January 2021 Archives

Nursing Home Response to COVID-19 Pandemic: January 2021 | NYS OAG

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Attorney General James is issuing this report including findings based on data obtained in investigations conducted to date, recommendations that are based on those findings, related findings in pre-pandemic investigations of nursing homes in New York, and other available data and analysis thereof. Attorney General James offers this information to the public in the interest of increasing transparency and awareness and encouraging collective action by our state's residents to protect each other and our state's vulnerable nursing home residents. In addition, this information may be useful to other decision-makers for their consideration as they continue to respond to the ongoing pandemic.

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Read entire report...


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The Acting Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) Bulletin due to a heightened threat environment across the United States, which DHS believes will persist in the weeks following the successful Presidential Inauguration.  Information suggests that some ideologically-motivated violent extremists with objections to the exercise of governmental authority and the presidential transition, as well as other perceived grievances fueled by false narratives, could continue to mobilize to incite or commit violence.

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By Craig Fitzgerald 

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So, the days of a picking up a car and driving or trailering it home are temporarily over. What about an American citizen crossing the border to drop a car off? Nope, that's not happening either. "Until further notice, most foreign nationals cannot travel to Canada, even if they have a valid visitor visa or electronic travel authorization," reads the information from the Government of Canada. There are exceptions, but they're specific enough and so unrelated to the collector car hobby that we're not going to waste any time talking about them here. Click the link above to find out if you meet any of those exceptions.
So enough with the bad news. The good news is that shipping a car to and from Canada via a professional trucking company has essentially been unimpacted by travel restrictions. Commercial drivers making runs across the border ARE having their personal information collected by Canadian officials, but trade and transportation of goods between the two countries is progressing largely unimpeded by the pandemic.
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iPhone J.D. is published by Jeff Richardson

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Apple released an update to iOS yesterday, iOS version 14.4.  Similarly, iPadOS 14.4 was released yesterday.  The update adds some very minor new features, such as the ability to scan even smaller QR codes, and fixes a few bugs.  But what caught my eye is that Apple says that this update patches two vulnerabilities in the operating system that "may have been actively exploited."  I cannot remember Apple ever before using that phrase with an iOS update. 

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(Open up the Settings app, tap General, and then tap Software Update.) 

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2 competing legal research companies announce merger--ABA Journal

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BY LYLE MORAN

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Fastcase and Casemaker, two competing legal research companies that have previously faced off in litigation, announced Tuesday that they have merged.

The companies have also competed over the years to be selected as member benefits offered by bar associations across the country, and they said in a press release teaming up will allow them to offer bar associations "a more complete alternative for legal research."

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The Art and Science of Boarding an Airplane in a Pandemic | WIRED

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Now a global pandemic has done the seemingly impossible: shaken up airplane boarding procedures. Along with requiring masks, providing hand sanitizer, and, in some cases, banning passengers from middle seats, many airlines have created boarding and deboarding processes that try to avoid packing flyers too closely together.

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Today William McCall Calhoun, the Georgia attorney who allegedly said he was among the first who "kicked in Nancy Pelosi's office door" and that Pelosi would've been "torn into little pieces" if the mob found her during the Capitol siege, had a bail hearing. He was arrested on January 15 and charged with entering a restricted building or grounds; violent entry or disorderly conduct; and tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant for his role in the January 6th insurrection. It looks as though Calhoun will be staying behind bars as U.S. Magistrate Judge Charles Weigle denied his request for bail.
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BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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Lawyers opposing Detroit's bid for sanctions in Michigan election litigation argue that they can't be held accountable if they signed the pleadings in typewritten form.

Detroit wants sanctions imposed on several lawyers, including L. Lin Wood Jr. and Sidney Powell, for alleged frivolous claims in a suit challenging Michigan election results. Michigan officials support the bid, according to the Detroit News.

In a Jan. 19 legal filing, the lawyers explained their opposition to Detroit's motion, Law360reports.

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By Janelle Griffith

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Police departments in New York City, Seattle and Virginia are investigating whether their officers participated in the pro-Trump riot. As they do, police unions are confronting the dilemma of whether or not to defend officers who took part.

In Chicago, for example, the union president initially defended the mob before backing down. And in Seattle, the union head is under administrative investigation after he falsely claimed that Black Lives Matter was responsible.

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LDAD files Bar Grievance Against Giuliani in New York

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Today, LDAD filed an 18-page ethics complaint with the Grievance Committee of the New York State Bar in Manhattan calling for an investigation of Rudolph W. Giuliani and requesting that his New York license be suspended pending completion of the Committee's investigation. This is the most comprehensive ethics complaint against Mr. Giuliani filed to date.

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It's been two weeks since the attempted coup staged by Trump's supporters in Washington, D.C., and both lawyers and lawmakers have been identified as members of the mob that broke into the U.S. Capitol. An in-house attorney lost his job, a lawmaker resigned after being charged with a crime, and a solo practitioner has been arrested.

Today, we have news of a legal professional who stands accused of allegedly threatening to kill government officials and suggesting that his followers "go back to the U.S. Capitol when all of the senators and a lot of the representatives are back there" to "slaughter" them.

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The Legal Case for the Senate to Convict Trump - The Bulwark

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Philip Rotner is a columnist whose articles appear in national publications and on his website, philiprotner.com. Philip is an attorney who has practiced for over 40 years, both in private practice and as the general counsel of a global professional services firm. 

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Incitement of insurrection is a crime, full stop: 18 U.S.C ยง2383 states that any person who "incites" or "assists" an insurrection, or "gives aid or comfort thereto," shall be fined or imprisoned for not more than ten years, "and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States."

