February 2021 Archives

Four causes for 'Zoom fatigue' and their solutions | Stanford News

| No Comments
BY VIGNESH RAMACHANDRAN

***
In the first peer-reviewed article that systematically deconstructs Zoom fatigue from a psychological perspective, published in the journal Technology, Mind and Behavior on Feb. 23, Bailenson has taken the medium apart and assessed Zoom on its individual technical aspects. He has identified four consequences of prolonged video chats that he says contribute to the feeling commonly known as "Zoom fatigue."

***


***
What happened to decorum? Clients and some lawyers are appearing in Zoom hearings doing things that wouldn't happen in court, the Louisville Courier Journal reports. Dress becomes more informal. Lawyers or litigants have a drink. The setting is a bed or even a hair salon. The background gives too much away. The mute button isn't on.

***
by Andrew Maykuth

***

The Delaware River Basin Commission on Thursday approved a permanent ban on hydraulic fracturing of natural gas wells along the river, doubling down in the face of new legal challenges.

The DRBC's vote maintains the status quo -- it formally affirms a drilling moratorium imposed in 2010 by the commission, the interstate agency that manages water use in the vast Delaware watershed. But environmentalists hailed the frack ban as historic.

***

Read more...


By Brandon Vogel

***
Elisabeth Steele Hutchison, a faculty member and the director of admissions at the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, offered practical and often cost-effective tips to elevate your Zoom appearances and experiences on the CLE webinar, "Ten Zoom Lessons Learned From 'I Am Not A Cat.'

***

New York may license social workers to handle some legal tasks-ABA Journal

| No Comments
By Lyle Moran

***

... the New York state courts' Working Group on Regulatory Innovation has unanimously recommended the state create a program to train and license social workers to provide limited legal services for clients. The permitted legal tasks should include court representation and advocacy, according to the panel's report released in December.

The working group, which is part of the broader Commission to Reimagine the Future of New York's Courts, suggested its recommendation about social workers could serve "as a potential forerunner of other possibilities" for using nonlawyers to close the access-to-justice gap.

The panel also recommended expanding New York's Court Navigator Program, which permits nonlawyers to provide a variety of services to eligible unrepresented litigants that do not constitute the practice of law. The proposed expansion would include training and permitting navigators to conduct some legal work.

***

Read more...



***

This week, the US federal district court judge presiding over that lawsuit sided with the lenders, saying [PDF] they had reasonable grounds to think that the transfer was legitimate and that they had legal grounds to keep their money.

***

Judge tosses Nunes' libel suit against CNN - POLITICO

| No Comments
By JOSH GERSTEIN



***

A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit Rep. Devin Nunes filed in 2019 claiming he was libeled by CNN in reports alleging he was involved in an effort to dig up Ukraine-related dirt on Joe Biden.

In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Laura Taylor Swain granted the news network's motion to dismiss the suit, which sought a whopping $435 million in damages.

***

Read what Swain wrote in her 18-page decision.



***




Understanding Your CP59 Notice | Internal Revenue Service

| No Comments


***

The IRS this week issued the following statement:

Earlier this month, the IRS issued notices to approximately 260,000 taxpayers stating they haven't filed their 2019 federal tax return. These notices, referred to as CP59 notices, are issued yearly to identified taxpayers who have failed to file tax returns due the prior calendar year (Tax Year 2019). Due to pandemic-related shutdowns, the IRS has not completed processing all 2019 returns at this time. Therefore, the CP59 notices should not have been sent because some portion of the recipients may have filed a return that is still being processed. People who filed their 2019 returns but nevertheless received the CP59 notice can disregard the letter and do not need to take to take any action. There is no need to call or respond to the CP59 notice because the IRS continues to process 2019 tax returns as quickly as possible. The IRS regrets any confusion caused by this mailing. The IRS encourages those who have yet to file their 2019 return to promptly do so. 


***

Read more...


COVID-19 outbreak at ICE detention center - Investigative Post

| No Comments
By 

***

A COVID-19 outbreak has infected 22 immigrants held at the ICE detention facility in Batavia and prompted the testing of all others being held there.

The first positive test result was reported Feb. 11. Half of the 26 people held in that section of the facility subsequently tested positive. Testing confirmed nine more cases in a separate unit. 

The disclosures were made as part of a status report submitted Tuesday to U.S. Western District Court Judge Lawrence Vilardo, who previously ordered a strengthening of health and safety measures.

