May 2011 Archives

Empire Justice Center: New York State's "Exemptions" are Increased

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New York State's "Exemptions" are Increased 
May 26, 2011

As one of his final acts in office, on December 22, 2010, Governor David Paterson signed a significant law regarding exemptions for personal and real property, Chapter 568 of the Laws of New York 2010.  The law amends and adds certain exemptions relating to the satisfaction of money judgments under Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) § 5205(a) for exemption of personal property, and under CPLR § 5206 for the exemption of real property.  The law also amends N.Y. Debtor and Creditor Law (DCD.) §§ 282(1), 283, and adds § 285 specifically regarding exemptions for debtors in bankruptcy.  The amendments update and modernize several exemptions, some of which had not been altered for decades.

Read entire article and get details of new exemptions here.

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Teaching With Documents-National Archives

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Teaching With Documents:
Lesson Plans

This section contains reproducible copies of primary documents from the holdings of the National Archives of the United States, teaching activities correlated to the National History Standards andNational Standards for Civics and Government, and cross-curricular connections.

Teaching with primary documents encourages a varied learning environment for teachers and students alike. Lectures, demonstrations, analysis of documents, independent research, and group work become a gateway for research with historical records in ways that sharpen students' skills and enthusiasm for history, social studies, and the humanities.

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FlyDeltaFly Delta is the iPhone app created by Delta Air Lines to get you the basic information that you need during your flight.  This is a great app that has come in handy every time that I fly on Delta.

The first option on the main menu of the app is the most useful option, the option to get information about your trips including your current trip.  There is a direct link to get your boarding pass.  A few months ago, I described how you can use your iPhone as a boarding pass by having an airline send you an e-mail with a link to a webpage containing an electronic boarding pass.  It is every more handy to use the Fly Delta app because you don't have to find that old e-mail containing your boarding pass.  Note that electronic boarding passes cannot be used at every airport yet.  For a list of the 60+ airports that currently support Delta mobile boarding passes, look on this page.  It includes all of the Delta hubs and lots of other airports.  It is nice to not have to worry about a paper boarding pass, especially when you are away from home and don't have easy access to a printer.  You can just launch the app when you are standing in the TSA security line and access your boarding pass in a few seconds, and then do the same thing when it is time to board the plane.

IMG_1186   IMG_1179

Read entire article and subscribe to iPhone J.D. here.

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They're showing up everywhere: at bus stops, on posters, in the pages of magazines. And now those little black-and-white matrix bar codes, better known as QR codes, are creeping into law firms.


Scan this  QR with your phone and see where it takes you...

Read entire article here.

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Basic iPad Security for Lawyers | The Hytech Lawyer

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Behold the iPad in All Its Glory.

Image via Wikipedia

If you want to use the iPad as a law practice tool and you value your license, clients and firm, then some basic security precautions are mandated.  Read about them here.

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Supreme Court, Suffolk County, I.A.S. Part 20
Family Law 
Granting Divorce, Judge Backs N.Y. Recognition Of Same-Sex Marriages Contracted in Other States 

In the case before the bar, the parties' were validly married in Connecticut and have satisfied the residency requirements necessary in order to obtain a divorce in New York . At this point, the New York Legislature has not expressly prohibited the recognition of valid out-state same-sex marriages in New York. The absence of express legislation prohibiting out-of-sate same-sex marriages, case law and the prevailing public policy towards same-sex partners in the State of New York compels this court to recognize the parties' marriage.


Therefore, it is ineluctable that this court recognize the parties' marriage duly solemnized in the State of Connecticut based upon the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the United States Constitution, the legal doctrine of comity and this State's long standing common law marriage recognition rule. As a consequence of this recognition, this court grants the plaintiff the Judgment of Divorce submitted to the court for signature.

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Nicole Black:

"...Following the suggestions of proposed changes to the Model Rules and comments to the Rules, the Committee provided an explanatory report that outlined the basis for its proposed revisions. In that report, the Committee described the rationale behind the proposed changes to the Comment regarding Rule 5.3:

"The last sentence of Comment [3] emphasizes that lawyers have an obligation to give appropriate instructions to nonlawyers outside the firm when retaining or directing those nonlawyers. For example, a lawyer who instructs an investigative service may not be in a position to directly supervise how a particular investigator completes a particular assignment, but the lawyer's instructions must be reasonable under the circumstances..." (Emphasis added).

