September 2013 Archives

NYSBA Offers Fastcase as Member Benefit

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Starting this month, all NYSBA members will receive free and unlimited access to the following libraries: 

Decisions of N.Y. Court of Appeals, 1950-present; 
A.D. Decisions, 1955-present; 
Misc. Decisions, 1950-present; 
N.Y. Consolidated Laws; 
N.Y.S. Constitution; 
U.S. Code; 
2d Cir. Decisions from 1924; and
 U.S. Supreme Court Decisions.

Fastcase also offers a full subscription with access to other federal libraries and resources from all 50 states, which is typically available for a list price of $995 per year.  Through this exclusive agreement, NYSBA members can subscribe to the full Fastcase library for only $195 per year - a discount of 80%.  In addition, starting in October, new attorney members (those in their first two years of admission) will receive access to the full Fastcase library free of charge as a NYSBA member benefit.

In order to help you get the most from this new benefit, NYSBA will provide Fastcase training this fall, free of charge for NYSBA members. They will distribute details about Fastcase training in the coming weeks.

To sign up, visit, log in to your NYSBA member account, and click the Fastcase banner at the top of our homepage or find it in the "pull-down menu" under "Members".

If you do not know your password please enter your email address at If you do not know the email address NYSBA has on file for you, please contact the State Bar Service Center at 800-582-2452 to get assistance logging in.

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This Weird Law Dictates How Government Shutdowns Work - Business Insider

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Andrew Cohen-The Atlantic:

If rogue Republicans do not relent over the budget impasse by October 1, whatever pandemonium happens next will largely be governed by a federal statute you likely have never heard of: the Antideficiency Act. You can call it the "anti-deadbeat" law -- a collection of statutory and administrative provisions, really -- that forbid federal officials from entering into financial obligations for which they do not have funding, like paying the salaries of their employees or buying the things they need to run the government.

It's also the law that wisely permits certain "essential" government functions -- like the military and the courts, for example -- to keep operating even in the absence of authorized legislative funding.


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Judiciary to Remain Open If Government Shuts Down | United States Courts

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In the event of a government shutdown on October 1, 2013, the federal Judiciary will remain open for business for approximately 10 business days. On or around October 15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance. All proceedings and deadlines remain in effect as scheduled, unless otherwise advised. Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) will remain in operation for the electronic filing of documents with courts.

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Medicare & the Marketplace |

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The Health Insurance Marketplace that starts in 2014 is designed to help people who don't have any health coverage. If you have health coverage through Medicare, the Marketplace won't have any effect on yourMedicare coverage.

Your Medicare benefits aren't changing. No matter how you get Medicare, whether through Original Medicare or a Medicare health plan, you'll still have the same benefits and security you have now, and you won't have to make any changes. Learn about the 5 ways the Affordable Care Act affects people with Medicare.

The Marketplace provides new health coverage options for many Americans. If you have family and friends who don't have health coverage, tell them to visit to learn more about their options.

You don't need to do anything with the Marketplace during Open Enrollment

Medicare's Open Enrollment isn't part of the Marketplace. 

Medicare Open Enrollment (October 15-December 7) is the time when all people with Medicare are encouraged to review their current health and prescription drug coverage, including any changes in costs, coverage and benefits that will take effect next year. If you want to change your coverage for next year, this is the time to do it. If you're satisfied that your current coverage will continue to meet your needs for next year, you don't need to do anything.  

The Health Insurance Marketplace Open Enrollment period (October 1, 2013-March 31, 2014) overlaps with the Medicare Open Enrollment period (October 15-December 7, 2013).

If you have Medicare, make sure that you're reviewing Medicare plans and not Marketplace options. To review Medicare plans, use the Plan Finder.

What if someone tries to sell me a Marketplace plan?

It's against the law for someone who knows that you have Medicare to sell you a Marketplace plan.

The Medicare Open Enrollment period is a time when there's a higher risk for fraudulent activities. Learn how to preventspot, and reportfraud.
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The U.S. Department of Justice Access to Justice Initiative is offering
a free immigration webinar for the legal services community on October
8, 2013.  The details are set forth below.

invited to a one-hour, free webinar on October 8, 2013.  This is the
first of a series of webinar presentations geared at issues that
defenders and legal aid practitioners encounter in the immigration

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, October 8, 2013, from 12:00 pm
to 1:00 pm Eastern Time.

Senior Counsel Jenni Katzman from the Department of Justice's Access to
Justice Initiative will provide an overview of available federal
resources to address immigration issues related to notario fraud.

Two organizations that specialize in immigration law will also explain
their missions and issues that they confront, such as notario fraud. 
The webinar will include an opportunity to ask questions and provide
feedback on what types of immigration-related information would be most
useful in any upcoming webinars.  

