July 2013 Archives

The following is being sent to you on behalf of the Senior Lawyers Section Pro Bono Committee as a program of interest:

On Friday, August 2, 2013, starting at 9 a.m., the Practicing Law Institute (PLI) will offer a free CLE program in New York City entitled:

"Representing the Pro Bono Client: New York Public Assistance and Food Stamp Advocacy 2013 (Free)."

One may attend in person or view the program on a live webcast. In addition, two weeks after the date of the program the webcast will be accessible as an archive on PLI's website.

For details, and to register, see the seminar webpage here, or call PLI at 800-260-4754 (Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 6 p.m Eastern Time).

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The Reality of Low-Bono Law Practice-Sam Glover on Lawyerist

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Sam Glover:  There are plenty of people who need a lawyer but can't afford one at the going rates. In theory, that leaves a huge market of under-served legal consumers. And there seem to be plenty of idealistic new and out-of-work lawyers who see that as an opportunity to build a "low-bono" practice.


As they put it, if you have a lot of experience and skills when you start a low-bono practice, "you are going to be poor for a very long time." Low-bono law practice is not about idealism, they say, it is a slog. If you aren't realistic, it won't work.

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GP Section Announces New Mentoring Blog

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You can Join!

The General Practice Section is pleased to announce the launch of its innovative mentoring program, GP Law Connect.

GP Law Connect will be a legal blog, sponsored by the NYSBA's General Practice Section, for mentors and mentees to co-author articles and publish them online. The benefit of blogging on GP Law Connect is that, by "crowdsourcing" content from a large group of mentors and mentees, GP Law Connect promises to become a leading legal blog across New York State and beyond.

Members of GP Law Connect will be invited to join us at a welcoming reception on October 17th at Baker Hostetler in New York City, 4-8pm. The reception is held in conjunction with an MCLE program,Blogging 101 - Social Media Marketing and Mentoring - Ethical and Practical Considerations, co-sponsored by the NYSBA Law Practice Management Committee. The reception and program will provide an opportunity for mentors and mentees to meet, network with other members and learn more about online legal writing. Registration details will follow: Save the date!

GP Law Connect provides several benefits that are unique to the mentoring program: 

  • Shared resources (mentors share knowledge and experience in choosing topics and providing editorial direction; mentees share time while drafting content and researching, if necessary)
  • The inherent credibility of content published on a NYSBA sponsored blog
  • Inbound marketing opportunities for authors and the benefit of publishing on a blog that is more likely to rank highly in Google searches;
  • Business development opportunities
  • Pro bono opportunities

Through the NYSBA, GP Law Connect is slated to officially launch in October 2013. Our mission is to develop the blog into an industry leading publication for a cross-section of readers: our colleagues, our community, and overall, our potential clients.

For mentors, the blog will serve as a potential and growing referral source for business development as well as the opportunity to mentor a new lawyer. For mentees, the blog will serve as an opportunity to draft and/or co-author a relevant and engaging article in their chosen field of law as well as the opportunity to be mentored by an experienced lawyer. Mentors and mentees will be paired according to similar areas of legal interest.

If you are interested in participating in GP Law Connect either as a mentor or a mentee, please contact GeneralPractice@nysba.org today, indicating (1) whether you prefer to be a mentor or a mentee, and (2) your area/s of practice or interest in the law. You will be contacted with further details approaching the launch date, but we would like to give you this opportunity now to put in your request in for a spot on the mentoring blog team. Participation in GP Law Connect is currently an exclusive benefit of General Practice Section membership, and may be subject to mentor/mentee ratio limits.

Thank you for your interest in what we believe will be an exciting and innovative mentoring program for our membership.

Paige Zandri, Esq.
Mentoring Subcommittee Chair
General Practice Section Business Law Committee

Join GP Law Connect now!  Email GeneralPractice@nysba.org indicating (1) whether you prefer to be a mentor or a mentee, and (2) your area/s of practice or interest in the law.
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Forcelli v. Gelco Corp. (Index No. 27584/08) (App Dive 2d Dept, decided July 24, 2013) by Leonard E Sienko Jr

Accordingly, we hold that where, as here, an email  [*15] message contains all material terms of a settlement and a manifestation of mutual accord, and the party to be charged, or his or her agent, types his or her name under circumstances manifesting an intent that the name be treated as a signature, such an email message may be deemed a subscribed writing within the meaning of CPLR 2104so as to constitute an enforceable agreement. 