Given my previously expressed concerns, I was happy to note that the Commission limited the scope of an attorney's duty to oversee the activities of non-lawyers retained to provide services on behalf of the firm. The italicized section is particularly important since it acknowledges that lawyers may not always have the necessary expertise to supervise non-lawyers, depending on the services provided..."

Read her entire analysis here.

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Justice in Dreamland -

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Read the entire article/opinion piece .  Read the full text of the decision Kentucky v. King.

But in fact, its very ordinariness is what makes this decision worth pondering. It's worth stopping to consider the assumptions about human nature that underlie not only this ruling but much of the court's Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. It's worth wondering what planet the justices -- most of them, anyway, and not just the incumbents, but many of their predecessors -- have been living on when it comes to encounters between the police and the rest of us.

What the court held, in an opinion by Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., is that warrantless entry to prevent the destruction of evidence is justified as long as the police "did not create the exigency by engaging or threatening to engage in conduct that violates the Fourth Amendment."

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ALBANY- Court administrators began notifying 367 nonjudicial employees this morning that their jobs are about to vanish. Starting June 1, that number of clerk, court officer, court reporter, attorney, support and other positions will be vacated. And the jobs will remain empty as the Judiciary grapples with a $170 million cut in its proposed $2.7 billion budget. Of the cuts being announced today, 343 are in the state's numerous trial courts and 24 in the appellate courts. They are in addition to the loss two weeks ago of 74 jobs at the Office of Court Administration. The new layoffs represent 2.4 percent of the courts' 15,326 employees. But 1,928 law clerks, confidential secretaries and other personnel who work directly for the system's individual judges are exempt from the cuts, meaning that 2.7 percent of the remaining workers are losing their jobs.

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Bar Groups Support Gay Marriage

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In their remarks at the city bar's 44th Street headquarters, Mr. Seymour, of Sullivan & Cromwell, and other bar leaders focused on the legal disadvantages faced by unmarried same-sex couples and called civil unions "not an acceptable substitute for marriages."

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Image representing Android as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Top 10 Awesome Android Features that the iPhone Doesn't Have

We do love the iPhone here at Lifehacker, but we also love tweaking and hacking our phones into oblivion, and Android just does it better than any other platform. These are just a few of the many tweaks you can make to an Android phone, but they're certainly some of the most special.

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YouTube - Music

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This site was created by Michael Lissner as part of a masters thesis at the University of California, Berkeley School of Information. Michael was advised by Assistant Professor, Brian Carver. The goal of the site is to create a free and competitive real time alert tool for the U.S. judicial system.

At present, the site has daily information regarding all precedential opinions issued by the 13 federal circuit courts and the Supreme Court of the United States. Each day, they also have the non-precedential opinions from all of the Circuit courts except the D.C. Circuit. This means that by 5:10pm PST, the database will be updated with the opinions of the day, with custom alerts going out shortly thereafter.

The coverage of their corpus for a given court varies, but it is growing on a daily basis. They are working to integrate the documents from other online sites that provide free public access to court documents.

To see a detailed overview of their corpus (updated daily), visit their coverage page

Apple IMac (21.5-Inch & 27 Inch, 2011 Version) Reviews

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For its excellent performance, "gorgeous" design, and superior display, the new 21.5-inch iMac earns an editors' rating of 8.9/10 from Computer Shopper, which makes it their overall top pick for an all-in-one desktop computer. Reporting that iMac blew most of the competition "straight off the test bench," Computer Shopper recommends iMac to anyone focused on productivity and performance. They add: "With serious speed improvements and the promising new Thunderbolt port, the 2011 iMac keeps an iron grip on its position as today's leading all-in-one PC."


CNET makes the new 27-inch iMac an Editors' Choice (4/5 stars), writing that it "offers the best performance among current all-in-ones, along with the largest display, the best design, and exciting potential from its Thunderbolt ports." Citing iMac's competitive performance and price, CNET concludes that "for digital media professionals, or others in need of a fast, serious-minded all-in-one with a large display, we can make no other recommendation."


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Better Facebook!

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FREE Browser Extension for Tabbed News Feed, Themes (Skins), Advanced Feed Filters, Comment Tracking, Expand Similar Posts, and More!

The time saved in being able to preview a larger version of any thumbnail is well worth the minimal effort to install and use this extension.

