September 2010 Archives

Gmail Priority Inbox

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Priority Inbox helps you get through your email faster by putting
important messages at the top of your inbox. Gmail uses a variety of
signals to automatically identify what’s important, including which
messages you open and which you reply to. Incoming messages get
separated into three customizable sections: “Important and unread,”
“Starred,” and “Everything else.” To try it out, click the Settings
link in the upper right-hand corner of your Gmail account and visit
the Priority Inbox tab.

NYTIMES-POGUE: Turn an iPod into an iPhone

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Do you want the ability to make calls indoors and in other corners of the world where the AT&T signal doesn't reach, unlimited texting and $30 or $40 a month off your AT&T bill? Check out Dave Pogue's article on line2, an app which can do all of that and more.

The price has gone done from $15.00 per month to $9.99 per month and line 2 no longer has to be running on top all of the time.

Bloomberg: JPMorgan Based Foreclosures on Faulty Documents, Lawyers Claim

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JPMorgan Based Foreclosures on Faulty Documents, Lawyers Claim - Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co. faces a legal challenge next month that could cast doubt on thousands of foreclosures after a mortgage executive at the bank said she didn’t verify documents used to justify home seizures.

Read her entire deposition here.

CNET: Textfree Unlimited for iPhone 3.3

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Textfree Unlimited for iPhone - Free iPhone software downloads and software reviews - CNET

Textfree Unlimited is an iPhone application that allows you to send and receive text messages.Textfree Unlimited lets you send texts for free to US mobile numbers.No charge for replies that come back through Textfree either.Textfree Unlimited does away with the ads and daily message limits.Pinger reserves the right to limit the number of messages sent to ensure no spam is sent using Textfree. Textfree Unlimited messages also get priority for faster delivery.

CNET Editor's Note: The "Download Now" link directs you to the iTunes App Store, where you must continue the download process. You must have iTunes installed in order to open the link, and you must have an active iTunes account to download the application. This download may not be available in some countries.

Civil Case Reports Newly Available Online

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News Item > Civil Case Reports Newly Available Online

Reports showing, by U.S. district and magistrate judge, various pieces of federal court business pending more than six months are now available online.

In the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990, Congress required that such reports be prepared and submitted twice a year. The reporting requirements are designed to help reduce costs and delays in civil litigation in the district courts. The information also may be used to evaluate demands on the district courts’ resources.

Included in the reports are all motions pending more than six months, all bench trials submitted for decision more than six months, bankruptcy appeals pending more than six months, Social Security appeal cases pending more than six months, and civil cases pending more than three years.

Growl for Mac

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Growl is a universal notification utility that Mac programs can use (such as Dropbox, Transmission, Skype, NetNewsWire, etc.). It's a handy utility that gathers notifications from several applications in one place, so that each app doesn't have to develop it's own set of notifications.

Main page for Growl:

Dropbox is one application that utilizes Growl. For example, if I save a file on my MBP to my Dropbox folder, I will see a Growl notification on my iMac when the file is downloaded and synched on that machine.

I also use it with NetNewsWire so that it tells me when all feeds have been synchronized.

Growl installs as a Pref Pane so you can turn it off universally from System Prefs if you don't want it. The same Pref Pane also allows you to customize settings for each app. You can also go into your Dropbox Preferences and un-select the option to have Dropbox use Growl.

Here's a little more info on how Growl works with Dropbox and other apps:

Brett Burney

Canine Detection Evidence

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Canine Detection Evidence |

By Ken Strutin, Published on September 25, 2010

For nearly 15,000 years dogs have lived with and served humankind as companions, hunters, shepherds and most recently detectives. The average canine possesses hundreds of millions of receptors for odors, compared with a few million for humans. Their outstanding sensory endowment, olfaction, makes dogs sought after by law enforcement. And in the last century, the cultivation and harnessing of this ultrasensitive faculty has become a part of many facets of criminal investigation.

