April 2019 Archives

Move to a paperless law firm with these scanning tools--ABA Journal

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BY NICOLE BLACK

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For starters, you're going to need additional hardware. Specifically, one of the key tools needed is a reliable, affordable scanner. In The 2019 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide authors Sharon D. Nelson, John W. Simek, and Michael C. Maschke help lawyers sift through their technology choices and address the many different hardware needs of law firms. When it comes to scanners, they recommend two different models for law firms.

The first is for firms in need of a low-volume scanner: the Fujitsu Scansnap iX500. This desktop scanner scans up to 25 color pages per minute.

The second, the Fujitsu fi-5530C2 scanner, is for firms in need of a higher-volume scanner. This scanner scans 50 color pages per minute. Depending on your small firm's specific needs, either would be a good choice.

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Read more...specific hardware recommendations...




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The U.S. Attorney's Office in Boston released the indictment on Thursday, charging Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph with obstruction of justice. Federal prosecutors also secured the indictment of Wesley MacGregor, a court officer, for obstruction and perjury. The charges constitute a remarkable intrusion into the internal affairs of a state judiciary and possible retaliation against Massachusetts' "sanctuary" policies. Rarely in modern history has the federal government sought to punish a state judge acting in exercise of judicial functions. This prosecution sends a clear threat to state courts around the country that do not want to be commandeered by ICE.

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According to OCA spokesperson Lucian Chalfen, Pelham Court is not subject to the new directive as it is a Town and Village court and not a part of the Unified Court System. "Only New York State courts that are secured by Unified Court System court officers are subject to our directive," he said. According to the Town of Pelham's website, court security is overseen by the Town Constables, who did not respond to a request for comment by time of publication. 

There are close to 1,300 Town and Village courts in New York State that see roughly 2 million cases per year. These courts handle the prosecution of misdemeanors and violations committed within a town's boundaries, as well as some preliminary hearings in felony cases and vehicle and traffic law misdemeanors. 

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BY AMANDA ROBERT


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Parking enforcement officers in Saginaw, Michigan, who use chalk to mark the tires of cars to track how long they have been parked are violating the constitution, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.

A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Cincinnati held that the practice of chalking violated plaintiff Alison Taylor's right under the Fourth Amendment to be free from unreasonable searches. The Washington Post, the Associated Press and NBC News have coverage.

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NY State Bar Tells Lawyers: Play Nicely | New York Law Journal

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By Susan DeSantis 

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In an era when politicians and pundits alike are bemoaning society's lack of civility, the New York State Bar Association is announcing today that it has adopted new standards that tell lawyers how they should behave in the sandbox, so to speak. But don't worry: you most likely won't get sanctioned for throwing a temper tantrum.


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We are gradually, and grudgingly, learning that our online presence can outlive our physical presence and possibly even take on a life of its own. As we begin to move more of our activities - financial, social, work, leisure, creative - onto the Internet, the questions about what happens to our online presence and how we best prepare to handle that have begun to grow in quantity and complexity.


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Mueller Report (Redacted)

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Mueller Report by on Scribd



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The report begins with an overview of the astronomical increase (1700%) in ICE courthouse operations since 2016 and shows the negative impact of this increase on countless stakeholders. Statewide, law enforcement agencies, from district attorney offices to the Attorney General's Office, have publicly condemned ICE for disrupting the trust between New York's immigrant residents and law enforcement. District attorney offices that participated in the Coalition's data-gathering describe how victims, survivors, and witnesses were often too fearful to pursue justice in courts or to participate in their services geared toward immigrant residents. Advocates similarly point out a pronounced chilling effect among victims, survivors, and witnesses in reporting abuses to law enforcement or pursuing legal claims. Most disturbingly, advocates also reported how ICE's highly publicized tactics have emboldened abusers, who use threats of deportation to keep their clients from seeking legal redress. Public defender organizations recount how disruptive ICE's recent tactics have been to not just their attorneys' daily work but also to their resource allocation and morale.

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By Colby Hamilton 

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New York state's Office of Court Administration issued updated rules Wednesday that immigration advocates hailed as a check on the ability for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to make arrests inside state courthouses, just a week after a new, 80-page report detailed the impact of federal immigration officials operating in the state courthouses.

"We have concluded that this report provides us with a sufficient basis to take the step that many have asked us to take to require that ICE present a judge-issued warrant before conducting an arrest in a state courthouse," Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks told the New York Law Journal. "Although we're not aware that any other court system in the country has taken this step, this comprehensive, well-documented report has convinced us that this change in policy is now appropriate and warranted."

