January 2022 Archives

Personal Safety User Guide - Apple Support

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What you need to know about device and data access when your personal safety is at risk



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This user guide is a personal safety resource for anyone who is concerned about or experiencing technology-enabled abuse, stalking, or harassment. It can help you sever digital ties with those you no longer want to be connected to and outlines the personal safety features that are built into Apple devices.

Learn more about personal safety with Apple devices

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Will Auto-Dealer Protection Laws Stifle Electric Car Adoption?--INSIDE EVs

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ByEVANNEX

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As it stands at the moment, 17 states prohibit all automakers from selling vehicles directly to customers, while another 11 states have carved out specific exceptions for Tesla (and in some cases, other automakers that sell only EVs, which means Rivian and Lucid).

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So how can it be that, for the past three years, (according to research firm IHS Markit), Floridians have bought over 60 percent more EVs than New Yorkers have? Could it have something to do with the fact that Tesla, which currently sells the vast majority of EVs, has opened 17 stores and galleries in Florida, whereas in New York, it has only 5 stores, and is prohibited from opening more? (Tesla recently launched a new campaign to expand the number of permitted stores.)

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The IRS has shared a fact sheet with tips for the Advance Child Tax Credit and filing the 2021 tax return. Tax preparers and their clients should carefully read advance CTC letter 6419: To help eligible taxpayers, the IRS sent letters ("2021 Total Advance Child Tax Credit (AdvCTC) Payments") to payment recipients to help ensure tax returns are accurate. For further questions about advance payments, IRS urges people to check their IRS Online Account. The Online Account includes the official figures in the IRS systems; using this number will help avoid potential processing and refund delays. Taxpayers should correctly include the amount of advance Child Tax Credit payments they received last year when filing their tax return to ensure a timely refund.

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BY JOSELINE JEAN-LOUIS HARDRICK

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How many times have you heard, "You don't look like a lawyer!" How do you feel when it happens? What's your typical response?


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Tom McParland

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New York's statewide mask mandate will remain in effect while Gov. Kathy Hochul's office appeals a lower court ruling that found the rule unconstitutional, a state appellate judge said late Tuesday.

The order, from Justice Robert J. Miller of the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department, came as the Hochul administration scrambled to respond to a Nassau County judge's decision Monday, which found that the state Department of Health overstepped its authority in enacting the measure.


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IRS: Some may see smaller refunds, or none at all this tax season | WSTM

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by CAL DYMOWSKI, WJAR Staff

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The IRS will start accepting returns Monday, and certain families and individuals are facing smaller refunds or no refund at all.

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Read more...advance child tax credit...taxable unemployment...



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A Republican-led committee in the Florida state house has advanced a bill that would ban all discussion of sexuality and gender identity in schools, a move advocates say will "erase" LGTBQ+ students and history.

The Florida house education and employment committee passed the Parental Rights in Education bill, also known as the "Don't Say Gay" bill, last week.

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Chasten Buttigieg, an LGBTQ+ advocate who is married to the US secretary of transportation, Pete Buttigieg, condemned Florida's Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, tweeting: "This will kill kids ... You are purposefully making your state a harder place for LGBTQ+ kids to survive in."

Buttigieg cited data from the Trevor Project, a nonprofit focused on suicide prevention among LGBTQ+ youth. According to a national survey, 42% of LGBTQ+ youth seriously considered suicide last year.

Moreover, 94% of LGBTQ+ youth reported that recent politics negatively impacted their mental health. The study also found that LGBTQ+ youth who had access to spaces that affirmed their sexual orientation and gender identity reported lower rates of attempted suicide.

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State judge overturns NY mask mandate--Spectrum 1

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BY NEW YORK STATE

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A New York judge ruled Monday that the state's mask mandate can't be enforced, after it was reinstituted by Gov. Kathy Hochul over concerns about a winter surge of coronavirus cases.

State Supreme Court Judge Thomas Rademaker, based in Nassau County, said in his decision that the state Department of Health didn't have the legal authority to implement the mandate, and that it was up to the state Legislature to do so if needed.

Rademaker's ruling strikes down the Department of Health masking rule, which also applies to schools, according to an attorney representing the plaintiffs in the case.



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Dan Mangan

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Unvaccinated former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin tested positive for Covid, a federal judge told a courtroom before he postponed the scheduled start Monday of a defamation trial involving the one-time Alaska governor and The New York Times that was set to begin.

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Sheldon Silver, Former N.Y. Assembly Speaker, Dies at 77 - The New York Times

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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Sheldon Silver, the once-indomitable leader of the New York State Assembly whose career and reputation were undone by a 2015 corruption conviction, died on Monday. He was 77.

