August 2018 Archives

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

Updated: A federal judge in Seattle has found that a former law student's presumed First Amendment interests in publishing online blueprints for plastic 3D printed guns are "dwarfed by the irreparable harms" likely to be suffered by the states if federal restrictions on the blueprints are lifted.

The preliminary injunction issued Monday by U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik blocks the federal government from allowing publication of the blueprints until resolution of the multistate lawsuit seeking to keep the blueprints offline. Lasnik had issued a temporary restraining order in the case July 31. The Associated Press, the Hill, the New York Times and Ars Technica have stories. The New York Attorney General has a press release.

The former law student, Cody Wilson, announced Tuesday that he is selling the blueprints through his company, Defense Distributed, despite Lasnik's order, report the Associated PressArs Technica, the Austin American-Statesman and the Houston Chronicle.

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25 incredibly useful Google Docs tips and tricks--FastCompnay

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BY JR RAPHAEL

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When you're working in a word processor, every second you save matters. And while Google Docs may seem simple on the surface, it's practically overflowing with out-of-sight options that can help you get more done with less effort.

The best part? They're all already there and just waiting to be embraced. All you have to do is find them-and then remember to put them to use. Here's a head start.

(Note that the items listed below are mostly specific to Docs's version for desktop web browsers. Unless otherwise noted, they don't apply to the mobile apps.)

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Woman sues US Customs over data copied from seized iPhone - Naked Security

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by 

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On Thursday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil rights group, announced that its New Jersey chapter had filed a case in federal court challenging the CBP's "warrantless and unconstitutional seizure" of an American citizen's phone.

Lazoja formally asked a federal judge to force border officials to delete data copied from her iPhone 6S Plus - a legal filing that's formally known as a Rule 41(g) Motion, or as a Motion to Return Property.

It's not her physical phone that she wants back. She got that back after 130 days.

Rather, she specifically wants assurances that copies of her data are deleted. As CAIR points out, Rule 41(g) motions are generally used for tangible items, as opposed to easily copied data. But it's those easily made copies that she wants wiped out: copies that were taken without the CBP explaining its reason for seizure.

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The First Gathering: Preserving Your Legacy - Transferring Your Practice

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018 | 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Monroe County Bar Association | Rochester, NY

2.0 MCLE credits in Practice Management (Accredited by MCBA)
Appropriate for all Attorneys.
 
This is the first in a series of Gatherings co-sponsored by Local Bar Associations and NYSBA Sections (Senior Lawyers, General Practice and Young Lawyers).
 
These Gatherings are not your typical CLE: We encourage solo and small  firm practitioners to come prepared to exchange thoughts and ideas related to life or business transitions including: growing a law practice; winding-down a law practice; transferring a law practice; or, just not sure what to do next. This may be a good place to collect ideas.
 

Cashing in with credit-card processing software--ABA Journal

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BY NICOLE BLACK

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In prior columns I have covered time-tracking software and legal billing software with the promise that I'd eventually focus on payment processing software for law firms. Well that time has come, and in this column I'll explain the ins and outs of choosing the right payment processing vendor for your law firm. 

You'll learn why law firms should consider using payment processing software, the types of legal-specific tools available, and how to determine which one will be the best fit for your law firm.


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Logitech Crayon Review & Rating | PCMag.com

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By 

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Students and teachers disappointed by the Apple Pencil's flaws--its easily losable cap, its tendency to roll away, and of course, its high $99 price (or $89 for schools)--finally have the perfect solution: The Logitech Crayon. Through an Apple Education representative, schools (and only schools) can purchase the kid-friendly Crayon stylus for $49.95, compatible with the current (sixth-generation) iPad, for taking notes and drawing in the classroom. It's every bit as functional as the Apple Pencil, and in some cases even more so, earning it our Editors' Choice.

Chrono Download Manager

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SCIENCE

Chrono Download Manager is a Chrome extension that enhances Chrome's built-in download features. For example, Chrono provides a "detect all images/audio/video on this page" button that will generate a list of resources it could download. Users may then narrow this list by file type or regular expression filtering on file names. Download rules can also be configured to sort files into different folders based on file type, file name, and other attributes. The FAQ section on the Chrono website provides detailed documentation on the rule system along with examples. Chrono Download Manager is available for Google Chrome via the Chrome Web Store. 


