September 2008 Archives

Acer Aspire One

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Aspire One - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Acer Aspire One is a small notebook computer (also known as a netbook). It is based on the Intel Atom platform consisting of an Intel Atom N270 processor, Intel 945GSE Express chipset and Intel 82801GBM (ICH7M) I/O controller.
The Aspire One became available in July 2008. Initially in Seashell White and Sapphire Blue, with a 3-cell battery. Acer has since then introduced models with the larger 6-cell battery, as well as a wider selection of colors including Coral Pink, Golden Brown and Onyx Black.

It is manufactured by Quanta Computer

Read a review here.

See for your self here.

FINDLAW:Text of the Defeated Bailout Bill

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EMERGENCY ECONOMIC STABILIZATION ACT OF 2008

(House Financial Services Committee) - The version of the financial bailout proposal that was voted down in the House of Representatives today. Full Text.

Related Resources from Findlaw:
More Documents Related to the Financial Crisis

Stimulus Payments Update-October 15, 2008 Deadline

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The Oct. 15 deadline for filing a return and claiming the economic stimulus payment is almost here. Don’t let your clients miss out. See news release IR-2008-109.

Campus Mental Health: KNow Your Rights

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Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law -- Advocating for the Civil Rights and Human Dignity of People with Mental Disabilities

Campus Mental Health: Know Your Rights! is designed to inform students who want to seek help for mental illness or emotional disorders about their legal rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws. The 27-page guide is also available online at www.mymindmyrights.org. It also includes information about where and how students can seek help, who can have access to information about their treatment; what kinds of academic accommodations they can request; what happens if they need hospital care; and what types of assistance and support are available for them.

Time to Review Your Retainer Agreement

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McCORD v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, 106136 (full text)

McCORD v. THE STATE OF NEW YORK, #2008-029-038, Claim No. 106136, Motion No. M-75505

Synopsis

Attorney’s motion to be relieved as counsel denied. His desire to avoid advancing the costs of trial, specifically $20,000.00 in expert witness fees, was not sufficient grounds to be relieved since the retainer agreement did not require claimants to advance such costs.

***
Read NYLJ article.

FireGPG-FireFox Extension for Encryption

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Recent events involving a political figure's Yahoo account have put email hacking and the need for encryption front & center. Here are some possible protections.

FireGPG - use GPG easily in Firefox !

FireGPG is a Firefox extension under MPL which brings an interface to encrypt, decrypt, sign or verify the signature of text in any web page using GnuPG.

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FireGPG isn't a key manager. You must install the GnuPG software!

On GNU/Linux and Mac OS, it's GnuPG. You can install it with your favourite package manager (like Synaptic, YaST, Yum, etc.) or from its official website.

If you are using Microsoft Windows, you have to download WinPT and GPG, and install it at the default location.

Gmail's support

FireGPG adds some features to the Gmail1 interface, to let you use GPG's features directly in your webmail. More webmails will probably be supported in the future.


Inline detection

FireGPG is able to detect PGP blocks in any page (for example a public key), and lets you easily manage these different blocks.


API

FireGPG has an api, api, that allows you to design a website that uses GPG's features on the client, for examle to authenticate a user for an administration pane


Translations

FireGPG is currently translated into Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Dutch, English, French, Italian, German, Hebrew, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Türkish, Serbian, Spanish and Swedish.

Disbarred Attorneys May Not Work As Paralegals in Law Offices

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Matter of Hancock (2008 NY Slip Op 06991)

....the record reveals that the respondent afforded so little regard to his law license as to allow a disbarred felon to use his name freely on court papers and to advertise himself as his paralegal. In addition, the respondent knowingly made a misrepresentation to this Court during the course of oral argument. Under the circumstances, the respondent is disbarred.

Read entire article from NY Law Journal (Free registration)

Reappointment of Hon. Victor E. Bianchini (Recalled) U.S. Magistrate Judge

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The current term of the office of Recalled United States Magistrate Judge Victor E. Bianchini is due to expire on December 19, 2008. The Second Circuit is seeking comments on the performance of Magistrate Judge Bianchini over the past year from the Bar and Public. The duties of Magistrate Judge Bianchini in this court include the following: on Habeas Petitions, Prisoner Civil Rights Cases, Social Security Appeals, conduct of various pretrial matters, preparation of Report and Recommendation on dispositive matters on delegation from the judges of the district court. Conduct of any necessary hearings and preparation of orders on cases that have been consented to the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge by the parties.

Comments from members of the bar and public are invited as to whether the incumbent part-time Magistrate Judge should be recommended by the Circuit for reappointment for a new one year term.

