March 2019 Archives

By Dan M. Clark 


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Prosecutors in New York will no longer be able to seize a defendant's assets in most cases unless they can show those funds are the direct product of illicit activity, according to legislation that's expected to be passed as part of the state budget Sunday.

The proposal will amend the state's law on so-called civil asset forfeiture, which is currently used by prosecutors in some cases to either freeze or collect the assets of a defendant throughout a criminal proceeding.

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Animal Protection Initiative | New York State Attorney General

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Fighting animal cruelty is both a consumer protection issue and a public safety issue. The New York State Office of the Attorney General's Animal Protection Initiative is aimed at shutting down criminal animal fighting rings, protecting consumers from unscrupulous pet sellers, and encouraging consumers to report animal cruelty to their local law enforcement agencies and/or their local SPCA.

The Initiative aims at ensuring compliance with New York State's Pet Lemon Law, which is designed to safeguard the public and to ensure the humane treatment of dogs and cats by requiring pet dealers to guarantee the good health of any such animal sold by a pet dealer to a consumer. The Initiative also uses civil and criminal remedies to target allegations of animal fighting rings. 

The Initiative is comprised of Investigators and Assistant Attorneys General from across the entire state, including from our Regional Offices, the Consumer Frauds Bureau, the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, the Organized Crime Task Force and the Investigations Bureau, who will work to bring the perpetrators of these and other animal crimes to justice.


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"...As a supplement to the notifcation provided on Friday, March 22, 2019, I am writing today
to advise you of the principal conclusions reached by Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller and
to inform you about the status of my initial review of the report he has prepared..."




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Federal judges have ruled against the Trump administration at least 63 times over the past two years, an extraordinary record of legal defeat that has stymied large parts of the president's agenda on the environment, immigration and other matters.

In case after case, judges have rebuked Trump officials for failing to follow the most basic rules of governance for shifting policy, including providing legitimate explanations supported by facts and, where required, public input.

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Two-thirds of the cases accuse the Trump administration of violating the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), a nearly 73-year-old law that forms the primary bulwark against arbitrary rule. The normal "win rate" for the government in such cases is about 70 percent, according to analysts and studies. But as of mid-January, a database maintained by the Institute for Policy Integrity at the New York University School of Law shows Trump's win rate at about 6 percent.

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NYSBA | Corpus Wellness: The Path to Attorney Health - Free Recording

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Corpus Wellness: The Path to Attorney Health

Robert S. Herbst, Esq.

 

Lawyers know about stress. In hunter-gatherer days, the "fight or flight" response served humans well when dealing with imminent threats. But what about stressful professions today when the pressure never ends? With prolonged exposure, this same fight or flight reflex can lead to depression and issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Some turn to drugs, alcohol or other means to try to cope. Hear how one New York lawyer-who also happens to be a 19-time world champion powerlifter and member of the AAU Strength Sports Hall of Fame-deals with the stresses of law. 

 

Robert Herbst shares some practical tips on: 

·         Using exercise to combat the negative health effects of stress

·         Making yourself your own client in committing to wellness

·         Healthful eating

·         Setting realistic goals

 

View Video >

 

Presented by the NYSBA General Practice Section 

 


By: Christopher T. Kurtz


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On December 11, 2018, the New York Court of Appeals issued a decision (over two dissenting opinions) addressing public access to police personnel and disciplinary records. The Court held that certain personnel records sought by the New York City Civil Liberties Union ("NYCLU") pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") are exempt from disclosure under New York Civil Rights Law § 50-a and New York Public Officers Law § 87(2)(a). In doing so, the Court affirmed the decision of the Appellate Division, First Department, and the broad applicability of Civil Rights Law § 50-a to requests for police personnel/disciplinary records.

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Tesla has long been having issues selling its cars in Texas due to their direct-sale law and car dealer lobbying effort, but now the automaker's situation is becoming even more precarious in the state as a new bill that could block them from even servicing their cars is being introduced.

Texas is one of the biggest markets in the US that still completely bans Tesla's direct sale model.

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Edited by ANDREW COHEN



The Connecticut Supreme Court Thursday ruled 4-3 that a lawsuit brought by the families of the school massacre may proceed to trial against the companies that made and sold the assault weapon used in the attack. The decision subjects the defendants in the case to pretrial discovery and paves the way for the case to be heard by a jury made up of residents of Newtown and its environs. 

Read more....THE NEW YORK TIMES 


Related:   Read the ruling. CONNECTICUT SUPREME COURT

Erica Olsen & Kalea Woods: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com

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Erica Olsen and Kalea Woods are two Stanford students who have filed a lawsuit against Yale,  USC, and more in the wake of the college admissions scandal.

The colleges that Woods and Olsen are suing are: Yale, USC, University of Texas at Austin, University of San Diego, Yale University, University of California Los Angeles, Wake Forest University, University of Southern California, and Georgetown University.

Now, the two students are saying their degree is worth less. In the complaint, the lawsuit states that Woods' degree (along with Olsen's) "is now not worth as much as it was before, because prospective employers may now question whether she was admitted to the university on her own merits, versus having rich parents who were willing to bribe school officials."

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By 

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Four young women, volunteers from a local migrant aid group, appeared before a federal judge for sentencing in Tucson last week. Their crime: leaving jugs of water, food and other supplies in a desolate desert refuge 130 miles west to protect the lives of migrants illegally crossing the Mexican border.

In January, the four members of No More Deaths had been convicted of trespassing in the sprawling Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. They each faced up to six months in prison and a $5,000 fine. Instead, following an impassioned hearing, they received relatively minor sentences of 15 months' unsupervised probation and a $250 fine.


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"Organizations that were once clearly engaged in efforts to educate judges and lawyers have become increasingly involved in contentious public policy debates," the opinion said. "Gone are the days when it was possible for a judge to identify the sponsoring organization and know that the judge was within a bright-line 'safe zone' for participation."

The opinion advises judges and their employees to consider, among other things, the sponsoring organization's identity, its stated mission, its sources of funding, whether it's involved in any litigation at the state or federal level, or involved in lobbying and outreach efforts.

It also specifically urges judges to consider whether the sponsoring organization for an event is "generally viewed by the public as having adopted a consistent political or ideological point of view equivalent to the type of partisanship often found in political organizations."

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Tom McKay

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The Food and Drug Administration announced on Friday that it is lifting an import ban that prevented a brand of genetically modified salmon--dubbed "Frankenfish" by some--from reaching U.S. shopping selves, CNN reported.

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Solos and small firms need to prepare for death and disaster--ABA Journal

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BY AMANDA ROBERT

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Peter Roberts, a private practice management consultant from Washington state, and Sofia Lingos, the founding and managing attorney at Trident Legal, discuss "Planning for Tomorrow, Today" on Thursday at the ABA Techshow in Chicago.

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