February 2012 Archives

App Store - rulebook

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Access all your federal and state court rules on one app. Download only those rules and other legal authorities you actually need, which are all kept current through regular updates. (No need to check pocket parts!)

Take all the rules you have downloaded anywhere you go and quickly access them without the need for an internet connection. Download once; read and annotate anywhere.

With rulebook you can:

* Search your entire library by key words or phrases.​
* Touch any word to highlight, annotate and/or bookmark any amount of text.
* Navigate from rule to rule easily by swiping the screen or jumping to the rule using the table of contents feature.
* Keep multiple rules and authorities open at once and toggle easily back and forth between authorities with rulebook's multitask function.
* Double tap anywhere in the rule to immediately identify what rule and subsection you are viewing.
* Jump directly to cited sources through active hyperlinks.
* Easily adjust the font type and size along with other system preferences.
* Enjoy having all your content automatically kept up to date without losing any of your highlights or annotations through rulebook's proprietary update tool.

The following legal authorities are currently available in the rulebook library, with many more coming soon:

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Federal Rules of Evidence and the United States Constitution.

New York Uniform Court Rules

N.Y. C.P.L.R. (coming soon)

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Defense of Marriage Act Ruled Unconstitutional - Civil Rights - CourtSide

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Defense of Marriage Act Ruled Unconstitutional 
By Kevin Fayle on February 23, 2012 1:58 PM 

A federal judge in San Francisco has found that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the rights of a federal employee who was denied the opportunity to enroll her wife in the health benefits program available to opposite spouses of federal judiciary employees. DOMA prohibits the recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes of federal benefits. The judg ein the case determined that DOMA violated the plaintiff's right to equal protection under the Fifth Amendment by failing to recognize her lawful marriage to a same-sex spouse. The Obama Administration has already announced that it considers DOMA discriminatory and has opted not to enforce it.

Defense of Marriage Act Ruled Unconstitutional
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Reminders are a necessity to successfully navigate today's fast-paced world, with its tighly packed schedule and ever changing calendar. ReminderGuru provides a simple, in-the-cloud solution that allows you to schedule your reminders for delivery where you want them, when you want them. No hi-tech know-how needed.
  • Create reminders for yourself and for others
  • Delivery by text/sms, email or by phone
  • Set re-occurring event reminders
  • User-friendly, fast and free
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With Mountain Lion, OS X Prowls Closer To iOS | TechCrunch

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Ever since Apple released OS X Lion, its desktop operating system started the long trek towards iOS, Apple's other, more popular operating system. With the next version of OS X, Mountain Lion (released late last week as a developer preview), OS X will prowl even closer to its iOS cousin.

A number of the new features in OS X come directly from iOS. These include deeper iCloud integration, Messages, Reminders, Notes, a Notification Center, a Game Center, AirPlay, and built-in sharing to Twitter, email, and more.

Read entire review by Erick Schonfeld here.

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Jeff Richardson:  As a litigator, I read a lot of depositions, and I love the ability to review them on my iPad.  In the past, I have typically created a searchable PDF version of the deposition transcript and then read the transcripts in the GoodReader app, using the standard PDF highlight feature to mark significant text.  I'd store all of the depositions in a folder in GoodReader so I could pull them up in the future.  However, Lit Software LLC has just introduced a new $50 iPad app called TranscriptPad, an app dedicated to the task of reviewing depositions.  This is the same company that created TrialPad, a powerful trial presentation app for the iPad.  The developer, Ian O'Flaherty, sent me a free copy of the app to review, and so far I am very impressed.  The app offers many powerful features, and I think that this will be the tool I will use going forward for reviewing depositions.

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California Audit Finds Broad Irregularities in Foreclosures - NYTimes.com

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The improprieties range from the basic -- a failure to warn borrowers that they were in default on their loans as required by law -- to the arcane. For example, transfers of many loans in the foreclosure files were made by entities that had no right to assign them and institutions took back properties in auctions even though they had not proved ownership.

Commissioned by Phil Ting, the San Francisco assessor-recorder, the report examined files of properties subject to foreclosure sales in the county from January 2009 to November 2011. About 84 percent of the files contained what appear to be clear violations of law, it said, and fully two-thirds had at least four violations or irregularities.

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Scholarships at the Young Lawyers Section Trial Academy-NYSBA

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Criminal Justice Section

To Members of the New York State Bar Association:

In memory of Jack Litman, Esq., an esteemed member of the Criminal Justice Section for many years, the Section is pleased to offer two full tuition scholarships at the Young Lawyers Section Trial Academy, Wednesday March 21 through Sunday March 25, 2012, at Cornell Law School in Ithaca. The scholarships will be awarded to two deserving attorneys to honor Jack's passions for equal justice, diversity, and the promotion of skill in the legal profession. Attorneys with diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applications for the scholarships may be submitted by any member of the New York State Bar Association. If you are interested, please fill out the application form by March 4, 2012 and either email it or fax it to:

Patricia W. Johnson
New York State Bar Association
1 Elk Street
Albany, New York 12207
Phone (518) 463-3200 Fax: (518) 487-5688

To apply for the scholarship please visit: www.nysba.org/cjsawardnominations2012

For more information on the Trial Academy please visit: www.nysba.org/trialacademy2012

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IRS Unveils Version 2.0 of Smartphone App

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The IRS this week released IRS2Go 2.0, an expanded version of its Smartphone application designed to provide taxpayers easier access to practical tools and information.

You can access videos and more with the  enhanced IRS2Go smartphone app as described in this new YouTube video.