Click on the link below for the full notice and comment submission procedure.

http://www.nynd.uscourts.gov/documents/Bianchini_recall_notice.pdf

Thank you.

Lawrence K. Baerman
Clerk - USDC
Northern District of New York

Tax Credit to Aid First-Time Homebuyers

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First-time homebuyers may be able to take a new tax credit included in the recently enacted Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. It’s available for a limited time only, and it operates much like an interest-free loan, because it must be repaid over a 15-year period. To find out more, see news release IR-2008-106.

Read a summary of the Act here.

Otherinbox Update-Free Beta Trial

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From Alex:

Thanks for writing about OtherInbox on your blog. The TechCrunch50 conference in San Francisco earlier this month was a great forum to launch our new service to the public and we were really honored to be chosen to participate. We’d like to invite you to join our private beta that we announced at the conference, and we’re happy to extend the invitation to your readers as well! Because we’re in private beta, you need to have a special URL to sign up. This URL will work for 26 invitations (one for you and 25 for your readers) if you want to post as a followup on your blog.

http://beta.otherinbox.com/signup/lennyesq

Please let us know if you have any questions about the service. Thanks again!

~ The OtherInbox Team

Albany County Family Court Finds Grandmother Has No Visitation Rights

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Surrender of Son Extends to Next Generation

By Joel Stashenko--NY Law Journal--Read Entire Article (free registration required)
September 19, 2008


ALBANY - A parent who surrendered custody of her son has no standing to petition for visitation of the children fathered by the son later in life, an upstate Family Court judge has determined.

Judge W. Dennis Duggan of Albany County has held under the meaning of Domestic Relations Law Section 72(1) that a parent who gives up custody of her child ceases to be the "grandparent" of any offspring that child eventually has. The state statute allows grandparents to seek visitation of their grandchildren under narrow circumstances.

Judge Duggan wrote in Matter of Florence Y. v. Madchen M., 26819, that the grandmother agreed when surrendering her son for adoption when he was 12 that she was giving up "all rights to have custody, visit with, speak with, write to or learn about" her son forever.

***

Read full text of decision here.

Lehman Bros. Ch. 11 Petition

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Cryptome

US Bankruptcy Court for the SDNY Voluntary Petition for Ch. 11.

NY Times (Jeremy Peters): Panel Calls for Consolidation and Minimum Standards for Judges in Town Courts

A special commission that spent more than two years studying the often-peculiar form of justice that is handed down in New York's 1,250 town and village courts issued a report on Wednesday that recommended consolidating some courts and setting minimum standards for judges' education and training. But the 31-member commission, consisting of lawyers, town justices and state judges, stopped short of recommending that town and village justices - most of whom lack legal backgrounds and, in some cases, even a high school diploma - have training as lawyers. Instead, the commission said courts should provide defendants the option of having their case heard by a judge who is a lawyer. The report's recommendations did not include the sweeping reforms that some critics of the justice court system had called for, like abolishing the courts altogether and replacing them with a more uniform system of district courts used in many other states. Instead, the recommendations represented "a pragmatic middle ground" that will modernize and improve the centuries-old system, said Carey R. Dunne, chairman of the commission.

FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 09/16/08

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CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

Matter of Siao-Pao v. Dennison, No. 200 SSM 27
Denial of parole is affirmed where: the courts below applied the correct legal standards and properly considered the Board of Parole's written determination, which, when evaluated in the context of the parole hearing transcript, demonstrated that the Board considered the required statutory factors.


CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Shemesh, No. 201 SSM 32
Order dismissing an indictment is affirmed where there was record support for the finding below that the District Attorney failed to accord the defendant reasonable time to exercise right to appear as a witness before the grand jury.



ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY

In the Matter of DeFilippo v. Rooney, No. 203 SSM 31
Judgment of the Appellate Division is affirmed where: 1) petitioner failed to meet his burden of demonstrating that the alleged prosecutorial misconduct was conducted in a deliberate attempt to provoke him to move for a mistrial; and 2) petitioner failed to demonstrate a clear legal right to the remedy of prohibition.


INJURY AND TORT LAW, PUBLIC UTILITIES

McCleery v. Consol. Edison of New York, No. 202 SSM 23
In a personal-injury suit, summary judgment for defendants is reversed where plaintiff presented issues of fact as to how his foot was crushed and whether his injuries were a result of defendant's driver's negligence.

look.fo

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look.fo - short web search aliases

Use look.fo to create instant links to Google search results for any term you can think of. Share look.fo links over IM, email, SMS or Twitter without ever having to look up exact URLs.

