April 2013 Archives

The day is here: Big data, loosely defined as the computer analysis of torrents of information to find hidden gems of insight, is slowly transforming the way law is practiced in the U.S.

Law firms are using big data to identify which cases will be easy slam dunks and those that are air balls. They're relying on the technology to get a read on what other law firms are charging, so they can adjust their rates accordingly. And big data is also popping up in law firm human resources departments, where tech-savvy department heads are crunching data on potential new hires in the hopes of coming up with recruits who are truly a good fit.

Read the entire article here.


I suppose its only price-fixing and a violation of anti-trust laws when a couple of solos and small firm practitioners talk about charges--not when the big folks do some data mining?

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Rochester Law Digest

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The Rochester Law Digest is an independently owned and operated bi-monthly publication covering recent decisions and opinions from all the New York appellate courts, as well as articles of general interest to the legal community.

You can  stay informed about recent appellate decisions from across the state by reviewing their bi-monthly Digest and  "Just Released" page. You can also sign up for their bi-monthly digest and email notice of updates to their "Just Released" page.

For now all this goodness is free.


To all those who recently signed-up, thank you for your interest in the Rochester Law Digest mailing list.  The "Just Released" page of the website www.rochesterlawdigest.com was updated on April 27th, 2013, with summaries of selected Appellate Division and Court of Appeals cases released last week. The next issue of the Digest will be out on May 1 and I hope to include summaries of any decisions that are released next Tuesday (April 30) in the Digest.  The next update of the "Just Released" page of the website will include cases released between May 1st and May 3rd.  I hope you find the summaries (and Digest) useful.

Bruce Freeman

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Allison Shields makes it easy to find and watch this year's Big Ideas:

The videos from this year's LexThink.1 presentations have been posted. 

In case you don't know about LexThink.1, it's an event that is usually held in conjunction with the ABA TECHSHOW. LexThink.1 takes place the evening before TECHSHOW begins.

Here's the format: 10 speakers, each with only 6 minutes to speak on a particular topic related to the future of law practice (this year's theme was "Disruption"), and each presentation includes 20 slides (which are automatically advanced every 18 seconds by the event host, not by the presenters themselves).

Read more: http://legalease.blogs.com/legal_ease_blog/2013/04/big-legal-ideas-in-6-minutes-lexthink1-2013.html#ixzz2RiQIdnVj

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UPAD - YouTube

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Note-taking app for iPad:

Introducing Bad Law Bot from Fastcase - YouTube

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As Americans are still reeling from the recent Boston Marathon bombing, a debate is brewing over whether the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, should have been read his Miranda rights. On Friday, April 19, a mere five days after the bombing, Emily Bazelonopined on Slate that "anyone who worries about the police railroading suspects" should be alarmed that the FBI publicly opted not to read the suspect his right to silence or his right to an attorney. On the blog Balkinization, professors Jason Mazzone and Sandy Levinson engaged in a heated discussion as to the proper interpretation of the Supreme Court's decision in Miranda.

Read David Kemp's full analysis of the issue here.

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HR624 - CISPA | Electronic Frontier Foundation

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Warrantless DUI Blood Tests Rejected by Supreme Court

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Warrantless DUI Blood Tests Rejected by Supreme Court by FindLaw

Warrantless DUI Blood Tests Rejected by Supreme Court Police usually must try to obtain a search warrant from a judge before ordering blood tests for drunken-driving suspects, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.The justices sided with a Missouri man who was subjected to a blood test without a warrant and found to have nearly twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.The high court struck down Missouri's guidelines giving police broad discretion to forego getting a judge's prior approval before executing a search. "We hold that in drunk-driving investigations, the natural dissipation of alcohol in the bloodstream does not constitute an exigency in every case sufficient to justify conducting a blood test without a warrant," Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the Court.

Warrantless DUI Blood Tests Rejected by Supreme Court by FindLaw

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RP-5217-PDF Report

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RP-5217-PDF Report

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.

RP-5217-PDF: Real Property Transfer Report

This downloadable, bar-coded PDF document is currently being accepted for transfers of Real Property located in 




Download RP-5217-PDF Form

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

After the horrific events at the Boston Marathon and the Texas fertilizer factory explosion this past week, many Americans are again in the unfortunate position of needing assistance in the face of life-changing events. Your Federal government is here to help both the injured citizens and the local medical personnel who rush to their aid, both during and after the disaster occurs.


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Revised TP-584--From Chair, NYSBA Real Property SEction

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Real Property Law
Section: Events | Journal | Committees | Blog | Links

Message from the Chair:

Most of you are aware of the revised TP-584 which took effect on Monday. Just to be sure, we're sharing the detailed information below.

Revised TP-584

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (DTF) has put a revised TP-584 form into effect  April 15, 2013.

Access the form at the link below:


Most counties outside of New York City will continue to accept the current form until June 15, 2013. Westchester County anticipates that the new form will be incorporated within its PREP system today. The New York City Register expects that the new form will be incorporated within ACRIS around May 6th, 2013, but the City Register will accept the current form until June 28, 2013. There is no date yet for adoption by Richmond County. 


  1. DTF added new check boxes on Page 1, Schedule A for grantors or grantees which are single member LLCs. If the grantor or the grantee is a single member LLC, then the member's name and Tax ID or Social Security Number must be entered on the form.
  2. DTF now requires the entry of the 6-digit Statewide Information System Code number (SWIS Code) on the property description. The SWIS Code number should appear on the property's tax bill. If not, your examiner or searcher can obtain it from the County Assessor's Office.
  3. A conveyance pursuant to a divorce or legal separation must be indicated on the new form by checking box "r" under "Condition of Conveyance."

