July 2017 Archives

New York City's Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD)--NYS Health Dept

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The New York State Department of Health (DOH) has released the draft New York City Filtration Avoidance Determination (FAD) for public comment. The FAD sets forth the requirements that New York City must follow to continue to avoid filtering its Catskill/Delaware water supply and to ensure safe drinking water for more than 9.5 million New Yorkers. 

In anticipation of the final FAD being issued this year, the draft has been released for a 45-day public comment period, ending September 5, 2017. 

To view the draft FAD and for instructions on how to comment, visit DOH's New York City's Filtration Avoidance Determination webpage




Paralegal robot reviews patent documents

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BY STEPHEN RYNKIEWICZ--ABA Journal

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TurboPatent Corp. on June 28 launched artificial-intelligence products that compare patent claims with past applications to make predictions about patent eligibility.


The patent drafting software, dubbed RoboReview, automates paralegal work, bringing more rigor to the task of researching prior art and potentially saving thousands of dollars on a filing. It's sold as a subscription product on an unlimited or per-use basis.

"Typically this review is done by humans doing multiple searches," says James Billmaier, TurboPatent's chief executive officer. "Very seasoned attorneys are amazed at things the machine finds that they miss in these very technically written documents."

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BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS--ABA Journal

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A lawyer in Syracuse, New York, is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 4 to enter a plea to allegations that she phoned in a bomb threat to avoid a hearing on an opposing lawyer's request for sanctions against her.

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As new procedures are phased in, TSA officers will begin to ask travelers to remove electronics larger than a cell phone from their carry-on bags and place them in a bin with nothing on top or below, similar to how laptops have been screened for years. This simple step helps TSA officers obtain a clearer X-ray image.

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Adobe to kill off Flash by 2020 | TheHill

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BY JOE UCHILL

Adobe announced it would end support for the multimedia plug-in Flash by the end of 2020. 

"Adobe is planning to end-of-life Flash. Specifically, we will stop updating and distributing the Flash Player at the end of 2020 and encourage content creators to migrate any existing Flash content to these new open formats," the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday. 

Read More...


The number of federal prison inmates sentenced under mandatory minimum laws decreased by 14 percent from 2010 to 2016, although they still make up more than half of all federal inmates, according to a new report by the United States Sentencing Commission.

Read more.


Review: SimpliSafe Alarm System -- Katie Floyd

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Katie Floyd:

I've written about my move to a new home and the technology I'm using. With the move came a search for a new alarm system. I looked at "smart alarm" solutions, but ultimately, I installed a system from SimpliSafe. It's not fancy, and it's certainly not tech-forward. But it was friendly on the budget and after a few initial hiccups seems to work as advertised.

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Don't Take the Bait, Step 2: Be Alert to Account Takeover Tactics

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Account takeovers by cybercriminals are on the rise and increasingly practitioners are the targets. Heed the advice of the IRS, state tax agencies and industry partners: Don't Take the Bait.

For more information, visit Protect Your Clients, Protect Yourself.




2017 ABA Annual Meeting--CLE in the City Series

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Dear General Practice Section member:

 

The 2017 American Bar Association Annual Meeting is headed to New York, August 10 - 15.  The ABA is working with the NYSBA General Practice Section, along with other Local/Affinity Bar Associations and New York Law Firms, on the new CLE in the City Series, in conjunction with the ABA Annual Meeting. 

 

This innovative set of programs offers:

 

·         12 specialty tracks to fit your legal interest

·         4.5 CLE credits with over 30+ sessions

·         Affordable tickets without a meeting registration fee - $25/session

·         Programs presented at leading law firms or special venues in midtown Manhattan

 

We are excited to share with you the CLE in the City brochure.  Registration is now open!

Register today to secure your place at the CLE in the City Series.  You can purchase individual program tickets for $25 without registering for the ABA Annual Meeting by entering the promo code LAP during the registration process.  You must reside within the Tri-State area to take advantage of this great offer. You do not have to be an ABA member to take advantage of these unique CLE programs. Click here to register.

 

Included with your $25 CLE in the City ticket:

Bonus CLE 

Thursday, August 10 | 4 - 5:30 p.m. | Bright Insight: Key Business Drivers and Trends Affecting Real Estate Decision-Making (CLE Accreditation Requested) | New York Hilton Midtown

 

Reception

Thursday, August 10 | 5:30 - 7 p.m. | Trial of Two Pizzas (New York v. Chicago) and Reception | ABA EXPO | New York Hilton Midtown

 

If you would like to attend other exciting events being offered at the ABA Annual Meeting, please visit the website www.ambar.org/annual.  General ABA Annual Meeting registration is open with registration fees starting as low as $95.00.   

 

We look forward to seeing you in August.




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Some of the problems playing out now in the $108 billion private student loan market are reminiscent of those that arose from the subprime mortgage crisis a decade ago, when billions of dollars in subprime mortgage loans were ruled uncollectable by courts because of missing or fake documentation. And like those troubled mortgages, private student loans -- which come with higher interest rates and fewer consumer protections than federal loans -- are often targeted at the most vulnerable borrowers, like those attending for-profit schools.

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Jeff Richardson,

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To try to get more concrete information on the current state of affairs, Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon who has a reputation of being a privacy advocate, recently sent a letter to Acting Commissioner Kevin McAleenan of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) with questions on the current policies.  I encourage you to read the full response as posted by the Washington Post, as well as the article by Brian Fung of the Post, but here are four parts of the response that jumped out a me.