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TranscriptPad update provides improved reports - iPhone J.D.

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Jeff Richardson:  TranscriptPad imports the text versions of depositions provided by a court reporter and organizes them into cases.  You can then use the app to read and annotate the deposition.  And instead of simply marking all of the important stuff with a yellow highlighter (although you can do that too), TranscriptPad lets you add issue codes as you review a deposition.  So if a Question and Answer are relevant to damages in a case, you can select those lines and apply the "Damages" issue code (or whatever other issue codes you want to create).  When you are finished reviewing the deposition, the app creates a handy report organized by issue code so that you can, for example, see all of the key "Damages" testimony at one time, all of the key "Comparative Fault" testimony at one time, etc. 
Ever since the app was first released, it has cost $49.99, but because Apple doesn't allow developers to charge for app updates, the developer told me that he is raising the price of the app to $89.99 to cover the future cost of development.  I believe that the price increase will occur on Monday, July 29, 2013. 



Check out Transcript Pad for yourself: http://www.litsoftware.com/products/transcriptpad/

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The iPhone's Do Not Disturb feature - iPhone J.D.

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Jeff Richardson is back to discuss another topic related to alerts on the iPhone -- the Do Not Disturb feature of iOS 6.  There is some confusion about how this feature works, and it is important for iPhone users to understand when alerts can occur.  After all, you don't want to be this guy who brought a performance of the New York Philharmonic to a halt, nor do you want a similar thing to happen to you in court.

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Leap Motion Controller Review - Watch CNET's Video Review

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When Cities Go Bankrupt | United States Courts

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Detroit Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Filing - WXYZ

When Cities Go Bankrupt

When Cities Go Bankrupt

The City of Detroit has declared bankruptcy under Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code. Chapter 9 provides for reorganization of municipalities, which includes cities and towns, as well as villages, counties, taxing districts, municipal utilities, and school districts.

Chapter 9 filings are not common. From 1991-2012 there were 217 Chapter 9 bankruptcies filed nationwide, with 20 filed in FY 2012. The majority of the cases have been for utility districts and not sovereign government entities. This interactive map shows total Chapter 9 bankruptcies by district from 1991 to 2012. 

The purpose of Chapter 9 is to provide a financially distressed municipality protection from its creditors while it develops and negotiates a plan for adjusting its debts. Reorganization of the debts of a municipality is typically accomplished either by extending debt maturities, reducing the amount of principal or interest, or refinancing the debt by obtaining a new loan.

Although similar to other chapters in some respects, Chapter 9 is significantly different in that there is no provision in the law for liquidation of the assets of the municipality and distribution of the proceeds to creditors.

Learn more about Chapter 9 and bankruptcy basics on the uscourts.gov website.

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Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act-IRS

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 FATCA Information Updated on Web Site

The FATCA web pages have been redesigned and updated. Additions include a  new landing page for US financial institutions  that  addresses  their FATCA responsibilities. Another new page provides information for governments interested in Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs).  A link for the FATCA registration website will be added  in August, when the registration system opens.

More here.

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There are red faces in Redmond after Edward Snowden released a new batch of documents from the NSA's Special Source Operations (SSO) division covering Microsoft's involvement in allowing backdoor access to its software to the NSA and others.

Documents seen by The Guardian detail how the NSA became concerned when Microsoft started testing Outlook.com, and asked for access. In five months Microsoft and the FBI created a workaround that gives the NSA access to encrypted chats on Outlook.com. The system went live in December last year - two months before Outlook.com's commercial launch. Those Outlook users not enabling encryption get their data slurped as a matter of course, the documents show. "For Prism collection against Hotmail, Live, and Outlook.com emails will be unaffected because Prism collects this data prior to encryption," an NSA newsletter states.

Read entire Register report here.

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Wireless Emergency Alerts on the iPhone--iPhone J.D.