Mr. Silver had been incarcerated at Devens Federal Medical Center in Massachusetts, according to Judith Rapfogel, his former chief of staff. The cause and place of death were not immediately clear.

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By Joan Biskupic, CNN legal analyst & Supreme Court biographer

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CNN)The Supreme Court announced Monday it will reconsider race-based affirmative action in college admissions, a move that could eliminate campus practices that have widely benefitted Black and Hispanic students.

The justices said they will hear challenges to policies at Harvard and the University of North Carolina that use students' race among many criteria to decide who should gain a coveted place in an entering class.
The cases would be heard in the session that begins next October, with a decision likely by June 2023.
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In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, Southern states launched a campaign of massive resistance to school desegregation. Today, a version of massive resistance is again playing out, this time to the court's ruling in the Texas abortion case -- and this time, the resistance is coming from within the judiciary itself.

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The Best Ebook Subscription and Audiobook Services | WIRED

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EBOOKS HAVE NOT swept away traditional tomes the way streaming services for music, movies, and TV shows have slashed sales of discs. Physical book sales are booming, but ebooks and audiobooks have a dedicated, appreciative audience. If you love to read, an ebook subscription service is a great way to discover new titles, find recommendations, and read more indie books. We tried out several of the most popular options, delving into their available libraries, apps, and features to determine the best ebook subscription services and audiobook subscriptions for different people.
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By BETSY WOODRUFF SWAN

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The Jan. 6 select panel has obtained the draft order... reported here in detail for the first time.

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The order empowers the defense secretary to "seize, collect, retain and analyze all machines, equipment, electronically stored information, and material records required for retention under" a U.S. law that relates to preservation of election records. It also cites a lawsuit filed in 2017 against Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. 

Additionally, the draft order would have given the defense secretary 60 days to write an assessment of the 2020 election. That suggests it could have been a gambit to keep Trump in power until at least mid-February of 2021.


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Jonah E. BromwichBen Protess and 

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The New York State attorney general, Letitia James, accused Donald J. Trump's family business late Tuesday of repeatedly misrepresenting the value of its assets to bolster its bottom line, saying in court papers that the company had engaged in "fraudulent or misleading" practices.

The filing came in response to Mr. Trump's recent effort to block Ms. James from questioning him and two of his adult childrenunder oath as part of a civil investigation of his business, the Trump Organization. Ms. James's inquiry into Mr. Trump and the company is ongoing, and it is unclear whether her lawyers will ultimately file a lawsuit against them.

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By ALM Staff

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Robins Kaplan and Benesch, Friedlander, Coplan & Aronoff filed a defamation lawsuit against My Pillow Inc. and its CEO Michael J. Lindell on Tuesday in Minnesota District Court on behalf of Smartmatic and its parent company SGO Corporation Limited. The suit accuses Lindell of spreading disinformation about the Smartmatic voting machines used in the 2020 presidential election. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendants. The case is 0:22-cv-00098, Smartmatic USA Corp. et al v. Lindell et al.

This suit was surfaced by Law.com Radar, a source for high-speed legal news and litigation updates personalized to your practice. Law.com Radar publishes daily updates on just-filed federal cases like this one. Click here to get started and be first to know about new suits in your region, practice area or client sector.

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Read more...access the Complaint




New York State's Eviction Moratorium Has Expired--BS&K

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By: Collin M. Carr

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New York State--the state with the highest share of renters in the United States--allowed its eviction moratorium to expire on January 15. State officials enacted the Tenant Safe Harbor Act (TSHA) at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and repeatedly extended it to the point where it became the second longest statewide moratorium in the nation. The National Equity Atlas estimates that approximately 591,000 households in New York State are behind on rent. Now that the moratorium has officially expired, many landlords who have been unable to evict holdover tenants or tenants for nonpayment of rent, and, as a result, have lost substantial amounts of rental income during the pandemic, are looking to once again exercise their rights that have been placed on hold for nearly two years.

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Patience, Perseverance, and Progress | New York Law Journal

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By Elizabeth A. Garry, Presiding Justice, Appellate Division, Third Department

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Elizabeth A. Garry, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department, writes: Thanks to the commitment and ingenuity of the people who make up our justice system, we have not only persevered, but also begun to lay the foundation for a more efficient, sustainable, and just future for the judiciary.