***

Read more...


by Eric Umansky

***
A federal appeals court on Tuesday affirmed (see full text) a lower court ruling allowing New York officials to release police discipline records that had been kept secret for decades.

***

Lawyer's Zoom hearing is a purr-fect storm tech glitch

| No Comments
BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

***

The cat is out of the bag. County Attorney Rod Ponton of Presidio County, Texas, appeared on Zoom for a court hearing around 11 a.m. Tuesday. By the afternoon, he was a YouTube star.

Ponton appeared as an adorable kitten on the video because of a filter on the computer that he was using.

"Mr. Ponton, I believe you have a filter turned on in the video setting," said Judge Roy Ferguson of the 394th Judicial District Court.

***

Read more and see photo...
By Christian Boone - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Greg Bluestein - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

***

The investigation by District Attorney Fani Willis, a Democrat entering her second month in office, centers on a Jan. 2 phone call to Georgia's Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in which Trump pleaded with him to "find" enough votes to overturn his narrow defeat in the state.

"This letter is notice that the Fulton County District Attorney has opened an investigation into attempts to influence the administration of the 2020 Georgia General Election," Willis wrote in correspondences delivered Wednesday morning to Raffensperger, Gov. Brian Kemp, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Attorney General Chris Carr.

***

Read more...



***

It has been the church's practice across the country for more than a decade to divert swarms of abuse claims into bankruptcy proceedings rather than handling each in individual court proceedings. That strategy allows the church to often avoid public trials or witness depositions, and to handle claims in one court proceeding that potentially will preserve more of their financial assets. Four of the eight dioceses in New York have already declared bankruptcy, as abuse lawsuits continue to pour in across the state.

"This is certainly a transaction that is on our radar," said Ilan D. Scharf, an attorney at Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones in New York City, which has specialized for years in representing abuse survivors in diocesan bankruptcy cases. "The fact that they are hiding behind what they claim are legal structures that protect these assets is no excuse for them to avoid using that money to help the victims of these dioceses."

***

Read more...


The video presented by Raskin is here: 

RESOLUTION
OF THE
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
OF THE
REAL PROPERTY LAW SECTION OF THE
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION CONCERNING
REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS DURING COVID 19

At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Real Property Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, held on January 13, 2021, upon due notice at which a quorum was present and acted throughout, the following Resolution was adopted:

WHEREAS, the Section recognizes that the conduct of real property closings during the COVID 19 Emergency has created misunderstanding, confusion, and conditions that are potentially dangerous to clients, practitioners and others;

WHEREAS, the Section is authorized by Article I, Section 2 of its By- Laws to draw attention to problems, abuses and issues in real property law and recommend improvements in procedures and practices;

WHEREAS, the Title and Transfer Committee of the Section proposes that the Section adopt and recommend the following suggested closing practices during the COVID 19 emergency;

WHEREAS, the Officers of the Section reviewed the suggested closing practices; and recommend that the Executive Committee adopt the practices on behalf of the Section;

WHEREAS, the Section directs its Officers and administrator to notify its members, and other interested parties, of the following recommended practices;

page1image52707072

1

NOW THEREFORE, the Section RESOLVES that during the COVID 19 emergency that real property closings should be conducted in accordance with the following:

  1. New York State has designated Real Estate as an essential business and Executive Order 202.6 (14) directs that all real estate
    transactions should be conducted "as remotely as possible" and any in person interaction "should be limited to the extent necessary."

  2. In an effort to comply with the Executive Order, the Real Property Law Section of the New York State Bar Association recommends that while continuing our practices and representing our clients, when possible, conduct a real property closing by mail and/ or in escrow.

  3. However, if closing in escrow is not possible, the following closing practices are recommended:

1. Limit the number of people in attendance. Among other things, Real Estate Brokers should not attend.

2. Be organized and prepared in advance of closing.

  1. To the extent possible, minimize time spent in the closing and the number of persons attending the closing by having seller documents signed and acknowledged prior to the closing, along with any other documents that can be signed (and acknowledged) in advance. However, bear in mind that not all title companies will accept (a) remote notarizations or (b) pre-signed documents delivered by an attorney if the attorney is not given a power of attorney or is not holding the documents in escrow. Accordingly, confirm the title company's requirements prior to closing.

  2. All parties should be screened prior to entering the closing room, including temperature checks and completion a of COVID questionnaire.

  3. The office where the closing is being held should keep a record of all who attend the closing for contact tracing purposes, including contact information for each person attending the closing.