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Jeff Richardson explains everything you need to know about:

The WARN Act and WEA

Title VI of PL 109-347 (Oct. 13, 2006) is titled the Warning Alert and Response Network Act, sometimes called the WARN Act.  The WARN Act, in 47 U.S.C. § 1201, gives the FCC the authority to adopt standards for cell phone companies to transmit emergency alerts.  Participation by cell phone companies is voluntary -- they don't have to participate -- but if they do, the law states that cell phone companies may not impose an additional charge for such alerts.  47 U.S.C. § 1201(b)(2)(C).

Pursuant to the WARN Act, the FCC worked with FEMA to create a program called Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA).  The system was based on the existing Emergency Alert System (EAS), which are the warnings that you get on a television and radio when there is a weather or other emergency. 

Alerts are sent to cell towers providing wireless service to a target geographical area, and then all WEA-capable phones using those cell towers receive the alert.  Thus, you will receive an alert if you are in a targeted area even if you are just visiting that area.

(Sorry-only 4s and newer)

Read the entire article here.

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A new guide on international commercial arbitration (pdf) written for U.S. federal judges is now available online. In less than 100 pages, it offers a practical overview of a complicated area of law that has become the preferred means of resolving cross-border business disputes.

Stacie Strong, a 2012-2013 Supreme Court Fellow working with the Federal Judicial Center, wrote the guide prior to beginning her fellowship year. Strong brought her unique background to the topic; she is not only a law professor at the University of Missouri, she also has practiced international commercial arbitration for a number of years in the U.S. and in England, and is dual-qualified as a U.S. lawyer and an English solicitor.

Read the full story.

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MONDAY, AUGUST 26, 2013 
CLE Program
"Cybercrime and Cyberlaw - What Every Lawyer Should Know"
Monday, August 26, 2013
10:00 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.
Mohawk Golf Club, Schenectady, New York

Recent developments and revelations in the news have highlighted the threats posed to American Businesses from a range of cyber-dangers - from data spills to state-sponsored economic espionage. Yet beyond attention grabbing headlines there is scant analysis to put this problem in context and to provide concrete analysis and solutions to these seemingly amorphous issues. Every company holds data. And every company uses computers.(Even law firms!) But what are the key laws and regulations that every lawyer should be aware of to protect their clients and their Firms.

These topics will be evaluated by Joseph V. DeMarco of the law firm of DeVore DeMarco, LLP. Drawing on his experience in private practice and as the founder and head of the Cybercrime Unit at the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York from 1997-2007. Mr. DeMarco will address in a clear and non-technical manner:

Recent developments and revelations in the area of data spills, computer hacking, and cyber-espionage;

Key criminal and civil laws that apply to these phenomena;

What to do - and not to do -- in the face of new and evolving cyber-threats to businesses, their systems, and their IP;

The impact of the President Obama's recent Cybersecurity Executive Order on American business; and 

How leading businesses address these threats, and what you and your clients can learn from them.

Registration for CLE Program to follow.
Golf Outing
Monday, August 26, 2013
Annual NDNY FCBA Golf Event
Mohawk Golf Club, Schenectady, New York
Shine up your clubs and join us on Monday, August 26, 2013 for theAnnual NDNY FCBA Golf Event with the Federal Judiciary at the 
Mohawk Golf Club, 1849 Union Street, Schenectady, New York. Please see link:  Mohawk Golf Club 

Lunch will begin at noon followed by a 1:00 p.m. shotgun start.Cocktails 
will be served at 6:00 p.m. with a buffet dinner at 7:00 p.m. Invitation and
registration to follow. 

Tentative Calendar of events
9:30 a.m. CLE Registration
10:00 - 11:50 a.m. CLE Program 
12:00 p.m. BBQ Lunch and Golf Registration
1:00 p.m. Shotgun Start
6:00 p.m. Cocktails
7:00 p.m. Buffet Dinner

NDNY Federal Court Bar Association, Inc. 
(315) 422-2799 
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 Reblogged from LAW OF THE LAND:

Following a subdivision application by the owner of a 2.974-acre lot in the Village of Deposit that is also in the counties of Broome and Delaware, the Village Planning board issued a positive declaration under the State Environmental Quality Review Act and required the applicant to submit a draft environmental impact statement. Following litigation and a remand to the board, the board ultimately issued a negative declaration and then denied the applicant's proposed subdivision request. 

Read more... 348 more words from Dean Patricia Salkin.

