June 2010 Archives

Google Voice

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Google Voice now available in the U.S.

A little over a year ago, Google Voice was introduced as an invitation-
only service. Now anyone in the U.S. can sign up to get one number to
ring all their phones, voicemail that works like email, free calls and
texting within the U.S. and Canada, and more.


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Toodledo : A to-do list to organize your tasks

Having a single place where all your to-dos are permanently stored and easily accessible will allow you to relax, knowing that you won't forget anything. Toodledo's hotlist, email and sms reminders, and sortable online to-do list will help you remember to complete tasks on-time.

For those of us who are procrastinators, Toodledo has a special tool that analyzes dates, priorities, time estimates, and other characteristics to create a customized schedule of the best use of your time.

Always have your todo list at hand. You can get Toodledo on your mobile phone, in your email, on your calendar, in your RSS reader, via IM, and integrated directly into your web browser. You can even print up a special foldable booklet that will fit in your pocket.

Easily work with other people on shared projects with Toodledo's collaboration tools. A permission system allows you to set exactly who has the ability to read, add and edit your tasks.

The Government Domain: New & Free Regulations Trackers

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The Government Domain: New & Free Regulations Trackers | LLRX.com

The independent web developers of this 2.0 world have done a great job in making federal legislative information available in new ways; see GovTrack.us and OpenCongress.org for examples. The same is happening with federal regulatory information. New, free, nongovernment resources have come online to complement the official U.S. government regulatory information sites, RegInfo.gov and Regulations.gov. For this bounty, we can thank innovative developers and the relatively new availability of a free XML version of the Federal Register that can be downloaded in bulk. The Federal Register has long been available for searching and viewing for free, but subscribing to the data in bulk--necessary for meaningful repurposing--carried a cost that discouraged entrepreneurial individuals. In the meantime, both RegInfo.gov and Regulations.gov have been redesigned and continue to provide content and functionality not available on the other free sites mentioned in this article.

From our old friends at LLRX. Read the entire article by Peggy Garvin.

Thanks to Tom Mighell for this link. Its good to see his Inter Alia newsletter is back from hiatus.

Steven C. Krane Service

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The service for former President, Steven C. Krane will be at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, June 28, 2010 at:

Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home
1076 Madison Avenue (between 81st & 82nd Streets)
New York, NY

An online guest book is available

Justice with Michael Sandel

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Justice with Michael Sandel - Home

Justice is one of the most popular courses in Harvard’s history. Now it’s your turn to take the same journey in moral reflection that has captivated more than 14,000 students, as Harvard opens its classroom to the world.

In this twelve part series, Sandel challenges us with difficult moral dilemmas and asks our opinion about the right thing to do. He then asks us to examine our answers in the light of new scenarios. The results are often surprising, revealing that important moral questions are never black and white.
This course also addresses the hot topics of our day—affirmative action, same-sex marriage, patriotism and rights—and Sandel shows us that we can revisit familiar controversies with a fresh perspective.

Watch all twelve episodes here.

Religion Clause
The U.S. Supreme Court today by an 8-1 vote rejected a facial challenge to Washington state's Public Records Act, but left open the possibility that a pending as-applied challenge could succeed. At issue in Doe v. Reed, (S. Ct., June 24, 2010), are objections to the release of the names of signers of a petition seeking a referendum to overturn Washington's expansion of the rights of domestic partners. The Court concluded that the state's interest in protecting the integrity of the electoral process is strong enough to justify the public release of most referendum petitions. But here plaintiffs claim that the objective of those seeking release is to post the names of signers on the Internet and urge backers of the domestic partnership bill to contact and harass them. Courts may prohibit disclosure if the signers can show a reasonable probability they will face harassment, threats or reprisals from either government officials or private parties.

While there was broad agreement on the result, the case produced six separate opinions, including a dissent by Justice Thomas who argued that the facial challenge should succeed because there are always less restrictive means for the state to use to preserve the integrity of the referendum process. Various concurring opinions differed on the strength of the remaining as-applied challenge in the case.

From Religion Clause by Howard M. Friedman, Professor of Law Emeritus, University of Toledo

Stephen C. Krane--RIP

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Stephen C. Krane, Proskauer Rose General Counsel, Dies

Steven C. Krane, the general counsel of Proskauer Rose and a former state bar president who was instrumental in a wide-ranging reformulation of the state's attorney ethics rules, died of a heart attack Tuesday. He was 53.

Read full article.

NYS Sales Tax Issues

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The NY State Tax Audit staff have adopted an aggressive posture which, while focused on the restaurant business, really has significant red flags for real estate attorneys dealing with a variety of retailers, including restaurants, because of the Bulk Sales Tax Act provision for transferee liability.

