August 2011 Archives

RP-5217-PDF Report

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The RP-5217-PDF is a web-based downloadable, barcoded, pdf document. (It replaces the RP-5217 paper form which contains one original and three carbonless copies.) Form preparers will enter the appropriate information into the form and should save the document to their PC until the transfer has been completed and the deed filed with the County Clerk.

This downloadable, bar-coded PDF document is currently being accepted for transfers of Real Property located in PILOT & APPROVED COUNTIES:


Adobe Reader Version 8 or higher is required
to use the RP-5217-PDF Form.

***It is imperative that you read the ORPS information and instruction in full before attempting to use the form in the Pilot & Approved Counties.  Aspects of the bar code function are unique.

The Online Guide to Starting a Law Firm- My Shingle

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Carolyn Elefant has posted:: The Online Guide to Starting a Law Firm.

Find the best of her solo-oriented, how-to articles carefully indexed on a helpful grid here.

Judges in New York to Get Raise of 27 Percent -

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A state commission decided on Friday to increase the pay of the more than 1,200 New York State judges by 27 percent over three years, ending a decade of battles in Albany and the courts, and giving judges their first raise in 12 years.


The three commission members appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo were joined in voting for the proposal by the appointee of the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, who, like the governor, is a Democrat. The two appointees of the state's chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, opposed it as inadequate, as did the appointee of the leader of the State Senate, Dean G. Skelos, a Republican. 


The raises will go into effect next spring unless they are overruled or modified by legislation passed by both houses of the Legislature and signed by the governor. 

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For Complete Listing for all Affected Areas on East Coast-Justia

For our area:

Federal Resources

Hurricane Resource Center- from FEMA

The National Flood Insurance Program -- Resources and steps to take to protect yourself, your family and property.

NOAA - National Hurricane Center

U.S. Coast Guard

State Resources


Connecticut Office of Emergency Management
(860) 256-0800

  • Connecticut Office of Emergency Management on Twitter
  • Connecticut Office of Emergency Management on Facebook

Connecticut Insurance Department

New Jersey

New Jersey Office of Emergency Management
(609) 538-6050 Monday-Friday
(609) 584-5000

  • New Jersey Office of Emergency Management on Facebook

New Jersey Department of Banking & Insurance

New York

New York State Emergency Management Office
(518) 292-2275

New York State Insurance Department

Other Resources

American Red Cross

Disaster Planning for Pets

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Bean: An OS X Word Processor

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Bean is a small, easy-to-use word processor (or more precisely, a rich text editor), designed to make writing convenient, efficient and comfortable. Bean is available free of charge. MS Word, OpenOffice, etc. try to be all things to all people. But sometimes you just want the right tool for the job. That is Bean's niche.

Some screenshots.

Read about the origins of Bean here.

Bean is not a replacement for MS Word. It doesn't do footnotes or use stylesheets and is only partially compatible with Word's file formats.

[ Download Bean ]

Version 2.4.4 (released 12 July 2011)

P.S.  I have used Bean for many years and find it very helpful in opening some Word files, which won't otherwise open or convert.  It also serves as a quick editor for html code work.

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Explorer for Natural Gas Loses Rights, Money Paid for Them-NYLJ

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"[T]he evidence clearly demonstrates that Cabot, a sophisticated business entity, made a calculated and knowing decision to enter into the lease, approve title and pay the signing bonus with full knowledge" of the protective covenant and the opposition of the property owners' association, Justice Gilpatric held in Weiden Lake Property Owners Association Inc. v. Klansky and Cabot Oil, 3885/09. "Therefore, it is not entitled to rescission of the lease under a mistake of law."

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Web Surfing Makes You Work Better, Study Says -

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Don't feel guilty about browsing the Internet at work--turns out it may actually improve your performance.

According to a new study, Web browsing can actually refresh tired workers and enhance their productivity, compared to other activities such as making personal calls, texts or emails, let alone working straight through with no rest at all.

The study, "Impact of Cyberloafing on Psychological Engagement," by Don J.Q. Chen and Vivien K.G Lim of the National University of Singapore, was presented last week in San Antonio, Texas, at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, an association of management scholars.