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Committee on Veterans--NYSBA

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Please see the note from the Committee on Veterans Chair, Jessica Parker.

 Dear Section Leaders-

I am the Chair for the Committee on Veterans. As you are probably aware, Veterans face a variety of legal issues, whether caused by their service, complicated by it or, in some instances, which create opportunities they would not otherwise have. 

 We did a program in March on establishing and running Veteran run businesses, focusing on formation, funding and contract opportunities. We have already spoken with a few of the Sections about additional programming, i.e.,:

·         Labor and Employment Section re: USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act), which, among other things, establishes the rights and responsibilities of Veteran employees and employers around deployment, service connected issues, etc.;

·         Family Law Section re: support adjustments and custody

·         Criminal Law Section re: the potential negative effects of criminal convictions on a Veterans' military career and upon retirement benefits.

We are looking to collaborate with more of the Sections on programming which educates NYSBA members of nuances they should and would want to be aware of when representing Veterans.  If your Section is interested in collaborating, please contact me (jthalerparker@gmail.com).

 As you may not be aware, unlike the Sections which have 2 Communities - 1 for communications among EC members and 1 for communications with your Section's members- the Committees, as they serve NYSBA as a whole, only typically have a Community for communications among Committee members and, therefore, it can be challenging to get information about this important programming out to NYSBA members. We have arranged with NYSBA to create a Friends of the Committee on Veterans Community for NYSBA members who are interested in being alerted to Veteran-related programming. We would be grateful if you would inform your members, EC and Section, as to the availability of this Community and encourage those who do or may work with Veterans to join (it is an "opt-in" Community).  In order to join the Community, folks should contact swhiteley@nysba.org who will add them.

Last, we would love to have a liaison from your Section's EC to our Committee.  Please provide the name and email of the person you would like to appoint to our Section Liaison, Stacey Whitely (swhiteley@nysba.org). The liaison would be included in the Committee's planning Community and be invited to Committee meetings/calls (approx. 6 per year). This would be a great way to foster collaboration and facilitate the creation of programming that would be effective, interesting and relevant for attorneys serving Veterans and for NYSBA members generally.

Thank you for your attention and cooperation. Please do not hesitate to contact me (jthalerparker@gmail.com ) or Stacey (swhiteley@nysba.org ) with any questions.

Regards,
Jessica Parker
Chair, Committee on Veterans

 

Stacey Whiteley, Managing Director of Legal and Community Services
New York State Bar Association
One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207

 




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San Francisco is inching closer to becoming the first American city to banfacial recognition surveillance, a booming technology that's a fast-growing business in the United States and extends to the core of China's high-tech authoritarianism.

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is reportedly rushing to installface recognition technology at airports across the U.S., where the surveillance tech is used at toll boothssporting events, and even Taylor Swift concerts. In China, the government is using the technology to trackMuslim minorities. Police around that country are using facial recognition to track targets and make thousands of arrests.

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Apple warns iPad Pro users of Apple Pencil key fob interference - 9to5Mac

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Apple has recently updated its Apple Pencil support document to note of a bizarre issue some users have experienced. According to the updated document, if you're charging your second-generation Apple Pencil with your iPad Pro, you might experience problems unlocking your car via a key fob.

This is a bizarre case of interference to say the least. Apple explains that signal interference between your Apple Pencil + iPad Pro and your car's keyless entry device might prevent you from unlocking your car with the fob (via iGeneration).

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Tracking Phones, Google Is a Dragnet for the Police - The New York Times

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By 

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The warrants, which draw on an enormous Google database employees call Sensorvault, turn the business of tracking cellphone users' locations into a digital dragnet for law enforcement. In an era of ubiquitous data gathering by tech companies, it is just the latest example of how personal information -- where you go, who your friends are, what you read, eat and watch, and when you do it -- is being used for purposes many people never expected. As privacy concerns have mounted among consumers, policymakers and regulators, tech companies have come under intensifying scrutiny over their data collection practices.

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The Future of Legal Journalism Is Here - LLRX

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Kevin Keefe

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The future of legal journalism is here and that future has arrived in the form of LexBlog.com, according to Bob Ambrogi, its Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, addressing a standing room only audience of about hundred and fifty in Chicago [on the evening of February 28, 2019].

Speaking at the Chicago Legal Innovation and Tech meetup at Skadden, Ambrogi's passion and vision were keenly on display. If there were any doubters of his message, Ambrogi pushed them over the top with his down to earth conviction in what he was telling us - from his personal start in legal journalism through today.

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We'll Meet Again, Don't Know Where, Don't Know When » LII Announce

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Tom Bruce announces his retirement from Legal Information Institute.  

