June 2008 Archives

Real-time stock quotes on Google Finance

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You can now access real-time last sale prices from both the NASDAQ and
the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on Google Finance, Google.com and
other search properties. It's free - there are no
subscription fees or registration.
http://finance.google.com

NYSBA | Archive of June House Webcast Now Available

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For the first time ever, the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates meeting, which was held in Cooperstown on Saturday, June 21, 2008, was broadcast live on the Association Web site. Interested members of the Association were able to access the Webcast and watch the meeting as new President Bernice K. Leber (Arent Fox LLP)was sworn in and the House debated a full schedule of items of interest including reports from the Committee on Civil Rights, the Committee on Senior Lawyers and the Committee on Professional Discipline, as well as the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section report on electronic discovery.

The archived Web cast will remain on the association site for several monthsand be available for members to view at their convenience.

View the archive at www.nysba.org/JuneHOD.

Adobe Acrobat 9.0 Released

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Adobe has officially released the new 9.0 version of Acrobat, which allows you to combine different file types into one PDF Portfolio. The new version is available as a free download on a 30 day trial basis (Windows only).

Rick Borstein has posted more details on his site, Acrobat for Legal Professionals.

PDFCreator | pdfforge.org

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PDFCreator is a free tool to create PDF files from nearly any Windows application.

Key Features:
Create PDFs from any program that is able to print
Security: Encrypt PDFs and protect them from being opened, printed etc.
Send generated files via eMail
Create more than just PDFs: PNG, JPG, TIFF, BMP, PCX, PS, EPS
AutoSave files to folders and filenames based on Tags like Username, Computername, Date, Time etc.
Merge multiple files into one PDF

PDFCreator is free, even for commercial use! It is Open Source and released under the Terms of the GNU General Public License.

Download PDFCreator now. Sorry, Windows only.

Clear: The Fast Pass for Airport Security

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Clear is the fast pass for airport security. Clear members are pre-screened and provided with a high-tech card which allows them to access designated airport security fast lanes nationwide. Clear members pass through airport security faster, with more predictability and less hassle.

Clear's first year price is $100 plus the TSA vetting fee of $28 for a total charge of $128.

NOTE: If you are concerned about providing images of your irises and fingerprints, then this is not the service for you.

SHIPtool

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SHIPtool brings pricing and timing information from different carriers to your finger tips. It allows the shipper to see and compare different shipment pricing and delivery options from the same page and then guides them to Carrier page to process their shipments.

Compare pricing and timing
Select the carrier
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Tracking included

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 6/25/08

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BANKING LAW, BANKRUPTCY LAW, CIVIL PROCEDURE, DISPUTE RESOLUTION & ARBITRATION, ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, INJURY AND TORT LAW, SECURITIES LAW

AG Capital Funding Partners v. State Street Bank and Trust Co., No. 114

In an action alleging breach of contract, violation of federal Trust Indenture Act, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence based on defendant's alleged failure to deliver debt transaction registration statements required to secure a debt, the court of appeals finds that: 1) plaintiffs' contract and Trust Indenture Act claims were barred by a release previously executed by plaintiffs as part of a bankruptcy settlement and that no fiduciary duties existed; however; 2) because negligence claims were not barred by the release and there were issues of fact as to whether defendant owed and violated a duty of care, plaintiffs' cause of action for negligence is reinstated.

CIVIL PROCEDURE, CORPORATION & ENTERPRISE LAW, JUDGMENT ENFORCEMENT

Landau, P.C. v. LaRossa, Mitchell & Ross, No. 99
A judgment dismissing a complaint without prejudice on the basis of a corporation's lack of capacity does not have res judicata effect on a subsequent action brought by the corporation's successor.

CORP. GOVERNANCE, CORPORATION & ENTERPRISE LAW, ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, SECURITIES LAW

People v. Grasso, No. 120
In an action charging defendant Richard Grasso, former chairman and CEO of a public corporation, with receiving excessive compensation from NYSE, judgment for defendant is affirmed where: 1) each of the challenged causes of action sought to ascribe defendant's liability based on the mere "size" of his compensation package; however; 2) the legislature's specifically enacted statute requires more to overcome the hurdles of the business judgment defense.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Baret, No. 123
Guilty plea to drug related-offenses is affirmed where were no grounds to support defendant's allegation that that his plea was involuntary as a result of being threatened by his co-defendant.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Montilla, No. 116
When the Penal Law does not define a particular term, it is presumed that the term should be given its precise and well settled legal meaning in the state's jurisprudence, and thus borrowing the Criminal Procedure Law's definition of a "conviction" to give meaning to the word "convicted" in Penal Law is justified.

ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, INJURY AND TORT LAW

Marmelstein v. Kehillat New Hempstead: The Rav Aron Jofen Cmty. Synagogue, No. 115
In an action for breach of fiduciary duty against a cleric-defendant premised on his alleged inducement of a consenting sexual relationship which lasted for over 3 years, the court of appeals finds no breach of fiduciary duty when: 1) plaintiff had only shown that she was deceived by the cleric, not that she was vulnerable as to surrender her will and capacity to determine her own best interest; and 2) in absence of a prima facie showing of a fiduciary obligation owed by defendant, no cause of action can be maintained for an extended voluntary sexual affair between consenting adults, even if plaintiff could prove that her acquiescence was obtained through lies, manipulation, or other morally opprobrious conduct.


FOOD & BEVERAGES, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

Morales v. D & A Food Serv., No. 117
Summary judgment for defendant is reversed where: 1) plaintiff made a prima facie showing of entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on a Labor Code section 240(1) claim; and 2) nothing supported defendant's contention of lacking the sufficient nexus with plaintiff for liability under section 240(1).

FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 6/26/08

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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, COMMERCIAL LAW, CONTRACTS, PUBLIC UTILITIES, WHOLESALE

Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. v. Pub. Util. Dist. No. 1 of Snohomish County, No. 06-1457
In a case involving wholesale-energy contracts and the Mobile-Sierra doctrine under which the FERC must presume that the rate set out in a freely negotiated wholesale-energy contract meets the "just and reasonable" requirement imposed by law, judgment granting petitions for review of FERC decisions upholding certain contracts is affirmed where: 1) contrary to the Ninth Circuit's view, the FERC was required to apply the Mobile-Sierra presumption in evaluating the contracts in this case and the FERC may abrogate a valid contract only if it harms the public interest; 2) the Ninth Circuit's "zone of reasonableness" test, used to evaluate a buyer's rate-challenge, fails to accord an adequate level of protection to contracts; but 3) nevertheless, two flaws in the FERC's analysis provided alternate grounds for affirmance.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

Dist. of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290
The District of Columbia's prohibition on the possession of usable handguns in the home violates the Second Amendment to the Constitution, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. The Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, ELECTIONS, GOVERNMENT LAW

Davis v. Fed. Elec. Comm'n, No. 07-320
In the context of federal election law provisions that, under certain circumstances, impose different campaign contribution limits on candidates competing for the same congressional seat, the Court rules that sections 319(a) and (b) of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 (BCRA) violate the First Amendment.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 06/25/08

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ADMIRALTY, CIVIL PROCEDURE, CORPORATION & ENTERPRISE LAW, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW, OIL & GAS LAW, REMEDIES

Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, No. 07-219
In an action brought against Exxon for economic losses resulting from the Exxon Valdez oil spill, a circuit court ruling remitting the punitive damages award to $2.5 billion is vacated and remanded for further reduction where: 1) the Court was equally divided on the question of whether a shipowner may be liable for punitive damages without acquiescence in the actions causing harm, and thus the circuit court's opinion is undisturbed on the issue; 2) federal statutory law does not bar a punitive award on top of damages for economic loss; but 3) the award in this case should be limited to an amount equal to compensatory damages, or approximately $500 million.

BANKING LAW, CIVIL PROCEDURE, CIVIL RIGHTS, CONTRACTS, INDIAN LAW, LANDLORD TENANT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

Plains Commerce Bank v. Long Family Land & Cattle Co., No. 07-411
In a discrimination, breach of contract, and bad faith suit brought in Tribal Court by an Indian couple against a non-Indian bank, which sold land that it owned, and had previously leased to plaintiffs, on a tribal reservation to non-Indians, judgment and award for plaintiffs is reversed where the tribal court lacked jurisdiction to adjudicate a discrimination claim concerning the non-Indian bank's sale of fee land it owned.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

Kennedy v. Louisiana, No. 07-343
The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution bars a state from imposing the death penalty for the rape of a child where the crime did not result, and was not intended to result, in the victim's death.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE

Giles v. California, No. 07-6053
The theory of forfeiture by wrongdoing accepted by the California Supreme Court, which holds that a criminal defendant forfeits his right to confront the victim's testimony when the defendant commits an intentional criminal act that makes the victim unavailable to testify, is not a founding-era exception to the Sixth Amendment confrontation right.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 06/23/08

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CIVIL PROCEDURE, COMMERCIAL LAW, COMMUNICATIONS LAW, CONTRACTS

Sprint Communications Co., L.P. v. APCC Servs., Inc., No. 07-552
An assignee of a legal claim for money owed has standing to pursue that claim in federal court, even when the assignee has promised to remit the proceeds of the litigation to the assignor.