In all counties where documents are recorded in the County Clerk's Office, including Richmond County, checks in payment of the transfer tax must be made payable to the County Clerk. In the counties covered by the New York City Register (Manhattan, Kings, Queens and the Bronx), checks must be made payable to the NYC Department of Finance.

Access the form at the link below:


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Tax Return Errors - YouTube

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Write text here...

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Wisconsin Lawyer: Technology: Top 16 Security Tips for Smartphones:

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The age of the pocket computer is upon us. Smartphones are no more than small computers that happen to make phone calls. According to a Nielsen report, more than 50 percent of mobile phone subscribers in the United States now own a smartphone. Lawyers are at the forefront of this technology wave, with 89 percent of them owning smartphones. Smartphones are extremely powerful devices, capable of storing contacts, calendar entries, email communications, electronic files, voice messages, and a host of additional confidential client information. As an attorney, you have an ethical obligation to protect the client data that is stored on your smartphone. Here are some security tips for protecting the data and some easy measures to take to avoid compromising data.

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Google Creates Digital Will Service (For Digital Services) - Pinni Bohm

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As a tax and estate planning attorney, I frequently help clients create estate plans that dictate how one's corporeal assets will be utilized post-death. When it comes to digital assets, however, planning becomes more difficult.

Does one hand a list of their secure passwords to a close friend or family member for safekeeping? But what happens when those passwords change, as they frequently do and should? What happens if there is a falling-out between the two individuals? While everyone should update their estate plan at least once a year, this does not always occur. As Claire Cain Miller phrases the question over at the Times: "One of the most haunting questions facing Web ... users is, what happens to the stuff of our digital lives after we die?"

Google has now released its own answer to this perennial question: "Inactive Account Manager." Google's Product Manager, Andreas Tuerk, states: "Not many of us like thinking about death -- especially our own. But making plans for what happens after you're gone is really important for the people you leave behind. So today, we're launching a new feature that makes it easy to tell Google what you want done with your digital assets when you die or can no longer use your account."

"For example," the blog post continues, "you can choose to have your data deleted -- after three, six, nine or 12 months of inactivity. Or you can select trusted contacts to receive data from some or all of the following services: +1s; Blogger; Contacts and Circles; Drive; Gmail; Google+ Profiles, Pages and Streams; Picasa Web Albums; Google Voice and YouTube. Before our systems take any action, we'll first warn you by sending a text message to your cellphone and email to the secondary address you've provided."

For more information on taking advantage of this new service, head over to Google's blog post, or read this informative CNET "How To" article.

Pinni Bohm, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), is a NYC tax and estate planning attorney. He can be contacted by email.
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A Recap of ABA TechShow in 39 Links ยท Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

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In March, Judge Paul Engelmayer of the Southern District of New York ordered service of process on several international defendants through novel means--Facebook.

The case, FTC v. PCCare247, Inc., involves a group of individuals based in India who allegedly "tricked American consumers into spending money to fix non-existent problems with their computers." After problems with more conventional methods of international service, the court exercised its authority under the federal rules to fashion its own means of service. As Judge Engelmayer's order explains, Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f)(3) allows a judge to order a means of service of process so long as it is "(1) not prohibited by international agreement; and (2) comports with constitutional notions of due process." In this case, service by Facebook was not specifically prohibited by relevant international agreement, including the Hague Service Convention, to which India and the United States are signatories. Further, the circumstances in which the Facebook accounts would be served ensured service was constitutionally proper.

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Read the entire Dept of Justice Press Release on the Settlement Here

The Justice Department announced today that under its 2011 settlements with BAC Home Loans Servicing LP, a subsidiary of Bank of America Corporation, and Saxon Mortgage Servicing Inc., a subsidiary of Morgan Stanley, 316 service members whose homes were unlawfully foreclosed upon between 2006 and 2010 are due to receive over $39 million in monetary relief for alleged violations of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA).

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IRS Smartphone App IRS2Go--Now Available in Spanish

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The Internal Revenue Service announced today the release of IRS2Go 3.0, an update to its smartphone application that offers practical tax tools and information for the first time in either Spanish or English.

The free mobile app offers taxpayers a number of safe and secure ways to access popular tools and the most up-to-date tax information. For the new version, IRS2Go is available for the first time in Spanish. The taxpayers' phone language settings determine whether the IRS2Go content appears in English or in Spanish.

Click here for a list of the resources available via this bilingual app.

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April 8th Plea Bargain Roundtable

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Dear Bar Members

The Court previously advertised an event sponsored by the New York State / Federal Judicial Council which was going to be held at each of our Courthouse locations in the Northern District from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM on April 8th, 2013. Because of the limited number of attorneys that registered for this program here in Northern New York, and the costs associated with keeping our Courthouses open after hours, this event will no longer be held at the Northern District Courthouses. It is available exclusively via webcast (see link below). This webcast can be viewed from your office, home, or anywhere else that you have a computer with a connection to the internet.

The program will consist of a Roundtable Discussion of the Legal and Practical Impact of the U.S Supreme Court's Decisions in Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper.

The webcast link for this event can be obtained by sending an email message to: rsvp@nyed.uscourts.gov

Thank you

Lawrence Baerman
Clerk of Court
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This page is an archive of entries from April 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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