Want to share a funny video? Need to point someone in the right direction? Send a link in the form of look.fo/el-chupacabra-youtube or look.fo/how-to-cut-and-paste. Next time you tell a friend to google something, save them a step and have them look.fo/it.

New NYSBA Site

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NYSBA | Home

I am please to announce that our new and improved website has been launched.

Please click on the link below to see what everyone in the legal profession is talking about.

http://www.nysba.org/

I wish to thank the hard work and effort of the ECTF in helping to create our new appearance. I also wish to thank in particular, Barbara Beauchamp, Erin Corcoran, John Nicoletta and Rich Martin. Their work in creating a very appealing, functional and easy to navigate site was outstanding.


Charles J. Siegel, Esq.
Chairperson
NYSBA - Electronic Communication Task Force

Vixy.net

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vixy.net : Online FLV Converter : Download online videos direct to PC / iPod / PSP. It's free!

This service allows you convert a Flash Video / FLV file (YouTube's videos,etc) to MPEG4 (AVI/MOV/MP4/MP3/3GP) file online. It is using a compressed domain transcoder technology (outline in Japanese). It converts FLV to MPEG4 faster and less lossy than a typical transcoder.

When you submit a URL, it will download and convert to the video format, and then you can download the converted file.

FLV to MPEG4 Conveter engine is now OpenSource. You can download the source code via subversion: http://sourceforge.net/svn/?group_id=183657

For Windows users: Please install DivX to play DivX AVI.

***

Vixy.net Converter Desktop Version (BETA):

For your desktop version is available now. It looks like this site and the usage is almost same as this site. It's free but with Ads. It's still in BETA release so it will expire at Sep/30/2008.

Download Installer for Windows (Xp, Vista)
Version 0.6 Jul/01/2008
(If you use Xp, please install .NET Framework 2.0.)
Download App for MacOSX (10.4, 10.5) Intel / PPC
Version 0.31 Aug/26/2008
To install the app, please open dmg file and copy the app to your "Application" folder. The converted file will be in your "Movie" folder. (You can change the output folder from "Preference" Menu.)

FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 09/11/08

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CIVIL PROCEDURE

Okun v. Tanners, No. 196 SSM 28
Appellate order is reversed and action dismissed where plaintiff did not establish a reasonable excuse for a 20-month delay in pursuing the action, and failed to rebut the presumption of abandonment that arose.


GOVERNMENT LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW, PUBLIC UTILITIES

Di Sanza v. City of New York, No. 197 SSM 29
Judgment as a matter of law for defendant is affirmed where defendant's evidentiary submissions established its prima facie case on the ground that it neither created nor had actual or constructive notice of a one-inch bulge in the sidewalk grating, and plaintiff's submission of post-accident photographs did not raise a triable issue of fact.


INJURY AND TORT LAW

Frutchey v. Felicita, No. 199 SSM 22
Summary judgment for defendants is denied where triable issues of fact existed concerning whether: 1) defendant acted negligently in traveling at an excessive speed and in following too closely to plaintiff's vehicle, given the road and weather conditions; and 2) if so, such negligence was a proximate cause of the accident.

Scam Warning Update

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From NYSBA LPM:

Dear NYSBA members:
Your Law Practice Management Committee has received reports from a number of credible sources about a potential e-mail scam targeting lawyers, particularly solo and small law firms engaged in general, commercial or collection practices. The way it works is this:

An overseas company - primarily from various parts of Asia, but any locale in a significantly different time zone - e-mails a law firm, saying that they have a mid-six figure debt that they need collected (or judgment enforced). The attorney checks out the company, using its e-mail address, and learns that it appears to come from a recognized, established, publicly-traded Asian (or whatever nationality) company. The attorney continues to communicate with the client by e-mail, enters into an engagement letter, obtains the documents supporting the debt (or judgment) and begins to work on the matter. The attorney makes contact with the debtor, who eventually agrees to pay/settle the sum due. As part of the satisfaction, the debtor provides the attorney with a bank check. The attorney deposits the bank check, deducts his/her fee and arranges for a wire to the overseas client. The bank wires the funds before the bank check clears. The bank check turns out to be forged. The bank then reverses the charges back to the attorney, and, in all of the cases reported to us, freezes the attorney's account (including the escrow accounts).
The LPM Committee urges all lawyers to exercise due diligence in handling matters initiated by overseas parties not known by the attorney. We have all received messages from individuals in foreign countries who need the help of an American to move funds out of a foreign bank after the government there has frozen assets of a deceased relative or political opponent. Now it seems, the story has metamorphosed into debt collection and the targeted victims, lawyers. Although the allure of new business can be enticing in these economic times, the need to remain vigilant to possible fraudulent practices does not diminish. All lawyers should ensure that their client selection processes avoid situations like these, which have already caused significant problems for lawyers in this state and across the country.

