November 16, 2014

Westlaw discloses breach of public records database - beSpacific

News release: "West Publishing Corporation, a unit of Thomson Reuters, has notified the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office of a breach involving their Westlaw subscription-only public records database. In a letter dated November 4th to those affected, Senior Vice President Andy Martens explained that on October 14, they detected unusual search activity. Investigation revealed that some [...]
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November 15, 2014

Draft and Format Legal Pleadings and Briefs with DraftLaw -- Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

As if drafting a legal pleading or brief wasn't work enough, then you have to format it. That means getting the caption just right, assembling the table of contents, building the table of authorities, making sure footnotes are in the right format, etc., etc. And how you do all these things will vary depending on which court you're filing in. Getting the formatting done -- and done right -- can be a huge drain on your or your staff's time.

Stephen DeRosa was practicing as a litigator in New York when he decided he was spending too much of his time making his documents look a certain way. He set out to build a product that would take the hassle out of formatting court pleadings and briefs. The result was DraftLaw.

DeRosa describes DraftLaw as a web-based word processing platform for litigation attorneys. While it is certainly that, its stand-out feature is its ability to take all those words you've processed and automatically assemble them into a perfectly formatted, ready-to-file PDF, complete with caption, table of contents, table of authorities, section headings and citations in proper order. All of this is done in conformance with the style requirements of the specific court you select.


Cuba Cultural Travel--NYSBA TRAVEL TO CUBA MARCH 8 - MARCH 14, 2015

The NYSBA International Section is pleased to announce the limited availability of People to People travel to Cuba through an itinerary which is compliant with current Federal regulations for such travel and which also provides a significant amount of exposure to the legal community in Cuba. More detailed information about this opportunity is being made available together with this e-letter, and is also available on the New York State Bar Association website at The itineraries are subject to change, and there will be some alternative activities scheduled for non-lawyers accompanying NYSBA members on the trip. 
The available travel dates are March 8 - March 14, 2015 and include an overnight stay in Miami (March 8, 2015) the night before the date of travel to Cuba. Participants will be responsible for their own travel arrangements and expenses from their home base to Miami, and returning at the end of the trip from Miami to home. Please read the accompanying information for more details and for instructions how to sign up. Please note that participation in each trip is limited to approximately 25 persons. Due to legal requirements and NYSBA policies with respect to this travel opportunity (a) participants must be US citizens traveling on a US passport, (b) each participant must be either a NYSBA member or a spouse/partner/significant other traveling with a NYSBA member, (c) all lawyer participants are required to participate in each activity in the itinerary, and (d) all non-lawyers accompanying NYSBA participants are required to participate in the activity schedule which will be available for non-lawyers. Regrettably, independent travel outside the scope of the itinerary is not permitted.
Due to limited availability, you are encouraged to submit your application to participate as soon as possible. We will advise you as soon thereafter as feasible whether your application is accepted.

Promotional details and Application

If you require any further information, please contact Cuba Cultural Travel as indicated in the application materials

For additional information about this event contact

November 12, 2014

The rise of the laptop lawyer? Senior members, lonely bowlers, and a way forward | Bar Leader

Vol. 39 No. 2


Stephen P. Gallagher, master of science in organizational development, is president of, an executive coaching company headquartered in Narberth, Pa. Stephen concentrates his practice on transition/succession planning for lawyers. This article was prepared with cooperation and support from Leonard E. Sienko Jr., a lifelong friend and a sole practitioner at The Sienko Law Office in Hancock, N.Y. In Gallagher's own transition from full-time practice, he spends time teaching several marketing classes at St. Joseph's University, and he commits more of his time to his three grandchildren. He can be reached via e-mail and welcomes your comments and questions.

Read the article here.

November 8, 2014

New York Bar Recognizes that Virtual Lawyers May Be More Accessible to Clients - My Shingle-Carolyn Elefant

At the same time, the Opinion makes clear that "there are no virtual office exceptions" to a lawyers' ethical responsibilities. Thus, lawyers operating a virtual office must disclose that they don't have a physical office and must ensure that the services they provide are competently delivered. - Read more 

Legal Loop: Another NYSBA decision on virtual law offices | NY Daily Record-Nicole Black

NYSBA Ethics Opinion 1025 (full text)

The committee then clarified its conclusion: "In whatever manner the courts resolve the statutory issues regarding virtual law offices -- and we express no opinion on how they will or should resolve those issues -- neither Rule 7.1(h) nor any other advertising rule imposes or defines the contours of an attorney's office or style of practice. To the extent N.Y. State 756 and 964 opine that Rule 7.1(h) or its predecessor imposes an obligation for a physical office, they are modified. We now conclude that an attorney who is admitted to practice in New York but who is not resident in New York and who advertises his or her law practice in New York must include the address of the attorney's principal office, which may be the Internet address of a virtual law office."

