April 2020 Archives

NYSBA Launches Pro Bono Website for Unemployment Claims | LawSites

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"...Paladin and Clio teamed with the New York State Bar Association to launch a website, www.nysba.org/legalhelp, that provides resources for filing an unemployment claim and that matched attorneys - free of charge - with those whose claims are unsuccessful..."

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For countless numbers of low-income Americans, the COVID-19 crisis is causing significant and unanticipated legal consequences, including unlawful evictions, lost wages and benefits, and other legal issues. Launching today is a first-of-its-kind, nationwide Disaster Relief Pro Bono Portal to help connect those individuals to pro bono legal assistance. 

The portal was jointly developed by the Disaster Legal Services Program of the American Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division, which operates through a memorandum of understanding between the ABA YLD and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and and Paladin, a legal technology company whose platform enables law firms, legal departments and other organizations to staff, manage and track their pro bono work.

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The latest on legal document management software--ABA Journal

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BY NICOLE BLACK

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One of the top challenges faced by law firms as they shifted to a remote workforce has been the ability to access case-related information. The accessibility of documents, in particular, has presented issues for law firms. This has become especially pressing in recent weeks as federal and state courts have begun to, out of necessity, mandate the e-filing of digital documents for most legal matters.

As law firms establish processes to create digital documents, they then need to be able to store them online in a location that is easily accessible by all firm employees. That's where cloud-based document management software created with law firms in mind comes in.

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By Jack Newsham 

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Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, who previously delayed the state's July bar exam to Sept. 9 and 10, said travel and public gatherings constraints due to the COVID-19 pandemic would likely limit the number of people could take the exam. "Seating capacity for the September examination is likely to be limited," the court said.

In response, the judge has approved a "comprehensive and streamlined program designed to provide temporary authorization for qualified law graduates to engage in the limited practice of law," the court announced in an email Tuesday.

"Practice orders promulgated by the Appellate Division departments will allow all covered candidates employed in New York to work under the supervision of a qualified attorney in good standing who has been admitted to practice law in New York for at least three years," the email said. "Temporary authorization will be available to all first-time takers of the bar examination, including both J.D. and LL.M. candidates, irrespective of their graduation year."

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By Laura Strickler and Adiel Kaplan

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As the COVID-19 death toll at nursing homes climbs to nearly 12,000, the nursing home industry is pushing states to provide immunity from lawsuits to the owners and employees of the nation's 15,600 nursing homes.

So far at least six states have provided explicit immunity from coronavirus lawsuits for nursing homes, and six more have granted some form of immunity to health care providers, which legal experts say could likely be interpreted to include nursing homes.

Patient advocates worry that nursing homes accused of extreme neglect could avoid liability.

"I can't even believe this is a topic of discussion," said Anny Figueroa, whose 55-year-old mother was a resident at Andover Subacute & Rehab Center in New Jersey, where law enforcement discovered 17 bodies in a makeshift morgue this month. The nursing home is under investigation by the state attorney general

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Almost 70 percent of the nation's more than 15,000 nursing homes are run by for-profit companies, and 57 percent are operated by chain companies, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines as organizations that own two or more long-term care facilities. The rest are owned by nonprofit organizations. The federal government has eased some nursing home regulations during the Trump administration, but most oversight of the industry is conducted by the states.

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Farmworkers Continue to Work With Little Protection--Documented

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The 33,500 farms in New York comprise 23 percent of the state's total land area. On these farms, workers, most of whom are immigrants and many of whom are undocumented, continue to labor without protective equipment and live in crowded trailers. Here, farmworkers have been deemed essential workers, but their health and protection have not.

Farm owners are following the New York Department of Health's protocol that states essential workers are expected to return to work after "isolating for at least 7 days after illness onset (i.e. symptoms first appeared) and have not had a fever for at least 72 hours, without the use of fever reducing medications." These standards differ substantially from the two week quarantine the rest of the country has been instructed to take whether or not they exhibit symptoms. 