Gary Munneke,
Chair, Law Practice Management Committee

***

Update: GP Section Blog covered this with a link to the original California article back in July:

Here's a followup article form Atlanta, where the banks were too late in catching the forgery and the lawyer is on the hook for the money and being charged with a violation of ethical rules:

US district judge finds bankruptcy provision violates attorney speech rights

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[JURIST] The US District Court for Connecticut has blocked enforcement of a new provision of the US Bankruptcy Code against attorneys seeking to advise clients about taking on additional debt. District Judge Christopher Droney issued a preliminary injunction Tuesday, ruling that the statute was so broad as to unconstitutionally restrict attorneys' ... [more].

Judge rules Oracle withheld Ellison e-mails | Politics and Law

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From CNET News:

Oracle deliberately destroyed or withheld CEO Larry Ellison's e-mails and failed to preserve audio recordings sought as evidence in a class-action lawsuit filed against the software maker, a federal judge has ruled.


Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
(Credit: Dan Farber/CNET News)
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco said Tuesday that Oracle willfully withheld tapes and transcripts of interviews that a journalist conducted with Ellison in 2001 and 2002 while researching a book about the Oracle founder called Softwar. The recordings and transcripts were stored on laptop by the author, Matthew Symonds, who directed a computer repair shop to destroy the laptop in late 2006 or early 2007, Illston said.
The lawsuit alleges the software giant made false statements about the company's financial condition in the second quarter of 2001 and made false statements about its Suite 11i business management software. The suit, filed by shareholders who held the stock when its price fell after the company reported disappointing results, also claims Ellison knew about the problems and sold about $900 million in stock before investors were told of the problems.

Hat tip to Barbara Beauchamp for this post.

Here is the full text of Judge Illston's Order.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 9/09/08

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CONSTRUCTION, INJURY AND TORT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

Quattrocchi v. F.J. Sciame Constr. Co., No. 195 SSM 26
Denial of partial summary judgment on a claim under Labor Law section 240(1), the "Scaffold Law," is affirmed where: 1) "falling object" liability under that section was not limited to cases in which the falling object is in the process of being hoisted or secured; and 2) triable questions of fact precluded summary judgment.


GOVERNMENT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

In the Matter of Ellis, No. 198 SSM 30
Petition for review of termination of petitioner from her position with the Department of Social Services is dismissed where: 1) petitioner's dismissal for poor performance did not shock the judicial conscience; and 2) the Appellate Division had no discretionary authority or interest of justice jurisdiction to review the penalty imposed.

Otherinbox

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OtherInbox helps you to spend less time reading and managing your email. Instead of having a single email address such as johnsmith23@gmail.com, you get an unlimited number of email addresses at your own domain name such as johnsmith.otherinbox.com. Any address @johnsmith.otherinbox.com goes to OtherInbox, so you can easily assign a different email address to every website. Without having to set up any folders or rules, your email gets organized so that it’s easy to jump right to the messages you care about most. Also, if a website starts to send you spam, you can stop it with the powerful new Block button.

OtherInbox is currently being made available via a private Beta program. For more information on OtherInbox, or to request access to the private Beta, visit: http://www.otherinbox.com/.

Mesholam v Mesholam

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No. 122: Mesholam v Mesholam

For similar reasons, we conclude that the value of marital property generally should not be determined by the commencement of an action for divorce that does not ultimately culminate in divorce. Equitable distribution is available "in an action wherein all or part of the relief granted is divorce" ( Domestic Relations Law ァ 236[B][5]). Where there is no divorce, there can be no equitable distribution. Consequently, permitting the commencement date of the prior, unsuccessful divorce action to govern the valuation date of marital property for the purposes of a later, successful action in which equitable distribution is available would be inconsistent with the statutory scheme.

In short, we hold today that courts must use the commencement date of the later, successful action as the earliest valuation date for marital property. However, the circumstances surrounding the commencement of the earlier action can and should "be considered as a factor by [the trial court], among other relevant factors, as [it] attempt[s] to calibrate the ultimate equitable distribution of marital economic partnership property acquired after the start of such an action by either spouse" (see Anglin, 80 NY2d at 558).

***

Read full text of decision here.

Google News Archive Expanding

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Official Google Blog: Bringing history online, one newspaper at a time

From Google:

Today, we're launching an initiative to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives. Let's say you want to learn more about the landing on the Moon. Try a search for [Americans walk on moon] on Google News Archive Search, and you'll be able to find and read an original article from a 1969 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Not only will you be able to search these newspapers, you'll also be able to browse through them exactly as they were printed -- photographs, headlines, articles, advertisements and all.

