August 2013 Archives

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service ruled this week that same-sex couples, legally married in jurisdictions that recognize their marriages, will be treated as married for federal tax purposes. The ruling applies regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage or a jurisdiction that does not recognize same-sex marriage.

The ruling implements federal tax aspects of the June 26 Supreme Court decision invalidating a key provision of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.

See full announcement here.

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ALBANY -- New York's top court will hear arguments in a pair of cases that challenge whether towns, cities and villages can ban natural-gas drilling within their borders, the court announced Thursday.

The state Court of Appeals agreed to take on cases against the towns of Dryden, Tompkins County, and Middlefield, Otsego County, despite unanimous rulings upholding those towns' drilling ban by a mid-level appeals court earlier this year.

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Updated: The founder of Groklaw has decided to shut down the technology blog because of fears its email communications could be subject to government surveillance.

Former paralegal Pamela Jones founded Groklaw in 2003 to cover legal news of interest to the free software and open source community. In this final postat Groklaw, she says made the decision after learning that the government captures emails sent to and from foreign countries, the Atlantic and theGuardian report.

Read ABA Journal Updated Report here.

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Apple is about to introduce an iPhone trade-in program that will allow users to walk into a Retail store and trade up from an old model to a new one. We've heard some interesting details about the way that the program will work, and indeed, is working right now in some pilot Apple Stores.

The program, has gotten a bit of press today, with Macrumors' Eric Slivka reporting that the training for the program is underway and Mark Gurman of 9to5Mac quoting a start datesometime in September.

TechCrunch has the info on this pilot program here.

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Robb Lewis:

After seeing a few tweets about how difficult it can be to delete your Skype account and then hearing that Netflix flat-out won't delete your details I (Robb Lewis) decided to build

JustDelete.Me is a directory of urls to delete your account from web services. (Yes, I am aware how terrible that description is. If you've got a better one, let me know). Services are marked either easy, medium or hard depending on how difficult it is to delete that account. Those marked as hard have additional information...


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How To Determine If Your Law Practice Is Worth Anything-Lawyerist

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Roy Ginsburg:

Frequently, soon-to-be-retired solo practitioners or small law firm owners want to know if it is worth the effort to sell their practices. By far, the most significant determinant of the answer to this question is whether and for how long the practice can continue to produce revenue once the seller is gone.

Roy Ginsburg is an attorney coach who works one-on-one with his clients in the areas of business development, practice management and career development/transitions.


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Stay informed, save time. Circa is another way to read and follow news on your iPhone and iPod Touch. 

News articles and small screens just don't play well together. Circa solves that problem by condensing the news and making it much easier to read while on-the-go. 

Their editors strive to make the news easier and faster to read, covering the day's Top Stories, US, World, Politics, and Technology News! 

See why Circa has been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times - get it now for free! 

App Features: 

• Catch up quick - Don't worry about intimidatingly long articles. Circa's editorial staff boils down stories to just the facts, keeping you informed and saving you time! 
• Follow the news - Rather than constantly re-reading articles on the same subject, Circa allows you to follow stories that you'd like to stay up with. They'll send you push notifications each time a story you follow has been updated. 
• Share stories & points that you find interesting via Email, Messaging, or Facebook & Twitter. 
• Circa's news coverage is produced by their own editorial staff from the their sources, which they provide alongside each point if you're curious. 
• Offline reading - Riding the subway? Don't have an internet connection? You can still read all of the news within Circa while offline. 


I know it shows my age; but Circa reminds me of the Readers' Digest...updated and tarted up for the 21st Century.


Get Circa here.

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The Voice-Off - Android vs. Siri -

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David Pogue compares Android versus Siri for voice recognition and can't avoid religious controversy.


Put down your swords, fanboys. Both systems are exceedingly useful, once you spend the time to learn them. (Here's a site with a good list of Android voice commands: And here's one for Siri:

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Town of Carmel v. MELCHNER, 2013 NY Slip Op 1259 - NY: Appellate Div., 2nd Dept. 2013 - Google Scholar by Leonard E Sienko Jr

Town of Carmel v. Melchner, 105 A.D.3d 82 (2 Dept. 2/27/2013)

After a thorough analysis of the relevant case law, the appellate court determined that where the State owns the submerged land, it has exclusive jurisdiction over the navigable waters above it.  As such, the State law preempts any municipal or local laws. 

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Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association-Fraud Alert

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In an emergency move to preserve Federal Defender staffing in FY 2014, the Executive Committee of the Judicial Conference of the United States has reduced hourly rates for court-appointed panel attorneys by $15 an hour. Payments to panel attorneys for up to four weeks of work done in FY 2014 will be deferred to FY 2015. An Aug. 16 letter described the moves as temporary and undesirable, but said they "are necessary to avoid permanent damage to the federal defender program."

Read the letter (pdf).