CIVIL RIGHTS, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, GOVERNMENT LAW

Rothgery v. Gillespie County, No. 07-440
A criminal defendant's initial appearance before a judicial officer, where he learns the charge against him and his liberty is subject to restriction, marks the start of adversary judicial proceedings that trigger attachment of the Sixth Amendment right to counsel. The Court rules that attachment of the right does not also require that a prosecutor (as distinct from a police officer) be aware of such initial proceeding or be involved in its conduct.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

Greenlaw v. US, No. 07-330
In a criminal case in which, over the government's objection, a district court made an error when calculating defendant's sentence, a circuit court's decision imposing a longer sentence on defendant after he appealed is reversed where, absent a government appeal or cross-appeal, the sentence defendant received should not have been increased.

IRS Increases Mileage Rates

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Due to rising gas prices, the mileage rate will increase by eight cents to 58.5 cents a mile for all business miles driven from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2008. The new rate for computing deductible medical or moving expenses will also increase by eight cents to 27 cents a mile. The rate for providing services for charitable organizations is set by statute, not the IRS, and remains at 14 cents a mile. See news release IR-2008-82 and Announcement 2008-63.

Stimulus Payments Summer Update

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IRS launches a summer push to reach retirees and disabled veterans who have yet to file for their payments. For more information and a state-by-state summary of the number of potential recipients, go to news release IR-2008-80.

Check the Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center on IRS.gov for updates, also available in Spanish.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 06/19/08

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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, ERISA, HEALTH LAW, INSURANCE LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

Metro. Life Ins. Co. v. Glenn, No. 06-923
The Supreme Court rules that the dual role of ERISA plan administrators that both determine whether an employee is eligible for benefits, and pay benefits out of their own pockets, creates a conflict of interest. Thus, a reviewing court should consider such conflict as a factor in determining whether a plan administrator has abused its discretion in denying benefits, and the significance of the factor will depend upon the circumstances of the particular case.

CIVIL PROCEDURE, CIVIL RIGHTS, EVIDENCE, GOVERNMENT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

Meacham v. Knolls Atomic Power Lab., No. 06-1505
In the context of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), an employer facing a disparate-impact claim and planning to defend on the basis of "reasonable factors other than age" (RFOA) must not only produce evidence raising the defense, but also persuade the factfinder of its merit.

CIVIL PROCEDURE, COMMERCIAL LAW, GOVERNMENT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. v. Brown, No. 06-939
Two provisions of a California statute known as "Assembly Bill 1889" (AB 1889), which, among other things, prohibits employers that receive state grants or more than $10,000 in state program funds per year from using the funds "to assist, promote, or deter union organizing", are pre-empted by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

CIVIL RIGHTS, GOVERNMENT BENEFITS, GOVERNMENT LAW, HEALTH LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

Kentucky Retirement Sys. v. Equal Opportunity Employment Comm'n, No. 06-1037
In an Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) case, the Court rules that Kentucky's retirement benefits system for policemen, firemen, and other "hazardous position" workers does not discriminate against workers who become disabled after becoming eligible for retirement based on age. This is so even though the system treats some disabled individuals more generously than it treats some of those who became disabled only after becoming eligible for retirement on the basis of age.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, HEALTH LAW

Indiana v. Edwards, No. 07-208
In the context of the Sixth Amendment right for defendants to represent themselves, the Constitution permits states to insist upon representation by counsel for those competent enough to stand trial under applicable precedent but who suffer from severe mental illness to the point where they are not competent to conduct trial proceedings by themselves.

House of Delegates Meeting to be Broadcast Live on the Web

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NYSBA | NYSBA to Webcast June House Meeting

For the first time ever, the New York State Bar Association’s House of Delegates meeting, which is being held in Cooperstown this Saturday, June 21, starting at 8:30 a.m., will be broadcast live on the Association’s Web site at www.nysba.org/JuneHOD. Interested members of the Association will be able to access the Webcast and watch the meeting as new President Bernice K. Leber (Arent Fox LLP) is sworn in and the House debates a full schedule of items of interest including reports from the Committee on Civil Rights, the Committee on Senior Lawyers and the Committee on Professional Discipline, as well as the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section report on electronic discovery.

The web cast will remain on the association’s site and be available for members to view at their convenience.

Skype 4.0 Beta for Windows

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Download the beta version of Skype for Windows

Free Skype-to-Skype calls.
Free video calls.
Free instant messaging.
Call phones and mobiles, send SMS.
And the full set of features is coming. Stay tuned for more releases.

System requirements
PC running Windows 2000, XP or Vista. (Windows 2000 users require DirectX 9.0 for video calls).
Internet connection – broadband is best (GPRS is not supported for voice calls).
Speakers and microphone – built-in or separate.

To make video calls you’ll need a computer with at least a 1GHz processor, 256 MB RAM and of course a webcam.

