April 18, 2014

JURIST - Judge upholds New York state gun law

[JURIST] A trial judge for the Supreme Court of New York [official profile] dismissed [text] a lawsuit on Thursday challenging the state's strict gun laws. The plaintiffs, a group of gun rights activists, argued [lohud news report] that the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (SAFE Act) [text] infringes upon rights granted by the state constitution[text]. Judge Thomas McNamara held that the plaintiffs failed to show any right being infringed upon by the act. 

Judgment by Jon Campbell

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April 14, 2014

Social Security stops trying to collect on old taxpayer debts - The Washington Post

The Social Security Administration announced Monday it will immediately cease efforts to collect on taxpayers' debts to the government that are more than 10 years old.

The action comes after The Washington Post reported that the government is seizing state and federal tax refunds that were on their way to about 400,000 Americans who had relatives who owed money to Social Security. In many cases, the people whose refunds were intercepted had never heard of any debt and the debts dated as far back as the middle of the past century.

Read entire report here.

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Court OKs Warrantless Animal Rescue When 'Appropriate' | National Law Journal

Ruling on an issue of first impression for the state's high court on Friday in Commonwealth v. Heather M. Duncan, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court said that, "in appropriate circumstances, animals, like humans, should be afforded the protection of the emergency aid exception."

"In addition to promoting life-saving measures, the ability to render such assistance vindicates the legislative framework for preventing cruelty to animals, particularly the provision regulating the conditions under which dogs may be kept outside," Associate Justice Barbara Lenk wrote.

She cited precedents from California, the District of Columbia, Rhode Island, Montana and Vermont.

Read more: http://www.nationallawjournal.com/id=1202650859185/Court-OKs-Warrantless-Animal-Rescue-When-%27Appropriate%27#ixzz2ysbIO11I

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April 13, 2014

Four excellent Dropbox alternatives for your small-business storage needs | PCWorld

Condoleeza Rice notwithstanding, you may still want to consider alternatives to DropBox:

"...But while Dropbox and other popular cloud-storage providers are adequate for the average consumer, most services don't meet small-business needs for security, affordability, real-time collaboration, and lots of file storage. Here are some Dropbox alternatives that do. Like Dropbox, each offers an easy-to-use interface, 2GB of free storage, and drag-and-drop syncing, and any are guaranteed to be a boon to your business..."

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April 12, 2014

Heartbleed: What Lawyers and Law Firms Need to Know-Lawyerist-Aaron Street

Aaron Street is the co-founder and Publisher of the law practice blog Lawyerist and its law firm website design business Lawyerist Sites. He works as a Program Attorney for the Minnesota State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education (Minnesota CLE), where he helps develop continuing education programs and manages Minnesota CLE's New Lawyer Initiative.

"...Yesterday, partially in response to news about the "Heartbleed" computer exploit, Sam wrote a post about the importance of lawyers understanding how the internet works. Given all the media buzz about Heartbleed, I thought it might be useful for lawyers and law firms to understand what it really means for them, without either too much techno-jargon or over-use of dumbed-down metaphor.

Read Aaron's complete article here.

Related"Encryption: Enabling Basic Client File Security"

Related"It's Time for Lawyers to Re-Think the Cloud"

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April 7, 2014

FREE Webinar: Solo and Small Firms in Uncertain Times - MyCase Blog

Register for the MyCase free 60 minute webinar, "Solo and Small Firms in Uncertain Times," on Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 11 AM PT and 2 PM ET,  featuring Mitch Kowalski, author of ABA best-seller, "Avoiding Extinction: Reimagining Legal Services for the 21st Century."
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Nuance Power PDF Advanced - Better Than Adobe Acrobat?

Ernie Sevenson, a/k/a "Ernie the Attorney", literally wrote the book (and the blog) on Acrobat and PDF for lawyers.:

Ernie's reviews  Nuance Power PDF Advanced software (currently only available for Windows computers), which retails for $149. At one-third the price of Acrobat, many lawyers should be paying close attention to Power PDF. Read Ernie's complete review on Lawyerist.

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April 4, 2014

How To Recover a Lot of Space on Your iPhone Fast-David Pogue


iOS 7 makes it very easy to see what's eating up your space -- and to delete the fattest culprits to make the most room with the least effort. Here's where you start: Open Settings, then tapGeneral, then Usage, then wait a minute or two for the list of apps to appear.

For clear, concise instructions with illustrations, read the rest of David Pogue's "How-to" piece.  

(I'll bet you were wondering what happened to David?)

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Public Notice - Appointment of Part-Time U.S. Magistrate Judge | Northern District of New York | United States District Court

The Court is accepting applications for the position of a Part-Time Magistrate Judge at Plattsburgh, New York.  The position will become available upon the retirement of the Hon. Larry A. Kudrle on November 1, 2014.  The Application Package is available on the Court's Website at www.nynd.uscourts.gov.

Applications close on April 30, 2014.

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Netted: Buying Into It

 Canopy, a new design-focused web shop, not unlike Svpply before it, is a beautifully designed pinboard where users can post the products they think are great. The big difference is that Canopy is populated solely with items currently available on Amazon.

- See more at: http://netted.net/2014/04/04/canopy/?like=Facebook#sthash.PuBvjhwA.dpuf

The first 1000 Netted readers who use the invite code "Netted" at signup can cut the line.

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JURIST - Legal News & Commentary

Jurist has a new, slick, clean, uncluttered look for their website.

If you've never accessed Jurist:

JURIST (http://jurist.org) is a web-based legal news and real-time legal research service powered by a mostly-volunteer team of over 60 part-time law student reporters, editors and Web developers led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. 

