By Colby Hamilton

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Alleging a massive international conspiracy, the Democratic National Committee filed suit in Manhattan federal court Friday against members of the campaign of President Donald Trump, WikiLeaks, and the Russian government for the hacks of the DNC's computers by Russian agents in support of Trump's bid for the presidency.

The 66-page complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York pulls together a master narrative of the various strands made public since the DNC's computers were hacked in 2015 and 2016 ahead of the presidential election.

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WASHINGTON -- President Trump spoke in intimate and candid terms to the former F.B.I. director James Comey about some of the most sensitive matters before the agency, including the salacious dossier detailing Mr. Trump's ties to Russia and the investigation into Michael T. Flynn, the president's first national security adviser, according to Mr. Comey's closely guarded memos.

The redacted and declassified memos -- running 15 pages in total, and sent to Congress from the Justice Department on Thursday night -- detail a series of phone calls and encounters between the two men in the months leading up to Mr. Comey's firing. They offer an extraordinary look at the private interactions among leaders at the highest levels of government.

[Read the memos here.]

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BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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The West Virginia law firm of Bailey & Glasser wants its class clients to know they are eligible for an award as a result of a $61 million verdict against Dish Network for its marketing calls.

Lawyer John Barrett and his colleagues are having a hard time getting their message across when they call to deliver the news, the Wall Street Journal reports. The clients are hanging up before the lawyers or a paralegal can explain, or they are hanging up in disbelief after hearing the figures.

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants to change the state's double jeopardy law to allow prosecutions if President Donald Trump issues "strategically timed" pardons to indicted aides or other individuals.

Schneiderman asked state lawmakers for a change to the "double jeopardy loophole" on Wednesday, report the New York Times, the New York Law Journal, the Atlantic and Politico. A press release is here, and the letter is here.


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Does Email Tracking Violate Ethics Rules? - Attorney at Work

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By  | Apr.17.18 | Daily DispatchEthicsProfessionalism



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Spymail Violates the Rules of Professional Conduct

A recent Professional Conduct Advisory Opinion from the Illinois State Bar Association, (Opinion No. 18-01, January 2018) joined at least three other jurisdictions in concluding that the practice of using hidden email tracking software would be unethical for a variety of reasons. (See Alaska Bar Association Ethics Opinion No. 2016-01; New York State Bar Association Ethics Opinion 749; and Pennsylvania Bar Association Formal Opinion 2017-300.)

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Sandy Hook parents sue Alex Jones of Infowars over hoax claim

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BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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The parents of two children killed in 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School have sued radio host Alex Jones and his Infowars website over claims that the Connecticut mass shooting was "a giant hoax."

One suit was filed by Leonard Pozner and his ex-wife, Veronique De La Rosa, whose 6-year-old son, Noah, was killed. The other suit was filed by Neil Heslin, whose 6-year-old son, Jessie, also was killed. Both allege defamation.

Twenty children were among 26 people killed in the shooting. The shooter, Adam Lanza, also killed himself.

Texas Lawyer provides copies of the lawsuits, filed late Monday in Texas state court. Publications with coverage include the Hartford CourantBuzzFeed News, the New York TimesGizmodo and the Huffington Post.

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SRFax and Other Internet Faxing Alternatives... - TidBITS

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As amazing as this may be to people under 30, many Mac users still need to send and receive faxes. That's especially true for people who regularly deal with government agencies that won't accept email, or email attachments, because of security concerns, or those bound by HIPPA guidelines. Certain industries, like construction, also still rely heavily on faxes. Yes, it's silly to use 19th century fax technology in 2016, but you try convincing a government agency to change its ways.

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EDITOR'S NOTE:  Recent changes reported in fax services make this article still relevant.

By DAVID HUDSON

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However, the opinion also says that lawyers do not have to inform former clients of such material errors.

Formal Ethics Opinion No. 481 explains that this duty is rooted in ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.4, which governs a lawyer's duty of communication. That rule requires lawyers to promptly inform clients of any decision or circumstance for which a client's informed consent is needed. It also requires a lawyer to "reasonably consult" with the client about the means of achieving the client's goals during representation and keeping the client "reasonably informed" about the progression of the case.

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Today BuzzFeed News is making public one of the New York Police Department's most fiercely guarded secrets: a database of disciplinary findings for about 1,800 NYPD employees who faced departmental misconduct charges between 2011 and 2015.

This information has been closely guarded for years, and completely off-limits since 2016, when the NYPD removed them from public view, citing a controversial state law that shields police officers' misconduct. As a result, New Yorkers who are charged with a crime have no simple way to find out if the officer who arrested them has a misconduct record that might affect their credibility with a jury. Officers who have faced disciplinary charges have limited information about how their punishment compares with those of other officers in similar situations. And taxpayers as a whole have no way to assess how their police department is policing its own.

Many other large departments, in states such as Illinois and Florida, routinely make this information available. "The public has a right to know what our public officials are doing, and this is especially true with our police officers, who have the power to shoot to kill, use force, and deprive people of their liberty through stop or arrest," said Samuel Walker, a national policing expert.

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By Christine Simmons

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Agents on April 9 searched Cohen's home, office, hotel room, safety deposit box and electronic devices after getting authorization from a federal magistrate judge who found "probable cause to believe that such materials would include evidence of Cohen's own crimes," prosecutors said in court documents.