Detection or sniffer dogs are used to ferret out illicit and dangerous substances, such as accelerants, explosives, illegal drugs, environmental hazards and other contraband. While these service dogs' abilities are highly touted, the use of an animal's olfactory sense in ascertaining the cause of a fire or locating drugs raises Fourth Amendment , evidentiary and due process issues.

This article surveys select studies, standards and resources about canine scent detection evidence.

Prof. Salkin: DOJ Issues Statement on Land Use Aspects of RLUIPA

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DOJ Issues Statement on Land Use Aspects of RLUIPA ォ LAW OF THE LAND

The Department of Justice today issued a policy statement on the land-use provisions of RLUIPA, with questions and answers, to provide information to individuals, religious assemblies and institutions, and local government officials about the requirements of the law. This Statement of the Department of Justice on the Land-Use Provisions of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) is available at:

DOJ's blog today features an entry on RLUIPA, see: 


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New, New NY Power of Attorney (POA) Survey

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Here's your chance to give your opinion on the new, new POA form:

A new law regarding Power of Attorney became effective on September 1, 2009, with substantive technical amendments that took effect on September 12, 2010.

NYSBA, with the support of the Elder Law Section, is interested in examining what problems lawyers in NYS have encountered with the new POA law/form, including drafting the proper form tailored to the client's needs, problems encountered with the execution requirements and our collective experience in reviewing forms that have been drafted by other attorneys.

NYSBA would also like to determine if the new Agent's Acknowledgment and/or Gifts Rider achieve the goal of deterring financial abuse, and to what extent New York lawyers have encountered barriers with third party acceptance of pre and post 9/09 POAs.

NYSBA has developed a short survey that will collect your important thoughts and experiences. It is anticipated that NYSBA will take a position with regard to the new POA law/form and will present its position and the findings of the survey to the NYS legislature. Your response to this survey is very important and will assist NYSBA and the Elder Law Section to prepare an empirically based and compelling analysis of the law and its impact on the state’s legal profession. Please complete your survey no later than Friday, October 8, 2010. Thank you for your help and prompt response.

Use this link to access the short survey:

PLI SmartBrief: Legal error might halt foreclosures by hundreds of U.S. lenders

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An abrupt halt to home foreclosures by Ally Financial in 23 states might spread to hundreds of other mortgage companies across the U.S. that used the firm to process their paperwork. The head of foreclosures at Ally, the nation's fourth-largest mortgage lender, said he certified the legality of foreclosure documents without reading them. Mortgage investors that used Ally to service their loans include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Ally officials said. The Washington Post (9/22) , Bloomberg (9/21)

JURIST: New York governor signs law allowing unmarried partners to adopt

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JURIST - Paper Chase: New York governor signs law allowing unmarried partners to adopt

Jay Carmella at 11:18 AM ET

[JURIST] New York Governor David Paterson (D) signed a bill on Sunday allowing unmarried partners, including gay couples, to jointly adopt a child. The law [A 05652 materials] amends the language of Section 110 [text] of New York's domestic relations law to allow two unmarried adult intimate partners to adopt a child. The New York Assembly passed the bill in July, after finding that the amended language keeps with the state's policy to ensure the best interests of the child. The new law also removes the phrase "husband and wife" and replaces it with "married couple." This is because, while same-sex marriage is illegal in the state, New York recognizes [NY1 News> report] same-sex marriages from other states. The amended language is as follows:

An adult unmarried person, an adult married couple together, or any two unmarried adult intimate partners together may adopt another person...An adult or minor married couple together may adopt a child of either of them born in or out of wedlock and an adult or minor spouse may adopt such a child of the other spouse.

Future of Screen Technology

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Thanks to:
Randy B. Singer
Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)

Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance

Scribus Open Source Desktop Publishing

| No Comments | Scribus Open Source Desktop Publishing

Scribus is an Open Source program that brings award-winning professional page layout to Linux/UNIX, MacOSX, OS/2 Warp 4/eComStation and Windows desktops with a combination of "press-ready" output and new approaches to page layout.

