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May 2009 Archives

May 1, 2009

Wyzo 3.0

Wyzo 3 - About Wyzo

Wyzo is a web browser based on Mozilla's Firefox. Some of the modifications are:

FireDownload accelerates regular http downloads up to 10x!

A Bittorrent plug-in called FireTorrent. It places the torrent downloads in the same Window as normal downloads.

Torrents with a single click!

Wyzo's user-friendly new skin

A new startpage, which lets you search a large amount of search engines.

A variety of other extensions that enhance the user's browsing experience, including CoolIris, Ctrl-tab and FireGestures

***

Download here

Available now for Windows and Mac OS X. Linux is pending..

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 04/30/09


CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE

Kansas v. Ventris, No. 07-1356
The state supreme court's reversal of defendant's burglary conviction is reversed where the state obtained a confession from a confidential informant but defendant's statement to the informant, concededly elicited in violation of the Sixth Amendment, was admissible to impeach his inconsistent testimony at trial.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

Dean v. US, No. 08-5274
Defendant's firearm conviction is affirmed where defendant claimed he unintentionally fired his gun during a robbery, but 18 U.S.C. section 924(c)(1)(A)(iii) requires no separate proof of intent, and its 10-year mandatory minimum applies if a gun is discharged in the course of a violent or drug trafficking crime, whether on purpose or by accident.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 4/30/09

COMMUNICATIONS LAW, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW

Kipper v. NYP Holdings Co., No. 54
In a defamation action concerning Defendant's statements about the revocation of Plaintiff's medical license, summary judgment for Defendant is affirmed, where there was no clear and convincing evidence that Defendant published the erroneous statement with reckless disregard for the truth.

CONSTRUCTION, CONTRACTS, INSURANCE LAW

Pioneer Towers Owners Ass'n. v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., No. 63
In an action for insurance proceeds due to damage to a building, summary judgment for Plaintiff is affirmed where the policy's exclusion for "earth movement" did not unambiguously exclude from coverage damage due to an adjacent land excavation.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

People v. Goldstein, No. 67
Defendant's reckless endangerment sentence is affirmed, where Defendant sought to withdraw his guilty plea on the ground that it did not benefit him, but the plea allowed Defendant to receive concurrent rather than consecutive sentences.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Mattocks, No. 59
Defendant's forgery conviction is affirmed, where N.Y. Penal Law article 170 applies to forgery of a subway ticket because: 1) a ticket constitutes a "written instrument"; and 2) deceiving the computer that reads the tickets amounts to "false alteration" under that statute.


EDUCATION LAW, FAMILY LAW, GOVERNMENT LAW

Fuentes v. Bd. of Educ., No. 51
In an action under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, in response to a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Court of Appeals held under New York law that the non-custodial parent of a child does not retain decision-making authority pertaining to the education of the child where: 1) the custodial parent is granted exclusive custody of the child; and 2) the divorce decree and custody order are silent as to the right to control such decisions.

May 3, 2009

What the Trend?

What The Trend? Find out WHY terms are trending on Twitter

Find out what's trending on Twitter and why. For each trend, they give you a quick explanation of WHY it's trending (these blurbs are edited by you!) You can also see the latest tweets, Flickr photos and news stories.

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Hat tip to TechCrunch.

May 5, 2009

Windows 7 RC


Windows 7 Release Candidate Customer Preview Program

Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) is available for testing. If you like trying out pre-release software, now’s your chance. You get to see what's coming, and MS gets to see if their changes and fixes from the Beta testing are working correctly.

How do you test the software? You put it on your PC, and then do what you'd normally do. Your PC will automatically and anonymously send MS engineers the information they need to verify the fixes and changes they made based on the Windows 7 Beta tests.

Not for the faint of heart, to install and use the RC, you'll need to know how to:
Troubleshoot problems. You're pretty much flying solo, so you'll need to handle your own tech support, and rely on other RC testers for their know-how

Burn an ISO file to make an installation DVD

Install Windows

Backup and restore your PC

Set up a network

Create and use a system recovery disk

If you can do all of this, you can use Windows 7 RC until July 2010 for free.

FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court -05/04/09

CIVIL PROCEDURE, CONTRACTS, CORPORATION & ENTERPRISE LAW, DISPUTE RESOLUTION & ARBITRATION, TAX LAW

Arthur Andersen LLP v. Carlisle, No. 08-146
In an appeal from a ruling dismissing an appeal of a denial of a stay pending arbitration, court of appeals' dismissal is reversed where: 1) the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) entitles any litigant asking for a Section 3 stay to an immediate appeal from that motion's denial, regardless of whether the litigant is in fact eligible for a stay; and 2) a litigant who was not a party to an arbitration agreement may invoke Section 3 if the relevant state contract law allows him to enforce the agreement.

CIVIL PROCEDURE

Carlsbad Tech., Inc. v. HIF Bio, Inc., No. 07-1437
The Court of Appeals' dismissal of petitioner's appeal for lack of subject matter jurisdiction is reversed, where a district court's order remanding a case to state court after declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over state-law claims is not a remand for lack of subject-matter jurisdiction for which appellate review is barred by 28 U.S.C. sections 1447(c) and (d).


CORPORATION & ENTERPRISE LAW, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, OIL & GAS LAW, REMEDIES, TRANSPORTATION

Burlington No. & Santa Fe R.R. Co. v. US, No. 07-1601
In a CERCLA action by the U.S. seeking recovery of the costs of cleaning up hazardous waste at a railroad facility, court of appeals' order reversing judgment for defendant is reversed, where 1) defendant was not liable as an arranger for contamination at the facility; and 2) the district court reasonably apportioned defendants' share of the remediation costs.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, IMMIGRATION LAW

Flores-Figueroa v. US, No. 08-108
Defendant's aggravated identity theft conviction is reversed where 18 U.S.C. section 1028A(a)(1) requires the government to show that a defendant knew that the means of identification at issue belonged to another person.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 05/05/09

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, CONSTRUCTION, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

Peckham v. Calogero, No. 48
In an appeal from the Department of Housing and Community Renewal's (DHCR) approval of Respondent's application to terminate Petitioner's lease and demolish its building, judgment for Respondent is affirmed, where Respondent submitted adequate evidence of its financial ability to conduct the demolition and reconstruction.


CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, ETHICS & PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY, SENTENCING

People v. Borrell, No. 61
Defendant's robbery sentence is affirmed where Defendant argued that counsel performed ineffectively by declining to raise the legality of Defendant's sentence, but Defendant failed to show the absence of strategic or other legitimate explanations for counsel's choice.



HEALTH LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW

Infante v. Dignan, No. 56
In an Article 78 action seeking a declaration that the cause of Plaintiff's decedent's death was not suicide, judgment for Defendants is affirmed where: 1) there was evidentiary support for the medical examiner's determination; and 2) the common-law presumption against suicide did not apply.


INJURY AND TORT LAW, INSURANCE LAW

Green v. William Penn Life Ins. Co., No. 55
In an action for life insurance proceeds, judgment for Defendant is affirmed where: 1) there was considerable evidence supporting Defendant's contention that Plaintiff's decedent committed suicide; and 2) the presumption against suicide did not require judgment for Plaintiff as a matter of law.

INJURY AND TORT LAW, PRODUCT LIABILITY

Passante v. Agway Csmr. Prods., Inc., No. 58
In a personal injury action based on an allegedly defective dock leveler, the Appellate Division's judgment dismissing Plaintiff's failure to warn and defective design claims is reversed, where Defendants did not refute the opinion of Plaintiff's expert that the dock leveler posed an unreasonable risk of harm to its operator.

May 6, 2009

Army Recruiting Immigrants

Only citizens or permanent residents used to be eligible to serve
in the US Army. The Los Angeles Times
http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-immigrant-recruits4-2009may04,0,5078748,full.story
reports "But starting today, 10 Los Angeles-area Army recruiting
offices will begin taking applications from some foreigners who
are here on temporary visas or who have been granted asylum. In
all, the pilot program, which was launched in New York in
February, seeks to enlist 1,000 military recruits with special
language and medical skills, most of whom will join the Army.
Those who are accepted will get an expedited path to citizenship
in return for their service."

***
Hat Tip to Immigration Daily.

Kindle DX Video Demo

***

Thanks to CrunchGear, who reports that the retail price will be $489.00. Pace University has been added as a NY campus test site.