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Farmworkers, most of whom work without documentation or are H2-A visa holders, are not eligible for unemployment benefits or direct cash assistance from the recently passed stimulus package. Of the farmworkers interviewed in an Adelphi University report about farms in Hudson Valley region, 92 percent were neither legal residents nor citizens -- 71 percent were undocumented and 21 percent, guestworkers.

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How Virus Surveillance And Civil Liberties Could Collide - Law360

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By RJ Vogt 

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Imagine your phone buzzing with an alert: Someone who passed you at the grocery store has tested positive for COVID-19. Based on location data transmitted through a smart phone app, authorities believe the stranger exposed you to the coronavirus. You might be infected.


The alert directs you to self-quarantine for 14 days to prevent further spread of the deadly disease. In the app, a map of color-coded dots displays the population of your home town. You notice the dot associated with you, previously green, has turned to yellow -- now everyone else with the app knows you could be dangerous.


Whether the scenario sounds Orwellian or absolutely necessary could depend on your answer to a rhetorical question Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently posed during a live Snapchat interview.

"Do you give up a little liberty to get a little protection?" he said.

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By JAMILES LARTEY

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Volunteers who monitor courts across the country say they are getting little access to online-only proceedings.



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The New York Office of Court Administration noted that the monitors in the courthouse satisfy the need for public access in these emergency circumstances. "The purpose of our going virtual is for the health and safety of all involved in the proceedings: Judge, attorneys, court staff, security and litigants. All other protocols remain the same," said spokesperson Lucian Chalfen. 

He said hearings are not being posted on a wide online platform, like YouTube, because the court could not prevent people from recording them or rebroadcasting them on their own--restrictions judges often impose during regular times, in New York and across the country. 


At the same time, going to the courthouse to watch proceedings on a monitor would arguably put observers in violation of the statewide "stay home" order, and of course, at risk of contracting the virus.


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Economic Impact Payments | Internal Revenue Service

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The IRS is committed to helping you get your Economic Impact Payment as soon as possible. The payments, also referred to by some as stimulus payments, are automatic for most taxpayers. No further action is needed by taxpayers who filed tax returns in 2018 and 2019 and most seniors and retirees.

See if you are eligible for an Economic Impact Payment.

If you are eligible, use our guide to figure out which IRS tool you should use to get your payment.

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Press Contact: Brett Zongker (202) 707-1639
Website: Mobile Apps from the Library of Congress

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To celebrate the 220th anniversary of its founding, the Library of Congress today announced the release of the LOC Collections app, the premiere mobile app that puts the national library's digital collections in the hands of users everywhere.

In addition to providing an easy, accessible way to search and explore the Library's growing digital collections, LOC Collections allows users to curate personal galleries of items in the Library's collections for their own reference and for sharing with others. Items currently featured on the app include audio recordings, books, videos, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, notated music, periodicals, photos, prints, and drawings.

"The Library of Congress collection can now fit in your pocket," said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. "The Library started 220 years ago with 740 books and 3 maps. Today, that collection has grown to make us the largest library in the world and a storehouse of our national history. It's been our goal to throw open our treasure chest and help every American connect to the Library of Congress. The LOC Collections app is a uniquely personal, easy new way to explore the nation's library."  

Users can currently find the app for iPhone and iPad at the Library's website or the iTunes store. An Android version of the app is slated for release later in 2020

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How You Can Plan for a Safe Reopening | Inc.com

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By Kevin J. Ryan

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Here's what small businesses and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommend when planning to reopen your business as safely as possible.



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Law Day Virtual Program
Promoting Female Mediators, Arbitrators, and Lead Trial Lawyers: Insight and Advice from Women on the Bench
May 1, 2020

12:00 - 1:30 p.m.