Copyright ¬© 2018 Internet Scout Research Group - http://scout.wisc.edu



BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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Hansmeier admitted that he and Steele created sham companies to obtain the copyrights to pornographic movies, including some they filmed. The lawyers uploaded the movies to file-sharing websites like Pirate Bay, then filed copyright lawsuits for illegal downloading that concealed the lawyers' role in distributing the movies, and their personal stake in the outcome of the litigation, according to prosecutors.

The suits were filed against "John Doe" downloaders. When a downloader's identity was revealed in discovery, the lawyers threatened legal action unless the downloader paid a settlement of about $3,000. The lawyers created a company called Under the Bridge Consulting to transfer to themselves $1 million in money gained by the scheme, the plea agreement says.

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Firefox axes add-ons, developer pushes back - Naked Security

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Mozilla has wiped 23 extensions from its directory of Firefox browser add-ons after finding what it says were inappropriate functions in the code.

The incident follows a report last week that German security add-on 'Web Security' had been misbehaving. Mozilla had highlighted the add-on in a blog post promoting a collection of security-focused extensions to the browser. That prompted eagle-eyed techies to pick apart the program and find out exactly what it was doing. They discovered it assigning each user an ID and sending information labelled 'old-URL' and 'new-URL' to a consistent IP address.

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By Susan Ferriss | Center for Public Integrity

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The government has settled some of these cases before they could go to trial, thus avoiding potentially incriminating testimony from CBP officers accused of wrongdoing. Six of the lawsuits resulted in financial settlements costing taxpayers more than $1.2 million. Others are pending. One claim lost in a jury trial.



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If they can justify suspicions, federal officers at U.S. ports of entry are authorized, without the need for warrants, to require some disrobing for genital and rectal inspections, and monitored bowel movements to check for drugs, according to a CBP handbook. At the same time, the detention-and-search handbook instructs officers to record a solid justification for every step beyond a frisk, and to respect detainees' dignity and "freedom from unreasonable searches." The handbook also warns against what could be considered a "visual or physical intrusion" into body cavities.

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Practice Rules of the Appellate Division

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Approved by Joint Order of the Departments of the New York State

Supreme Court, Appellate Division
December 12, 2017
(Revised June 29, 2018)


Full Text of New Rules...


REAL PROPERTY LAW SECTION MELVYN MITZNER SCHOLARSHIP

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This $5,000 scholarship is awarded to a full- or part-time student enrolled in a New York State law school. It was created to honor the memory of Melvyn Mitzner, a legend in the New York real estate legal community. Mitzner is a former chair of the Real Property Law Section, and was an active and valued member of the Section for many years. 

Efforts will be made to honor Mitzner's commitment to professional achievement and to diversity in the profession.  To ensure geographic diversity, the Foundation will strive to select students attending New York State law schools in different counties each year, so that over time students from all areas of the State will be able to benefit from the scholarship. A preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need.

The Real Property Law Section Melvyn Mitzner Scholarship application form has details on eligibility and requirements.

Application Deadline: December 3, 2018.



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Amy Jasiewicz
New York State Bar Association
Albany NY
(518) 463-3200
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REAL PROPERTY LAW SECTION LORRAINE POWER THARP SCHOLARSHIP

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Amy E. Jasiewicz
Aug 15, 2018 2:07 PM
Amy E. Jasiewicz

The Real Property Law Section is now accepting applications for its two law student scholarships in the amount of $5,000 each. The scholarships will be awarded in 2019.

REAL PROPERTY LAW SECTION LORRAINE POWER THARP SCHOLARSHIP

This Scholarship was created to honor the memory of Lorraine Power Tharp, who served as President of the NYSBA and Chair of the Real Property Law Section. The $ 5,000 scholarship is awarded to a second- or third-year law school student who best exemplifies the core values important to Lorraine: academic excellence, a demonstrated interest in public service, high integrity and, if possible, an interest in real property law.

Efforts will be made to honor Lorraine's commitment to gender equity and diversity in the profession. To ensure geographic diversity, the Foundation will strive to select students attending New York State law schools in different counties each year, so that over time students from all areas of the state will be able to benefit from the scholarship. A preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial  need.