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More recently, the Supreme Court in Brandenburg v. Ohio summarized the development of the law this way (the emphasis is mine):

[Previous court] decisions have fashioned the principle that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.

The precise articulation of the standard aside, this much is clear: context is crucial in determining the line between protected advocacy and prohibited incitement. Courts will look at not only what was said, but when it was said, where it was said, to whom it was said, and, crucially, whether it was foreseeable and likely that the speech would incite imminent unlawful conduct.

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Luke Harding

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Donald Trump has fallen out with his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, and is refusing to pay the former New York mayor's legal bills, it was reported, with the president feeling abandoned and frustrated during his last days in office.

Giuliani played a key role in Trump's failed attempts to overturn the results of November's presidential election through the courts. The lawyer mounted numerous spurious legal challenges, travelling to swing states won by Joe Biden, and spread false claims the vote was rigged.

According to the Washington Post, relations between Trump and Giuliani have dramatically cooled. Trump has instructed his aides not to pay Giuliani's outstanding fees. The president is reportedly offended by Giuliani's demand for $20,000 a day - a figure the lawyer denies, but which is apparently in writing. White House officials have even been told not to put through any of Giuliani's calls.

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Yes, Trump Can Be Convicted by the Senate After January 20--TruthOut

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Marjorie Cohn 

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Now that the House of Representatives has impeached Donald Trump for Incitement of Insurrection, he will stand trial in the Senate. In light of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's refusal to hold the trial before January 20, the question arises whether Trump can be tried after he leaves office. The answer is yes. Expect Trump's legal team to argue that he cannot.

"The Constitution does not require that an impeachment trial be held while a person is in office," Berkeley Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky told Truthout."Indeed, William Belknap, secretary of war to President [Ulysses S.] Grant, was impeached and tried after resigning from the position."

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  • Typewise (free): This small, helpful app is the first product from a company that's working on a 100-percent private "next word prediction engine." The distinctive honeycomb keyboard claims to reduce typos by up to 80 percent. (WIRED)
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Compiling the Criminal Charges Following the Capitol Riot - Lawfare

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By Bryce KlehmRohini Kurup

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On Jan. 6, a violent mob entered the United States Capitol Building during the congressional certification of President-elect Joe Biden's victory, forcing lawmakers and congressional staff to flee to safe locations. The rioters arrived at the Capitol Building following a rally on the National Mall where speakers and demonstrated urged Congress to not certify Biden's win in the presidential race due to baseless claims of voter fraud and irregularities. After law enforcement cleared the mob out of the Capitol, Congress certified President-elect Biden's victory. Arrests related to the breach of the Capitol are ongoing. 

Here, we are compiling links to charging documents related to the Jan. 6 riot on Capitol Hill. Our list includes cases in both the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. As of Jan. 12, this document also contains charges relating to the inauguration in a separate section. This article will be continually updated. 

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A Long Island judge has annulled an austerity measure that aims to force dozens of older New York judges off the bench.

Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Paul Baisley Jr. handed the older judges a legal win last week as they fight against the court system's decision to effectively fire 46 older judges to help address an approximate $300 million cut to the judiciary budget. The budget cut is fallout from the economic havoc of the coronavirus pandemic.

But Baisley's ruling doesn't mean the older judges are returning to their normal duties, says state court spokesman Lucian Chalfen.

The 46 older judges are not being physically prevented from entering courthouses, he said, but they are not being assigned new cases and cannot sign orders or decisions. The judges are also not being paid and are not allowed to conduct proceedings, he said.

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Tech giants crack down on Parler for lack of content moderation | TheHill

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BY ZACK BUDRYK

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Apple and Amazon both cracked down on Parler late Saturday, pulling the app from their Apple store and Amazon Web Services (AWS) hosting until the conservative social media platform ramps up content moderation.

"We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity," Apple said in a statement to The Hill.

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Vincent J. Napoleon

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But it is Section 4 of the 25th Amendment which is most relevant in determining whether Donald Trump's recent conduct of encouraging a coup on this Government should result in his removal from office. More specifically, Section 4 of 25th Amendment states that:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President...

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By Katelyn Polantz, CNN

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(CNN)Dominion Voting Systems has filed suit against Sidney Powell, the lawyer who pushed false election claims for the Trump campaign, claiming defamation and deceptive trade practices. 

The company seeks more than $1.3 billion in damages. 
In the extraordinarily detailed lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington on Friday, the company outlined Powell's TV appearances and online posts -- including when she repeated her unfounded beliefs that Dominion was linked to communist Venezuela and Georgia officials were in on election fraud -- and how those were amplified by President Donald Trump and his supporters online.
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About 3 p.m. Saturday, President Trump held an hour-long call with Brad Raffensperger, Georgia's secretary of state, in which he repeatedly urged him to alter the outcome of the presidential vote in the state. He was joined on the call by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and several lawyers, including longtime conservative attorney Cleta Mitchell and Georgia-based attorney Kurt Hilbert. Raffensperger was joined by his office's general counsel, Ryan Germany, and Deputy Secretary of State Jordan Fuchs. 

The Washington Post obtained a copy of a recording of the call. This transcript has been edited to remove the name of an individual about whom Trump makes unsubstantiated claims.


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Read the transcript and hear the call...click this link


Law school debt is delaying plans for recent grads--ABA Journal

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BY STEPHANIE FRANCIS WARD AND LYLE MORAN

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Some new attorneys delay buying a home or a new car. Others reluctantly postpone marriage and having children while altering the career plans they had going into law school.

These are among the personal and professional sacrifices young lawyers often make due to their sizable student loan debt, according to a survey conducted this spring by the ABA's Young Lawyers Division and the ABA Media Relations and Strategic Communications Division. Many survey respondents also provided open-ended comments indicating their student loans have contributed to mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.

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