March 2009 Archives

House of Delegates Meeting Webcast-4-04-09

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NYSBA President Bernice K. Leber invites you to view the April 2009 House of Delegates Meeting Webcast.

The Webcast begins at 8:30 a.m. (EST) on Saturday, April 4, 2009 and you may access it at

Highlights of the meeting include reports from the Wrongful Convictions, Privacy, and Global Warming Task Forces. Informational reports from the Task Force on the State of Our Courthouses and the Special Committee on Solo and Small Firm Practice also are scheduled to be presented to the House.

We invite your feedback on the Webcast experience and encourage you to use the feedback link on the Webcast page.

FINDLAW: 03/31/09- Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court

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Rivera v. Illinois, No. 07-9995
Provided that all jurors seated in a criminal case are qualified and unbiased, the Due Process Clause does not require automatic reversal of a conviction because of the trial court's good-faith error in denying the defendant's peremptory challenge to a juror. Defendant's murder conviction is therefore affirmed.


Hawaii v. Office of Hawaiian Affairs, No. 07-1372
In an action to enjoin the sale of land owned by the State of Hawaii until final determination of native Hawaiians' claims, the grant of the injunction is reversed, where the Apology Resolution did not strip Hawaii of its sovereign authority to alienate the lands the United States held in absolute fee and granted to the State upon its admission to the Union.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 3/31/09

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Samuel v. Druckman & Sinel, LLP, No. 39
In an action seeking a declaratory judgment that a fee-sharing agreement between lawyers was invalid, the Appellate Division's order that Defendant referring attorney was not entitled to attorney's fees awarded in connection with a judgment is reversed, where the plain terms of the agreement entitled Defendant to such fees.


Duffy v. Vogel, No. 42
In Plaintiff's appeal from judgment for Defendant in a medical malpractice trial in which the jury's verdict was apparently contradictory, the trial court's order denying Plaintiff's request to poll the jury is reversed, where the denial of a request to poll the jury cannot be harmless error.


People v. Kalin, No. 34
Defendant's drug possession conviction is affirmed, where: 1) Defendant's entry of a guilty plea forfeited his claim that the misdemeanor information was deficient; and 2) the information, in any event, adequately described the controlled substances at issue.


McLean v. N.Y., No. 46
In an action for negligent supervision of a day care center by Defendant city, the denial of Defendant's motion for summary judgment is reversed, where there was no special relationship between Plaintiff and the city that would permit a tort action.


10 East Realty, LLC v. Valley Stream, No. 32
In an Article 78 proceeding to annul a purchase-money mortgage in connection with the sale of municipal property to a private entity, judgment for Plaintiffs is reversed, where a purchase-money mortgage is not a "loan" under the Gift or Loan Clause of the New York Constitution.


Jaramillo v. Weyerhaeuser Co., No. 29
On a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the N.Y. Court of Appeals held that Defendant company that sold one of its used machines (itself purchased used) to a different company could not be held strictly liable for a workplace accident involving that machine, because Defendant was a casual seller.

Allison Shields: Using Social Networking to Build Your Law Practice

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Lawyer Meltdown Newsletter - Using Social Networking to Build Your Law Practice

"Using Online Tools and Social Media to Build your Law Practice" is another excellent article from Allison Shields on her Lawyer Meltdown newsletter site. Allison breaks down the pros and cons of using social media to market your practice. She writes about solo and small firm lawyers, who report the results of their efforts.


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Online 1099 Filing - eFile 1099s Online

You can now file your 2008 filings with eFileMyForms.

The deadline for 1099 & W-2 forms filed electronically is the end of March, 2009. eFileMyForms is an authorized IRS electronic filer, which can help you meet the deadline.
Form 1099S can be filed through this service. Choose the "mail and efile" option for $3.49 per form.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 03/26/09

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IDT Corp. v. Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., No. 27
In an action for tortious interference with contract, the trial court's order denying Defendant's motion to dismiss the complaint is reversed, where Plaintiff's claims were barred by the statute of limitations, with the exception of Plaintiff's unjust enrichment claim, which was precluded by the parties' written agreement.