"The searches are the result of a months-long investigation into Cohen, and seek evidence of crimes, many of which have nothing to do with his work as an attorney, but rather relate to Cohen's own business dealings," prosecutors said.

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For many at Squire Patton Boggs, the nature of Michael Cohen's presence in the firm's New York office was a mystery.

Cohen, who was given an office on the firm's 23rd floor at Rockefeller Center as part of a "strategic alliance" with his practice, kept a lock on his door. He didn't appear to work on client matters with firm attorneys in New York, and whatever benefit he provided to the firm wasn't apparent to his office colleagues.

Some inside the firm also had concerns about the alliance, even before Cohen's legal troubles devolved to the point of FBI agents raiding his office.


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A cheeky homage to Volvo's sometimes staid reputation may soon become a thing of the past now that Volvo has sent a cease and desist letter to the creator of the prancing moose logo over his use of the Swedish company's trademark on restoration parts.

As Dave Barton shared on his site, PrancingMoose.com, the cease and desist letter came directly from Volvo Trademark Holdings in Sweden right around Easter weekend "after years of Volvo offering silent indifference" to the reproduction Volvo logos Barton has offered through the site and to the site's namesake stickers, which riff on the Scuderia Ferrari prancing horse with a full-grown moose rearing on its hind legs under a Volvo logo on a yellow background.

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By Andrew Denney

Ruling on an issue that has divided New York judges and "perplexed courts for some time," a split Court of Appeals ruled that plaintiffs in comparative negligence cases need not bear the "double burden" of disproving their own negligence to win on summary judgment.

The high court's 4-3 ruling clears up an issue that has bedeviled New York courts for decades, which has resulting in inconsistent case law on the issue of whether plaintiffs have to show that they are free of negligence to succeed on a summary judgment motion when determining a defendant's liability.

Writing for the majority, Judge Paul Feinman said placing the burden on the plaintiff, a New York City sanitation worker injured on the job who sued the city government, to show an absence of fault is inconsistent with a state statute, which since 1975 has directed courts to assess a plaintiff's comparative negligence only at the damages stage.


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  Make Sure Your Client Gets a "Paycheck Checkup"

The IRS is encouraging people to check their withholding as soon as possible, especially some key groups of taxpayers. If you have clients with children or dependents, whose households include two or more jobs, who itemize deductions or have high income or complex tax situations, make sure they visit the IRS Withholding Calculator to perform a "paycheck checkup."  This can help ensure they have the right amount of tax withheld from their pay following recent tax-law changes.

This new YouTube video explains how to use the IRS Withholding Calculator.‎


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Investigation into deadly Listeria outbreak shows company knew cheese plant was contaminated


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A federal court has shut down the Walton, NY, creamery that last year was the source of a multistate listeriosis outbreak that infected eight people in four states with listeriosis, resulting in two deaths.

In a civil action, U.S. District Court Judge Brenda Sannes permanently enjoined Vulto Creamery LLC and its owner Johannes H. Vulto from any further manufacturing or distribution of food. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has found Vulto's ready-to-eat cheeses are adulterated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes (L. mono).

New court documents say that in the aftermath of the deadly outbreak, federal officials came to the conclusion that Vulto lacked the knowledge and understanding to make corrections and become compliant with legal requirements.

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BY 



  • It's 2018. We have drones and hoverboards, our phones unlock by scanning our faces and anything in the world can be delivered to your door with a couple of clicks. Why should we be stuck with buying or leasing as our only means of procuring a car to drive?

    Thankfully, vehicle subscription services are becoming more and more popular. Think of it like any other subscription: Sign up for what you want, cancel it when you're done. From automakers to third-party companies, there are many ways to subscribe to your next new car.

    Read more...



    We Have Rights

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    Brooklyn Defender Services (BDS), ACLU National, and MediaTank Productions have produced 'We Have Rights,' an immigrant empowerment campaign aimed at providing information to communities threatened by Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) and to engage the broader American public in an urgent conversation about immigrant justice in our country.

    Through a video series translated in seven languages and narrated by an all-star cast of influencers and activists, the campaign gives action points on what to do in case of contact with ICE, from a home visit to an arrest.

    Check out the campaign and participate in the online conversation.

    Read and watch more...


    11 Tell-Tale Signs Your Accounts and Devices Have Been Hacked--Gizmodo

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    No one likes getting hacked, and it's generally true that the quicker you can spot something has gone awry, the better your chances of minimizing the damage. These are the main warning signs to look out for, what they might mean, and some quick pointers about what you should do next.



    By Colby Hamilton


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    A prominent foreclosure law firm was charged with defrauding Fannie Mae through a scheme to submit falsely inflated bills to the mortgage servicing companies it worked for, knowing the federal housing authority would ultimately be on the hook through reimbursement payments, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.

    "As alleged in the complaint, for years [Rosicki, Rosicki & Associates] exploited its relationship with Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored entity, for its own financial gain by knowingly causing Fannie Mae to pay artificially inflated costs for foreclosure-related services," U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman of the Southern District of New York said in a statement.

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    By ANNA FLAGG

    The link between immigration and crime exists in the imaginations of Americans, and nowhere else.

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    This is not the only study showing that immigration does not increase crime. A 
    broad survey released in January examined years of research on the immigrant-crime connection, concluding that an overwhelming majority of studies found either no relationship between the two or a beneficial one, in which immigrant communities bring economic and cultural revitalization to the neighborhoods they join.




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