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The EV Profiler is a Driving Data Recorder that tracks the rate of your acceleration, the terrain you encounter on a daily basis and how often you take the highway or local roads. It then feeds that data into an online report and puts it up against the real world statistics from current electric vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, the Chevy Volt and the Tesla Model S. Test driving a conventional vehicle is easy -- you just want to see how smooth the ride is, how quick it takes turns and how much punch it packs -- but with an electric vehicle it is a lifestyle change that could prove difficult to get used to.

The EV profiler allows you to test drive your electric vehicle personality without ever hopping into an electric car. The EV profiler rents for $25 a week or $82 per month and can be ordered through their website.

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10 Things You Can Do with a $100 TouchPad-Gizmodo

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beta620 | Experimental Projects From The New York Times

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At The New York Times, our software engineers, journalists, product managers and designers are constantly striving to create new and innovative ways to present news and information and interact with our readers. Yet it's often difficult to try out new inventions on the world's largest newspaper Web site. That's why we created beta620, a new home for experimental projects from Times developers -- and a place for anyone to suggest and collaborate on new ideas and new products.

Many of these projects will live only on beta620. But a few, like the innovative Times Skimmer, which started out as an entry in one of our internal technology contests, will "graduate" to become full-fledged products on our main site or our mobile apps.

beta620 will also be a place where Times developers interact with readers to discuss projects, and incorporate community suggestions into their work. So, please, take a look around, and play with our new toys. We're eager to hear what you think.

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Venture Capitalists Take Aim at Lawyers-Jim Calloway

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Forbes magazine carried the news this month that Google Ventures is part of a group pouring $18.5 million into Rocket Lawyer, which is claiming to be the "fastest growing online legal service." This news was followed up by a Forbes column titled"Google Backing of DIY Legal Forms Will Force Lawyers To Lower Fees."

Certainly Rocket Lawyer is not the only business seeking to profit from providing preparation of legal documents online. When the economic outlook for the legal profession is certainly not projected to be one of increasing profits, why are venture capitalists apparently so interested in the legal profession? To answer that question, I turned to Richard Granat. Granat is the lawyer behind DirectLaw, a firm that provides lawyers with the tools to set up virtual practices that deliver documents and legal services online. He is also a long-time member and current Co-Chair of the eLawyering Task Force of the ABA Law Practice Management Section.

Read the interview interview by Jim Calloway with Richard Granat here.

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This Handbook is a resource for prisoners who wish to file a federal lawsuit addressing poor conditions in prison or abuse by prison staff. It also contains limited general information about the American legal system. This Handbook is available for free to anyone: prisoners, families, friends, activists, lawyers and others.

Download your free copy here.  (Includes forms)

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Review: PowerSkin -- iPhone battery and case - iPhone J.D.

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The iPhone 4 usually does a great job of lasting all day before the battery runs out, but on those days when you are out of the office and using your iPhone the most, you may find your battery running low in the afternoon, which means it is time to use a battery to recharge the iPhone.  I've long been a fan of the RichardSolo batteries because they are tiny enough to carry around, but the downside is that they hang off the iPhone when attached -- not a problem if you are at a desk, but awkward if you are on the go.  The solution is to use an iPhone case that doubles as a battery.  XPAL Power recently sent me a free review unit of its $70 PowerSkin case and battery for the iPhone.  It works very well.

It is very quick and easy to insert an iPhone 4 into a PowerSkin.  Just slide the iPhone into the connector at the bottom of the unit and then fit the silicone rubber around the iPhone.  If you look at a picture of the book of the PowerSkin, there is a line near the top that makes it appear as if there are two parts, but this is a one-piece design so you don't have to worry about it coming apart. 

Read entire iPhone J.D. review here.

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Governor Cuomo Signs New Ethics Laws--NYLJ

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With a new ethics bill signed yesterday by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York became one of a handful of states requiring its lawyer-legislators to disclose the identity of their clients. Under the Public Integrity Reform Act, lawyers will be required to publicly reveal the identity of their own clients and clients they referred to the firm, when the client is doing business with, receiving grants from, seeking legislation from or is in litigation with the state. Additionally, every appearance by a lawyer-legislator before a state administrative agency will be recorded by the agency and made public. New York joins California, Washington, Alaska and Louisiana in requiring its lawyer-lawmakers to reveal clients.