Complimentary non-CLE Webinar

 

This will be a discussion by sitting and retired women judges regarding how to increase the number of women who serve as lead attorneys in court and in alternative dispute forums, as well as to promote women as mediators and arbitrators. The following topics will be discussed:

 

I.              Overview of the 2017 Commercial & Federal Litigation Section Task Force on Women's Initiatives Report, "IF NOT NOW, WHEN? Achieving Equality for Women in the Courtroom and in ADR" (2017) ("2017 Report") and the Status of the New Draft Report

II.            View from the Bench - Women Lead Litigators

III.          Mediation View  -  Promoting Women as Mediators and Women Representing Parties in Commercial Disputes

IV.          Arbitration View - Promoting Women as Arbitrators and Women Representing Parties in Commercial Disputes

V.            Concluding Thoughts - Where Do Women Go From Here?

 

Presenters:

Hon. Tanya Kennedy

Hon. Karla Moskowitz (ret.)

Hon. Helen E. Freedman (ret.)

Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin (ret.)

 

Register Today


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BY SYDNEY PEREIRA

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The NYC Human Rights Commission is launching a team to respond to COVID-19 discrimination and harassment, as reports of racism against Asians surge in the city.

The commission has gathered 248 reports of various incidents of harassment and discrimination related to the coronavirus since February. 105 of them--42 percent--targeted Asians.

During the same time period last year, there were five anti-Asian discrimination reports, according to the commission.

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How to have Zoom meetings like a pro from your iPad--C|NET

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The iPad could be the best way to do home video chats, if you're ready for some guidance about how to get the most out of it.

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ExactScan - High Speed Document Scanning

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If Mac's new O/S, Catalina, "bricked" your Fujitsu Scanner, here is a software solution, cheaper than replacing your hardware:

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ExactScan is a modern scanning solution, including more than 500 different drivers for document scanners from AvisionCanonFujitsuHPKodakOki,PanasonicVisioneer and Xerox, which otherwise don't come with a manufacturer's Mac driver and thus wouldn't work at all. Additionally it also allows the use of different scanners with TWAIN and ImageCapture drivers.

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Read More...works with Windows as well

Inter-Disciplinary Panels of Leading Experts Answer these Questions on the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Wednesday, April 22, 2020 | 9:00 am 1:15 pm

Please Note: All attendees will receive an email confirmation including a zoom invite 48 hours prior to the program with details of how to access the webinar.


Program Fees:

Free to City Bar and NYSBA members | $15 for non-member attorneys | Free to the public.

Members of the NYSBA and non-lawyers please call Customer Relations at 212.382.6663 to register.


Description:

Climate change will drastically alter many facets of our lives, including where we live, the way we build, what we eat, how we produce electricity, and how we use transportation. But as the 50th anniversary of Earth Day approaches, many people are not aware of the scope of climate change or what is being done and will be done to address it. This program aims to address that knowledge gap.


Welcome:
J. Kevin Healy, Co-Chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, Senior Counsel, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, LLP


Resiliency Panel:

This panel of experts will provide an overview of resiliency problems and solutions and discuss the science of extreme weather and risk management, resiliency efforts and environmental justice, and efforts to protect New York State.

Sarah KapnickPhysical Scientist & Deputy Division Leader at NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
Alice Hill, Senior Fellow for Climate Change Policy, Council on Foreign Relations, formerly with the White House and U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security and co-author of Building a Resilient Tomorrow

Tomi Vest, General Counsel, NYC Mayor's Office on Resiliency
Annel Hernandez, Associate Director, NYC Environmental Justice Alliance


Welcome:
Carl Howard, Counsel, U.S. EPA, Region 2, Co-Chair, Global Climate Change Committee, NYSBA, Environmental & Energy Law Section


Decarbonization Panel:

This panel of experts will provide an overview of the efforts to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and discuss topics including decarbonization in the energy, food and agriculture, and transportation sectors, decarbonization efforts and environmental justice, and New York's roadmap to a Statewide carbon-neutral building stock by mid-century.