Read more:

Microsoft's next surprise is free Office for iPad, iPhone, and Android | The Verge

Chrome extension encrypts your emails, tweets and status updates-Engadget


While you can already find ShadowCrypt on the Chrome web store or install it from its official website, it's still being researched further by its creators from the University of California Berkeley and the University of Maryland. One of those researchers is Devdatta Akhawe (currently a security engineer at Dropbox), who says the extension's purpose is to show how encryption methods can both be strong and compatible with popular social media websites. Seeing as the EFF has just confirmed that Facebook, Whatsapp and other similar services aren't as secure as we'd all like, it's nice having options like ShadowCrypt for times when you want to be extra careful.

November 3, 2014

Bankuptcy Basics--4 Free CLE Credits

Please join the CNYBBA and NDNY-FCBA in announcing this free CLE program opportunity:
Bankruptcy Basics 
4 FREE CLE Credits 
In exchange for agreement to either:  

(i)  act as counsel in a personally filed pro bono case or one that the court       assigns

(ii) act as a mentor to a less experienced attorney who makes the agreement under option (i).


Friday, November 21, 2014
8:30 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.
Registration 8:00 - 8:30 a.m.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
James M. Hanley U.S. Courthouse
100 South Clinton Street, 2nd Floor
Syracuse, New York
Moderated By:
Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge
Experienced Panel:
Attorneys Mary Fangio and
Susan Esce; Guy Van Baalen,
Asst. U.S. Trustee and /or
Erin Champion; Emily North,
Esq. of Legal Aid Society of
Mid-New York; Prof. Gregory
Germain, Syracuse University;
and Dina Ventura, Bankruptcy
Court Training Specialist

NDNY-Federal Court Bar Association
(315) 422-2799

Can't find your car keys? Cocoa flavanols may help age-related memory decline-Gizmag

Looking back, leaping forward, leveraging crisis, and freeing the law: A lawyer story |

Thomas R. Bruce, Director of the Cornell University Law School Legal Information Institute discusses how Google Scholar's caselaw collection is a victory for open access to legal information and the democratization of law. He strongly acknowledges the fifth anniversary of this open­ access legal web site, but goes further to focus on the importance of this benchmark to the expanding value of freely accessible legal information combined with technically advanced search features available to diverse user communities outside the scope of the legal profession, for free. From caselaw to the rapidly expanding regulatory arena, fed by rules created by over 400 federal agencies that have enormous and multifaceted impact on our lives, the potential for search, discovery, education, empowerment and citizen engagement remains under development. Thank you Tom and all the experts at LII for blazing, maintaining and pioneering the next wave of critical paths to enable access to free legal research. 

Turning Challenges into Opportunities: New Directions for Legal Information Professionals |

Attorney, journalist, author, legal tech expert, speaker and blogger Robert Ambrogi made a presentation recently at the fall meeting of the Law Librarians of New England and the Association of Boston Law Librarians. He addressed the pivotal ways in which law librarians remain critical contributors to the work product of law firms, professors and researchers in the academic arena, and change agents within the overall professional communities whose work places are increasingly dominated by Big Data, business intelligence and complex analytical tools.

November 2, 2014

Google Launches New Bookmarks Interface For Chrome | Ubergizmo

Google hasn't made an official announcement about Chrome Bookmark Manager, but nevertheless, you can download it right now from the Chrome Web Store.

Bookmark Manager

Chrome Bookmarks and the Bookmarks Manager are now more powerful by incorporating the smarts of Google Search with a new modern UI.

Now, if you're signed in to Chrome with sync enabled:

One-click save: When you bookmark, you can now save an image and note to make your bookmarks more helpful. Also, Google will suggest a folder if it seems like it could be a fit.

Improved search: Quickly find that elusive page with search powered by Google, which looks not only at the bookmark title and snippet, but also the bookmarked page's content. 