For High Quality Video calls you will need a high quality video webcam and software, a dual-core processor computer and a fast broadband connection (384 kbps).

Technical details
Version 4.0.0.145 File size 24 MB. Beta release. Release date: June 18, 2008. File name: SkypeSetup-Beta.exe
***
Download Now.
***
Sorry--no new Mac version yet. DownLoad Skype 2.7 for MacOs X

OUT-LAW.COM

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OUT-LAW.COM: IT and e-commerce legal advice and support

OUT-LAW has 8,000 pages of free legal news and guidance, mostly on IT and e-commerce issues.

It also has more of a breezy, British attitude toward blogging. Pinsent Masons even has a link for "Fun".

Here's the firm's description of their site:

"OUT-LAW.COM is not just another law firm web site. It explains IT, e-commerce, privacy, software, tax, employment and other issues that businesses need to know about and it's updated every day. It's not just an advert for the firm behind it. Instead, the site explains what you need to know in terms that you can understand and it gives supporting legal documents for free where most others would charge."

Part 36 Appointment System Web Page

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Fiduciary Home Page

As a public service, the NYS Unified Court System is making available the public information included in its Part 36 databases on the internet.

This availability also fulfills the obligation of the Chief Administrator to publish the names of all persons and entities appointed by each appointing judge, and the compensation approved for each appointee pursuant to Section 36.5 of the Rules of the Chief Judge.

Searchable by eligible lists, notices of appointment, and approved compensation.

ectf meeting

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The ectf is meeting now by conference call. Many new areas are being considered for the coming year; including podcasting and more web casting.

Many new members have been welcomed.

It looks like an exciting year.

PLI-Defending Mortgage Foreclosures 2008

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magicJack

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magicJack

$40.00 for the device, which plugs into your USB 2.0 port. $20.00 per year. Call free anywhere in the US and Canada. Free Directory Assistance; Free phone number; Free call waiting; Free voicemail; and Free Caller ID. Works with Windows xp and Vista and Intel Macs.

30-day free trial through June 17, 2008.

Allison Shields: Do Something! Find the surface of your desk

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It's Friday afternoon in June, and it's gorgeous outside (well, at least it is where I am). It's tough to keep your mind on substantive work. If you don't have a significant deadline to contend with but you want to be productive and feel like you've accomplished something, try a quick desk de-cluttering before you leave the office for the weekend. Not only will you avoid having to tax your mental resources, but you'll set yourself up for a more productive start to the week next week.

***
So starts another super useful free article by solo and small firm management expert Allison Shields. Does she ever describe my desk accurately!! Right down to the piles of periodicals I've been meaning to read. Take Allison's sage advice and find your desk.

Want some more free tips on time management and organization in your office? Check out the articles on Allison's website at LawyerMeltdown.com and get updates and information by email through the Lawyer Meltdown newsletter.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 6/12/08

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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, ATTORNEY'S FEES, CIVIL RIGHTS, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, FAMILY LAW, GOVERNMENT BENEFITS, HEALTH LAW

In the Matter of Giaquinto v. Comm'r of New York Dep't of Health, No. 102
In an appeal presenting the issue of whether a party in a health care related matter was entitled to recover attorney's fee from the commissioner of the New York State Department of Health under 42 U.S.C. section 1988(b) or whether such claims were barred under the Eleventh Amendment, the matter is remitted for a determination of (1) petitioner's claim that respondent's calculation of his wife's "community spouse resource allowance" (CSRA) violated a provision of the federal Medicaid Act and (2) petitioner's request for section 1988 attorney's fees. Based on the record, the Court of Appeals could not determine whether the lower court in fact awarded fees on federal grounds.

CIVIL PROCEDURE, CONSTRUCTION, INJURY AND TORT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE, REMEDIES, WORKERS' COMPENSATION

Berg v. Albany Ladder Co., Inc., No. 104
The protections of Labor Law section 240(1) do not apply to every worker who falls and is injured at a construction site. In a case involving a "fall-related accident" wherein a plaintiff was injured after climbing into a bundle of steel trusses to avoid being crushed by another bundle rolling atop of him, dismissal of plaintiff's Labor Law section 240(1) cause of action is affirmed where, although plaintiff asserted that the height at which he worked created an elevation-related risk, he failed to adduce proof sufficient to create a question of fact regarding whether his fall resulted from the lack of a safety device.