The disclosure requirement takes effect in mid-2013, covering matters occurring during the 2012 calendar year. It kicks in when the legal fee exceeds $10,000 and the state contract is worth more than $50,000 or the grant is worth more than $25,000. The law affects only new clients or new matters for existing clients and attorney-legislators will not have to identify clients who are being represented in connection with an investigation or prosecution, involved in a domestic relations matter or a bankruptcy or "where disclosure of a client's identity is likely to cause harm."

Read entire NYLJ article here.

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BlackBerry - BlackBerry Management Center-Cloud Service for SMB's

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BlackBerry 8800 (Cingular Version)

Image via Wikipedia

Research In Motion has introduced a new cloud-based service for small businesses that enables them to manage and protect content stored on company- or employee-owned BlackBerry smartphones.


The service is designed for businesses with up to 100 BlackBerry smartphones that access email services from an Internet service provider or Web-based email services.


Companies will be able to wirelessly back up BlackBerry smartphones, remotely lock content, wipe the content and restore settings and content on a new or replacement device. The service is free.

Get more information here.



Thanks to:  Connie Schin, Marketing Manager, NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION

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Justice Advisor Position

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Justice Advisor Position


Burton Rands Associates is hiring lawyers, judges and court administrators to perform as rule of law advisors as part of the recently awarded contract described below.


The Program: Criminal Justice Program Support (CJPS)

A cornerstone of stable and democratic nations is a criminal justice system in which citizens broadly accept and voluntarily comply with the law. As part of the U.S. Government's mission to support the emergence of stable democracies, especially in areas that have suffered from years of civil strife, the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Office of Civilian Police and Rule of Law Programs (INL/CIV) supports programs to help institutionalize sustainable criminal justice sectors, instill public trust in the rule of law and protect human rights.


Burton Rands Associates has been contracted to provide Justice Advisors in support of CJPS  to promote the following institutions:


·         Public prosecutors to review evidence gathered in a case, make determinations regarding the appropriateness of initiating a criminal prosecution and presenting cases to the courts for adjudication;

·         Courts that administer cases, set initial adjudication of guilt or innocence, and conduct appellate review of cases for final determinations of guilt or innocence;


Term: This is a five year contract with individual projects lasting, on average, from six months to a year.


Place of Performance: Various locations, worldwide (Current program countries/areas include Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, Lebanon, Liberia, Sudan, and the West Bank but the program is expected to expand)


Responsibilities:  Provide advice and technical assistance on matters related to criminal justice, including, but not limited to, drafting new legal codes and procedures, training local officials and providing guidance on managing and prosecuting complex criminal cases.  Senior level advisors serve as leaders, working closely with INL to set overall mission direction.


Requirements:  A minimum of three to five years of criminal trial experience as a criminal defense attorney, prosecutor, judge, or court administrator.  U.S. citizenship.  At least one year of international experience preferred, particularly work on international rule of law programs.  Senior advisors will exhibit additional criminal trial and supervisory experience. 


Who We Are:  Burton Rands Associates LLC is a woman-owned small business.  We concentrate on rule of law, security sector transformation, training and development.  We hold prime contracts with the US Department of State as well as contracts in support of USAID, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), NGOs and the private sector.  Burton Rands has considerable expertise in program management, particularly in the deployment of personnel to work oversees in conflict and post-conflict states. 


Interested parties please respond with resumes to


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5 Free iPhone Apps to Send a Photo

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5 Free iPhone Apps to Send a Photo Postcard Don't be forced to choose from cheesy printed postcards at your vacation destination -- use your own iPhone photos with one of these fabulous, free apps that create electronic postcards you can email.

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Dog Helps Rape Victim, 15, Testify -

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Service dogs have long been permitted in courts. But in a ruling in June that allowed Rosie to accompany the teenage rape victim to the trial here, a Dutchess County Court judge, Stephen L. Greller, said the teenager was traumatized and the defendant, Victor Tohom, appeared threatening. Although he said there was no precedent in the state, Judge Greller ruled that Rosie was similar to the teddy bear that a New York appeals court said in 1994 could accompany a child witness.

At least once when the teenager hesitated in Judge Greller's courtroom, the dog rose and seemed to push the girl gently with her nose. Mr. Tohom was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life.

His lawyers, David S. Martin and Steven W. Levine of the public defender's office, have raised a series of objections that they say seems likely to land the case in New York's highest court. They argue that as a therapy dog, Rosie responds to people under stress by comforting them, whether the stress comes from confronting a guilty defendant or lying under oath.