As set forth in an alarming article from the Buffalo News, the requirement that a business have duplicate copies of all customer invoices for 3 years is one which trips up all sorts of businesses.

Contributed by:

Harry G. Meyer
tel. 716.848.1417
facsimile. 716.819.4632

The Guaranty Building
140 Pearl Street, Suite 100
Buffalo, New York 14202-4040

From Empire Justice Center:


The Situation:


All the state funding that has been the budget for general civil legal services has been eliminated, including the Governor's own $1 million commitment - a total of $13.2 million.

New York's Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA) Fund is poised to cut grants by at least 70% percent because of abysmally low interest earnings - grants to providers would go from $25 million statewide to an estimated $6.5 million.

At the very same time, increasing numbers of New Yorkers are in need of civil legal services as their homes go into foreclosure, they lose their jobs are denied Unemployment Insurance or Public Assistance, they face eviction or seek an order of protection from an abuser and can't afford to hire a lawyer to help them.

We need your help to preserve these critical services! Please take a moment to click here to send an email to your legislators asking them to make access to justice a top priority!

Apple Safari 5

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The latest iteration of the Safari browser takes several bold steps by offering a streamlined approach to RSS feeds, along with offering new ways to look at paginated stories and galleries. Also, Safari now comes with local searches enabled from the location bar, so queries will be linked to users' history and bookmarks. This version is compatible with computers running Windows XP and newer or Mac OS X 10.5 and newer.

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010. http://scout.wisc.edu/

NYS Court of Appeals: Estate of Saul Schneider v. Finmann

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<i>Estate of Saul Schneider v. Finmann</i>

At issue in this appeal is whether an attorney may be held liable for damages resulting from negligent representation in estate tax planning that causes enhanced estate tax liability. We hold that a personal representative of an estate may maintain a legal malpractice claim for such pecuniary losses to the estate.

Read Full Text of Decision

FCBA CLE and Admissions Ceremony

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CLE Program, Attorney Admissions Ceremony & Luncheon on 6/24/10

9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CLE Program
11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Admissions Ceremony
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Luncheon

These events are free to members of the NDNY-FCBA and/or Cayuga County
Bar Association. The cost is $50 to non-members. To become a member of the
NDNY-FCBA, please visit www.ndnyfcba.org.

Topic: Ethics Update: The New Rules One Year Later
Advertising: Alexander v. Cahill - Problems Arising Under
The New Rules; Judicial Perspectives on Ethical Issues
(2.0 CLE Credit Hrs. Ethics & Professionalism)

Judicial Panel of Federal and State Judges including
Chief Judge Norman A. Mordue and Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr.
Moderator: Patrick M. Connors, Esq.

Admissions Ceremony & Complimentary Luncheon to follow.

Springside Inn, 6141 West Lake Rd., Auburn, New York 13021.
Co-sponsored with the Cayuga County Bar Association.
Admissions Applications by 6/17/10 (Tracy Donovan at tdonovan@nynd.uscourts.gov).
CLE & Luncheon Registration by 6/21/10 (NDNY-FCBA at info@ndnyfcba.org).

NY Court of Appeals: Real Property Tax Law section 480-a

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In re: Gordon, No. 108 (full text from Findlaw)

In tax review proceedings against the Town of Esopus, its Assessor, and its Board of Assessment Review to challenge the taxable assessed value of petitioners' land on the assessment rolls for the years 2002 through 2005, the appellate division's denial of the petition is reversed where forest land certified as such by the Department of Environmental Conservation under Real Property Tax Law section 480-a is used, for real property tax assessment purposes, as forest land and must be assessed based on that use.

The Law.Gov Movement

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The Law.Gov Movement

The "Law.Gov" movement is a campaign to put all primary legal materials in the public domain. Some call it "democratizing" law. Attorney and co-host, Bob Ambrogi welcomes Carl Malamud, founder of Public.Resource.org and Tom Bruce, the Director of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School, to share with us the latest on Law.Gov. Carl and Tom explore the Law.Gov movement, the benefit of public access to legal materials and who opposes the idea as well as the various workshops across the states.

Download MP3

Supreme Court Insider e-Newsletter (free)

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Exclusive insight and independent analysis from veteran Supreme Court reporters Tony Mauro and Marcia Coyle delivered straight to your desk or smartphone.