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

Why would you want to use Scribus? Scribus is powerful software that helps you create great looking documents of all kinds. It also comes with a lot of support options to help you achieve the best result. There is an enthusiastic and friendly community around Scribus that assists beginner and pro alike through their mailing list, IRC channel, wiki, contracted support, and the bugtracker.

BOb Ambrogi: A Handy App for Bankruptcy Lawyers

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A Handy App for Bankruptcy Lawyers · Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

A recently released iPhone and iPad app designed for bankruptcy lawyers, Bankruptcy II, describes itself as a “complete reference for the working bankruptcy attorney.” It is an overstatement to call it complete, because it does not have cases. Aside from that, however, it has pretty much everything else a bankruptcy lawyer could ask for — the full U.S. bankruptcy code, full U.S. bankruptcy rules, local rules for almost every bankruptcy court in the United States, and contact information for all bankruptcy courts, appellate courts and trustees — all within an integrated and easy to use application.

The most impressive feature of this app is that it not only provides all this content, but that it makes it searchable, cross-indexed and hyperlinked.

It is higher priced than most apps at $29.99; but it does have the advantage of integrating code and regs, with links.

Google Chrome 6.0.472.59

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Google's well-known web browser Chrome has received a number of significant upgrades over the past two years, and this latest version is worth a look. This version provides a stable upgrade from the beta version and features an auto-update feature and automatic translation of web pages. Also, the "Under the Hood" tab features a number of new privacy settings, and built-in plug-ins for Adobe Flash and the Chrome pdf reader. This version is compatible with computers running Mac OS X 10.5, Windows XP and newer, and Linux.

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2010.

NYLJ: Title Abstracts and Public Documents Now Taxable

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Title Abstracts and Public Documents Now Taxable

Joseph Lipari and Debra Silverman Herman
New York Law Journal September 17, 2010

The TSBM explains that to better reflect controlling judicial case law, the tax department is reversing its prior correspondence that indicated that sales of abstracts of title (condensed history of title to a particular piece of real estate) were not subject to sales tax. Therefore, on or after Sept. 1, 2010, sales of an abstract of title to either a prospective purchaser of real property or to an attorney who uses the abstract in connection with an opinion of title are taxable information services.

Notably, the TSBM concluded that a title search conducted by an attorney is exempt as the provision of legal services. While abstracts of title do reflect raw data, and therefore represent the type of information the sales tax law intended to be taxed as an information service, they are often used to prepare policies of title insurance. Difficult issues arise when the sale of the abstract is in connection with the sale of title insurance, since insurance is not subject to sales tax.

Read entire article (free registration required)

Download pdf of TSB-M-10(7)S

Here, the comments this court made, in front of the jury, and particularly the clear statement that counsel was behaving like a "clown" are simply inexcusable and require a new trial before a different judge.

People v. Leggett, 2869 3401/07 (full text-requires free registration)

CNET: Cell phones to avoid

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Cell phones to avoid

Kent German
August 16, 2010 (updated on: September 13, 2010)

We spend a lot of time talking about our favorite cell phones, but it's equally important that we tell you which handsets you should avoid. Though the following phones aren't completely abysmal, there are better options.

See CNET comparison charts with videos of these cell phones to avoid.

Lawyers in Transition: Public Interest Practice Webcast

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On September 23rd, from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., the NYSBA’s Committee on Lawyers in Transition will be offering a career development webcast on public interest practice. For free registration or to learn more, go to


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Don't Forget the Sept. 30 Deadline for Eligible Homebuyer Credit Purchases

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Eligible taxpayers who contracted to buy a home, qualifying for the first-time homebuyer credit, before the end of April have until Sept. 30, 2010, to close the deal. See IRS news release IR-2010-80 from July 2 for more.

