October 2017 Archives


Each October 1 the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) adjusts the standards and deductions used to determine the amount of monthly benefits an eligible family will receive. This toolkit provides tools and resources to help community organizations when working with SNAP applicants.

Due to the decrease in the maximum SNAP benefit allotments and the minimum benefit amount, some families may see a small decrease in their SNAP benefit on October 1. This will be especially true for any family receiving the maximum benefit allotment for their household size and for elderly/disabled households who are currently receiving the minimum benefit. This change in benefits may be confusing to SNAP recipients because many will experience a small reduction in their monthly SNAP benefit even though they have not had any changes in their income or expenses. Our toolkit provides community organizations with updated tools and resources and information on how to help SNAP recipients maximize their SNAP benefits.


Access toolkit and forms...


Special Counsel's Office |Related Court Documents| Department of Justice

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RELATED COURT DOCUMENTS

U.S. v. Paul J. Manafort, Jr., and Richard W. Gates III (1:17-cr-201, District of Columbia)

Paul J. Manafort, Jr., of Alexandria, Va., and Richard W. Gates III, of Richmond, Va., have been indicted by a federal grand jury on Oct. 27, 2017, in the District of Columbia. The indictment contains 12 counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. The case was unsealed on Oct. 30, 2017, after the defendants were permitted to surrender themselves to the custody of the FBI.

Indictment

 

U.S. v. George Papadopoulos (1:17-cr-182, District of Columbia)

George Papadopoulos, of Chicago, Illinois, pleaded guilty on Oct. 5, 2017, to making false statements to FBI agents, in violation of 18 U.S.C. 1001. The case was unsealed on Oct. 30, 2017.

Criminal Information

Plea Agreement

Statement of the Offense


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Papadopoulos Plea--Daily Beast

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George Papadopoulos, a former foreign-policy adviser to the Trump campaign, quietly pleaded guilty in early October to making false statements to the FBI in connection with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling and possible collusion with the Trump team. The Chicago 30-year-old entered a guilty plea on Oct. 5. In a documents made public in federal court Monday, he acknowledged working with high-level Russian government representatives and offered to be a liaison to the Trump campaign, reportedly trying to set up meetings with Russian leaders, as has previously been reported. 

Here's a link to the plea...with the facts admitted in the plea: 

Is Bridge a Sport? E.U. Court Says No - The New York Times

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By 

Bad news, bridge fans. The European Court of Justice ruled on Thursdaythat the card game is not a sport, even when played by multiple competing teams.

Like many disappointments, this one traces its roots to a dispute on taxes


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Cybersecurity is a priority for all tax professionals. Learn more in this upcoming webinar, "Don't Take the Bait - Protect Your Clients and Protect Yourself." Scheduled for Nov. 1 at 2 pm ET/11 am PT, this program will:

  • Provide real-life experiences from a tax professional who fell victim to data theft 
  • Detail common tactics cybercriminals use
  • Review recommendations from cybersecurity experts to better protect your data

Register now. Earn one continuing education credit - category: federal tax.


Possibilities and Frustrations of the 'On-Demand' Attorney | Law.com

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| October 27, 2017 | Originally published on Legaltech News

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Four years ago, Richard Susskind published the first edition of "Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future." With the rapid changes in the legal profession, tomorrow is now today.

The second edition of "Tomorrow's Lawyers" focuses more sharply on how artificial intelligence, alternative business structures, low-cost law firm service centers, legal tech startups and evolving in-house roles are changing the way legal services are delivered and how law schools are educating students to meet those changes.

To that end, ALM during October is publishing excerpts across several of our brands from the second edition to spark thought and conversation about the industry's future among the legal profession's leaders. ALM editors and reporters have solicited reactions--positive and negative--to Susskind's ideas from law firm chairs, top legal educators, general counsel, law students and industry analysts to get their take. 

The book's section on automation and connectivity, discussed below, can be found here.


Read more....




October 24, 2017

A multipronged amendment aimed at broadening protection for certain LGBTQ community members has been proposed for the state court system's policies on nondiscrimination.

The change, sanctioned by the Administrative Board and released for public comment on Tuesday, would alter the nondiscrimination policies for judges, lawyers and others in the state court system by adding the terms "gender identity" and "gender expression" to the explicitly protected categories of nondiscrimination.

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How Google's Physical Keys Will Protect Your Password - The New York Times

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Anyone with a Google account can sign up for the security program on Google's Advanced Protection webpage. To get started, you will have to buy two physical keys for about $20 each. Google recommends buying one from Feitian and another from Yubico.

The keys, which look like thumb drives and can fit on your key chain, contain digital signatures that prove you are you. To set one up, you plug the key into a computer USB port, tap a button and name it. (The Feitian key wirelessly communicates with your smartphone to authenticate the login.) This process takes a few minutes.