Sign up for the new Supreme Court Insider e-newsletter for exclusive high court coverage featuring:

News from the appellate circuits before issues
hit the high court
In-depth interviews, including exclusive video,
with the nation’s leading appellate litigators
Win/loss statistics for lawyers and briefs of the week
All the latest on the Supreme Court nomination
Weekly insight every Wednesday

Apple releases new, redesigned Mac Mini

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Apple releases new, redesigned Mac Mini

Despite its obituary being written numerous times in its five-year lifetime, Apple has shown it thinks there’s still some life left in its small form factor desktop by unveiling a completely redesigned Mac mini.

Apple has updated its small form factor Mac mini desktop PC adding a HDMI and SD card slot and improved graphics performance.

Read complete specs and review at gizmag.

Legality of Detention 'Irrelevant' To Commitment of Sex Offenders

"No doubt it is often reasonable to read 'custody' as implying 'lawful custody,'" Judge Robert S. Smith wrote for the majority in the Court's single ruling in People &c. ex rel. Joseph II v. Superintendent of Southport Correctional Facility, 95, and Matter of State of New York v. Humberto G., 96. "Here, however, the statute is best read as making no distinction between those properly and improperly confined."


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The Nominating Committee invites members of the Association to submit recommendations for consideration in developing its slate of nominees for 2011-2012 Association offices.

As part of the selection process, candidates for the offices of President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee may be required to appear before the Nominating Committee at its meeting in New York City on Tuesday, September 21 or the November 5th meeting in Albany.

Offices for nomination:

The Nominating Committee is accepting candidates for:
(a) President-Elect
(b) Secretary
(c) Treasurer
(d) Vice-President
One per judicial district (except the First Judicial District which has two Vice-Presidents).
(e) Elected Delegates - Three for each judicial district
(f) Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee - Four (at least one of whom is selected to further ethnic and racial diversity in the Association and must come from a judicial district other than the First Judicial District, since there is currently a member-at-large selected to further diversity from that district).
(g) Delegates to the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates - Five.
(h) As specified in the Bylaws, the three most recent former Presidents will fill the Member-at-Large positions on the Nominating Committee.
Special eligibility criteria for candidates:
A candidate for Vice-President or President-Elect must have served as a member of the House of Delegates, but need not be a member of the House at the time of nomination for office. Candidates for Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee must be current members of the House or section chairpersons, or have served in either capacity within three years of the time of selection.

Nature of service:
As provided under the Association Bylaws, the President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, thirteen Vice-Presidents, and eight Members-at-Large serve on the Executive Committee and in the House of Delegates, which manage the business and activities of the Association and generally meet quarterly; they also serve as liaisons to Association committees and sections.

The President-Elect chairs the House, assists the President, and becomes President on June 1 the following year. The Treasurer serves as an ex-officio member (as does the President-Elect) of the Finance Committee, which oversees the financial affairs of the Association and meets approximately four times per year. The Treasurer presents the Association financial report at each House meeting. The Vice-Presidents assist in fostering communication with Association members in their districts concerning issues and activities of interest to the profession.

Elected Delegates are members of the NYSBA House of Delegates. The Delegates to the ABA House attend its semi-annual meetings and at that time present positions on issues coming before that house. These Delegates also keep NYSBA apprised of ABA House actions.

The Nominating Committee, which generally meets two times per year, prepares the slate of nominees for the Association offices noted above.

Timetable for submitting recommendations:
Members seeking office may place their name before the Nominating Committee by self-declaration or nomination. Candidates for President-Elect must be submitted to the Secretary no later than September 1, 2010. Persons serving as President and President-Elect receive a stipend of $50,000 and $25,000, respectively. Candidates seeking all other offices are strongly encouraged to file a declaration of candidacy and submit all background materials by September 1, 2010 to ensure adequate time for review by the Nominating Committee.

In making nominations, everyone is encouraged to keep in mind the diversity policy for the Association adopted by the House of Delegates in November 2003, which emphasizes the commitment to achieving diversity in the "membership, officers, staff, House of Delegates, Executive Committee, Sections and Committees and their respective leaders. Diversity is an inclusive concept, encompassing gender, race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age and disability." Submissions must include biographical information about the candidate, including his/her Association activities. Candidates may submit a maximum of five letters in support of their nomination. Letters of support should be received prior to the deadlines stated previously. Please direct this information to:

Kathryn Grant Madigan
Chair, Nominating Committee
New York State Bar Association
One Elk Street
Albany, NY 12207
E-mail: NominatingChair@nysba.org
Fax: (518) 487-5564

Legal Information Institute (LII): USSC Decisions Today

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The Supreme Court released a bunch of opinions again Monday (6/14). Read them all here: Dolan v. US, Holland v. Fl., Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder, and Astrue v. Ratliff.