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SFpark helps you park smarter in San Francisco. See real-time availability and prices for parking spaces on streets and in City garages across eight SFpark pilot arcades.

The $20 million parking project here, called SFpark, is backed by the Transportation Department and the Federal Highway Administration, which are looking into how to ease congestion and driver angst by making the most of limited parking.

San Francisco has put sensors into 7,000 metered parking spots and 12,250 spots in city garages. If spaces in an area open up, the sensors communicate wirelessly with computers that in turn make the information available to app users within a minute, said Mr. Ford, of the transportation agency. On the app, a map shows which blocks have lots of places (blue) and which are full (red).

San Francisco's is by far the most widespread approach that several cities, universities and private parking garages are experimenting with.

Last December, Los Angeles worked with a company called Streetline to introduce a system covering spaces in West Hollywood, and it is expanding the program elsewhere. Streetline has since set up smaller projects on Roosevelt Island in New York City's East River, as well as at the University of Maryland and in Forth Worth, Tex. (Emphasis added)

Read entire NYTIMES article here. (requires free subscription)

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The photos and biographies of two affiliated United Kingdom solicitors are used for the fake firm's Internet persona, along with virtually the entire website for the law firm that one of the solicitors heads.

The site for Wagner Elliot apparently is intended to help lull actual attorneys into a sense of security as they deposit a certified check from the "law firm," purportedly paid on behalf of a foreign client closing a local real estate transaction.

Read details of this scam on lawyers in full article here.

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A dozen federal courts have been selected to participate in a pilot program in which the federal judiciary and theGovernment Printing Office are partnering to provide free public access to court opinions through the GPO's FDSys system.

The one-year pilot project was approved by the Judicial Conference in March 2010, and the GPO received approval from the Joint Committee on Printing - often referred to as the oldest joint committee of the Congress - in February 2011.

When fully implemented later this year, the pilot will include two courts of appeals, seven district courts, and three bankruptcy courts. In March, the Judicial Conference approved expansion of the pilot to include up to 30 additional courts.

The judiciary continually has sought ways to enhance public access to court opinions. Free access to opinions in all federal courts is currently available via the judiciary's Public Access to Court Electronic Records service (PACER).

Building on that success, staff from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts met with GPO management to explore making opinions even more accessible. Fdsys can provide the public with a robust search engine that can search common threads across opinions and courts.

The initial 12 participating courts are the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Eighth Circuits; the U.S. district courts for the Districts of Minnesota, Rhode Island, Maryland, Idaho, and Kansas, the Northern District of New York, and the Northern District of Alabama; and the U.S. bankruptcy courts for the District of Maine, the Southern District of Florida, and the Southern District of New York.

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Uber--New Cellphone App for Car Service in NYC

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Request a car by telling Uber where you are. Text them your address, or use their iPhone or Android apps to set your pickup location on a map. Uber will send the nearest driver to pick you up, and text message you an estimated arrival time. Cars usually arrive within 5-10 minutes.

Your licensed professional driver will park curbside. Uber will text you again when the car arrives.

Hop in the car, tell the driver your destination and you'll be on your way.

Fares are about 1.75 times higher than NYC Taxi


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FindLaw: New Case Law RSS Feeds

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FindLaw logo

Image via Wikipedia

FindLaw announces: 

FindLaw's Case Law Feeds.

Exapnding on FindLaw's free resources for legal professionals, they now provide automatic case notifications from over 80 courts, including:

• All U.S. Courts of Appeal
• 44 State Supreme Courts
• 29 State Courts of Appeals

Click here to subscribe to the feed for the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal. Follow the simple steps to integrate the feed into your email program, news reader, webpage or blog. Then, each time FindLaw receives an opinion from this court, you will receive a notification and link to the full decision.

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If you were one of the multitude who received a Kindle over the holidays, you are probably wondering what you can do to get more from it. For starters, we'd recommend setting it up with read-it-later service Instapaper.

Once you get Instapaper synchronized to your Kindle, you'll wonder what you ever did before. Basically, when you're done setting it up, you can shuttle any article on the web to your Kindle for reading later, in a more distraction-free environment.

Setting up Instapaper for Kindle is easy--just follow the steps set out in the LifeHacker article here.

[Thanks to our expert on all things Kindle, Vincent Tehan, Esq.]

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

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