Israel v. Chabra, No. 26
In response to a certified question from a federal court of appeals, the New York Court of Appeals held that, where the second of two conflicting provisions in a guaranty requires that any modification be in writing, N.Y. Gen'l. Obligations Law 15-301(1) does not alter the common-law rules of interpretation for determining which provision controls.


People v. Bauman, No. 38
The dismissal of an indictment for depraved indifference assault is affirmed, where one count of the indictment charged eleven acts over an eight-month period and thus violated N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law 200.30(1)'s requirement that each count of an indictment charge only one offense.


Shulman v. Hunderfund, No. 28
In a libel action by a public figure, the dismissal of the complaint is affirmed, where the record did not clearly and convincingly show that the statements in question were made with actual malice, because there was no showing that Defendant knew the statements to be false.


Doe v. Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, No. 33
In a breach of fiduciary duty action based on sexual relations between a priest and parishioner, the complaint is ordered to be dismissed, where the bare allegation that Plaintiff was a "vulnerable congregant" was insufficient to establish that Plaintiff was particularly susceptible to Defendant priest's influence.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 03/26/09

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People v. Bauman, No. 38
The dismissal of an indictment for depraved indifference assault is affirmed, where one count of the indictment charged eleven acts over an eight-month period and thus violated N.Y. Crim. Proc. Law 200.30(1)'s requirement that each count of an indictment charge only one offense

Pet Airways

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Home | Pet Airways is a pet airline for your dog, cat and other pets to travel safely.

With Pet Airways your pet will be flying in the main cabin, not in cargo. Pet Attendants will be caring for your pet's needs. You can even monitor how your pet is doing.

Costs will start at $150.00 and up from there, depending upon pet carrier size.

Coming soon...a potentially lucrative idea, which fills a need.

Hat Tip to Tech Crunch.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 03/25/09

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Puckett v. US, No. 07-9712
The plain-error test of Fed. R. Crim. P. 52(b), which instructs parties how to preserve claims of error, applies to a forfeited claim that the government failed to meet its obligations under a plea agreement, and applies in the usual fashion. Sentence for bank robbery is therefore affirmed.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 03/24/09

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Knowles v. Mirzayance, No. 07-1315
The District Court's grant of Petitioner's habeas petition is reversed, where, whether the state court's denial of his ineffective assistance claim is reviewed under 28 U.S.C. section 2254(d)(1)'s standard or de novo, Petitioner failed to establish that his counsel's performance was ineffective.

"Our Changing Families" Symposium - April 17th; 5 CLE credits available

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Albany Law School's Student Bar Association is hosting the Justice Robert H. Jackson Symposium "Our Changing Families" on Friday, April 17, 2009 at Albany Law School.

The symposium is dedicated to the innovative changes Former Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye instituted for families in New York State. National experts will examine the following topics: Emerging Trends in Family Law, Children and the Law, and Reforming the Courts to Better Serve Families. For more information please visit:

5 CLE credits available (please see website for information on registering). The program is free of charge; but registration is preferred.

We hope to see you on April 17th as we examine families, the cornerstones of our society, and what we can do to better protect them, and the persons who comprise them.


Lauren L. Hunt
SBA Executive President

Another New NYSBA Blog

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Marshall R. Isaacs has been invited to write the NYSBA’s Small Law Firm and Solo Practice Blog.

Isaacs is best known for his humorous and satirical postings in his personal blog “Summary Judgment”. He promises to carry his musings over to the NYSBA’s Web site, "...along with Summary Judgment’s dedicated and loyal following. (Love you, mom and dad!)..."


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Songbird - Open Source Music Player

Songbird is an open-source customizable music player that's under active development.

Download for free here.

They're working on creating a non-proprietary, cross platform, extensible tool that will help enable new ways to playback, manage, and discover music.

Songbird integrates: mashTape; Scrobbling; SHOUTcast Radio; Concert Tickets; and 7digiatl Music Store.

FINDLAW: New FOIA Guidelines Issued by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder

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(Washington, D.C., Mar. 19, 2009) - A memo was issued by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today directing all executive branch departments and agencies to apply a presumption of openness when responding to federal Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. Holder tells the heads of Executive Branch departments and agencies that they "should not withhold information simply because it may do so legally." Holder rescinded former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's October 12, 2001 FOIA memo that said the Department of Justice would withhold records "unless they lack a sound legal basis or present an unwarranted risk of adverse impact on the ability of other agencies to protect other important records."