JURIST is produced as a public service for the continuing legal education of its readers and law student staffers, and uses the latest Internet technology to track important legal news stories and materials and present them rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.

Check out their Twitter feed as well:   https://twitter.com/JURISTnews

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March 31, 2014

60 Apps in 60 Minutes 2014--iPhone J.D.

At ABA TECHSHOW in Chicago, Brett BurneyChad BurtonReid Trautz and Jeff Richardson presented the 2014 installment of 60 Apps in 60 Minutes.  They highlighted a variety of apps including some great new apps, some perennial favorites, and some that were thrown in mostly for the entertainment value.  Here is a the full list.  Many apps are free, but note that some of those require subscriptions or can have extra fees associated with them (e.g. the WestlawNext and Lexis Advance apps).  All of them are worth taking a look at.

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March 30, 2014

Possible To Use Office For iPad Without Office 365 Subscription | Ubergizmo

Earlier this week Microsoft finally launched Office for iPad. The popular productivity suite, made up of Word, Excel and PowerPoint apps, has landed on Apple's tablet absolutely free, but there is a caveat. Office for iPad apps can be used for reading, viewing and presentation only. If users want the full editing and composing power, they need an Office 365 subscription. However, a loophole left open by Microsoft makes it possible to use Office for iPad without Office 365 subscription.


PLEASE NOTE WELL:  Technically this does violate limits defined by Microsoft in its EULA or end user rights agreement. While Microsoft doesn't strictly enforce the tablet installations limit, it trusts that "users respect and understand device limits outlined in the EULA."

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How to use funeral planning to become eligible for Medicaid - New York Health Access

How to use funeral planning to become eligible for Medicaid

Views: 5589
Posted: 23 Apr, 2009 
by David Silva (New York Legal Assistance Group)
Updated: 23 Apr, 2009 
by David Silva (New York Legal Assistance Group)

One common reason why people are ineligible for Medicaid or SSI is if their assets are over the limit.  Rather than give money away to make yourself eligible, it is better to find ways either to spend the money or convert it into an exempt form.  One way to do this is through funeral arrangements.

For both Medicaid and SSI, certain types of funeral arrangements - including burial funds, pre-paid funeral agreements, and burial plots - are exempt from consideration as assets.  In this way, an applicant can reduce their countable assets while also ensuring that their wishes about their funeral are respected.

This memo from Selfhelp explains how these plans work.

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March 28, 2014

IRS Warns of New Email Phishing Scheme Falsely Claiming to be from the Taxpayer Advocate Service

The IRS today warned consumers to be on the lookout for a new email phishing scam. The emails appear to be from the IRS Taxpayer Advocate Service and include a bogus case number. Taxpayers who get these messages should not respond to the email or click on the links. Instead, they should forward the scam emails to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov.

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March 25, 2014

3 Alternatives to Adobe Acrobat-The Lawyerist

Sam Glover:  "...Unfortunately, Acrobat Professional -- the version you want for legal work -- starts at $449 (or $240/year). But there are alternatives that don't cost an ongoing arm and a leg.
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March 24, 2014

Fed Courts App-- iTunes

This app contains the full text of all of the federal rules of procedure and the local rules for every federal court in the country - including district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts. Provides access to PACER, the address of every district, bankruptcy, and appellate court in the United States, and using GPS obtain turn-by-turn directions to any federal courthouse in the country. 

Best of all no subscription or in app purchase is required. The app is $2.99 US. Ready access to the rules is a crucial part of the legal profession, so don't be caught without them and download this app today. 

In addition to all local rules of every federal court in the United States, the following rules of procedure are included:

Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure; 
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure; and
Federal Rules of Evidence.

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March 23, 2014

How an Under-Appreciated iOS 7 Feature Will Change the World | Cult of Mac

A curious download hit Apple's app store this week: a messaging app called FireChat.

It's a new kind of app because it uses an iOS feature unavailable until version 7: the Multipeer Connectivity Framework. The app was developed by the crowdsourced connectivity provider Open Garden and this is their first iOS app.

The Multipeer Connectivity Framework enables users to flexibly use WiFi and Bluetooth peer-to-peer connections to chat and share photos even without an Internet connection. Big deal, right?

But here's the really big deal -- it can enable two users to chat not only without an Internet connection, but also when they are far beyond WiFi and Bluetooth range from each other -- connected with a chain of peer-to-peer users between one user and a far-away Internet connection.

It's called wireless mesh networking. And Apple has mainstreamed it in iOS 7. It's going to change everything. Here's why. 

Read more at http://www.cultofmac.com/271225/appreciated-ios-7-feature-will-change-world/#LJFKuePvJdBYwkzp.99

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March 22, 2014

Open Book New York

DiNapoli: Financial Records of 500 Public Authorities Now on www.openbooknewyork.com

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli Thursday announced that financial information for more than 500 state and local public authorities is now available at Open Book New York,http://www.openbooknewyork.com/, a transparency website launched by DiNapoli in 2008. The database, going back to 2007, can be downloaded in an Excel, tsv or csv format.

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March 21, 2014

Lawyer suspended for posting video of undercover drug buy in mistaken belief it exonerated client-ABA Journal


Gilsdorf "published damning evidence on the Internet with little to no thought or discussion of the possible consequences to his client," the Review Board said. "His conduct threatened the fairness of a criminal proceeding and harmed his client."


Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Should lawyer who posted video implicating client be disciplined?"

ABAJournal.com: "Ethics Complaint Claims Lawyer Tried to Sway Potential Jurors by Posting Discovery Video on YouTube"

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