From LII:

Since we're in the midst of a fundraiser, please donate to support our free services like the LII Sup. Crt. Collection and LIIBulletin: http://law.cornell.edu/donors

NYSBA Committee on Animals and the Law

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The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Committee on Animals and the Law (CAL) (formerly known as the Special Committee on Animals and the Law) is a diverse, compassionate, dedicated and professional group committed to making a difference for animals and people. Since its inception in 2002, the Committee has tirelessly worked to elevate Animal Law and thereby help animals and people through constructive and innovative means. This report, Making a Difference for Animals and People, reflects a modest attempt to document the Committee's efforts and the meaningful improvements those actions have contributed towards.

Check out their blog.

American Lawyer in Japan

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American lawyer in Japan on family businesses, wealth and estates | Norman Solberg

Norman Solberg is an American lawyer licensed in Japan who works with family businesses, wealth and estates. He concentrates on family office matters for both foreigners and Japanese nationals, including projects for individuals such as wills, trusts, estates, asset shelters, succession planning and investments, and those for their businesses.

His blog makes for interesting reading.


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feedly: a magazine-like start page

feedly organizes your favorite sites into a fun, magazine-like start page based on Google Reader and Twitter.

The web site automatically recognizes your browser, post instructions for installation, and provides a link for downloading. this is an excellent resource for legal bloggers.

Sui Generis: Why You Need an RSS Feed Reader

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Sui Generis--a New York law blog: Why You Need an RSS Feed Reader

Nicole Black:

Whenever my colleagues approach me for advice about setting up a blog, the first thing I do is ask them which RSS feed readers they use?

Most of the time I’m met with a blank look, which never ceases to amaze me given how long feed readers have been around.

Using an RSS feed reader is such an important step to take, and since I continue to be met with puzzled expressions whenever I broach the subject, I figured it Is high time I explained the concept more fully.

An RSS feed is a summary of website content that can be found on most news websites and blogs. An RSS feed reader is a web-based application that allows you to subscribe to the RSS feed of various websites, then aggregates the multiple feeds, allowing you to read them at a single location.


AbiWord 2.8.5

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AbiWord is a nice alternative for those individuals looking for a word processor application that is entirely free. Several of the most notable features include a built in web service which allows users to share documents and an annotation feature that is fully integrated. The support for the application is quite good, and there's an extensive user manual and FAQ on the website. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 2000, XP, and Vista as well as Linux. [KMG]

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010. http://scout.wisc.edu/

New look to web interface for NYSBA Listservs

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NYSBA just activated the new "eForums" application on the NYSBA web site, which provides a cleaner look and tighter integration among their lyris listserves, web site and database. Log into www.nysba.org and then click the Forums/Listserves link in the left index to see the new interface.

Members who opt out of receiving listserve emails, or those without an email address can participate in their Section and Committee listserves through this interface.

They have also simplified the Opt Out message that appears at the bottom of each liserve post, so those who do not wish to receive emails will be set to a "no mail" status, rather than being unsubscribed. This preserves their ability to participate in their liserves via the web interface.

Lastly, there is a self-service option for managing the email address and message delivery options for each listserve a member belongs to, which can be accessed by clicking the "my account" link at the top right of the new page. Here a member can update his/her email address on all lists, or on a list by list basis. They can also select their preferred deliver method (i.e. mail, nomail or index)

Keep in mind that these forum posts are searchable. This means that you can find posts on your specific issue. The search feature is also handy for finding forms which have been posted and exchanged for free on the listserv; e.g., I have searched and downloaded 162 forms to date on the GP Section listserv.

New York LLC Operating Agreements: Funding the Company (read full article)


Another important part of an LLC Operating Agreement deals with the “capital” that comes into the Company and with the corresponding percentage ownership rights of the individuals or entities providing such capital. Capital typically comes in upon formation of the Company (initial capital contributions by the members) or over the course of the life of the Company (additional capital contributions by the members). Finally, members can decide to provide loans to the Company. Loans aren't considered capital, but I mention it here, because it is another way to transfer additional funds into the Company. Initial Capital Contributions In the most...(read more)

USSC: Conservative Majority Limits Miranda

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Berghuis v. Thompkins, No. 08-1470

In a murder prosecution, the Sixth Circuit's reversal of the district court's denial of petitioner's habeas petition is reversed where the state court's decision rejecting petitioner's Miranda claim was correct under de novo review and therefore necessarily reasonable under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act's more deferential standard of review because petitioner's silence during his interrogation did not invoke his right to remain silent.

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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