The 2.0 version of the phone app includes three new tools:

  • Watch Us. People can view IRS YouTube videos on their smartphones. The videos provide short, informative features on a variety of tax topics. The channel ranks as the fourth most viewed channel among more than 125 federal government YouTube channels. IRS also has YouTube channels available in multilingual and American Sign Language
  • Get the Latest News. With this tool, users can have the latest IRS news releases delivered to their phones as it becomes available.  
  • Get My Tax Record. Taxpayers can now order their tax return transcript from the IRS2Go app. The transcript will be delivered via the U.S. Postal Service to their address of record.

The free IRS2Go app will continue giving taxpayers access to the tools offered last year:

  • Get Your Refund Status. Taxpayers can check the status of their federal tax refund through the phone app with a few basic pieces of information. An updated refund status is available about three days after the IRS acknowledges receipt of an e-filed return, or four weeks after mailing a paper return.
  • Get Tax Updates. Phone app users enter their e-mail address to automatically receive simple, straightforward tips and reminders to help with tax planning and preparation. Tax Tips are issued daily during the filing season and periodically throughout the rest of the year.
  • Follow the IRS. Taxpayers can sign up to follow the IRS Twitter newsfeed, @IRSnews, which provides easy-to-use information, including updates on tax law changes and important IRS programs.

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NYSBA Mobile Ethics App

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Android App 

Apple App

Blackberry App

Ethics screenshotBe among the first to try the new NYSBA Mobile Ethics App - featuring the full database of NYSBA's nearly 900 ethics opinions - ranging from 1964 to today. The app allows you to search the database of opinions by keyword, by category or by opinion number.  When the list of results appears you will see a brief digest of the opinion. When you click on the opinion you select you will see the full text of the opinion - exactly as it was issued by the Committee on Professional Ethics. Once you install the app, all of NYSBA's opinions will be available to you on your device - regardless of whether you are connected to the Internet or not. When new Ethics Opinions are issued they will be pushed out to your device as an update and you will see a notification on the app screen indicating how many new opinions are available.

The NYSBA Mobile Ethics App is free and will be available in 2012, to anyone who wants to download it. The NYSBA Mobile Ethics App is available for iPhones through the App Store, for Android devices through the Android Marketplace and for Blackberry through the Blackberry App Market.

Ninth Circuit's Ruling in Prop 8 Case

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Court Officers Kill Gunman in Middletown City Court-NYLJ

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Court officers fatally shot a man this morning who entered the vestibule outside Middletown City Court and opened fire with a 12-gauge pump shotgun. The man's name is being withheld; but he is known to Middletown law enforcement personnel.

Update:  Gunman identified as  43-year-old Timothy Mulqueen.

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DocX Faces Foreclosure Fraud Charges in Missouri - NYTimes.com

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A grand jury in Boone County, Mo., handed up an indictment Friday accusing DocX of 136 counts of forgery in the preparation of documents used to evict financially strained borrowers from their homes. Lorraine O. Brown, the company's founder and former president, was indicted on the same charges.

Employees of DocX, a unit of Lender Processing Services of Jacksonville, Fla., executed and notarized millions of mortgage documents for big banks and loan servicers over the years. Lender Processing closed the company in April 2010, after evidence emerged of apparent forgeries in these documents, a practice now called robo-signing.

Read entire article here.

DOCX Indictment
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Read more about using outdated FMLA forms.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has suggested employers add the following language in forms when requesting health-related information from an employee:

The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA) prohibits employers and other entities covered by GINA Title II from requesting or requiring genetic information of an individual or family member of the individual, except as specifically allowed by this law. To comply with this law, we are asking that you not provide any genetic information when responding to this request for medical information. 'Genetic Information' as defined by GINA includes an individual's family medical history, the results of an individual's or family member's genetic tests, the fact that an individual or an individual's family member sought or received genetic services, and genetic information of a fetus carried by an individual or an individual's family member or an embryo lawfully held by an individual or family member receiving assistive reproductive services.

A.G. Sues Banks Over Their Use of MERS Electronic 'End-Around'-NYLJ

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In his latest broadside against the banking industry, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman is alleging that the nation's largest banks use the Mortgage Electronic Registration System, MERS, to evade public filings, shortchange localities of $2 billion in fees and compromise the interests of homeowners.

A complaint filed Feb. 3 describes MERS Inc. of Virginia, a digital mortgage tracking service, as "a shell company" established as a stealth mortgagee for banks, particularly JPMorgan Chase, the Bank of America and Wells Fargo Bank.

Read entire article by John Caher.

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Please join us and the NDNY Federal Judiciary on Thursday, February 9, 2012, for a Hail and Farewell Reception to recognize the Honorable Norman Mordue's completion of his tenure as Chief Judge and the Honorable George Lowe's completion of his term as Magistrate Judge, and to welcome the Honorable Gary Sharpe as the incoming Chief Judge of the Northern District of New York and the Honorable Thérèse Wiley Dancks as our newest Magistrate Judge.


When:          Thursday, February 9, 2012, 4:30-6:30 p.m.


Where:        Atrium at City Hall Commons

                        201 East Washington St., Syracuse (across from L'Adour in Hanover Square)


Parking:     Available in the Key Bank Lot, Montgomery and Washington Streets.


Complimentary Hors D'Oeuvres & Cash Bar.


All are invited and encouraged to attend and greet our honored guests.


Please R.S.V.P. to info@ndnyfcba.org.


Questions?   Melissa Withers at mmwithers@ndnyfcba.org or (315) 422-2799 

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Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

It doesn't take much for an identity thief to gather a wealth of information from an unguarded Facebook account.  And even those who have their Facebook profiles restricted sometimes have found themselves sharing more than they wanted to, due to the way Facebook has allowed applications to bypass user settings.  In many cases, using a very basic application has meant granting that application full access to a person's entire  Facebook profile, as well as allowing the app to post user information elsewhere and send the user emails.  This may well become a bigger issue than it has been in the past, with the advent of Timeline and its frictionless apps.

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