Collect bookmarks by topic: Your bookmarks will automatically be organized by topic, like "Tokyo" and "Photography." If you'd rather, you can still organize them into folders yourself.

Familiar bookmarks, new look: Your existing bookmarks will automatically get updated with images and descriptions, wherever possible.

Share: Have a folder of favorite bookmarks? You can make it public and share the link with whomever you'd like to access it. Everything else will remain private. 

Access your bookmarks anywhere: Bookmarked an article on your phone to finish reading on your laptop? Chrome will continue to sync your bookmarks across all of your devices, just like it does today. 

Read More.

October 31, 2014

IRS Commissioner: What to Expect at Tax Time - YouTube

Learn how the Affordable Care Act will affect you when you file your tax return. Click here for forms

October 30, 2014

Upgraded Judicial Candidate Voter Guide 2014

 For the 2014 general election, the New York State Unified Court System has launched an upgraded non-partisan Judicial Voter Guide at allowing users to sort and filter the list of candidates in each county. The Voter Guide features information about judicial candidates on the ballot based on information provided by the state and county board of elections. I would appreciate it if you could include the information below on your bar association's e-blasts, newsletters, websites and social media networks.

Visit the New York State Judicial Candidate Voter Guide and
Make an Informed Decision on Election Day.

Visit the non-partisan Judicial Candidate Voter Guide which is designed to help you make a more informed decision on Election Day. It includes descriptions of elective judicial offices throughout the state. The Guide also provides a list of judicial candidates on the ballot in each county based on information provided by the state and county boards of election.

Please visit the Voter Guide and share it with the public, so that more individuals can make an informed decision on Election Day.


Thank you.

Andrea Garcia 

New York State Unified Court System

Office of Public Affairs

October 29, 2014

New York State Bar Association-Webcast

Meeting of the House of Delegates Webcast Live from the New York State Bar Center, Albany Saturday, November 1, 2014 

Watch the NYSBA House of Delegates in action on Saturday, November 1st beginning at 9:00 a.m. by clicking 

here and choosing the November meeting

Fiscal Year Bankruptcy Filings Lowest in Seven Years | United States Courts

Bankruptcy cases filed in federal courts for the fiscal year 2014--the 12-month period ending September 30, 2014--totaled 963,739, down 13 percent from the 1.1 million bankruptcy filings in FY 2013, according to statistics released by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. This is the lowest number of bankruptcy filings for any 12-month period since 2007.

Read more

October 27, 2014

Get the Facts About Ebola--NYS Department of Health

Governor Cuomo has launched a State information line to answer questions about Ebola. 1-800-861-2280 is free and trained operators are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This line is for public health information purposes only. If you require medical attention, call your health care provider or 9-1-1 immediately.

The New York State Department of Health (DOH) continues to protect public health by working aggressively to prevent the spread of the Ebola Virus.

DOH is in continuous contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, local health departments statewide, health departments in surrounding states, hospital associations, individual health care facilities, EMS providers, transportation officials and other entities to monitor any suspect or confirmed cases of Ebola virus, support investigations of those cases, and provide guidance and information on infection control protocols and procedures to ensure the health and safety of all health care workers, patients, visitors and the general public.

Additionally, New York State and the State of New Jersey have expanded upon CDC protocols and imposed additional measures to identify and monitor individuals who recently spent time in one of the three countries most affected by Ebola or individuals who have recently cared for patients with the virus.

DOH also continues to provide CDC Advisories and Alerts to county health departments and health care providers to heighten awareness of possible cases, request reporting of any suspect cases, and to reiterate infection control procedures.

  • Specifications Required Under Commissioner's Order
  • Information for the Public
  • For Health Care Providers
  • For Hospitals
  • For EMS Providers

October 26, 2014

Pocket: How to Save

Connecting the Pocket button provides the best way to save pages to Pocket in just one click..


Your list becomes a permanent resource.

When you upgrade to Pocket Premium, your list becomes a permanent resource. Not just for the things you want to view later, but for the knowledge you want to refer to, forever. Premium's new Permanent Library keeps a personal backup of all the articles and webpages you save, so they're accessible even if the original page changes online.

$44.99 per year

IRS Announces 2015 Pension Plan Limitations; Taxpayers May Contribute up to $18,000 to their 401(k) plans in 2015

The Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2015. Many of the pension plan limitations will change for 2015 because the increase in the cost-of-living index met the statutory thresholds that trigger adjustments.