March 20, 2017

60 Tips in 60 Minutes focuses on increasing productivity for work and life--ABA Journal

The always-popular ABA Techshow closing session, 60 in 60, has taken on several iterations over the years: websites ("60 Sites in 60 Minutes"), general tech tips ("60 Tips in 60 Minutes") and a hodgepodge of things ("60 Tips, Tricks, Gizmos, Gadgets and Sites in 60 Minutes").

March 17, 2017

Trump budget eliminates Legal Services Corp. funding

President Donald Trump's 2018 budget eliminates funding for the Legal Services Corp. In his first budget proposal released Thursday, Trump is cutting discretionary spending to pay for an increase in defense spending and the wall on the Mexican border, the Washington Post reports. 


March 15, 2017

Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 Desktop Document Scanner Review (2017 Update)

By Sam Glover on March 9th, 2017

The Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 is a bit over four years old, which means people are starting to wonder if they should still buy one. My answer is yes, although it's likely Fujitsu will update the iX500 soon.1

Since the iX500 was released, Fujitsu added wireless scanning, then ScanSnap Cloud, and I have updated this review for 2017, including information about the various ways you can scan with those options.

The bottom line: the ScanSnap iX500 has gotten better over time, and it remains an excellent value. If you need a document scanner, this is still the one you should get, and it remains at the top of our top picks for scanners

Here's why...

Hawaii travel ban ruling

A federal judge in Hawaii placed a temporary restraining order on Trump's new travel ban

Hawaii travel ban ruling by M Mali on Scribd

March 13, 2017

Digital Privacy at the U.S Border: A New How-To Guide from EFF | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Staff Attorney
Senior Staff Attorney


"The border is not a Constitution-free zone, but sometimes the rules are less protective of travelers and some border agents can be aggressive," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Adam Schwartz. "That can put unprepared travelers in a no-win dilemma at the U.S. border. We need clearer legal protections for everyone, but in the meantime, our report and pocket guides aim to put more power back into the hands of travelers."

For "Digital Privacy at the U.S. Border":

For EFF's pocket guide:

For EFF's summary of your constitutional rights:



March 10, 2017

iPad Diaries: Apple Pencil, Notability, and the Joy of Note-Taking - MacStories

After a few days of research on the App Store that led me to testing (again) a variety of note-taking apps, I've settled on Notability - at least for now. This app has been around a long time, and it met my requirements for a smart notebook that can embed multiple data types on individual pages. Notability lets you handwrite text with a Pencil, type text boxes with the keyboard, draw lines of varying thickness and colors, and even cut and paste entire blocks of content between pages. I'm still open to ideas for other Pencil-based note-taking apps to try on the iPad Pro, but, compared to Noteshelf and GoodNotes (two popular contenders), I prefer the ink engine1 and palm rejection of Notability.


New IRS Discharge of Estate Tax Lien Procedure |


If a decedent's gross estate is below the filing threshold (currently $5.45 million), no Discharge is necessary. In those cases where a title company requires a Discharge to close an estate sale, the IRS will issue a Letter (Letter 1352) stating that no estate tax is due and the estate is not subject to a lien. The executors simply file Form 4422 in order to obtain this Letter.


March 9, 2017

Judges Highlighted for Women's History Month

The stories of six federal judges, who overcame various obstacles on their paths to the bench, are highlighted as part of the U.S. courts' observance of Women's History Month.

Read more

March 8, 2017

Ex-Civil Rights Lawyer Who Represented Terrorists Dies | New York Law Journal

, The Associated Press

Lynne Feltham Stewart, a New York civil rights lawyer who represented small-time criminals and radicals alike before losing her license to practice law after she was convicted in a terrorism case, has died of cancer three years after her release from prison.

Stewart was 77 when she died Tuesday in the Brooklyn home she shared with her husband, Ralph Poynter. She had long fought breast cancer and recently suffered strokes.

Read more from NYLJ here...

NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Proposes Changes to SEQR to Streamline the Process | LAW OF THE LAND

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) proposes to amend the regulations that implement the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR, Title 6 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (6 NYCRR), Part 617). The principal purpose of the amendments is to streamline the SEQR process without sacrificing meaningful environmental review.

For Prof. Salkin's analysis and copies of the draft regulations, click here...