CONTRACTS, LANDLORD TENANT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

936 Second Avenue L.P. v. Second Corporate Dev. Co., Inc., No. 94
In a lease dispute involving the issue of whether the net lease itself must be considered by appraisers in valuing the demised premises for purposes of establishing the net rent for a renewal term of the lease, the Court of Appeals rules that, because the net lease does not exclude its consideration, it must be taken into account in valuing the property.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE

People v. Malaussena, No. 135 SSM 13
A trial court did not err in declining to suppress defendant's confessions where: 1) defendant voluntarily appeared at the police station to speak to detectives, did not incriminate himself prior to receiving Miranda warnings, and there was only a brief exchange between the detectives and defendant once the interview arguably became a custodial interrogation; and 2) although the initial post-Miranda interview was conducted by the same detectives in the same room as pre-Miranda discussions, defendant's decision to disclose the incriminatory information did not constitute a single continuous chain of events when questioning ceased for approximately four hours before he received Miranda warnings and confessed for the first time.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE

People v. Hunter, No. 92
Conviction for sodomy in the first degree is reversed based on the government's Brady violation where: 1) the government learned, but did not disclose to defendant, that the same woman had recently accused another man of raping her in that man's home; and 2) post-trial events do not serve to nullify a defendant's rights under Brady at the time of trial and before it.

ETHICS & DISCIPLINARY CODE, ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

In the Matter of Richard A. Zalk, No. 98
The Dead Man's Statute does not apply in attorney disciplinary proceedings involving how an attorney handled a down payment in a real estate transaction while representing a seller who subsequently died.

EVIDENCE, INJURY AND TORT LAW, REMEDIES

Tutrani v. County of Suffolk, No. 100
In a negligence case involving a police vehicle which abruptly came to a near-stop in front of plaintiff's vehicle on a busy highway, which plaintiff did not collide with, but was instead rear ended by defendant's vehicle, a judgment finding that police officer's conduct was not a proximate cause of the accident, as a matter of law, because plaintiff was able to avoid collision with the police vehicle is reversed where, on this record, the jury could have rationally found that the officer's conduct was a substantial cause of the collision between plaintiff and defendant even though there was no contact between plaintiff's and the police vehicle.

Scribus

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scribus.net | Scribus Open Source Desktop Publishing

Scribus is an open-source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/Unix, MacOS X, OS/2 and Windows desktops with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout.

Underneath the modern and user friendly interface, Scribus supports professional publishing features, such as CMYK color, separations, ICC color management and versatile PDF creation.
***

Download.

FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 6/12/08

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ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, AEROSPACE & DEFENSE, CIVIL PROCEDURE, GOVERNMENT LAW, TRADE SECRETS

Taylor v. Sturgell, No. 07-371
In a case involving two friends' and antique aircraft enthusiasts' separate Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests asking the FAA for copies of technical documents related to a vintage airplane, summary judgment finding petitioner's suit barred by claim preclusion based on his friend's prior suit is vacated and remanded where: 1) the Court disapproves the doctrine of preclusion by "virtual representation"; and 2) based on the record as it stood, the judgment against petitioner's friend in the prior action did not bar petitioner from maintaining the suit at hand.

CIVIL PROCEDURE, CLASS ACTIONS, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, DEBT COLLECTION, GOVERNMENT LAW, INTERNATIONAL LAW, JUDGMENT ENFORCEMENT, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

Republic of the Philippines v. Pimentel, No. 06-1204
In an interpleader action commenced to determine the ownership of property allegedly stolen by Ferdinand Marcos when he was the President of the Republic of the Philippines, a circuit court's decision finding that the action could proceed without the Republic of the Philippines and a Philippine Commission as parties, which had successfully asserted sovereign immunity and been dismissed from the action, is reversed where: 1) the circuit court gave insufficient weight to the foreign sovereign status of those two parties; and 2) it further erred in reaching and discounting the merits of their claims.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, GOVERNMENT LAW, HABEAS CORPUS, MILITARY LAW

Boumediene v. Bush, No. 06-1195, 06-1196
In habeas proceedings brought by aliens detained at Guantanamo after being captured in Afghanistan or elsewhere abroad and designated enemy combatants by tribunals, the Court rules that petitioners have the constitutional privilege of habeas corpus. The procedures for review of the detainees' status provided by the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 are not an adequate and effective substitute for habeas corpus, and consequently, section 7 of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), operates as an unconstitutional suspension of the writ.

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

Munaf v. Geren, No. 06-1666
In cases concerning the availability of habeas corpus relief arising from an international coalition force's detention of American citizens who voluntarily traveled to Iraq and were alleged to have committed crimes there, the Court rules that the habeas statute extends to American citizens held overseas by American forces operating subject to an American chain of command, even when those forces are acting as part of a multinational coalition. However, district courts may not exercise their habeas jurisdiction to enjoin the United States from transferring individuals alleged to have committed crimes and detained within the territory of a foreign sovereign to that sovereign's government for criminal prosecution.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

Irizarry v. US, No. 06-7517
Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32(h), which states that "[b]efore the court may depart from the applicable sentencing range on a ground not identified . . . either in the presentence report or in a party's pre-hearing submission, the court must give the parties reasonable notice that it is contemplating such a departure," does not apply to a variance from a recommended Guidelines range.