The Lorraine Power Tharp Scholarship application form has details on eligibility and requirements.

Application Deadline: December 3, 2018.

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Amy Jasiewicz
New York State Bar Association
Albany NY
(518) 463-3200
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By Dan M. Clark 

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The state's district attorneys may torpedo a proposed commission to investigate prosecutorial misconduct if a bill creating the group is approved by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

In a letter sent to the state's prosecutors Tuesday, Albany County District Attorney David Soares said the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York will be advancing an expedited constitutional challenge to the bill. Soares is president of the DAASNY.

Soares also urged the district attorneys and their assistants to decline any appointment to the commission until the litigation is resolved, which would leave the body without four of its members required by the statute.

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An open letter to potential law students: Know the truth-ABA Journal

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BY NICOLE BLACK AND HEATHER MORSE

With the recent news that some BigLaw starting salaries are rising to $190,000, it's no wonder that law school continues to be a top destination for recent college graduates. However, the truth behind those starting salaries--and given the volatility of the legal job market and the effects of globalization and technology on the business of law--should give one pause before taking out $200,000 in school loans.

So the question remains: Should you go to law school? The answer according to two legal industry experts? It depends.


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The far-right Freedom Party in Austria recently proposed a controversial law. The law would have regulated the consumption of Kosher and Halal meat in Lower Austria, one of nine states in the country of Austria. The proposed law, on its face, targeted religious Jews and Muslims. Only they, by contrast to all other meat consumers, would have had to register for the privilege, receive a limited quantity of their desired commodity, and prove that they lived in Lower Austria. Austria has reportedly rejected the proposed law. In this column, I will consider why "even" a vegan like myself regards the introduction of such a legal regime as an alarming development.

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Tax Reform | Internal Revenue Service

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 Proposed Regulations on Section 199A Deduction and Depreciation Deduction

The IRS issued proposed regulations this week for a new provision allowing many owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships, trusts and S corporations to deduct 20 percent of their qualified business income. The new section 199A deduction is available for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017.

The Treasury Department and the IRS also issued proposed regulations this week on the new 100-percent depreciation deduction that allows businesses to write off most depreciable business assets in the year they are placed in service.

For more information on the two new deductions, visit IRS.gov/taxreform.


Arelis R. Hern√°ndez

"This is pretty outrageous. That someone seeking justice in U.S. court is spirited away while her attorneys are arguing for justice for her?" So said a federal trial judge in open court in Washington, Thursday, shortly before he threatened to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions in contempt of court. The judge found out, during a hearing, that immigration agents had moved to deport the mother and daughter whose case was before him. WASHINGTON POST 


More: "Turn that plane around," furious judge orders. WASHINGTON TIMES

By Jenna Greene 



DNC warns candidates: Don't use ZTE or Huawei phones--CNN

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Democrats running in November's midterms were warned not to use devices produced by Chinese manufacturers ZTE and Huawei. The warning, which came from the Democratic National Committee, was sent out after the DNC learned that a Democratic organization was considering buying ZTE phones for its staff, a senior Democratic source told CNN.



The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announces the adoption of revisions to the regulations that implement the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQR) to streamline the SEQR process without sacrificing meaningful environmental review.

Among other changes, DEC has adopted amendments to the Type I and Type II lists of actions, as well as the scoping and acceptance procedures for draft environmental impact statements. DEC has also modernized the regulations related to web publication of documents. These changes are the first major amendments to the SEQR regulations that DEC since 1996.

DEC initially noticed its proposal along with the availability of a combined Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement and SAPA statement in the February 8, 2017 editions of both the State Register and Environmental Notice Bulletin. The comment period continued through May 19, 2017. In response to the many comments received, DEC modified the proposal and noticed a revised proposal along with the availability of a Revised Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement in the April 4, 2018 editions of both the State Register and Environmental Notice Bulletin. The comment period continued through May 11, 2018, during which the Department received approximately 31 comments in response to the revised proposal. Comments were assessed and responded to in the FGEIS which the Department accepted on June 13, 2018. On June 27, 2018, DEC issued a Findings Statement and formally adopted the rule, which will become effective on January 1, 2019.

The Final Express Terms of the revisions, along with the Findings Statement, FGEIS and other key regulatory documents leading up to the FGEIS may be downloaded from the links....


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