Releases of Estate Tax Lien by IRS--New Guidelines Input Sought

Mar 7, 2017 11:36 AM
Amy E. Jasiewicz

Dear Fellow Dirt Lawyers:

As some of you know, the IRS recently changed its procedure for issuing releases of estate tax lien against real property and cooperative apartments.  They no longer issue the releases of lien before the closing, and now require 100% of the net proceeds to be held in escrow until they are satisfied that certain conditions are met, including whether the sale price reflects the date of death value. This has caused much uncertainty and delay in closing estate sale transactions.

ACTEC (American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel) has been working with the IRS to ameliorate the problem. The IRS is receptive to developing new guidelines. They would like to hear reports of dealings with the IRS on lien releases since the end of January. If you have a horror story, please let me know so that I can pass it along to the representatives of ACTEC who are working on this.

Thank you,

Mindy H. Stern


NYSBA Real Property Law Section

Amy Jasiewicz
New York State Bar Association
Albany NY
(518) 463-3200

March 5, 2017

Fed. Dist. Court in NY Finds Restricting the Hours of Operation of Restaurant and Bar Did Not Violate Owner's Constitutional Rights | LAW OF THE LAND

Obsession Sports Bar & Grill, Inc. v. City of Rochester, 2017 WL 661016 (WDNY 2/17/2017)

March 3, 2017

New York Pet Welfare Association v. New York City, No. 15-4013 (2d Cir. 2017) :: Justia

Plaintiffs filed suit challenging New York City's "Sourcing Law," which requires that pet shops sell only animals acquired from breeders holding a Class A license issued under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA), 7 U.S.C. 2131 et seq. Plaintiffs also challenged the "Spay/Neuter Law," which requires that pet shops sterilize each animal before releasing it to a consumer. 


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53 Companies Back Transgender Teen in SCOTUS Fight |


Major technology companies and other businesses, warning of the negative business consequences of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling against a transgender boy's sex discrimination claim, on Thursday stepped into a simmering controversy that pits them against the Trump administration.

SCOTUS clerk tells amici to caption case of transgender teen with masculine pronoun


U.S. Supreme Court clerk Scott Harris has informed three groups that the caption on their amicus briefs should refer to a transgender teen with a masculine pronoun.

Harris told the groups that their reference to Gavin Grimm on the cover of their briefs violated Rule 34 of the Rules of the Supreme Court, Slate reports in a story noted by Above the Law.


What is Dropbox Plus? - Dropbox Help - Dropbox

As of March 2, 2017, Dropbox Pro is being renamed "Dropbox Plus." Other than the name change there are no changes to the plan or its pricing.

If you're a Dropbox Pro user, you'll begin to see this name change in March, 2017. And you will only see this name from Dropbox in the future.


February 25, 2017

Amazon resists request for Echo info in Arkansas slaying--AP

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) -- Amazon is resisting an effort by Arkansas prosecutors to obtain potential recordings from a slaying suspect's Amazon Echo smart speaker, saying authorities haven't established that their investigation is more important than a customer's privacy rights.

Protect Your Clients; Protect Yourself--IRS

  Security Summit Reminder: Dangerous W-2 Phishing Scam Evolving: Targets Schools, Restaurants, Hospitals, Tribal Groups

Help spread the word to your clients: The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry recently issued an urgent alert to all employers that the Form W-2 email phishing scam has evolved beyond the corporate world and is spreading to other sectors, including school districts, tribal organizations and nonprofits. The Summit partners continue to receive reports of this scheme. 

For information on how to guard against identity theft, visit Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself.

February 24, 2017

Are Legal Incubators the Best Way to Start A Solo Practice? | Above the Law


iStock_000013298318SmallEver since I learned about concept of the Legal Incubator , about a decade ago, I've been intrigued. For those unfamiliar, legal incubators -- the brainchild of ABA Legal Rebel and law professor Fred Rooney -- first launched about a decade ago based on a simple but utterly ingenious concept: the incubators provide new law grads with subsidized or free office space, amenities, training and mentorship -- and in exchange, these new lawyers commit to providing low-bono legal services. At the end of the program (the durations seem to vary from one to two years), the incubators unleash these now experienced lawyers out into the world to start their own practices.

February 19, 2017

Read the memos signed by DHS Secretary Kelly on new guidelines for deporting illegal immigrants--WaPo

In a pair of memos, John F. Kelly Sworn [sic] offered more detail on plans for the agency to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand the pool of immigrants who are prioritized for removal, speed up deportation hearings and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests.