March 2008 Archives

FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 3/31/08

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CONTRACTS, GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE, WATER LAW

New Jersey v. Delaware, No. 134
In a dispute between Delaware and New Jersey over their respective regulatory authority over a portion of the Delaware River, the Court rules that Article VII of a 1905 Compact between the states did not secure to New Jersey exclusive jurisdiction over all riparian improvements commencing on its shores. New Jersey and Delaware have overlapping authority to regulate riparian structures and operations of extraordinary character extending outshore of New Jersey's domain into territory over which Delaware is sovereign.

Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center

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Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center

Updated March 10, 2008

Starting in May, the Treasury will begin sending economic stimulus payments to more than 130 million households. To receive a payment, taxpayers must have a valid Social Security number, $3,000 of income and file a 2007 federal tax return. IRS will take care of the rest. Eligible people will receive up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples), and parents will receive an additional $300 for each eligible child younger than 17. Millions of retirees, disabled veterans and low-wage workers who usually are exempt from filing a tax return must do so this year in order to receive a stimulus payment.

But there are more details to know about. Find out more here and visit this page regularly for the latest updates.

Legal Ease Blog: Do Something! Review Your Retainer Agreement

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***
Aside from your jurisdiction's ethical rules, the single most important document that defines your relationship with your client is your retainer agreement or engagement letter. When was the last time you reviewed your agreement?

Here are some essential elements to include in your retainer agreement:

1. Scope of work: Does your agreement accurately and specifically reflect the work you will perform for the client (and the work you won't perform under the agreement?) If you're retained for a litigation matter, does your retainer agreement include working on an appeal? Does preparation of a will for a client include a health care proxy, living will and durable power of attorney, or are will those services require a separate agreement (and a separate fee)?

2. A time limitation. Don't leave yourself open for problems with clients that fail to return your retainer agreement. Your agreement should state specifically that the provisions contained within it (including the fee) are only valid if the agreement iss signed within a specific period of time (i.e. 2 weeks. one month, etc.) Make it clear that if the agreement (and retainer fee) are not received within that period of time, you are not obligated to represent the client.

***

Read the rest of this retainer review at Legal Ease Blog and for help reviewing your retainer agreement and/or other forms or procedures in your office, feel free to contact Allison Shields, the author.

NY Supreme Court Criminal Term Library

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New York Supreme Court Criminal Term Library - Powered By Bloglines

A blog-based outreach initiative providing news and an informaton gateway to web based services offered by the New York Supreme Court Criminal Term Library.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 03/25/08

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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CONSTRUCTION, GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

In the Matter of 9th & 10th Street L.L.C. v. Bd of Standards & Appeals of the City of New York, No. 40
A decision reversing the New York City Department of Buildings' denial of a building permit to construct a dormitory is reversed as: 1) the Department's denial was not arbitrary and capricious; and 2) where there is reason to doubt that a proposed structure can be used for a lawful purpose, municipal authorities are not required to let the property owner build the building and see what happens.


COMMERCIAL LAW, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CORPORATION & ENTERPRISE LAW, MEDIA LAW, TAX LAW

In the Matter of Disney Enters., Inc. v. Tax Appeals Tribunal of the State of New York, No. 37
In an action challenging the validity, under federal law, of New York's franchise tax apportionment formula, a finding that Disney's business activities within New York via its corporate subsidiary constituted taxable activities is affirmed over Disney's claims that: 1) its subsidiaries were not subject to taxation under Tax Law article 9 because their New York activities did not amount to more than mere "solicitation" of orders for sales of tangible property; and 2) New York's tax apportionment formula was unconstitutional.


COMMUNICATIONS LAW, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW, REMEDIES

Mann v. Abel, No. 24
In an action for libel arising out of an article published in an independent newspaper, jury finding that statements in the articles were defamatory and award of compensatory and punitive damages are reversed and complaint dismissed in its entirety where: 1) viewed within the context of the article as a whole, a reasonable reader would conclude that the allegedly defamatory statements at issue were opinion; and 2) thus, the statement constituted non-actionable statements as a matter of law.


CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE

People v. Hall, No. 29
Police may conduct a visual body inspection of an arrestee if they have a factual basis supporting a reasonable suspicion that the arrestee has evidence concealed inside a body cavity and the search is conducted in a reasonable manner. If the visual inspection reveals the presence of a suspicious object, the police must obtain a warrant authorizing the object's removal unless there are exigent circumstances.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

People v. Windham, No. 42
In an appeal arising from a sex offender risk level reassessment hearing, a decision adjudicating defendant a level three sex offender under the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) is affirmed where defendant failed to preserve a claim that he was not subject to SORA because, although he was released on parole after SORA's effective date (January 21, 1996), he finished serving the sex-offense portion of his concurrent sentence no later than August 2, 1994.

FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 03/25/08

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CIVIL PROCEDURE, CONTRACTS, DISPUTE RESOLUTION & ARBITRATION, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, LANDLORD TENANT LAW, MANUFACTURING, WATER LAW

Hall Street Assocs., L.L.C. v. Mattel, Inc., No. 06-989
The statutory grounds provided by the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) for expedited judicial review to confirm, vacate, or modify arbitration awards are exclusive, as opposed to mere threshold provisions open to expansion by agreement. In a dispute between a commercial landlord and tenant-manufacturer, involving arbitration of the applicability of a lease indemnification provision for failure to comply with environmental laws, the Ninth Circuit's judgment is vacated and the case remanded for further proceedings.


CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, HABEAS CORPUS, INTERNATIONAL LAW

Medellin v. Texas, No. 06-984
Neither an International Court of Justice case, Case Concerning Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mex. v. U. S.), 2004 I. C. J. 12, nor a memorandum issued by the President of the United States constitutes directly enforceable federal law that pre-empts state limitations on the filing of successive habeas petitions. Consequently, dismissal of a habeas petition in a death penalty case raising a claim that petitioner was not informed of his Vienna Convention right to notify the Mexican consulate of his detention is affirmed.

Law.com - Owner Charged With Cruelty for Failing to Treat Cat's Ailments

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Owner Charged With Cruelty for Failing to Treat Cat's Ailments
Noeleen G. Walder
New York Law Journal
March 24, 2008

A cat owner who did not seek treatment for his pet's serious ailments during the cat's last year of life can be charged with animal cruelty, a Manhattan judge has ruled.

Allegations that the defendant left a "swollen and bleeding" paw and other conditions untreated "sufficiently demonstrate that the animal was subjected to unjustifiable physical pain," Criminal Court Judge ShawnDya L. Simpson wrote in People v. Walsh, 2007NY022001.

***

Read entire article

Axiotron Modbook

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Axiotron : Modbook


The Axiotron Modbook is a slate-style tablet Mac that enables users to draw and write directly on the screen.
Axiotron integrates an Apple MacBookョ computer, state-of-the-art Wacom pen-enabled digitizer technology and Axiotron's own proprietary hardware and software components into a complete tablet solution, the Axiotron Modbook.

Intended for artists, mobile users, students and professionals, the Modbook's condensed form factor and integrated pen allow users of the Modbook ton draw and sketch directly on the screen using popular graphics applications like Corelョ Painter's X and Adobeョ Photoshop.

The Axiotron Modbook operates on the Mac OS X v10.5 Leopard platform. It has 2.1GHz-plus of processing speed, 1GB-plus of memory, and the full-range of Apple MacBook connectivity via Ethernet, USB, FireWireョ, Bluetooth and AirPortョ.

Every Modbook also comes equipped with a built-in iSightョ camera, optical drive and Global Positioning System (GPS).

Priced at $2279.00 for fast and $2479.00 for faster.


Rocketmatter

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Here's a Case Management System, which is entirely web-based.

With Rocket Matter, your calendar, contact, and billing information is:

secured on routinely updated enterprise level servers

stored in a highly secured facility where several municipalities maintain mission critical systems

placed on a network monitored by security experts 24 hours a day

available to you anytime, anyplace via encrypted connections

backed-up daily to comply with malpractice standards

Early adopters will receive a signing bonus; i.e., a discounted rate of $50.00 per month per lawyer and $15.00 per month per staff person.

Check out their blog for more info.

Searchme

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Its hard to imagine anything new in searching; but these folks have come up with visual previews of pages, which can be used with the traditional line search. Searchme is now in private beta. Watch the videos and sign up if you are interested.




FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 3/20/08

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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CIVIL PROCEDURE, GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE, TAX LAW

In the Matter of Town of Rye v. NY State Bd. of Real Property Servs., No. 23
Dismissal of an action brought by a town and taxpayers challenging defendant-Board's decision not to establish a segment-special equalization rate for the city is affirmed primarily where: 1) section 1218 of Real Property Tax Law expressly limits those entitled to seek judicial review to directly affected municipalities whose own "rate or rates" were established by the Board; and 2) neither town nor individual taxpayers fell within that class of parties.


BANKING LAW, CIVIL PROCEDURE, DEBT COLLECTION, INTERNATIONAL LAW, JUDGMENT ENFORCEMENT

Byblos Bank Europe, S.A. v. Sekerbank Turk Anonym Syrketi, No. 39
In a judgment enforcement proceeding, judgment below is affirmed where the Supreme Court properly exercised its discretion under CPLR 5304(b)(5) in denying the recognition of a Belgian judgment which: 1) disregarded and conflicted with a previously rendered Turkish judgment; and 2) in doing so, departed from the generally-accepted principles of res judicata and comity.


CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE

People v. White, No. 38
In circumstances which do not constitute a single continuous chain of events, Mirandized statement are admissible at trial notwithstanding a prior un-warned custodial interrogation.


EDUCATION LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW, WORKERS' COMPENSATION

Swiderska v. New York Univ., No. 107
In a Labor Law section 240(1) action arising from an injury sustained while performing part of a commercial cleaning contract, summary judgment in favor of defendant on theory that activity in which plaintiff was engaged constituted routine maintenance not covered by section 240(1) is reversed on the issue of liability as the underlying activity was comparable to one held to be encompassed within section 240(1) in Broggy v. Rockefeller Group, Inc., 8 N.Y. 3d 675 (2007).


GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE, REMEDIES

McCurdy v. New York, No. 34
Proper measure of damages to award in a case where condemnor takes a temporary easement that encumbers a vacant parcel's entire highway frontage should be in line with the formula set out in Village of Highland Falls v. State of New York, 44 N.Y.2d 505 (1978).


INJURY AND TORT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW, WORKERS' COMPENSATION

Fleming v. Graham, No. 41
An employee who sustained multiple facial injuries resulting in scars on his forehead and right upper eyelid during a work-related car accident did not sustain a "permanent and severe facial disfigurement" for purposes of qualifying as a "grave injury" under Workers' Compensation Law section 11 as: 1) "permanency" is negated by defendant's expert reports indicating revisions were possible; and 2) resulting injuries did not rise to the level of "severe" disfigurement.

NYLJ: Free Limited Access

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The New York Law Journal


Registering for free limited access to New York Law Journal gives you:

Daily Legal Alert emails
Full access to Judge’s Part Rules
Articles from select featured columnists
Highlighted Judge’s Profile
Select daily news stories
Select Decisions of Interest
Highlighted articles from our Special Reports
Select articles from 'The Back Page'

Happ-eee with her Eee PC

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Happ-eee with my Eee PC | LLRX.com
***
Bette Dengel has written a short, pithy review of this mini laptop with maxi potential. She loves it.
***

Asus Eee 4G-Galaxy 7" PC Mobile Internet Device (512 MB RAM, 4 GB Hard Drive, Webcam, Linux Preloade
Binding: Personal Computers
List price: $399.99 USD
Amazon price: $408.00 USD
***

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 03/18/08

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CONSTRUCTION, CONTRACTS, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE, REMEDIES

Watral & Sons, Inc. v. OC Riverhead 58, LLC, No. 32
In an action to foreclose upon a mechanic's lien against defendant-landowner's property, the Court of Appeals finds counterclaiming landowner is not entitled to contractual indemnification for damages which exceed the scope of indemnification


CONTRACTS, DISPUTE RESOLUTION & ARBITRATION, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

In the Matter of Henneberry v. ING Capital Advisers, LLC, No. 28
Denial of an application to vacate an arbitrator's award in an action involving termination of employment is affirmed where: 1) an employment agreement contained an arbitration clause that provided for dispute resolution by arbitrator of the underlying situation; and 2) the arbitrator's decision was neither irrational nor did it exceed a specifically enumerated limitation on his power.