More news on sequestration and the courts >>>

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"What Is That Box?" -- When The NSA Shows Up At Your Internet Company

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Pete Ashdown, CEO of XMission, an internet service provider in Utah, describes receiving a Foreign Intelligence Service Act (FISA) warrant in 2010, mandating he let the feds monitor one of his customers, through his facility. He also received a broad gag order.

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Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tax Provisions-IRS

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or health care law, contains many tax and other provisions for employers. The IRS will administer the tax provisions included in the law. Visit for more information on other provisions.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or health care law, includes new health insurance coverage and financial assistance options, including the Premium Tax Credit, for individuals and families. The IRS will administer the tax provisions included in the law. Visit for more information on coverage options and assistance.
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Floyd et. al. v. City of New York--Remedy Opinion

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Floyd v. City of New York-Liability Opinion

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Can a Car Service Predict the Future of Legal Services? - Divorce Discourse

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Lee Rosen is thinking and writing about disrupters; i.e., a car service named Uber and LegalZoom:

Rosen: When I was in San Francisco, I got around using UberLyft, andSidecar. Uber is a car service that charges by the ride. You use an app on your phone, and a car arrives in about five minutes and off you go. The fee is automatically billed to the credit card you have on file.


 Uber has a great deal in common with LegalZoom and other intruders into the legal space. LegalZoom, like Uber, is delivering a product desired by the public. LegalZoom, like Uber, is well funded. LegalZoom, like Uber, is competing against an incumbent that isn't well liked and doesn't get the benefit of the doubt.

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Jureeka 4.0 -- Powered by LII | LII / Legal Information Institute

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Surf the legal web you didn't know was there! Working in your web browser, Jureeka simplifies online legal research by transforming plain-text legal citations into direct links to the source. Download Jureeka for Firefox

Image of text after JureekaImage of text after Jureeka

The brand new version 4.0 is now powered by the full collections of the Legal Information Institute and has been enhanced for optimal performance in Firefox.

Download Jureeka for Firefox

For Google Chome users, version 3.3 is still available, but version 4.0 is on the way soon!

Download Jureeka for Chrome

Learn more at the Jureeka Blog

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Internet Research Tips and Resources for Lawyers-Lawyerist

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Sam Glover:  Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch have powerfulsearch-fu. You should buy their book, The Cybersleuth's Guide to the Internet, whether or not you have had a chance to attend one of their internet research seminars.

At the Strategic Solutions for Solo & Small Firms conference, Levitt and Rosch gave two presentations on advanced internet research (not just legal research, but lawyers obviously need to be able to research more than cases and statutes). Knowing how to do more than just type words into Google's search box -- as well as the kinds of information you can find for free online -- can be critical.

Here's Sam Glover's take on some of their best suggestions.

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NDNY Federal Court Bar Association Annual Golf Event and CLE Program

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Please join members of the Judiciary and Bar for a CLE Program at the beautiful Mohawk Golf Club in Schenectady on Monday, August 26, 2013.  The CLE Program is entitled "Cybercrime and Cyberlaw - What Every Lawyer Should Know" and will be presented by Joseph V. DeMarco, Esq. of DeVore and DeMarco, LLP.

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.

Participants will receive 2.0 credits towards the Professional Practice requirement.  

Visit for more details on this CLE Program as well as for information on a NDNY Federal Court Bar Association social function that will immediately follow the CLE Program.  You may register for the CLE Program and social function at   
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NYSBA General Practice Section Chapter organizing near you

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The General Practice Section is excited to announce that a General Practice Section Chapter is organizing in your Judicial Department.  Meetings will be held in your area and will concern matters that are important to you and your practice.


As the Chapters are in the their beginning phase, the Section is seeking individuals to take on leadership roles within their local chapter.  Please respond to Lew Tesser, Chair, General Practice Section at to indicate your interest in a leadership role.


ALSO, it would be great if we could have a discussion on the list serve about the General Practice Section.  Are we meeting your needs? What else would you like to see your Section doing?  Please feel free to post your constructive comments at   We're here for you.




Lew Tesser, Chair

General Practice Section



Lewis Tesser

Tesser, Ryan & Rochman, LLP.

509 Madison Avenue

New York, NY 10022

(212) 754-9000

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RIP: Ross Kodner, Legal Technology Guru · Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

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Bob Ambrogi:

Think back to Sept. 11, 2001. In the aftermath of that horrible event, many of us were so stunned and shocked that we did not know how to respond. Not Ross. Less than a week after the attack, the New York State Bar Association launched a website called Legal TechAid, devoted to serving as a clearinghouse of information about replacing computer systems, recovering data and reestablishing law practices interrupted by the events of that day. The site was almost entirely the result of the volunteer work of Ross and Dale Tincher, president of, who joined forces and scrambled to make it happen. (Ross preserved an archived version of the site on the Microlaw website.)

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