Governor, Legislature Ordered To Raise Pay of State's Judges

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The New York Law Journal-Governor, Legislature Ordered To Raise Pay of State's Judges

By Daniel Wise
June 11, 2008

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Edward H. Lehner yesterday gave the Legislature and Governor David A. Paterson 90 days to adjust the pay of the state's 1,300 judges to reflect the rise in the cost of living since their last raise nearly 10 years ago.

Justice Lehner found that the Legislature and the governor had "unconstitutionally abused their power" by neglecting to raise judicial pay. He concluded in Larabee v. Governor, 112301/07, that the executive and legislative branches had violated the separation of powers doctrine by linking judicial pay to extraneous legislative issues such as raises for the legislators themselves and campaign finance reform.

***

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 6/10/08

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CONSTRUCTION, CONTRACTS, INSURANCE LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE, WORKERS' COMPENSATION

Preserver Ins. Co. v. Ryba, No. 97
In a coverage dispute over a jobsite injury allegedly sustained by a construction worker presenting the question of whether an employer's liability insurance coverage is unlimited or limited to $100,000 as specified in a standard form workers' compensation and employers' liability contract policy, the court of appeals finds that employer's liability is limited under the circumstances of this case where: 1) from a contractual interpretation standpoint, nothing in the underlying policy suggested unlimited liability; and 2) from a legal perspective, none of the applicable state laws provided for an unlimited employers' liability insurance.

CONTRACTS, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

Pachter v. Bernard Hodes Group, Inc., No. 86
An "executive" falls within the ambit of the protections afforded to "employees" under sections 190 and 193 of the Labor Law. Also, the determination of when a commission is earned is governed by the parties' express or implied agreement.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Finley, No. 87, 88
In the context of detention facilities, the small amounts of marijuana at issue, substantially less than 25 grams, were not "dangerous contraband" under Penal Law sections 205.00 (4) and 205.25 (2).

DEBT COLLECTION, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE, TAX LAW

In the Matter of Mill Creek Phase 1 Staten Island Bluebelt Sys., No. 95
The interest due and owing on a subject tax lien continues to accrue at the interest rate of 18%, pursuant to Administrative Code sections 11-224 and 11-319(6), from the vesting of title in the City of New York until the date of full payment of the lien.

ELECTIONS, GOVERNMENT LAW

In the Matter of Master v. Pohanka, No. 91
Election Law section 6-120(3) allows a political party's state committee to vest itself with the authority to issue certificates of authorization for county, city or local public offices.

ELECTIONS, GOVERNMENT LAW

In the Matter of Conroy v. State Comm. of the Independence Party of New York, No. 90
In a declaratory judgment action seeking to invalidate an party rule on grounds that the rule conflicted with Election Law section 6-120(3), the court of appeals finds that the rule at issue does not conflict with Election Law section 6-120(3) insofar as it vests in the Executive Committee of the State Committee the authority to designate or nominate non-party members for "non-citywide" public offices in the City of New York.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 6/05/08

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CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, GOVERNMENT LAW

In the Matter of Feola v. Carroll, No. 83
When a police officer is convicted of a misdemeanor with elements which constitute willful deceit, calculated disregard for honest dealings, intentional dishonesty or corruption of purpose, an oath of office violation has occurred and the position becomes vacant without the need for a due process disciplinary hearing. Further, a conviction for endangering the welfare of a child under Penal Law section 260.10(1) conclusively establishes a lack of moral integrity.

CONTRACTS, JUDGMENT ENFORCEMENT, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

Cox v. NAP Constr. Co., Inc., No. 84, 85
When a contractor has promised to pay its workers the prevailing wages required by the United States Housing Act, the workers may sue under state law to enforce the promise.

ETHICS & DISCIPLINARY CODE, ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, PER CURIAM, SANCTIONS

In the Matter of Honorable Robert M. Restaino, No. 82
A judge is sanctioned and removed from office based on his actions when, after a device rang in his courtroom and its owner could not be determined, he arbitrarily revoked or denied the recognizance release status of 46 individuals present in his courtroom. Despite the judge's proffered psychological evidence of suffering from an anxious state of mind due to a strained marriage and recognizable prior service record, the public confidence which had been lost was irreparable.

INJURY AND TORT LAW, SPORTS LAW

Roberts v. Boys and Girls Republic, Inc., No. No. 134 SSM 11
Dismissal of plaintiff's complaint for injuries sustained when a baseball player in an off-field on-deck batting circle struck her with a bat is affirmed where plaintiff assumed the risk of her injuries, as she concededly observed batting equipment and players swinging bats in the area which the accident occurred.