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iPhone X and iPhone 8: Specs, Price, Availability | WIRED

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THE NEW IPHONE X packs more new stuff into any device since the original iPhone. It's the most complete redesign of the product ever and even offers a glimpse at what the iPhone might become when the world no longer wants smartphones. Of course, you probably won't buy one. Even if you can afford the super high price, getting your hands on an iPhone X in the next few months will be like hunting for the holy grail. Except in this case, the fancy one is the right answer.




Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown, joined by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, today announced that Rabbi Samuel Hiller, the former assistant director of Island Child Development Center, once one of the City's largest providers of special education services to preschoolers with disabilities, has been sentenced to up to three years in prison for stealing $5 million in City and State funding between 2005 and 2012 - money that was intended for special needs students between ages three and five.

Island Child Development Center (ICDC), a private not-for-profit company that is now defunct, was located at 1854 Cornaga Avenue in Far Rockaway, Queens, and primarily provided services to preschool children in the Orthodox Jewish communities of Far Rockaway in Queens, Williamsburg and Borough Park in Brooklyn.


By Moriah Balingit


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The Education Department has rescinded 72 policy documents that outline the rights of students with disabilities as part of the Trump administration's effort to eliminate regulations it deems superfluous.

The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services wrote in a newsletter Friday that it had "a total of 72 guidance documents that have been rescinded due to being outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective -- 63 from the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and 9 from the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA)." The documents, which fleshed out students' rights under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act, were rescinded Oct. 2.

A spokeswoman for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos did not respond to requests for comment.

Advocates for students with disabilities were still reviewing the changes to determine their impact. Lindsay E. Jones, the chief policy and advocacy officer for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, said she was particularly concerned to see guidance documents outlining how schools could use federal money for special education removed.

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Apple Watch Series 3 Space Gray Ceramic Edition Review | iMore

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Last year, Apple Watch transitioned its Edition line from 18K yellow and rose gold to white ceramic. That took it from tens of thousands of dollars down to $1,299 for 38mm and $1,349 for 42mm. Still more than an iPhone X but much, much less than most ceramic watches.

Even though mechanical and computational watches have completely different value propositions, it does keep Apple Watch Edition at the very top end of Apple's offerings. In essence, it's for people who want an Apple Watch but also want it in ceramic.

And this year, with Apple Watch Series 3, it's also for people who want it in space grayceramic.

Read more....





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A district court in Illinois has ruled (full text of ruling) that law enforcement may force people to use their fingerprints to unlock Apple devices during the search of a house. The ruling overturns a decision from a lower court, and marks a significant increase in the steps cops can take to force people to unlock devices.

The ruling only applies in one particular case, with a very specific set of circumstances. Police officers had already obtained a warrant to search a house, looking for child pornography. They expected to find at least one iPad and one iPhone on the premises, and wanted to be able to force any occupants found on the premises to unlock the devices using Touch ID during the search.

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Here's how to kick nazis off your Twitter right now--Yahoo Finance

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Natasha Lomas

While you wait for Twitter to roll out "more aggressive" rules regarding hate speech, which CEO Jack Dorsey promised are coming within "weeks" as of late Friday, here's a quick workaround to kick nazis off of your Twitter feed right now: Go to the 'Settings and privacy' page and under the 'Content' section set the country to Germany (or France).

This switches on Twitter's per country nazi-blocking filter which the company built, all the way back in 2012, to comply with specific European hate speech laws that prohibit pro-Nazi content because, y'know, World War II.

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What is the technology needed for access to justice?--ABA Journal

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By Mary E. Juetten, CA, CPA, JD, founder and CEO of Traklight. In 2015, Mary co-founded Evolve Law, an organization for change and technology adoption in the law. She was named to the ABA's Legal Technology Resource Center 2016 Women in Legal Tech list and the Fastcase 50 Class of 2016. She is the author of Small Law Firm KPIs: How to Measure Your Way to Greater Profits. She is always looking or success stories where technology has been used to bridge the justice gap, from pro-bono through low-bono to non-traditional legal services delivery. Reach out to her on Twitter @maryjuetten.

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Therefore, clients are demanding mobile applications that provide direct access to a firm. In addition, consumers want education; online questionnaires to gather information rather than in-person consultations; and free legal forms for specific practice areas. Rather than fighting this trend toward creating mobile legal products and services, attorneys can use online information-gathering tools to triage and educate clients and focus on professional judgment for problem-solving.

Firms have made standard forms free, for example Orrick's Start Forms Library. Also, legal plans have free forms on mobile applications, like LegalShield's Forms app, which includes more than 15 free forms for common consumer transactions like renting, buying and selling--plus freelance agreements. Taking it a step further, we need to use mainstream technology to create solutions for specific applications within the law. For example, we can utilize chabots to answer frequently asked questions or customizable expert systems for immigration or incorporation questionnaires.