But they say jurors are likely to conclude that the dog is helping victims expose the truth. "Every time she stroked the dog," Mr. Martin said in an interview, "it sent an unconscious message to the jury that she was under stress because she was telling the truth."

"There was no way for me to cross-examine the dog," Mr. Martin added.

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The Best Way to Store Stuff in the Cloud-Gizmodo

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By Brent Rose

Cloud storage services are everywhere these days. 

Gizmodo tested eleven of the most popular cloud storage services out there, looked at their price-per-gigabyte, and considered their various features and functionality. 

Read on for the full comparison.

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Skype for iPad on the iTunes App Store

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Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Bring your Skype contacts closer with full screen video at your fingertips. 
Beautiful and simple, this is Skype built especially for the iPad. Call, video call, or instant message anyone on Skype. 

Simple to use:
• Join Skype on their website or just sign straight in to your account.
• If you already have a Skype account, your Skype contacts will automatically be there on your iPad.
• They've made adding new Skype contacts really easy. Once they're in your Contact list, call, video or instant message them in one touch.
• Flick through recent calls and instant messages in your Skype for iPad history.
• Skype for iPad works over Wi-Fi or 3G (operator data charges may apply). Call Skype contacts on their iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, PC, Mac and even Skype enabled TVs.

Access free Skype features: 
• Talk face-to-face or show what you're seeing with front and back-facing cameras.
• Use Skype for iPad to call anyone else on Skype - and enjoy near CD quality (SILK) sound.
• Instant message and add emoticons to personalize your messages.

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iPad in One Hour for Lawyers

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About iPad in One Hour for Lawyers

Whether you are a new or a more advanced iPad user, iPad in One Hour for Lawyers takes a great deal of the mystery and confusion out of using your iPad. Ideal for lawyers who want to get up to speed swiftly, this book presents the essentials so you don't get bogged down in technical jargon and extraneous features and apps. In just six, short lessons, you'll learn how to:

  • Quickly Navigate and Use the iPad User Interface

  • Set Up Mail, Calendar, and Contacts

  • Create and Use Folders to Multitask and Manage Apps

  • Add Files to Your iPad, and Sync Them

  • View and Manage Pleadings, Case Law, Contracts, and other Legal Documents

  • Use Your iPad to Take Notes and Create Documents

  • Use Legal-Specific Apps at Trial or in Doing Research
Also included: a listing of the best apps for lawyers, as well as dozens of keyboard and browser tips and shortcuts, and much more!

iPad in One Hour for Lawyers
Product Code:5110719
Author:Tom Mighell
Expected Publication Date:April 5, 2011
Page Count:106
Trim Size:7 x 8.5
Sponsoring Entities:Law Practice Management Section
Topics:Law Practice ManagementLegal Research & WritingLegal TechnologyManagement / Organizational Skills
Format:Book - 5110719
Pricing:$34.95 (Regular)

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iPad Stand

Image via Wikipedia

If you're using the iPad in your law practice, you have probably already used it to store, read, and otherwise work on PDF files.  Those PDF files might be caselaw, briefs or memos, or some other legal document - but they are the most ubiquitous document format, so having an app that can handle them appropriately is absolutely essential.  In this post, Tom Mighell features a face-off between two of his favorite apps - GoodReader and PDF Expert.  He  covers the basics, and then weighs in with his vote on the best PDF reader of the two.

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The Updated Circular 230 is Now Available

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Seal of the United States Internal Revenue Ser...

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The updated Circular 230, revised to reflect the new return preparer oversight program and other changes, is now available.  Click to download.

For more information on the final regulations, see IRS Finalizes Circular 230 Regulations, The Journal of Accountancy, August 2011.

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‪Tax Tips: Military Tax Tips‬‏ - YouTube

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Supreme Court, Nassau County, Part 8
Legal Profession 
A plaintiff may not continue to enforce a right to suppress the criminal record while simultaneously continuing to prosecute a civil claim for damages arising out of the same incident and identical facts. (Maxie v. Gimbel Bros., 102 Misc2d 296, 423 N.Y.S.2d 802 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Cty. 1979)).

Dawson v. Schoenberg, 16502/09 (Full text-requiures free registration)

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