NYSBA Creates New Blogs

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NYSBA has come up with some siblings for us!!

The following blogs have been launched:

• Envirosphere—devoted to recent developments in environmental law and climate change (

• Lawyers in Transition—provides networking tips and resources for laid-off attorneys or attorneys returning to practice (

• Securities and Arbitration—focuses on recent cases and developments in securities law and their effect on law practitioners and their clients (

• NY Business Litigation—the State Bar’s Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section sponsors the examination of litigation relevant to business practices and its impact upon the law ( - Lawyer May Collect Fee Despite Billing Slip-Up

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Vesselin Mitev
New York Law Journal
March 18, 2009

A divorce attorney who failed to bill his client at statutory 60-day intervals can still collect a fee for his services, a New York state judge has ruled.

"Although an attorney's failure to provide itemized bills at least every 60 days will preclude collection of a fee for services rendered ... where there has been 'substantial compliance' with the rules, recovery of fees has been allowed," Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Mark I. Partnow held in Edelstein v. Greisman, 18848/08.


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SpinVox - Home page

SpinVox captures spoken words and feeds them into a Voice Message Conversion System, known as ‘D2’ (the Brain), and spits them out as text content.

It delivers your message to a destination of your choice-inbox, blog, wall or space.


(U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. N.Y., Mar. 12, 2009) - Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty in federal court and read this six-page allocution to Judge Denny Chin and the victims of his felonies. The former investment manager admitted: "As I engaged in my fraud, I knew what I was doing was wrong, indeed criminal. When I began the Ponzi scheme, I believed it would end shortly and I would be able to extricate myself and my clients from the scheme."

FINDLAW: Bernard Madoff's Criminal Charges Prior to Plea Agreement

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(U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. N.Y., Mar. 10, 2009) - The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed revised criminal charges against alleged Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff. The criminal information filed today accompanied confirmation by Ira Sorkin, Bernard Madoff's criminal defense lawyer, that his client would plead guilty to federal charges.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 03/09/09

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Vaden v. Discover Bank, No. 07-773
The District Court's order compelling arbitration is reversed, where a federal court may "look through" a 9 U.S.C. section 4 petition to determine whether it is predicated on a controversy that "arises under" federal law. However, a federal court may not entertain a Section 4 petition based on the contents of a counterclaim where the whole controversy between the parties does not qualify for federal-court adjudication.


Kansas v. Colorado, No. 105
In an objection to an expert witness attendance fee award, the objection is overruled, where expert witness attendance fees that are available in cases brought under the Supreme Court's original jurisdiction shall be the same as the expert witness attendance fees that would be available in a District Court under 28 U.S.C. section 1821(b).


Vermont v. Brillon, No. 08-88
The Vermont Supreme Court's reversal of Defendant's domestic violence conviction is reversed, where the Vermont Supreme Court held that delays attributable to Defendant's assigned counsel denied Defendant a speedy trial, but assigned counsel, just as retained counsel, act on behalf of their clients, and delays sought by counsel are ordinarily attributable to the defendants they represent.


Bartlett v. Strickland, No. 07-689
In an appeal from a state court order requiring a voting district to be redrawn under the Voting Rights Act (VRA), the judgment is affirmed. The plurality opinion stated that Section 2 of the VRA does not require state officials to draw election-district lines to allow a racial minority that would make up less than 50 percent of the voting-age population in the redrawn district to join with crossover voters to elect the minority's candidate of choice.

Boosting the Bottom line When the Economy Tanks: Strategies for Law Firms

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CLE Teleconference
(2.0 MCLE Credits in Practice Management)

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 | 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Register >

For many lawyers, recent years represented an era of plenty, typified by record earnings and substantial distributable income to partners. There was plenty of cash to go around and partners were satisfied with their firm’s profits and their net income. During the economic downturn beginning in 2008, however, the landscape has changed dramatically. The current climate has precipitated a slowdown in the amount of new profitable transactional business, reduced utilization of professional personnel, underutilized associates and less than profitable partners, slower payment of bills by clients, increased receivables, “overstaffing” of professional and administrative personnel, higher overhead, excess office space.

