May 2021 Archives

NY Announces Legacy City Access Program for Housing | LAW OF THE LAND

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Posted by: Patricia Salkin | May 29, 2021

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On May 27, 2021 NY Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the new $25 million Legacy Cities initiative, a targeted effort to eradicate vacant properties in concentrated neighborhoods across Upstate New York and transform blighted structures into newly renovated, move-in ready homes. The renovated homes will help expand affordable homeownership opportunities for low- and moderate-income residents, specifically first-time buyers and households of color.  

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In the News--new podcast

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The news you need to know from the past week covering iPhones, iPads, and related mobile technology. Brought to you by Brett Burney from www.appsinlaw.com and Jeff Richardson from www.iphonejd.com 


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By John Bowers, Clare Stanton, and Jonathan Zittrain


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 In a 2014 study, for example, researchers (including some on this team) found that nearly half of all hyperlinks in Supreme Court opinions led to content that had either changed since its original publication or disappeared from the internet.

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Our team of researchers at Harvard Law School has undertaken a project to gain insight into the extent and characteristics of journalistic linkrot and content drift. We examined hyperlinks in New York Times articles, starting with the launch of the Times website in 1996 up through mid-2019, developed on the basis of a data set provided to us by the Times. The substantial linkrot and content drift we found here reflect the inherent difficulties of long-term linking to pieces of a volatile Web.

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Anyone who needs more time to file can get it. The easiest way to do so is through the Free File link on IRS.gov. In a matter of minutes, anyone, regardless of income, can use this free service to electronically request an extension on Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Taxpayers are reminded, however, that an extension of time to file is not an extension of time to pay. To get the extension, taxpayers must estimate their tax liability on this form and pay any amount due. Tax payments are generally due by the May 17 filing deadline, and taxpayers should pay as much as they can to avoid possible penalties and interest.

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BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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The largest number of claims stem from three practice areas: trusts and estates, business transactions, and corporate securities.

Claims for trusts and estates work are increasing as the baby boomer generation ages, and court decisions allow third parties to sue law firms for work on behalf of a client, according to Ames & Gough.

Ames & Gough recommends using an engagement letter that spells out whom the firm represents and what services will be performed, documenting communications, ensuring that the client has testamentary capacity, and maintaining a familiarity with fast-changing statutes and tax laws.


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New York caps the cost of broadband for low-income families | Engadget

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill requiring all internet service providers (ISPs) to offer $15 per month broadband for low-income users, as Bloomberg has reported. That will significantly lower the price for over 7 million people in 2.7 million households who qualify, as the current average monthly price in the state is $50.

ISPs must provide at least 25 Mbps download speeds or their current low-income internet speeds if those are greater. In centers like New York City where speeds tend to be faster, the bill caps the price of high-speed broadband over 200 Mbps at $20 per month. 

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Emergency Broadband Benefit | Federal Communications Commission

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The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

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Find out who is eligible...


CHP: Backseat Tesla driver arrested | YourCentralValley.com

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OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) - The backseat driver of a Tesla has been arrested, according to the California Highway Patrol.

On Tuesday, authorities announced that 25-year-old Param Sharma had been arrested without incident. He has been booked into the Santa Rita Jail on two counts of reckless driving and disobeying a Peace Officers. 



BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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There is no comprehensive information about how often ethics officials and lawyer assistance programs deal with lawyer dementia, according to Bloomberg Law. But the percentage of lawyers older than age 65--about 14%--is higher than the 7% of workers generally in that age group, suggesting that the problem could be worse in the legal profession.

And the numbers are growing. Over the last decade, the number of practicing lawyers older than age 65 has increased more than 50%.


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A disbarred American lawyer who spent more than two decades battling Chevron Corp (CVX.N) over pollution in the Ecuadorian rainforest attempted on Monday to fend off criminal contempt charges stemming from a lawsuit against him by the energy company.

Steven Donziger is on trial in Manhattan federal court for failing to turn over his computer, phones and other electronic devices and refusing court orders to surrender his passport in the civil case brought by Chevron.

