over, you can make it available for replay so viewers can watch later. Viewers can replay your broadcast with comments and hearts to relive the full experience. Replays currently last 24 hours. You can delete your replay at any time.

[+] PRIVATE: If you want to broadcast to specific people, press the lock icon before going live and choose who you want to invite to your broadcast. 

[+] TWITTER: You can choose to share your Periscope broadcasts on Twitter by tapping the bird icon before you start broadcasting. When you go live, you'll tweet a link so that your Twitter followers can watch on the web (or in the app)

[+] MANAGE NOTIFICATIONS: Periscope will suggest people for you to follow based on your Twitter network. You can always follow new people, or unfollow them if you don't want to be notified when they go live. You can also adjust notification preferences in Periscope Settings (in Profile)

[+] HEARTS: Periscope keeps track of how many hearts you get from your viewers. The more hearts, the higher you get in the "Most Loved" list.

May 1, 2015

Tesla unveils battery storage system for home, business and utility

The Tesla home battery system hinted at by CEO Elon Musk several months ago has finally been unveiled by Musk himself at the company's design studio in Hawthorne, California. Dubbed the Powerwall, the stationary home battery offers 10 kWh of storage capacity for the relatively modest price of US$3,500. A smaller unit is also available at 7 kWh for $3,000, and homeowners can stack multiple units if needed.

Read entire article first link below:

April 28, 2015

Fwd: NYS Form RP-5217--Your Comments Sought

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Wilson, Mark" <MWilson@NYSBA.ORG>
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 5:08 PM
Subject: NYS Form RP-5217

Good Afternoon, 


I am writing to county bar leaders and directors for input regarding New York State form RP-5217 Equalization & Assessment forms for real property deed transfers.


Concerns regarding the form originated with Kevin Allen, President of the Orleans County Bar Association, who noted that quite a few solo and small-firm practitioners were having issues with county clerks not accepting modified Form RP-5217. 


The RP-5217-PDF Real Property Transfer Report in NYS was originally a four-page carbon-copy form available at the County Clerk's office and required for recording any deed. In 2013 the form became a one-part downloadable barcoded pdf form used to document the information associated with real property transfers for approved counties within New York State. An original RP-5217-PDF form must still accompany all deeds and correction deeds upon filing. Here is information about the RP-5217, where instructions note no handwritten changes.


The problem noted by the Orleans County Bar is that certain counties are not accepting modified forms: For example, if the phone number is crossed out, the clerk rejects the filing. 


Because the new form is bar coded, the new signed form would be required and the deed cannot be recorded. Only the date of closing can be filled in or handwritten in for certain counties. For closings where the buyer or seller may not be local, or if a senior citizen has to come in and sign and resign this causes inconveniences, especially for solos if the form has to be redone online each time there is a change - both buyer and seller sign this form.


The Orleans County Bar is concerned with the inconsistency among counties and the practice management issues with rekeying the form each time there is a change because of the bar code. It appears certain counties take modified forms without issue while others are rejecting it outright. It was noted that middle initials being added triggers the form to be rejected. 


If your association members have had similar inconsistencies filing Form 5217 with your County Clerk, please let me know. We want to chronicle the concerns of all bar associations regarding this issue. 


Thank you and with best regards,


image002.jpgMark Wilson  Manager of Bar Services

New York State Bar Association

One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207


direct/fax518.487.5540 |  main518.463.3200 | email: |

April 27, 2015

Review: Apple Watch - iPhone J.D.

Jeff Richardson:

The Apple Watch is the newest product from Apple.  It requires an iPhone and thus can be viewed as an iPhone accessory, much like you might have Bluetooth headphones that work with your iPhone.  But it has so much computing power that it can also be considered an independent device, alongside the iPad, iPod, etc.  After three days with the Apple Watch, I am incredibly impressed.  For those of you wondering whether you should get one, hopefully my initial experiences will help you to make a decision for yourself.

The model that I have is the Apple Watch 42mm Stainless Steel with Black Classic Buckle.  I ordered it just a few minutes after Apple started taking pre-orders on April 10, 2015, and my Apple Watch was in my hands around 9:30 a.m. on Friday, April 24.  My first three days with the Apple Watch have been different types of days.  Friday was a work day, so I was mostly in the office.  Saturday I was mostly at home, doing errands and playing with my kids.  On Sunday I was at the New Orleans Jazz Fest, so I was outside most of the day and doing a lot of walking around and receiving and sending a lot of text messages to make plans with others at Jazz Fest.  These three very different days gave me the opportunity to really understand how the Apple Watch excels and what its limitations are.  

Read Jeff's full review here.

April 26, 2015

Term Law Clerk Vacancy Announcement-NDNY

April 25, 2015

Term Law Clerk Vacancy Announcement

The United States District Court for the Northern 

District of New York is seeking a two-year term 

law clerk for the Honorable David N. Hurd, U.S. 

District Judge in Utica, New York.  A law clerk 

will perform a wide variety of judicial tasks, 

including the preparation of draft opinions 

on dispositive motions; bench memoranda in 

preparation for trials and oral arguments on 

motions; and instructions to the jury in civil

and criminal matters.  The law clerk will also 

share administrative tasks.  

(Please see full announcement below).


Opening Date:
April 22, 2015
Closing Date:
May 8, 2015
Projected Start Date:
June 2015




Application Process and Deadline: 

Send cover letter, resume, and unofficial law 
school transcript on or before May 8, 2015 to:   


Honorable David N. Hurd, U.S. District Judge 
Alexander Pirnie Federal Building 
Room 300 
10 Broad Street 
Utica, NY 13501 


 or by emailing materials to 


April 25, 2015

The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law | A Multimedia Archive of the Supreme Court of the United States

Here's an old friend, even  larger and improved, with additional resources:

U.S. Supreme Court Media

The Oyez Project at Chicago-Kent is a phenomenal resource for anyone who wants to understand the workings of the United States Supreme Court. In fact, as multimedia archive, the site "aims to be a complete and authoritative source for all audio recorded in the Court since the installation of a recording system in October 1955." The site can be scouted in a number of convenient ways. First, readers may simply explore the Latest Stories, which include Weekly Roundups, articles, and analyses of goings on at the Court. For more focused searches, readers may prefer to select Cases and Justices. The Cases tab navigates to every case that has been argued in the Supreme Court, along with a summary and, often, audio files of the oral arguments. The Justices section, on the other hand, provides summaries and rulings of every justice that has served on the Court. In addition, the excellent Tour function provides a DIY tour of the Supreme Court, complete with peaks into the Exterior, the Great Hall, the Courtroom, and the offices of select justices. 

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2015.