FINDLAW: Maine Enacts Law Recognizing Same Sex Marriages


AN ACT TO END DISCRIMINATION IN CIVIL MARRIAGE AND AFFIRM RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

(Augusta, Maine, May 6, 2009) - Today Maine became the fifth state to make same sex marriages legal. State legislators passed a bill removing the ban on same sex marriages from the state's laws. Governor Baldacci signed it into law on the same day

May 8, 2009

NY State Senate Live Online

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If the Senate is not in session, you can check out videos on demand, which should be posted shortly.

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Gannett (Joseph Spector): New York Democratic legislators launch Web site

Senate Democrats launched a new Web site Thursday to help the public offer comments on state legislation, track bills and better interact with their lawmakers. The revamped site - www.nysenate.gov - includes links for some senators' Twitter and Facebook pages, and allows the public to engage in "crowdsourcing," where they can debate or comment on state proposals. For instance, the site includes a page where people can vote or comment on the various ideas to curb state property taxes. Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, D-Queens, said the site will hopefully be a model for other state legislatures. The site also will include live streaming of Senate hearings, and videos and photos from lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans.

May 9, 2009

LI Lawyer Loses Fee For Failure to Bill

New York 22 NYCRR 1400 et seq, requires matrimonial lawyers to bill their clients at least every 60 days (1400.3). The bills must be written and itemized.

A Long Island lawyer who handled a matrimonial action for a client in Suffolk County was denied the right to recover legal fees earned due to her failure to follow these rules. She didn't bill from February to June. The Court would not allow her to be paid for work performed because she failed to bill at least once every 60 days. Spend some time this week billing out your matrimonial cases.

Read the full text of Verkowitz v. Torres here.

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Hat tip to Allison Shields. Read her article on how to avoid this result.

May 11, 2009

Small Tax-Exempt Organizations Must File e-Postcards


The May 15 deadline marks the second year tax-exempt organizations with gross annual receipts of $25,000 or less are required to file Form 990-N, also known as an e-Postcard. See news release IR-2009-49 for more information.

May 12, 2009

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 5/12/09

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, GOVERNMENT BENEFITS, HEALTH LAW

Khrapunskiy v. Doar, No. 52
In an action by disabled legal resident aliens who were ineligible for SSI payments due to their non-citizenship, judgment for Plaintiffs is reversed, where Article XVII of the New York Constitution does not compel the state to assume the federal government's obligation when a disabled person becomes ineligible for SSI benefits.

CONSTRUCTION, INJURY AND TORT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW, PRODUCT LIABILITY

Misicki v. Caradonna, No. 68
In an action under N.Y. Labor Law section 241(6) for injuries Plaintiff construction worker suffered while working, summary judgment for Defendant is reversed, where Plaintiff adequately alleged that the tool his supervisor directed him to use lacked a proper handle and that Defendant had actual notice of the defect.



CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Weaver, No. 53
Defendant's burglary conviction is reversed, where the police violated Article I, Section 12 of the New York Constitution by conducting a warrantless surveillance of Defendant's vehicle for several months, because Defendant had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the whereabouts of his vehicle.

DEBT COLLECTION, PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

Gletzer v. Harris, No. 66
In an action by mortgage lenders seeking a determination of superiority of their liens, judgment for Plaintiff is affirmed, where a renewal lien secured pursuant to NY CPLR section 5014 for a second 10-year period cannot take effect nunc pro tunc on the expiration date of the original lien, cutting off the property interests of intervening mortgagees.

May 14, 2009

kindle publishing for blogs (Beta)

Kindle Publishing: Sign In

Amazon Kindle Publishing for Blogs is a self-publishing tool that lets you upload your blog for sale in the Kindle Store.
Create a free account and entire the required setup information to get started. Enter the details of your blog, preview it, and publish it.

May 15, 2009

theRADIO.com


Search and listen to your favorite artists, songs and music channels for free. Type in an artist or genre to start listening to music. History and Favorites enabled. (Link: theRADIO.com)

***
Hat tip to Emily Chang-eHUb
***

Do try the Jazz Legacy Channel!!