This webinar will include: 

• An introduction of the mission of the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC). 

• A discussion of resources for you and your clients with an immigration case or considerations. This will include a general overview of federal resources available on line. 

• An overview about what notario fraud is (common immigration related scams) and how to combat it. 

• An opportunity for you to ask questions and to provide feedback on what types of immigration-related information would be most useful to you. 

You can find out more about the webinar and register for it at:

If you have questions, e-mail Michelle Sardone at

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Certificate of Merit Pursuant to CPLR 3012-b (New York)

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Pursuant to L. 2013, c. 306, effective August 30, 2013, plaintiffs commencing residential foreclosure actions are required to serve and file a certificate of merit, together with copies of relevant financial documents, with the summons and complaint. In response to requests from the bar, the Office of Court Administration has drafted a model form for this purpose. Practitioners may, ofcourse, employ their own form of certificate to comply with the statute; use of the OCA model form is not mandatory. 
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Every so often an ethics case comes along that has the potential for far-reaching ramifications. Hunter v. Virginia State Bar is one. It could mean lawyers can wilfully disseminate client information for their own gain without violating client confidentiality rules, but also that lawyers cannot blog about their practices and their successes without disclaimers. The legal ethics world is abuzz with whatHunter will mean across the country.

Read entire article here.

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Appeals Court Says Facebook 'Likes' Are Protected Speech-National Law Journal

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Mike Scarcella:

In the Internet arena, "liking" a Facebook page is protected speech that's equivalent to sticking a political campaign sign in your front yard, a federal appeals court in Virginia said Wednesday in a closely watched First Amendment retaliation case.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned a trial judge who concluded that the act of "liking" a Facebook page does not come with constitutional protection. The appeals court revived certain claims in a suit against a Virginia sheriff who didn't reappoint a group of employees who supported a rival candidate for office.

"On the most basic level, clicking on the 'like' button literally causes to be published the statement that the user 'likes' something, which is itself a substantive statement," Chief Judge William Traxler Jr. wrote in the Fourth Circuit ruling. "Aside from the fact that liking the Campaign Page constituted pure speech, it also was symbolic expression."

Read more:

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Pro Bono Requirement Modified to Help LL.M. Students-NYLJ

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Joel Stashenko:

ALBANY - Responding to concerns voiced by law school deans, New York will give foreign master of law degree students more time to meet the requirement that new lawyers perform 50 hours of pro bono service before being admitted to the bar.

The Advisory Committee on New York State Pro Bono Bar Admission Requirements has decided that the previous interpretation of the state pro bono rules giving LL.M. students as little as a year to fulfill the 50-hour requirement was too limited.

Under an updated guide to the new rules released on Aug. 26, the committee said pro bono work performed by foreign students one year before they begin their course of study will count toward meeting the 50-hour obligation for entry to the New York bar.

Read more:
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On January 25, 2012, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation ("NYSDEC") adopted revised model EAFs. The revised EAFs replace the existing ones included in 6 NYCRR 617.20, Appendices A, B, and C, and are a general update to the existing forms. These revisions are the first major updates to the Short and Full EAFs in decades. They incorporate consideration of new areas of environmental concern (i.e. climate change, brownfields, storm water). In addition to substantive changes, the structure of the forms has also been updated to make them easier to use. The new forms become effective on October 7, 2013.

Both the Short and Full revised EAFs can be found on NYSDEC's website:

To assist in the preparation of the revised EAFs, NYSDEC has developed SEQR Environmental Assessment Forms Guidance Documents that provide instructions, background information, links to maps and illustrations, and additional guidance. These guidance documents are generally referred to as the SEAF and FEAF Workbooks and can be found on NYSDEC's websites: 

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All four major U.S. carriers, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint, will launch the new iPhones on the same day, September 20th. Sprint is making an aggressive play to attract more iPhone customers. The carrier will shave off an extra $100 from the prices of iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C for customers who port their number to Sprint from any of its rivals. This deal is actually available with all of the smartphones in Sprint's arsenal, what's surprising is that it has decided to offer it with the newly announced iPhones as well.: 

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Tab - The simple bill splitting app.

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The simple way to split a bill among friends.
Snap a pic of the receipt and tap your items to claim them. 
Tax and tip are calculated for you.
No more back-of-the-napkin algebra or typing in prices by hand

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Analyzing the Unique Duties and Obligations of Special Needs Trusts-NYLJ

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Read more:

Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) are commonly used in planning for disabled beneficiaries. There are numerous resources addressing the drafting of SNTs, but there is a dearth of information to guide trustees in administering them. This article will focus on the special obligations and duties required of a trustee of an SNT.