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Check out Orrick's Start Forms Library





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U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman of the Eastern District of Kentucky ruled Wednesday that the method Sumner used to handcuff the children was "unreasonable and constituted excessive force as a matter of law (full text of decision)." The judge wrote in a lawsuit filed by the ACLU that "the video belies" Sumner's claim that the cuffs' chain was as wide as the young boy's torso and that the court had to adopt the video as fact over the word of the officer. 

NY starts new tax-free savings accounts for the disabled | WXXI News

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The state comptroller has announced that New York is joining 28 other states in offering a program that will help parents with disabled children save money for their future.

The program is modeled on the college savings program, which also is operated by the comptroller's office. It allows an account to be set up in the name of any New Yorker who is diagnosed with a disability before the age of 26.

Friends and relatives can contribute up to $14,000 a year for a total of $100,000, and the money can be used tax-free to help pay for the disabled person's education, housing, transportation and other expenses. 

Read more...


Important Update about Your eServices Account | Internal Revenue Service

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Don't Take the Bait: e-Services Scam Alert

The IRS is warning all e-Services users to beware of a new phishing scam that tries to trick tax professionals into "signing" a new  e-Services user agreement. The phishing scam seeks to steal passwords and data. 

All tax professionals should be aware that as e-Services begins its move later this month to Secure Access authentication and its two-factor protections, cybercriminals likely will make last-ditch efforts to steal passwords and data prior to the transition.

The scam email claims to be from "e-Services Registration" and uses "Important Update about Your e-Services Account" in the subject line. It states, in part, "We are rolling out a new user agreement and all registered users must accept its revised terms to have access to e-Services and its products." It asks you to review and accept the agreement but takes you to a fake site instead.

If you have clicked on this link, you should perform a deep scan with your security software, contact your office's IT/cybersecurity personnel and contact the IRS e-Help Desk. 

To read more about what the IRS is doing to protect your accounts with Secure Access authentication, go directly to the main e-Services landing page on IRS.gov.


Home Screens - MacSparky's Strange Looking iPad -- MacSparky

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David Sparks:


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About halfway through the iOS 11 beta, I got the idea of putting all my apps on the dock. It started out as a sort-of joke so I could share screenshots of my iPad looking more like a Mac. The thing is though ... it worked for me. So now my home screen is empty and my dock has a few essentials, but also my Make, Learn, Fix, and Play folders. Opening the folder to get to a split screen app feels silly but is still way faster than getting to an app on the home screen.

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Investigators believe the hackers may have penetrated the computer by exploiting Kaspersky Lab antivirus software, a Russian brand widely used around the world, that the employee was using, according to officials briefed on the matter.

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The officials did not make their concerns public, and the antivirus software remains popular. But last month the federal government ordered the Kaspersky software removed from all government computers. The F.B.I. has been investigating whether Kaspersky products, especially the well-reviewed antivirus programs, contain "back doors" that could allow Russian intelligence agencies into any computers or networks on which they are running. The company has always denied that it has any links to Russian intelligence.



 

The Justice Department has released a series of recently overruled legal memos concluding that presidents cannot appoint their relatives to the White House staff or presidential commissions, even to unpaid posts.

In January, a career Justice Department official essentially declared the earlier opinions erroneous or obsolete, clearing the way for President Donald Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to take a senior adviser position in the White House. First daughter Ivanka Trump later took a similar official but unpaid slot under the same legal rationale.

The newly disclosed opinions, issued to the administrations of Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan and obtained by POLITICO Monday through a Freedom of Information Act request, detail how Justice Department lawyers concluded for decades that such appointments of family members were illegal under an anti-nepotism law passed in 1967.

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Reply to GroupReply to Sender
Stephanie A. Bugos
Oct 2, 2017 3:10 PM
Stephanie A. Bugos

Dear GP Section members:

 

The General Practice Section is sponsoring the following program in New York City the evening of October 24. For those outside of the NYC area, there is also a live webcast option.

 

This program offers 2.0 MCLE credits in Ethics, and the GP Section member rate is only $50.

 

We hope to see you there!


Legal Ethics in the Age of the Internet

October 24, 2017 | 6-8pm

Penn Club of New York (30 W. 44th Street) / Live Webcast Option available

 

This practical program will address two timely topics: 

·         Protecting confidential and personally identifiable information in compliance with amended Rule 1.6(c), and 

·         How to ethically utilize the internet in litigation and avoid social engineering scams. 

 

Speakers: 

·         Professor Roy D. Simon, a Legal Ethics Advisor to law firms 

·         Brett Scher, Esq., a Partner at Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP

 

Learn more and register here:

www.nysba.org/store/events/...


 

Best regards,

 

 

Stephanie A. Bugos  Section Liaison

New York State Bar Association

One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207

 

direct/fax: 518.487.5524 |  main: 518.463.3200 | emailsbugos@nysba.org | www.nysba.org

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