This effort expands on the contributions of others who've already begun digitizing historical newspapers. In 2006, we started working with publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post to index existing digital archives and make them searchable via the Google News Archive. Now, this effort will enable us to help you find an even greater range of material from newspapers large and small...


News archive search provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition to helping you search, News archive search can automatically create timelines which show selected results from relevant time periods.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 9/04/08

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The New York Court of Appeals is back in session and FINDLAW(free registration) has its first report on decisions of interest:

CIVIL PROCEDURE

Windy Ridge Farm v. Assessor of the Town of Shandaken, No. 190 SSM 19
Dismissal of a civil action for failure to join necessary parties is affirmed where: 1) the expiration of a statute of limitations was not a jurisdictional defect preventing the summoning of the parties by the court, but rather an affirmative defense; and 2) the parties in question were therefore subject to the jurisdiction of the courts and the cause was subject to dismissal for failure to join them as necessary parties.


ELECTIONS, GOVERNMENT LAW

In the Matter of Barron, No. 189
In an action to compel the Board of Elections to conduct elections to fill a vacancy created in a state assembly district when its representative was convicted of various felonies, an order requiring that elections for the remainder of the member's unexpired term and the next regular term be held simultaneously at the next general election is reversed and dismissal ordered where the relevant statute clearly stated that no election was to be held to fill the office for the remainder of the unexpired term.

Windy Ridge Farm v. Assessor of Town of Shandaken ,(N.Y.) (full text)

A county and school district were subject to the court's jurisdiction, within the meaning of the statute governing the joinder of necessary parties, in an Article 78 proceeding challenging the constitutionality of the assessment methodology used by the town assessor for a certain tax year, even though the statute of limitations on claims against them had expired; the expired statute of limitations was not the equivalent of a jurisdictional defect. Therefore, the discretionary statutory factors considered by a court to determine whether to excuse joinder when a necessary party's consent or appearance was required to obtain jurisdiction did not apply. However, dismissal of the proceeding was warranted for the failure to join necessary parties, even though the county and school district, which the petitioning property owners had failed to name as respondents in the original petition, were subject to the court's jurisdiction, when, after being named as additional respondents in an amended petition, the county and school district established their right to the dismissal of the amended petition against them due to the expiration of the four-month limitations period.

Bronx Supreme Court Dismisses Challenge to Paterson Same-Sex Directive

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JURIST - Paper Chase: New York judge dismisses challenge to same-sex marriage recognition

Judge Lucy Billings of the New York State Supreme Court dismissed [decision and order, PDF text]; a lawsuit Tuesday that challenged the decision made by New York Governor David Paterson to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages .

***

Hat tip to Jurist Paperchase.

Google Chrome

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Google Chrome - Download a new browser

One box for everything
Type in the address bar and get suggestions for both search and web pages.

Thumbnails of your top sites
Access your favorite pages instantly from any new tab.

Shortcuts for your apps
Get desktop shortcuts to launch your favorite web applications.

***
Google's new browser is in Beta; i.e., a work in progress with a few bugs still to work out; but it will give Windows users a first glance at Google's take on using its web-based applications in place of software programs residing on your computer.

Mac and Linux folks will have to wait.

Subprime Lending Reform Bill Overview

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NYSBD - Subprime Mortgage Law - Overview

On August 5, 2008 Governor David A. Paterson signed into law a critical subprime lending reform bill to address the ongoing mortgage crisis in New York State. Chapter 472 of the Laws of 2008, which was part of the Governor’s legislative program, targets the subprime lending crisis in two ways by providing assistance to homeowners currently at risk of losing their homes and by establishing further protections in the law to mitigate the possibility of a similar crisis in the future.

To assist the industry and public in understanding the impact of this broad and comprehensive legislation, we are providing an overview of the various components, including their effective dates.

The New York Law Journal -Fuentes, plaintiff-appellant v. Board of Education of the City of New York, defendants-appellees

The primary question presented by this appeal is whether a biological and non-custodial parent of a disabled child has standing to sue under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA") to vindicate rights granted by the IDEA. Critical to this question is whether, under New York law, a biological and non-custodial parent of a child retains the right to make decisions regarding the child's education where the divorce decree and custody order are silent as to the control of educational decisions. Because the subsidiary question has not been decided by the New York Court of Appeals, and because it is dispositive of the case, and because the answer to it will have broad implications for custodial disputes under New York law, we believe that the New York Court of Appeals should have the opportunity to address it. We therefore CERTIFY the question to the New York Court of Appeals.

***

Complete text of decision is available free from NY Law Journal.

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