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Microsoft has collaborated closely with US intelligence services to allow users' communications to be intercepted, including helping the National Security Agency to circumvent the company's own encryption, according to top-secret documents obtained by the Guardian.

The files provided by Edward Snowden illustrate the scale of co-operation between Silicon Valley and the intelligence agencies over the last three years. They also shed new light on the workings of the top-secret Prism program, which was disclosed by the Guardian and the Washington Post last month.

Read entire Guardian report, including mention of Skype after its purchase by MS.

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Twitter Changes-Official Twitter blog | Twitter Blog

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Twitter in the last month or two has introduced:
Keep up to date on Twitter with the Official Twitter blog.
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EPIC - In re EPIC - NSA Telephone Records Surveillance

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  • EPIC Files Supreme Court Petition, Challenges Domestic Surveillance Program: EPIC has filed a Petitionwith the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court vacate an unlawful order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that enables the collection of all domestic phone record by the NSA. The order, directed to Verizon, requires the production of all "call detail records" for calls made "wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls." EPIC said "It is simply not possible that every phone record in the possession of a telecommunications firm could be relevant to an authorized investigation. . . . Such an interpretation of [the law] would render meaningless the qualifying phrases contained in the provision and eviscerate the purpose of the Act." For more information, see In re Electronic Privacy Information Center. (Jul. 8, 2013)

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In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A. - NYTimes.com

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WASHINGTON -- In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation's surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.

The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court's classified decisions.

The 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, was once mostly focused on approving case-by-case wiretapping orders. But since major changes in legislation and greater judicial oversight of intelligence operations were instituted six years ago, it has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions that will most likely shape intelligence practices for years to come, the officials said.

Last month, a former National Security Agency contractor, Edward J. Snowden, leaked a classified order from the FISA court, which authorized the collection of all phone-tracing data from Verizon business customers. But the court's still-secret decisions go far beyond any single surveillance order, the officials said.

Read entire NYTIMES report by clicking first link belowe:

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The General Municipal Law was recently amended in relation to service of notices of claim against public corporations.  Public corporations, as defined in the General Construction Law, include municipal corporations, district corporations and public benefit corporations. Specifically, General Municipal Law section 53 was amended to permit notices of claim against public corporations to be served on the New York Secretary of State.  The New York Department of State will forward the notice of claim to the person designated by the public corporation to receive the notice of claim.

Public corporations will be required to file a certificate with the New York Department of State designating the New York Secretary of State as their agent for service of notices of claim.  The certificate must provide address information for the transmittal of notices of claim.  Failure of a public corporation to file such a certificate will not invalidate any notice of claim served on the New York Secretary of State.

A person serving a notice of claim on the New York Secretary of State will be charged a $250 service fee.  Half of the service fee will be retained by the New York Secretary of State and the other half provided to the public corporation or public corporations named in the notice of claim.  Public corporations that do not file a Certificate of Designation of Notice of Claim with the New York Department of State will not receive a share of the service fees.

Certificates of Designation of Notice of Claim may be filed online. Online filing is available from 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. 

Paper forms are also available.  Completed paper forms may be sent to the Department of State, Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY  12231. 

The Secretary of State may be served with notices of claim against public corporations beginning Monday, July 15, 2013. 

Any questions regarding notices of claim may be sent to the Department of State at eDesignation@dos.ny.gov.

Online Filing of Designation:  https://appext20.dos.ny.gov/noc_public/f?p=800:8

Online Filing of Amendment: https://appext20.dos.ny.gov/noc_public/f?p=800:2

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SecureGmail Encrypts Your Gmail Messages with One Click-LifeHacker

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Chrome: Privacy is a precious commodity, what with companies tracking you on the web andthe NSA collecting data at large, so if you'd like a little security, SecureGmail is a Chrome extension that makes it easy to encrypt your Gmail messages with a password only your recipient should know.

Read the entire article explaining how to secure your Gmail messages on LifeHacker.

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Software as a Monthly Rental - NYTimes.com

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David Pogue reviews  Adobe's new revenue-generating subscription scheme.

You have to pay $30 a month, or $240 a year, for the privilege of using the latest Photoshop version, called Photoshop CC. Or, if you want to use the full Adobe suite (Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere and so on), you'll pay $600 a year.

UPDATE:  David Pogue answers outraged questions about Adobe's new subscription scheme.

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