May 16, 2009

IDEA Non Regulatory Guidance - April 2009 memo

IDEA Non Regulatory Guidance - April 2009 memo

The United States Department of Education (USDOE) has issued non-regulatory guidance on the Part B final supplemental regulations, which implement IDEA 2004. The supplemental regulations, which went into effect December 31, 2008, clarified and strengthened Part 300 of the Code of Federal Regulations (34 CFR) in the areas of parental revocation of consent for continued special education and related services; positive efforts to employ and advance qualified individuals with disabilities; non-attorney representation in due process hearings; State monitoring and enforcement; State use of targets and reporting; public attention; and subgrants to local educational agencies (LEAs), base payment adjustments, and reallocation of LEA funds. A copy of the supplemental regulations is available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2008/pdf/E8-28175.pdf.

May 18, 2009

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court - 5/18/09

CIVIL PROCEDURE, CIVIL RIGHTS, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

Ashcroft v. Iqbal, No. 07-1015
In an action alleging that Plaintiff, who was arrested on suspicion of September-11th terrorist activity, was unconstitutionally detained, the denial of the government's motion to dismiss is reversed and remanded where the complaint failed to plead sufficient facts to state a claim for purposeful and unlawful discrimination, as it did not show that the government policy under which Plaintiff was detained was based on discriminatory factors.

LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

AT&T Corp. v. Hulteen, No. 07-543
In a Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) challenge to Defendant's pension calculation system, summary judgment for Plaintiff is reversed where an employer does not necessarily violate the PDA when it pays pension benefits calculated in part under an accrual rule, applied only pre-PDA, that gave less retirement credit for pregnancy than for medical leave generally. Because the pension payments accord with a bona fide seniority system's terms, they are insulated from challenge under Title VII section 703(h).

State Bar Complaints Filed Against "Torture Memo" Lawyers

VELVETREVOLUTION.US : The DisbarTortureLawyers Campaign

On Monday, May 18, 2009, a broad coalition of organizations (Velvet Revolution.US), filed disciplinary complaints with state bar licensing boards against John Yoo, Jay Bybee, Stephen Bradbury, Alberto Gonzales, John Ashcroft, Michael Chertoff, Alice Fisher, William Haynes II, Douglas Feith, Michael Mukasey, Timothy Flanigan, and David Addington for advocating the torture of detainees during the Bush Administration.

These detailed complaints, with over 500 pages of supporting exhibits, have been filed with the state bars in the District of Columbia, New York, California, Texas and Pennsylvania, and they seek disciplinary action and disbarment. Copies of the complaints and exhibits are available here, together with links to the released torture memos:

The Released Torture Memos

http://www.fas.org/irp/agency/doj/olc/index.html
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/torturefoia.html
http://www.propublica.org/special/missing-memos.

May 19, 2009

Animal Protection Laws of the United States & Canada, Fourth Edition

Animal Protection Laws of the United States of America & Canada - Fourth Edition is a resource for lawyers, law professors, law students, legislators, other legal professionals, and anyone who wants a comprehensive animal protection laws collection.

Download a complimentary copy of this 3,400 page compendium or purchase it on CD.

Requires free registration with the publisher, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, whose site is an excellent resource for cases of interest.

Sorry no Mac or Linux versions of the complimentary copy.

May 21, 2009

FindLaw: Terror Charges in Plot to Blow Up NYC Synagogue and Shoot Down Airplaines

USA v. Cromite, et. al.

May 26, 2009

FINDLAW: Cal. High Court Upholds Same-Sex Marriage Ban, Existing Marriages Valid

STRAUSS, ET AL. V. HORTON, ET AL.

(Cal. Supreme Ct., May 26, 2009) - California's Supreme Court upheld Proposition 8, the state's legislative ban against same-sex marriages, but also upheld previously formalized marriages between gay and lesbian couples before the ban took effect.

Click on the icon in the right hand corner for a full-screen view of the decision.

FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court -05/26/09

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

Haywood v. Drown, No. 07-10374
In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action by a prisoner, judgment for Defendant-Officers is reversed where Correction Law section 24, as applied to Section 1983 claims, violates the Supremacy Clause, because New York's policy of shielding correctional officers from liability for conduct performed in the scope of their employment is contrary to Congress's judgment that all persons who violate federal rights while acting under color of state law shall be held liable for damages.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

Abuelhawa v. US, No. 08-192
Drug distribution conviction is reversed and the case remanded, where Defendant's drug purchases from a third party over the phone constituted misdemeanors, because using a telephone to make a misdemeanor drug purchase does not "facilitate" felony drug distribution in violation of 18 U.S.C. section 843(b).



CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

Montejo v. Louisiana, No. 07-1529
Capital murder conviction is vacated, where Michigan v. Jackson, 475 U.S. 625 (1986), is overruled, because requiring an "initial invocation" of the right to counsel in order to trigger the Jackson presumption might work in states that require an indigent defendant formally to request counsel before an appointment is made, but not in more than half the states that appoint counsel without request from the defendant.

May 27, 2009

NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF ENTERTAINMENT, ARTS AND SPORTS LAW SECTION BLOG

Provides a Forum and News Source on Issues of Interest

(Albany, N.Y. – May 26, 2009) – The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section (EASL) of the New York State Bar Association announced the launch of a new blog that will act as a new informational resource on topics of interest, including the latest section programs and initiatives, as well as provide a forum for debate and discussion to anyone in the world with access to the Internet. It is available through the State Bar Web site at http://nysbar.com/blogs/EASL.

Practice Mang. & the New Rules of Prof. Conduct--6/10/09

Wednesday, June 10, 2009
- Location -
Teleconference
Find out how the new rules affect your practice

12:00- 2:00 p.m.

2.0 MCLE Credits in Ethics

Presented by the Committee on Law Practice Management and the General Practice Section

Moderator:

Professor Gary Munneke

Speakers:

Marian Rice, Esq.

Thomas Rice, Esq.

On April 1, 2009 the New Rules of Professional Conduct replaced the existing Disciplinary Rules. In addition to adoption of ABA Model Rules Format, the new rules bring changes that affect the manner in which you manage your law firm or practice on your own.

Please note that newly admitted attorneys cannot receive credit for participation in CLE teleconferences or webinars.


To view the 2009 CLE live program schedule, go to www.nysba.org/CLE


The last day to pre-register online is June 9, 2009. Register online now

Members, please login to get member discounts.

Continue reading "Practice Mang. & the New Rules of Prof. Conduct--6/10/09" »

May 30, 2009

New York court rules family court lacks jurisdiction over same-sex child support

JURIST - Paper Chase: New York court rules family court lacks jurisdiction over same-sex child support

Hat tip to:
Christian Ehret -Author of Jurist Note


[JURIST] A New York state appeals court ruled [opinion text] that a family court does not have jurisdiction over a child support claim against a same-sex partner with no legal or biological ties to the child. In an opinion released Tuesday, the court ruled that a family court of limited jurisdiction has not been specifically authorized to entertain such claims. Although the court cited precedent that recognizes a person who neither fathered nor adopted a child as a parent under an implied contract to support the child and equitable estoppel, the court pointed out that the doctrine of equitable estoppel is only applied in such cases to adjudicate a male as a father of a child and not for determining a child's mother.

RightSignature

RightSignature – Sign Documents Online

RightSignature makes it simple to get documents signed online. Create a FREE account in seconds, upload your document, and enter recipient information. RightSignature manages the entire process, providing you regular updates as each party views and signs your document.

The signup process is easy. You may use your mouse or fax a sample signature. You may confirm your identity with a web cam photo.

Each document (submitted in pdf or Word) receives its own encrypted id number.

I can see this service making real estate and other transactions move right along. IN fact, I'm recommending it to my local r.e. broker.

Premium plans are available for volume use; but the free plan seems adequate for a solo or small firm. YMMV.

May 31, 2009

iPhone J.D.

iPhone J.D.

iPhone J.D. is a site for lawyers using iPhones published by Jeff Richardson, an attorney in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Richardson does a good job of filtering news on the iPhone for lawyers, who use one or more of these iconic devices.

WhoPaste 1.1

Instant Contacts for Mac OS X Address Book, Google Contacts, or Entourage

Contacts Made Even Easier direct from text or spreadsheet to Mac OS X Address Book, Google Contacts, or Microsoft Entourage - in one keystroke*

I've been using this application to select, copy, and WhoPaste addresses into my mac Address Book. It works very well. I had a bit of trouble installing the program, which resides in your menu bar; but the customer and tech service was excellent. Steve wouldn't rest until we got it installed and he sent along a free license for my trouble.

Use this application with a Dymo label printer to make addressing anything on your Mac a breeze.

$10.00 for a license is well worth it. Sorry, Macs only.

About May 2009

This page contains all entries posted to General Practice Section in May 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2009 is the previous archive.

June 2009 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.