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WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the withdrawal - effective May 6 - of the "Independent Contractor Rule," to maintain workers' rights to the minimum wage and overtime compensation protections of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The department is withdrawing the rule for several reasons, including:

  • The independent contractor rule was in tension with the FLSA's text and purpose, as well as relevant judicial precedent. 
  • The rule's prioritization of two "core factors" for determining employee status under the FLSA would have undermined the longstanding balancing approach of the economic realities test and court decisions requiring a review of the totality of the circumstances related to the employment relationship. 
  • The rule would have narrowed the facts and considerations comprising the analysis of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, resulting in workers losing FLSA protections.
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Reminder to tax-exempt organizations: 990s, other forms due May 17

Here's a reminder for tax-exempt organizations that operate on a calendar-year basis: Certain annual information and tax returns filed with the IRS are due on May 17, 2021. These returns are:

  • Form 990-series annual information returns (Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, 990-BL)
  • Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or Form 990-EZ
  • Form 990-T, Exempt Organization Business Income Tax Return (other than certain trusts)
  • Form 4720, Return of Certain Excise Taxes Under Chapters 41 and 42 of the Internal Revenue Code"##
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RIP: Stephen P. Gallagher

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Stephen P. Gallagher

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I am very sad to learn of the passing of my friend and mentor, Steve Gallagher.  I first met Steve in 1993, when we put together a presentation on technology for solo practitioners and small firms--in Delhi, NY.   At about the same time, Steve and I led an expedition to Cornell Law School, where we met the folks who "added value" to case materials published by the Legal Information Institute.  We were inspired by them to return to the New York State Bar Association ("NYSBA") and propose  a web page on the internet.  After the laughter from the advertising and CLE people died down, Steve convinced Gary Sawtelle from NYSBA's IT department to design and post the state bar's first web page.  

Steve and I were "Technology Evangelists" for NYSBA making presentations around the state on using technology in practicing law.  More than 20 years ago, Steve asked me to volunteer to edit this blog for the General Practice Section.  In his position as Director of Law Office Management at NYSBA, Steve constantly stressed the need to provide benefits for members, especially sole practitioners and small firm members.

In recent years, Steve had been a life and professional coach for lawyers, both here and abroad.  We co-authored a series of articles for NYSBA publications on planning for the transition to life after retirement.  Steve did the "heavy lifting" writing and researching.  I was our "Greek Chorus" editing and commenting from the practitioner's point of view.  We developed a style of dialogue which readers seemed to enjoy.

Steve was a kind and gentle person, whose patience seemed endless.  He adored his wife, Nancy, and their boys, with many posts about the Leahy side of the family history.  He shamed my lack of exercise every time we talked about his love of rowing and his excursions on the river.  When we went to lunch, Steve would read his medical devices to rationalize dessert for two diabetics.  

I shall miss my friend, Steve.

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Restaurant Revitalization Fund-SBA

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The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses no later than March 11, 2023.

Sign up to receive email alerts from SBA as additional information about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund becomes available.

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Read more and get help with your application...


By David ParedesVicky Nguyen and Rich Schapiro

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Experts say police departments need to implement three basic rules in order for the cameras to be effective: tell officers specifically when to hit record, ensure they announce they are filming, and outline clear consequences for when the rules are broken.

But many of the nation's major police departments don't follow these basic guidelines. Examining the body camera policies of 28 large police departments in a geographically representative array of U.S. states, along with the policy in Chester, NBC News found 45 percent gave specific instructions for when officers should start recording. Roughly 41 percent required officers to announce they're recording. And only 34 percent clearly stated there are consequences for not recording.

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Covid vaccination card fraud prompts CDC action--NBC News

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By Kevin Collier and Ben Collins

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Specific directions showing how to forge Covid-19 vaccination cards have proliferated on conspiracy, pro-Trump and anti-vaccination forums throughout the internet in recent weeks, as users have exploited a largely makeshift verification system.

The cards, distributed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have been handed out to the more than 140 million Americans who have already received at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccination. The Biden administration has declared it wouldn't create a federal vaccination database, citing privacy concerns, paving the way for the cards to become the country's default national way to verify if someone has been vaccinated.

And while one state -- New York -- has embraced a vaccination verification app, there is scant evidence that others are close behind.

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About this Archive

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

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