2

  1. Limit the number of people in any room. Separate those in attendance to the extent possible, including separating the Purchasers and their attorney from the Bank's attorney and title closer, if possible.

  2. All parties must bring their own pens. For those who forget, make pens available for their use and then give the pens to the users or dispose of them.

  3. All parties must adhere to appropriate social distancing and wear a properly fitted mask at all times.

  4. Ventilate the room(s) in use as best as possible, including by opening windows if possible.

10. Handshaking and other personal contact should be avoided. In this the attorney should set the example by welcoming people without handshaking or other personal contact.

11. Consider having bottled water available for attendees. Do not permit attendees to use the kitchen, use coffee makers or other shared appliances, or obtain food from shared containers.

  1. Have hand sanitizers readily available.

  2. Do not use rooms for back-to-back closings and thoroughly ventilate

room if possible (including by opening windows).

14. Be respectful and courteous to the individual personal and/or medical needs and comfort levels of each party.

15. Remember that patience is a virtue. All parties should be aware that title companies and county clerk's offices are subject
to COVID guidelines and COVID related closures; therefore, obtaining documents and title reports will most likely take longer than anticipated.

D. In general, during this difficult time, as attorneys we are tasked with not only the professional obligation of protecting our clients' interests,

3

but also with the civil responsibility of ensuring the safety and well- being of each other. Please be sure to employ common sense to meet all of the necessary health, safety and legal requirements that are presented in each transaction.

RESOLUTION SO ADOPTED: As certified by:

Gilbert M. Hoffman

Gilbert Hoffman, Secretary Real Property Law Section

page4image53412224

4


***

f you use Google Chrome or a Chromium-based browser such as Microsoft Edge, update it immediately and/or check it for updates over the coming days: there is a zero-day bug being "actively exploited" in the older version of Chrome that will also affect other vendors' browsers.

Details are intentionally scant until enough of the wider world has installed the update, but the flaw exists in how Chrome handles heap overflows in V8, Chromium's Javascript engine.


***



***
Smartmatic filed a $2.7 billion lawsuit on Thursday against Fox News, some of the network's star hosts, including Lou Dobbs, Maria Bartiromo and Jeanine Pirro and pro-Trump attorneys Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, alleging the parties worked in concert to wage a "disinformation campaign" about the company. Read the full lawsuit...:

***





***

         Trump filed an answer to the article of impeachment. See Answer of President Donald J. Trump

***

Read the Brief From the Impeachment Managers - The New York Times

| No Comments


***
   The House Managers filed their trial memorandum on Tuesday. See Trial Memorandum of the United States House of Representatives.

***



***
It is the policy of my Administration to respect and value the integrity of families seeking to enter the United States. My Administration condemns the human tragedy that occurred when our immigration laws were used to intentionally separate children from their parents or legal guardians (families), including through the use of the Zero-Tolerance Policy. My Administration will protect family unity and ensure that children entering the United States are not separated from their families, except in the most extreme circumstances where a separation is clearly necessary for the safety and well-being of the child or is required by law.

***
Lindsay Schnell

***
...Measure 110, first-of-its-kind legislation that decriminalizes the possession of all illegal drugs in Oregon, including heroin, cocaine, meth and oxycodone. Instead of a criminal-justice-based approach, the state will pivot to a health-care-based approach, offering addicts treatment instead of prison time. Those in possession will be fined $100, a citation that will be dropped if they agree to a health assessment.

***

by A.C. Thompson, ProPublica, and Lila Hassan and Karim Hajj, FRONTLINE

***

The body of criminal law that governs the armed forces, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, doesn't include an explicit prohibition on joining extremist groups.

But participation in criminal gangs, white supremacist organizations and anti-government militias is barred by a 2009 Pentagon directive that covers all military branches. Service members who violate that ban can face court-martial for disobeying a lawful order or regulation, or for other offenses related to their extremist activity, such as making false statements to superiors. Military prosecutors can also use a catchall provision of the military code called Article 134 -- or the general article -- to charge service members who've engaged in conduct that brings "discredit" to the armed forces or harms the "good order and discipline" of the military, said Geoffrey Corn, a retired Army officer who served as a military attorney and who now teaches national security law at South Texas College of Law Houston.

***

Read more (long article)...


About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from February 2021 listed from newest to oldest.

January 2021 is the previous archive.

March 2021 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Monthly Archives

Pages

Powered by Movable Type 5.11