CORP. GOVERNANCE, CORPORATION & ENTERPRISE LAW, M&A

Appleton Acquisition, LLC v. Nat'l Housing P'ship, No. 36
A limited partner who objects to a merger with another entity under Partnership Law section 121-1102 on the grounds that a transaction was premised on fraudulent or illegal acts by the general partner must raise them in an appraisal proceeding under the Partnership Law.


CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

People v. Taveras, No. 30, 31
In appeals from convictions and sentences imposed "in absentia", dismissal of defendants' appeals following their capture after years of absence is affirmed where there was no abuse of discretion as the government established that it would suffer prejudice due to the absences, particularly in locating key witnesses to crimes and retrying the cases.

INJURY AND TORT LAW

Bernstein v. Penny Whistle Toys, Inc., No. 43
In a dog bite case, dismissal of the complaint is affirmed where: 1) there was no evidence that the dog's owner had any knowledge of its "vicious propensities"; and 2) for purposes of claims against third-party defendant, there was no evidence that third-party defendant was negligent.

FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 03/18/08

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, ELECTIONS, GOVERNMENT LAW

Washington State Grange v. Washington State Republican Party, No. 06-713, 06-730

Contrary to the Ninth Circuit's holding below, a 2004 initiative passed by Washington voters changing the state's primary election system is facially constitutional. The initiative, I-872, provided that: 1) candidates must be identified on the primary ballot by their self-designated party preference; 2) voters may vote for any candidate; and 3) the two top votegetters for each office, regardless of party preference, advance to the general election.

Library of Congress Webcasts

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Library of Congress Webcasts

The Library of Congress is posting dozens of speeches and other presentations on all sorts of issues, in topics including biography, performing arts, education, government, law, poetry and literature, religion, and technology.
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Thanks to Tom Mighell & his Internet Legal Research Weekly.

True Knowledge

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[true knowledge]™ - home

True Knowledge is an internet search company based in Cambridge, England. Their unique technology represents general knowledge in a form that computers can understand and process.

They are using it to build a repository of the world's knowledge that can be used to directly answer questions from humans and other computers.

Think of this as a Wikipedia-type search engine, just starting up. It should be interesting to watch the growth. Will it become a phenomenon like Wikipedia or will it fizzle. If you enjoy sharing your knowledge, legal and otherwise, with others, try the beta.

ABA TECHSHOW BUZZ Page

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ABA TECHSHOW BUZZ

At ABA TECHSHOW 2008, they're going "social" in a big way! They're harnessing the power of the Internet to help their conference attendees communicate and network better with each other. This ABA TECHSHOW Buzz page will be a place where you can read blog posts, see pictures from the conference, follow updates from attendees, or even check out some of the websites being talked about at the show - all for free!

TECHSHOW BUZZ Page, its almost like being there--but cheaper.

***

Thanks to Robert Ambrogi.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 3/13/08

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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, GOVERNMENT LAW, LANDLORD TENANT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

In the Matter of Schorr v. N.Y. City Dep't of Housing Preservation & Dev., No. 33
In a CPLR article 78 proceeding seeking to annul an eviction determination by the Department of Housing and Preservation Development (HPD), a decision annulling the determination is reversed where: 1) petitioner did not meet the eligibility requirements for succession rights to the apartment and was, therefore, an illegal tenant; and 2) thus, invoking estoppel against HPD and owner would impermissibly prevent HPD from executing its statutory duty to provide Mitchell-Lama housing only to individuals who meet the specified eligibility requirements.


CIVIL PROCEDURE, CONTRACTS, INSURANCE LAW, SECURITIES LAW

Vigilant Ins. Co. v. Bear Sterns Cos., Inc., No. 25
In an insurance dispute, denial of summary judgment for insurers is reversed where the insured-financial services firm breached a policy provision obligating it to obtain the consent of its liability carriers before settling claims in excess of $5 million.


CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Urbaez, No. 35
A conviction and sentence for misdemeanor offenses, arising after defendant placed a telephone call to the mother of his two teenage boys in which he threatened to withhold payment of child support and physically harm her, is affirmed over a claim that he was wrongfully stripped of his right to a jury as a result of the prosecutor's motion to reduce the original charge, an A misdemeanor, to attempted aggravated harassment in the second degree, a B misdemeanor.