Judge overturns 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' ban on gays as unconstitutional

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Judge overturns 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' ban on gays as unconstitutional | Richard Adams | World news |

California judge declares 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy banning gays from serving in the US military to be unconstitutional.

Read the full text of this decision here.

NYTIMES:Court Sides With C.I.A. on 'Extraordinary Rendition'

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Court Sides With C.I.A. on 'Extraordinary Rendition' -

A sharply divided 9th Circuit federal appeals court on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit involving the Central Intelligence Agency’s practice of seizing terrorism suspects and transferring them to other countries for imprisonment and interrogation.

By a six-to-five vote, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, reversing an earlier decision, dismissed a lawsuit against Jeppesen Dataplan Inc., a Boeing subsidiary accused of arranging flights for the C.I.A.’s “extraordinary rendition” program, as it is known.

Read the full text of the decision in Mohamed v. Jeppesen Dataplan here.

JURIST - Paper Chase: Federal appeals court allows habeas challenge to deportation despite REAL ID Act

The US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued a decision [text, PDF] Friday allowing two people to file habeas corpus petitions against removal orders from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) despite provisions of the REAL ID Act (RIDA) [text, PDF; JURIST news archive] removing jurisdiction from federal courts to hear such claims when they are late.

AirDropper (Beta)

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AirDropper - Request a file from anyone.

AirDropper lets Dropbox users send a request for files to anyone, even if the person doesn't have a Dropbox account. The person you're requesting the files from just needs an email address or some other means for you to send them the secure upload link we provide.

First you connect AirDropper to your Dropbox account. Then you fill out our request form with a description of the files you want and how you want to send the request, whether by email or by using a secure upload link. Once the person you're requesting the files from visits AirDropper's secure page and uploads the files, AirDropper immediately put the files in a subfolder called "AirDropper" within your Dropbox.

AirDropper uses industry standard SSL encryption at each stage of a request, both while you're making a request and while the file travels from the sender's computer to your Dropbox. They do not store any files sent through AirDropper.

When you connect AirDropper to your Dropbox account, Dropbox automatically creates an AirDropper subfolder in your Dropbox. They do not get access to your entire Dropbox account, just the AirDropper folder. You can disconnect AirDropper from your Dropbox account at any time by visiting

FINDLAW: DOJ Sues Maricopa County and Sheriff Joe Arpaio

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By Caleb Groos on September 3, 2010 11:38 AM

The Department of Justice filed a complaint yesterday against Arizona's Maricopa County and its famed Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The Complaint alleges that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office has refused to provide information or cooperate in the DOJ's investigation of alleged racial profiling by police in Maricopa County -- specifically, alleged discrimination based on perceived country of origin. As alleged in the complaint, the sheriff's office is obligated to provide information and comply with the DOJ's investigation as a condition of federal funding it receives.

USA v Maricopa County, Joe Arpaio Complaint

NYSED: Student Registration Guidance

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Legal Clips » New York state'€™s education department recommends local school districts do not ask for information related to enrolling students'€™ immigration status

NYDE issued a memo in which it explained that a 1982 Supreme Court decision had recognized the right of all children, regardless of immigration status, to attend public school as long as they met the age and residency requirements established by state law. The memo states: "Accordingly, at the time of registration schools should avoid asking questions related to immigration status or that may reveal a child’s immigration status, such as asking for a Social Security number.

For Full Text of the memo click here.


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People v. Jose Garcia, 4050-06

Adhering to the strict requirements of Padilla, Supreme Court, Kings County, Part 33 holds that where, as here, defendant is found in fact to have been misled by bad advice from a so-called retained specialist and by a lack of advice from his defense attorney, the Court's general warning will not automatically cure counsel's failure nor erase the consequent prejudice.Under both the federal two-prong Strickland standard and the New York rule of meaningful representation, defendant has succeeded in establishing his ineffective assistance of counsel claim.

Read full text of decision. (Requires free registration)

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