During this two-hour seminar, faculty members will describe proven short and longer-term strategies available to law firms to boost their bottom line when the economy tanks – and do so in a way that does not create problems when the eventual recovery comes around.

Register today.

Telephone Seminar (2.0 MCLE Credits in Practice Management)
Tuesday, March 31, 2009 | 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Register >

NYSBA Members - $85
Non-members - $125

Program Faculty
Joel Rose, Moderator
Peter Giuliani
Arthur Greene, Esq.

Note: Newly admitted attorneys are not eligible to receive MCLE credit for participation in teleconferences and webinars

International Family Law

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International Family Law

Jeremy D. Morley concentrates on International Family Law. The firm works with clients around the world from its New York office, with a global network of local counsel. Mr. Morley is a New York attorney and a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, whose blog is definitely worth a look.
Hat Tip to Tom Mighell at his Inter Alia blog. Visit Inter Alia at and enter your e-mail under "Get Inter Alia by E-Mail". to subscribe to Tom's updates.

CA State Supreme Court Prop 8 Gay Marriage Arguments

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Live Feed: CA State Supreme Court Prop 8 Gay Marriage Arguments

Grant helping to establish women's center at Cornell Law School

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Grant helping to establish women's center at Cornell Law School | | The Ithaca Journal

THACA - The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Cornell Law School to establish the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, which will work to improve access to justice in an effort to eliminate violence against women and girls, the law school announced this week.


Read entire article here.


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Free Law Practice Management Resources –
right at your fingertips!

PLANNING AHEAD: A GUIDE FOR SOLO PRACTITIONERS – free downloadable publication
The busy lawyer quick computer reference guide for outlook, work and powerpoint – free downloadable publication


FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 03/04/09

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Wyeth v. Levine, No. 06-1249
In a tort action based on an injury due to the medical use of Wyeth's drug Phenergan, judgment for respondent Levine is affirmed where Federal law does not preempt Levine's claim that the drug's label did not contain an adequate warning about the IV-push method of administration.

Law of the Land: Challenge to Zoning Amendment Adoption Deemed Timely

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From Prof. Patty Salkin:

In New York, the statute of limitations for challenging the adoption of an amendment to a local zoning code is six years. Since a zoning amendment is a legislative act, the proper vehicle to challenge this action is through a declaratory judgment action, not a CPLR Article 78. Therefore, the instant claim was timely having been brought within the longer six year statute of limitations.

East Suffolk Development Corp. v. Town Board of Riverhead, 2009 WL 486697 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept. 2/24/2009).

The opinion can be accessed at:
If you would like to subscribe to Prof. Salkin's "Law of the Land" blog, just click here.

NYSBA Is On Twitter

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Our own New York State Bar Association is on Twitter. If you’d like to "follow" the association, please visit

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 03/03/09

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Summers v. Earth Island Inst., No. 07-463

In an action challenging Forest Service regulations exempting certain land management activities from the agency's review process, an injunction against the regulations is reversed where Plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge the regulations absent a live dispute over a concrete application of those regulations.


Negusie v. Holder, No. 07-499
In an application for asylum, the denial of the application based on Petitioner's persecution of others is reversed, where the Board of Immigrant Appeals misapplied Fedorenko v. US, 449 U.S. 490 (1981), as mandating that whether an alien is compelled to assist in persecution is immaterial for prosecutor-bar purposes. The BIA must interpret the statute, free from this mistaken legal premise, in the first instance.

Seat Karma - Concert, Theater and Sports Tickets

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Seat Karma - Concert, Theater and Sports Tickets

Seat Karma's search engine collects real time ticket prices from hundreds of websites and displays them graphically over dynamic seating maps. To clarify, they don't sell tickets on Instead, they focus on finding you the best price and then refer you to a ticket broker to complete your purchase.

Seat Karma says:

Live event tickets are not like plane tickets; at a live event it is extremely important where you sit. A true comparison engine for live event tickets need not only analyze prices across various websites, but also compare the location of your potential seats. By combining these two capabilities we created what we believe is the most powerful search tool for entertainment tickets online.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from March 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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