INJURY AND TORT LAW, TRANSPORTATION

Jones v. Bill , No. 89
For the purposes of the federal Graves Amendment, an action commences on the date of the initial filing of the summons and complaint.

INSURANCE LAW

Fair Price Med. Supply Corp. v. Travelers Indem. Co., No. 105
While an insurer is entitled to contest a claimant's claim as fraudulent, it is required to do so within the rules of the "no-fault system" which impose tight deadlines.

Termination by Client Does Not Bar Penalty Request, N.Y. Judge Rules

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New York Law Journal

A law firm's termination by a client cannot protect it from a request for sanctions by the former client and the former client's adversary in a loan repayment action, a New York judge has ruled. The judge declined to dismiss a motion for a penalty against law firm Russ & Russ, ruling that doing so would "allow a lawyer to escape liability for frivolous conduct by arranging to be fired after engaging in mischief, or, by a more civilized approach, by moving to withdraw as counsel."

Full Text: Supreme Court Justice Ira B. Warshawsky of Nassau County, in Rozen v. The Nite Rider Group, Inc., 00148/05.

NYS Department of Health Webcasts

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The New York State Dept. of Health has a number of very important boards, committees, and councils which meet on a regular basis to discuss and determine the number of doctors, hospitals, and medical equipment available to the citizens of the Empire State and what all this will cost. Many of those meetings are now available via live webcasts.

Among those whose meetings will be webcast are the State Hospital Review and Planning Council, arguably the state's most important decision-making body on health care issues.

Meetings from January 2008 onward are being archived for ready reference.

FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 6/09/08

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CIVIL PROCEDURE, CIVIL RIGHTS, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, GOVERNMENT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

Engquist v. Oregon Dep't of Agric., No. 07-474
The "class-of-one" theory of equal protection does not apply in the context of public employment. Thus, a public employee cannot state a claim under the Equal Protection Clause by alleging that she was arbitrarily treated differently from other similarly situated employees, with no assertion that the different treatment was based on the employee's membership in any particular class.


CIVIL PROCEDURE, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, GOVERNMENT LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE, TAX LAW

Bridge v. Phoenix Bond & Indem. Co., No. 07-210
A plaintiff asserting a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) claim predicated on mail fraud need not show, either as an element of its claim or as a prerequisite to establishing proximate causation, that it relied on the defendant's alleged misrepresentations.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS, GOVERNMENT LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW, MILITARY LAW

Allison Engine Co., Inc. v. US ex rel. Sanders, No. 07-214
In the context of the False Claims Act, it is insufficient for a plaintiff asserting a 31 U.S.C. section 3729(a)(2) claim to show merely that "[t]he false statement's use ... result[ed] in obtaining or getting payment or approval of the claim," or that "government money was used to pay the false or fraudulent claim." Instead, a plaintiff asserting such a claim must prove that the defendant intended that the false record or statement be material to the government's decision to pay or approve the false claim. Similarly, a plaintiff asserting a claim under section 3729(a)(3) must show that the conspirators agreed to make use of the false record or statement to achieve this end.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, PATENT

Quanta Computer, Inc. v. LG Elecs., Inc., No. 06-937
In a patent case involving computer technology patents, a circuit court's ruling in favor of plaintiff-LG Electronics and against defendants-computer manufacturers is reversed where: 1) contrary to the holding below, the exhaustion doctrine applies to method patents; and 2) because a license agreement authorized the sale of components that substantially embodied the patents in suit, the sale exhausted the patents.

Law.com - Split Panel Affirms Warrantless Use of GPS Device

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Split Panel Affirms Warrantless Use of GPS Device
Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal
June 9, 2008

The warrantless use of a global positioning device on a vehicle by police does not violate a driver's right to privacy under either the U.S. Constitution or the New York state Constitution, an upstate appeals panel decided last week.

In becoming what it said was the first state appeals court in New York to address the issue, the Appellate Division, 3rd Department, panel determined that the privacy expectations of individuals under both the federal and state constitutions are lower when they are in their automobiles than when they are in their homes.

"Because we recognize the diminished expectation of privacy in a vehicle on a public roadway ... we cannot agree that the NY Constitution precluded the warrantless placement of the GPS tracking device on defendant's vehicle or retrieval of its data in connection with this ongoing police investigation," a 4-1 panel held in People v. Weaver, 101104.

As to the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the panel found that nothing prevents the use of technology, such as the satellite-aided positioning devices, to "surveil that which is already public."

***

Read entire Law.com article.