Michael Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice, Director, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia Law School, author of Legal Pathways to Deep

Decarbonization in the United States

Peter Lehner, Managing Attorney, Earthjustice
Kate Kurera, Deputy Director, Environmental Advocates of New York
Greg Hale, Senior Adviser, NYSERDA
Lew Daly, Senior Policy Analyst and Senior Advisor, Policy Development, Demos

Program Chairs:
Matthew J. Sinkman
, New York Attorney General's Office, Environmental Protection Bureau
J. Kevin Healy, Co-Chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, Senior Counsel, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, LLP
Amy E. Turner, Co-Chair of the Environmental Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association, Senior Fellow, Sabin Center for Climate Change Law
Carl Howard, Counsel, U.S. EPA, Region 2, Co-Chair, Global Climate Change Committee, NYS Bar Association, Environmental & Energy Law Section


Sponsored by:

Environmental Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association
Environmental and Energy Law Section and the Real Property Law Section, of the New York State Bar Association


Officials: Bail reform helping stem virus spread in LI jails | Newsday

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By Michael O'Keeffemichael.okeeffe@newsday.com  

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New York's controversial bail reform -- and the resulting decline in the state's jail population -- has helped slow the spread of the coronavirus among those behind bars locally, officials said, even as new cases have exploded elsewhere on Long Island. 

Bail reform enabled jail officials to segregate new admissions and those who display symptoms in the additional space created by the population decrease, correction officials said, one of several steps they have taken for more than a month to prevent the deadly virus from infecting inmates and staff. 


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IRS launches tool to help non-filers register for Economic Impact Payments

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To help millions of people, the Treasury Department and the IRS launched a new web tool allowing quick registration for Economic Impact Payments for those who don't normally file a tax return. The non-filer tool, developed in partnership between the IRS and the Free File Alliance, provides a free and easy option designed for people who don't have a return filing obligation, including those with too little income to file. The feature is available only on IRS.gov, and users should look for Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here to take them directly to the tool.

"People who don't have a return filing obligation can use this tool to give us basic information so they can receive their Economic Impact Payments as soon as possible," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. "The IRS and Free File Alliance have been working around the clock to deliver this new tool to help people."

Economic Impact Payments will be distributed automatically to most people starting next week. Eligible taxpayers who filed tax returns for 2019 or 2018 will receive the payments automatically. Automatic payments will also go in the near future to those receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits and Railroad Retirement benefits.

For more information and additional updates, visit IRS.gov/coronavirus.

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Guidance on Executive Order 202.6 | Empire State Development

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14. Professional services with extensive restrictions

  • Lawyers may continue to perform all work necessary for any service so long as it is performed remotely.  Any in-person work presence shall be limited to work only in support of essential businesses or services; however, even work in support of an essential business or service should be conducted as remotely as possible.
  • Real estate services shall be conducted remotely for all transactions, including but not limited to title searches, appraisals, permitting, inspections, and the recordation, legal, financial and other services necessary to complete a transfer of real property; provided, however, that any services and parts therein may be conducted in-person only to the extent legally necessary and in accordance with appropriate social distancing and cleaning/disinfecting protocols; and nothing within this provision should be construed to allow brokerage and branch offices to remain open to the general public (i.e. not clients).
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New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) - Sign In

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Perhaps you accidentally opted out of receiving NYSBA emails in the past - we want to ensure that you have reviewed your communications preferences so that you're receiving all relevant email communications from NYSBA.

To do so, please review the settings under the "Communications Preferences" tab of your member profile at portal.nysba.org/s/#/profile/communication_preferences or contact the NYSBA Member Resource Center at (518) 463-3200 or mrc@nysba.org.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Tom Richards



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Thomas Richards
New York State Bar Association
Albany NY
518-463-3200
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Division of Cemeteries--Funerals??

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The Governor's Executive Orders 202.6 and 202.8 provide that all businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state must use, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures.  Further, each employer shall reduce the in-person workforce at any work locations by 100% as of March 22, 2020, at 8 PM. However, this restriction does not apply to essential businesses or entities providing essential services or functions.  Pursuant to Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) guidance, essential services include "funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries." 

Accordingly, funeral homes and cemeteries may continue to operate and hold services.  However, they should postpone services when possible.  If services must be held, funeral homes and cemeteries should limit the size of any services or gatherings to as few participants as possible (e.g. immediate family).  Further, funeral homes and cemeteries should discourage any potential out-of-town participants and maximize social distancing among in-person attendees (e.g. holding socially distanced services outside or limiting indoor capacity).


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