EVIDENCE, INJURY AND TORT LAW, MANUFACTURING, PRODUCT LIABILITY

Ramos v. Howard Indus., Inc., No. 26
In a products liability action involving a transformer, denial of summary judgment for defendant-manufacturer is reversed where defendant met its initial burden by presenting competent evidence that its product was not defective and plaintiff failed to create an issue of fact excluding all other causes for the product's failure not attributable to defendant.


FAMILY LAW, PROBATE, TRUSTS & ESTATES

In the Matter of the Accounting by Fleet Bank, No. 27
Relying on strong policy considerations that applied in Matter of Best, 66 N.Y.2d 151 (1985), the Court of Appeals finds that a child adopted out of a family by strangers does not share in the proceeds of class gifts to the biological parent's issue created by 1926 and 1963 irrevocable trusts.


GOVERNMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE, TAX LAW

In the Matter of Adult Home at Erie Station, Inc. v. Assessor & Bd. of Assessment Review of City of Middletown, No. 21, 22
Two owners' properties in the City of Middletown are used for "charitable" purposes and so, contrary to the city's claim, are exempt from real property tax.

Video of The Supremes

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LawProse, Inc. - Interviews of United States Supreme Court Justices

Interviews of United States Supreme Court Justices

In 2006-2007, Bryan Garner interviewed eight of the nine Justices about legal writing and advocacy. These are the complete interviews. Because the files are large, the videos may take a few moments to start playing.

LawProse is making these interviews available as a public service. Anyone may freely use these videos for educational purposes, with appropriate attribution to Bryan Garner or LawProse.

Bloxes

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Bloxes are building blocks made of interlocking pieces of corrugated cardboard, folded together.. Their unique shape and structure make them exceptionally strong and lightweight -- you could build yourself a platform to stand on, and then pick it up and move it wherever you need to.

Bloxes can connect with each other on all six sides, so you can use them to build walls, benches, tables, tunnels --€” whatever you can think of. And because the varied surface and complex internal structure helps dampen sound, they're great for managing acoustics in offices, studios and other places.

To build a structure with bloxes, simply line up the pegs of two bloxes and push them together. Repeat as necessary. They're like Legos, except that you can build in any direction.

Bloxes measure 9½ inches square when assembled; a pack of 20 will create a 4-by-5 blox wall of approximately 36 inches by 45 inches. Sold in quantities of 20 for $59.95, the unassembled bloxes fit in a 15-inch square box for easy shipping.

Read more or order your own Bloxes

Via TechCrunch.

Poker Tournament Winnings Must be Reported to the IRS"

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IR-2007-173, Oct. 19, 2007

WASHINGTON — Starting next year, casinos and other sponsors of poker tournaments will be required to report most winnings to winners and the Internal Revenue Service, according to the IRS.

The new requirement, which goes into effect on March 4, 2008, was contained in guidance released Sept. 4 by the Treasury Department and the IRS. The guidance is designed to clear up confusion about the tax reporting rules that apply to poker tournaments. In recent years, some casinos and players have been confused over whether poker tournament sponsors who hold the money for participants in a poker tournament are required to report the winnings to the IRS and withhold tax on the winnings.

For tournaments completed during 2007 and before March 4, 2008, casinos and other sponsors of poker tournaments will not be required to report the winnings to the IRS or withhold tax on the winnings. But beginning March 4, 2008, the IRS will require all tournament sponsors to report tournament winnings of more than $5,000, usually on an IRS Form W-2G.

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Law.com - Appeals Court Faults Removal of Obese Child From Parents

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Law.com - Appeals Court Faults Removal of Obese Child From Parents

Appeals Court Faults Removal of Obese Child From Parents
Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal
March 3, 2008

Though not "ideal," a couple's efforts to control the weight of their obese daughter were made in good faith and did not justify a county agency's repeated removal of the girl from her parents' custody, an upstate New York appeals court ruled Thursday.

The custody case, Matter of Brittany T., 502131, concerned attempts by the Chemung County Department of Social Services to intervene in the upbringing of an obese girl.

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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