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So, it's time.  June 30th will be my last day as Director of the Legal Information Institute. 

That is good reason for mixed feelings. The LII has been the center of my professional and personal life for the last 27 years. The step away will leave a large gap in both.  Some of the challenges have not changed much over three decades, but many have. It's time for fresh perspectives. And I'm ready for a third career, or a seventh, depending on how you count.

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Editor's Note:  It seems like it was just yesterday (1993), that some of us from NYSBA were sitting in the cafeteria at Cornell Law School, having been blown away by a presentation by Tom Bruce and Dean Peter Martin on the concept they were developing of "adding value" to legal materials available in the public domain.  That concept became LII and spread around the world.  I look forward to seeing what Tom's next career brings forth.



By Tyler Pager

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New York City on Tuesday declared a public health emergencyfollowing a measles outbreak in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn.

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[In Rockland County, an outbreak spread fear in an Ultra-Orthodox community.]

Dr. Paul Offit, a professor of pediatric infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, said there was precedent for Mr. de Blasio's actions, pointing to a massive measles outbreak in Philadelphia in 1991. During that outbreakofficials in that city went even further, getting a court order to force parents to vaccinate their children.


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Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and the Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase, web-based law practice management software. She's been blogging since 2005, has written a weekly column for the Daily Record since 2007, is the author of Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York. She's easily distracted by the potential of bright and shiny tech gadgets, along with good food and wine. You can follow her on Twitter @nikiblack and she can be reached at niki.black@mycase.com.

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Cloud computing is a concept that most lawyers are familiar with in 2019. But it wasn't always that way. I've been writing about cloud computing and encouraging lawyers to use it for more than a decade now, and when I first started writing and speaking about it my ideas where greeted with suspicion and skepticism. For many years, it was an uphill battle, although that's changed in recent years.

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Hundreds of thousands of New York filers are receiving letters asking for proof of the state taxes withheld from their wages in 2018, with the Tax Department demanding copies of W-2s or paycheck stubs from the filer's employer.

The letters are not a hoax. 


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How To Get A Used Car Dealer License In New York--Surety Solutions

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By Jud Webre

To get a New York Dealer License, you'll need to complete an NY Dealer License Application,  get a Sales Tax ID Number, purchase insurance, secure a surety bond, and provide other necessary documents and fees. 

Links to all of those forms and agencies can be found here.  Its probably not a coincidence that the site sponsor also sells surety bonds, as needed for the Dealer License. No endorsement is expressed or implied.

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Royal Dutch Shell is a Dutch company which means it is subject to the laws of the Netherlands. On April 5, Friends Of The Earth Netherlands filed suit against Shell seeking to force it to address its role in the climate emergency confronting the world and all its people. The lawsuit includes 17,000 private individuals as plaintiffs.

They want Shell to reduce its carbon emissions 45% by 2030 compared to 2010 levels and to zero by 2050. Both targets are in line with the Paris climate accords of 2015. According to the latest IPCC climate report, the only way to achieve those goals is to rapidly transition the global economy away from its reliance on fossil fuels.

Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law, said on Friday, "The IPCC has warned that window of action for avoiding irreversible and truly catastrophic climate harms is narrow and closing rapidly. Today's suit against Shell sends a clear signal that business as usual is no longer acceptable. Companies that continue ignoring climate risks can and will be held legally accountable and financially responsible for their actions. Investors and corporate decision-makers who ignore this new reality do so at their peril."


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By BETH SCHWARTZAPFEL

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The new rules, which go into effect in January 2020, eliminate the need for defense attorneys to file requests for discovery and require that a wide range of information, including grand jury testimony and police reports, be turned over automatically 15 days after an indictment. The rules also require some "reciprocal discovery," in which the defense must turn over some evidence to the prosecution. The measure allows prosecutors to request a protective order from a judge, allowing them to withhold witness information if they have reason to think the defendant may intimidate or harass the witness.

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By Susan DeSantis 

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What is clear is this: Nearly three years after the test debuted, some judges, lawyers and educators are bemoaning the impact. In meetings and lectures, judges are talking openly about the lack of knowledge possessed by lawyers appearing before them.

No one knows whether the perceived deficiencies are caused by the lack of rigor of the Uniform Bar Exam itself, deficiencies in the 50 multiple choice question open-book test on New York law that accompanies the multistate test, or the precipitous drop in the percentage of students studying New York practice.

At one time, 80 to 90 percent of students at some New York law schools would take a course in New York practice; some law schools say that number has declined to less than 20 percent.

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