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A New Kind of Instant Messaging

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Whether it's corporations or governments, digital surveillance today is widespread. Tox is easy-to-use software that connects you with friends and family without anyone else listening in. While other big-name services require you to pay for features, Tox is completely free and comes without advertising -- forever.

Everything you do with Tox is encrypted using open-source libraries. The only people who can see your conversations are the people you're talking with.



In the 10 years since the iPhone launched, I've never really settled on a way to arrange my home screen that I actually like. Folders seem clunky but no folders leaves me with too many things multiple swipes away. Organising by what I use most leaves me with the rarely but rapidly needed apps buried, while organising by speed of access leaves me tapping through multiple times a day.

And then there's aesthetics. Some apps simply don't deserve to be on my first home screen no matter how much I use them. Mostly games. Game designers can't make an attractive icon for the life of them, it seems.

I was trapped on the horns of dilemma. So for the past couple of years, I've abdicated all responsibility for the decision making, and instead instituted A System: every time I tap on an app to open it, I move it one square closer to the front.

Read more....

Phishing-Malware - YouTube

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YouTube: Phishing-Malware

Find out how to protect your clients from emails that claim they are from the IRS by watching this YouTube video.


Sheldon Silver's 2015 Corruption Conviction Is Overturned - NYTimes.com

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A federal appeals court on Thursday overturned the 2015 corruption conviction of Sheldon Silver, the once-powerful New York State Assembly speaker who obtained nearly $4 million in illicit payments in return for taking official actions that benefited others, according to evidence presented at his trial.

In vacating Mr. Silver's conviction, the appellate court cited a United States Supreme Court ruling last year involving Bob McDonnell, a former Republican governor of Virginia, that narrowed the definition of the kind of official conduct that can serve as the basis of a corruption prosecution.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan concluded, in light of the Supreme Court's narrower definition, that the jury instructions given by the judge in Mr. Silver's trial were erroneous and that a properly instructed jury might not have convicted him.

Read more...

Full text of Decision-click link below:

http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/0579cf52-4c1f-450e-ad78-2d637953e1ce/1/doc/16-1615_opn.pdf#xml=http://www.ca2.uscourts.gov/decisions/isysquery/0579cf52-4c1f-450e-ad78-2d637953e1ce/1/hilite/


Attorney Registration: Secure Pass ID Cards - N.Y. State Courts

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The highlights of the changes in the Attorney Secure Pass program (instituted in 2015) are:

- Attorneys may opt to renew their Secure Pass ID cards by logging on to www.nycourts.gov

- Login will require Attorney Online Services user name & password (same as Attorney Registration and NYSCEF)

- A Secure Pass will now remain valid for 5 years

- The cost of an Attorney Secure Pass will increase from $25 to $50

- Online renewals will use current photo on file

- Online renewals will require only a single courthouse visit to pick -up the new ID Card and verify identity

- Note: Attorneys applying for their first Secure Pass ID Card MUST continue to use the paper form and submit in person and pick -up in person (new paper forms reflecting the new $50.00 cost are available at trial-level courthouses).




Earlier today, the United States filed a civil complaint to forfeit thousands of cuneiform tablets and clay bullae. As alleged in the complaint, these ancient clay artifacts originated in the area of modern-day Iraq and were smuggled into the United States through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel, contrary to federal law. Packages containing the artifacts were shipped to Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. ("Hobby Lobby"), a nationwide arts-and-crafts retailer based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and two of Hobby Lobby's corporate affiliates. The shipping labels on these packages falsely described cuneiform tablets as tile "samples."

The government also filed a stipulation of settlement with Hobby Lobby, in which Hobby Lobby consented to the forfeiture of the artifacts in the complaint, approximately 144 cylinder seals and an additional sum of $3 million, resolving the civil action. Hobby Lobby further agreed to adopt internal policies and procedures governing its importation and purchase of cultural property, provide appropriate training to its personnel, hire qualified outside customs counsel and customs brokers, and submit quarterly reports to the government on any cultural property acquisitions for the next eighteen months.

The complaint and stipulation of settlement were announced by Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York.

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Attachment(s): 

'Smishing' scams target your text messages. Here's how to avoid them

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, USA TODAY

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Similar to a "phishing" scam -- where computer users receive an authentic-looking email that appears to be from their bank, Internet Service Provider (ISP), favorite store, or other organization - "smishing" messages are sent to you via SMS (text message) on your mobile phone.

What does the sender want? To defraud you

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Read more...



Joshua Stein PLLC---Model Opinion of Counsel

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Joshua Stein

Joshua Stein

In "Model Opinion of Counsel," published in the N.Y. Real Property Law Journal, Joshua Stein offers a template for a variety of common opinions of counsel for commercial loan closings. Click here: 

www.pdf2go.org/100090.html




The New York Civil Liberties Union and Legal Services of Central New York announced a settlement with the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office today that ends the routine practice of 23-hour-a-day isolation of juveniles at the Justice Center jail in Syracuse. The settlement is the result of a lawsuit filed by the NYCLU and LSCNY last year.

Children aged 16 and 17, many of whom have mental illnesses, had been kept in solitary confinement for months at a time. Many children exhibited symptoms of suicidal thinking, and jail officials deliberately ignored warnings about children's vulnerabilities, returning juveniles to solitary even after being placed on suicide watch for brief periods. Solitary confinement can cause psychosis, trauma, depression and self-harm.

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