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Minimal Mac | Worth A Thousand Words

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Patrick Rhone:

The real story, in my opinion, is the one worth a thousand words on each of those aforementioned tech blogs but not getting near that sort of coverage -- the new camera in the iPhone 5S. The camera? Yes, the camera.

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The New York Law Journal is hosting a free CLE webinar on Monday, September 16 at 11:00 am on Trust & Estates. 

Join the discussion on Freeze Partnerships and earn a one-hour CLE credit for registering and attending this free webinar. 

Register Now: 

Accredited in NY, NJ, CA & IL. Anyone can attend.

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iAnnotate PDF for iPad on the iTunes App Store-80% Off Sale

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BranchFire, Inc. announces iAnnotate Sale:

/*** Back to school sale: 80% off until Friday, September 13 at 12pm CDT ***/ 

iAnnotate is the most powerful PDF annotation application for the iPad. Use iAnnotate to read, mark up, and share PDF, DOC, PPT and image files, all from your tablet! *Winner of the 2012 Tabby Awards for Best Productivity App and Best Collaboration App: and 2013 Moxie Awards winner for Mobile App of the Year:* 

Join the hundreds of thousands of users who say iAnnotate is "an indispensable tool to have," and "the reason I bought an iPad." Improve your productivity, reduce your clutter, and collaborate more effectively - all with iAnnotate! iAnnotate's intuitive interface and comprehensive, customizable set of features make it the "go-to app" for taking notes on lecture slides, annotating important business documents, revising screenplays, grading papers, and much more. Read on to learn more about the great capabilities of iAnnotate:

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Why lawyers will love the iPhone 5s - iPhone J.D.

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Jeff Richardson:  Yesterday, Apple introduced two new iPhones, the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c.  The iPhone 5s is the flagship model.  It will be available starting September 20, 2013, and it costs the same as the iPhone 5 that it replaces:  $199 for 16 GB, $299 for 32 GB and $399 for 64 GB.  The iPhone 5s includes some great new features, and the more I read about this device, the more I am sure that lawyers are going to love it.

The iPhone 5s only adds a few more things to the iPhone 5, but they look like features that most any lawyer would appreciate.  The security and ease-of-use improvements of the Touch ID would be enough of a reason for me to upgrade, and when you add the faster A7 processor, the better camera and all of the other improvements, there is no doubt that I will be getting one -- and that would be true even if I didn't publish this website.  If you currently use an iPhone 5, the upgrade to an iPhone 5s is certainly not essential, but it will make your constant companion even more useful.  (If you are not eligible for to pay the subsidized price because you bought an iPhone 5 within the past year, you might be able to use a subsidized upgrade available to someone else on your wireless plan such as a spouse; that's what I did last year.)  If you currently use an iPhone 4S or older model of the iPhone, then you get all of the improvements noted above plus the improvements of the iPhone 5 such as the larger screen and the thin, light design -- so you are in for a treat.  And if the iPhone 5s will be your first iPhone, then welcome to iPhone J.D., and I hope that you stick around.

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An Invitation to be a Judge

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Learning Negotiation from an FBI Agent

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Josh Cameron:
Eric Barker, a contributor for and owner of the blog "Barking Up the Wrong Tree" sat down with Chris Voss to talk about negotiation. Normally that wouldn't pique anyone's interest, unless they knew that Chris Voss is a former member of the FBI Crisis Negotiation Unit, and the former lead international kidnapping negotiator. He now runs the negotiation consulting firm the Black Swan Group.

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Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch - Wearable tech - CNET Reviews

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These remarks by Eric Cooperstein were first given at the Hennepin County Bar Association's annual meeting in May, then printed in the July 2013 issue of The Hennepin Lawyer, member publication of the HCBA. I am re-publishing them here because we have talked about the problems with bar associations, wondered whether they are still useful, suggestedways for them to stay relevant, and more. This is one bar association president's answer. -- Ed.

This an excellent explanation of why bar associations can and should foster the legal community.

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How to Speed Up a Slow, Aging iPhone or iPad-LifeHacker

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Apple's rumored to announce a new iPhone next week, and some of you may be tempted to shell out for the newest one--especially if your old beater is acting slow, crashing, and generally misbehaving. Here are a few ways from Whitson Gordon to speed it up so you can save a few bucks.

Sure, you may not get the newest features of iOS, and running through these steps won't make your device feel totally new; it'll just keep it running for a little while longer. But if you're trying to save some money or just keep your apps from crashing, these tips can be a godsend.


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How to Uninstall MacKeeper - updated |

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MacKeeper - also known as 911 Bundle' in the App store -- yes, you've seen the ads all over the internet, pop ups on your favourite webpages, it seems to be everywhere. Many people that download and use MacKeeper experience severe problems as a result.

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This page is an archive of entries from September 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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