***
Read Full Text of Decision here.

Global Legal Information Network (GLIN)

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Global Legal Information Network

The Global Legal Information Network (GLIN) is a public database of official texts of laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and other complementary legal sources contributed by governmental agencies and international organizations. These GLIN members contribute the full texts of their published documents to the database in their original languages. Each document is accompanied by a summary in English and, in many cases in additional languages, plus subject terms selected from the multilingual index to GLIN. All summaries are available to the public, and public access to full texts is also available for most jurisdictions.

Click on "More Search Options".

6 Ways You're Wasting Gas

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6-Ways-You-re-Wasting-Gas- Yahoo! Autos Article Page


It's not easy to break bad driving habits, but if you don't, the money you lose on gas could wind up breaking your bank.
By Peter Valdes-Dapena
provided by:
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- With all the worry over fuel prices, you'd think drivers would do whatever they can not to waste gas. But look around and you'll see lots of them tooling around as if they owned their own tanker fleet. One of them might be you.

Click here for six ways drivers typically waste gas on every trip.

Opera Browser (9.50 Beta 2)

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Opera browser

Opera has a small but dedicated following among those who like speed browsing. This latest version (9.50 Beta 2) has security code which detects malware at the link level, rather than the domain level. This should make it easier and safer to visit sites which required caution in the past.

Desktop, mini, and mobile versions can be downloaded here.

280 Slides

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280 Slides - Create & Share Presentations Online

With 280 Slides, there's no software to download and nothing to pay for – and when you're done building your presentation you can share it any way you like.

Features
Take It With You
They store your presentations securely on their server so you can take them anywhere in the world where there's an Internet connection.

Download to PowerPoint
With a single click you can download a copy of your presentation in the Microsoft PowerPoint 2007 format.

Built-In Media Search
Add photos and movies to your presentation directly from popular web services like Flickr and YouTube.

Publish to the Web
Put your presentation on SlideShare, e-mail it to a friend, or embed it directly on your own website, all with just a few clicks.

Themes
It's easy to make a great looking presentation with their built-in themes.

Run in Your Web Browser
280 Slides runs right in the browser, with no download and no installation, and it works just like the desktop applications you're used to.

"Staycations"??????

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Legal Ease Blog: "Staycations" for lawyers - can they work?

"Staycations" for lawyers - can they work?

The economy is taking its toll on Americans' summer vacation plans. All of a sudden, the 'staycation' - staying home (or close to home) instead of traveling for vacation - is getting a lot of attention in the media. Rising costs mean less disposable income, and travel costs are skyrocketing, making travel a very expensive proposition.

But can lawyers actually take 'staycations?' Or will taking a 'staycation' just mean that you work the entire summer, without actually taking time off?

***

Allison C. Shields, who is fast becoming one of my favorite legal consultants at her Legalease blog, has rules to make your "Staycation" a breeze. Read her entire article.

FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 6/02/08

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ATTORNEY'S FEES, GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS, GOVERNMENT LAW, IMMIGRATION LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

Richlin Sec. Serv. Co. v. Chertoff, No. 06-1717
A prevailing party that satisfies the Equal Access to Justice Act's (EAJA) other requirements may recover its paralegal fees from the government at prevailing market rates, and is not limited to their cost to the party's attorney.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE, GAMING LAW

US v. Santos, No. 06-1005
A judgment vacating defendants' convictions for violating the federal money-laundering statute is affirmed. Four Justices joined in finding that the term "proceeds" in the federal money-laundering statute, 18 U.S.C. section 1956(a)(1), means "profits," and not "receipts." Another Justice joined in the judgment, opining that revenue which a gambling business uses to pay essential operating expenses is not "proceeds" under the statute.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE

Cuellar v. US, No. 06-1456
The federal money laundering statute, 18 U.S.C. section 1956(a)(2)(B)(i) does not require proof that a defendant attempted to "legitimize" tainted funds, but the government must demonstrate that a defendant did more than merely hide the money during its transport.

Jungle Disk

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JungleDisk - Reliable online storage powered by Amazon S3 ™ - Jungle Disk

Jungle Disk is an application that lets you store files and backup data securely to Amazon.com's S3 ™ Storage Service.

Store an unlimited amount of data for only 15 cents per gigabyte

No monthly subscription fee, no startup fee, no commitment

Your data is fully encrypted at all times

Data is stored at multiple Amazon.com datacenters around the country for high availability

Access files directly from Windows Explorer, Mac OSX Finder, and Linux

Automatically backup your important files.
With Amazon S3 ™ there is no minimum and no maximum amount of data you can store.

Google Sites now open to everyone

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Google has made it easy for anyone to set up a website and share all types
of information — team projects, company intranets, community groups,
classrooms, clubs, family updates, you name it — in one place, for a
few people, a group or the world. You can securely host your own
website and add as many pages as you like — all for free.

http://sites.google.com

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