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By Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge, State of New York

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During the 2022 Legislative Session the Judiciary will submit to the Legislature a proposal to amend Article VI of the New York State Constitution which, in the broadest strokes, will create a simple, modern, equitably-structured court system consisting of: (1) a single statewide Supreme Court into which the Court of Claims, County Court, Family Court and Surrogate's Court will be merged; (2) a single statewide Municipal Court replacing the New York City Civil and Criminal Courts, Nassau and Suffolk District Courts and 61 upstate City Courts; and (3) the Town and Village Justice Courts, which will not be affected by our proposal. The proposal will also lift the long-outdated constitutional cap on the number of Supreme Court Justices and authorize the Legislature to increase the number of judges available to hear and resolve the three million-plus cases filed in our state courts each year.

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By Katelyn Polantz, Hannah Rabinowitz, Holmes Lybrand, and Tierney Sneed, CNN

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(CNN)The Justice Department has charged 11 defendants with seditious conspiracy related to the Capitol attack on January 6, 2021, including the leader of the Oath Keepers, Stewart Rhodes. 

The new indictment, handed down by a grand jury on Wednesday and made public Thursday, alleges that Rhodes and his co-conspirators engaged in a conspiracy to "oppose the lawful transfer of presidential power by force, by preventing, hindering, or delaying by force execution of laws governing the transfer of power."
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Why a Testator's Next of Kin Matters in Probate | New York Law Journal

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By Jeffrey M. Johnstone

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Even lawyers who do not practice in Surrogate's Court often do not understand why it is necessary in a probate proceeding to deal with people who are not named in a testator's will.

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By 

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One of the most influential groups helping set policy for New York's legal cannabis industry is led mostly by farmers with little prior political experience -- but with early success in representing small to mid-sized marijuana businesses, the group is punching above its weight.

The New York Cannabis Growers and Processors Associationconsisted of five people and one paid lobbyist when it formed about three years ago. Today, the association stands at about 250 members, according to the group, and its board members point to several accomplishments within the state's cannabis legalization law as evidence of its increasing clout in Albany.


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Andrew Denney More from This Author

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ith COVID-19 cases surging in courthouses across New York, the association representing state Supreme Court justices is calling on officials to put the brakes on plans to move forward with in-person trials.

According to daily reports from the court system, a growing number of employees from courthouses in seemingly every corner of the state have reported that they have caught the bug over the last few weeks, with dozens more being posted each day. 


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COVID cases surge in NYC courts - New York Daily News

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By 

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In New York City's courthouses, omicron is so out of control that arraignments have turned into a hot zone where anyone present receives a COVID-19 exposure alert, public defenders said Wednesday.

"Everyone who is entering these spaces is getting sick," Legal Aid Society union president Lisa Ohta said at a virtual press conference.



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By 

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One of the most well-settled principles of US national security law is that courts give tremendous deference to the military's decisions regarding how to maintain discipline among its own personnel. "The essence of military service," the Court held in Goldman v. Weinberger(1986), "is the subordination of the desires and interests of the individual to the needs of the service." Servicemembers voluntarily give up some of their constitutional rights when they choose to join the armed services.

And yet, on Monday, a notoriously partisan federal judge in Texas thumbed his nose at decades of law and Supreme Court precedents, holding that members of the military may refuse an order to take the Covid-19 vaccination if they object to it on religious grounds. In a brief order in US Navy SEALs 1-26 v. Biden, US District Court Judge Reed O'Connor claims that a policy requiring nearly all servicemembers to be vaccinated against Covid-19 violates both the First Amendment and a federal religious liberty statute.

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A federal judge in Oklahoma on Tuesday ruled against the state in its lawsuit challenging the vaccine mandates for members of the Oklahoma National Guard in a dispute that is the first critical test of the military's authority to require National Guard troops to get the shot.

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot denied Oklahoma's request for a preliminary injunction, saying the claims by Gov. Kevin Stitt, Attorney General John O'Connor and 16 anonymous Oklahoma National Guard members were without merit.


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We appreciate that the Law Journal has reported extensively on the issue of the denial of certification to justices over 70. We write to highlight several important issues in response to your recent article, "Advocates Await Fate of Popular Legislation, Fiercely Opposed by Top Court Officials, to Keep Older Judges on the Bench."

The pending bill is consistent with the constitutional mandate, and it will not minimize the role of the Administrative Board. The board will still be charged with conducting an individualized determination as to whether each justice who applies for certification is necessary to the work of the courts and is both mentally and physically able and competent to do the job.

Importantly, this law will prevent a repetition of the Office of Court Administration's arbitrary action in 2020, when 46 justices were involuntarily retired, without individualized evaluations, while only three were permitted to continue working. This action severely impaired the ability of the courts to process their calendars and exacerbated the backlogs created by the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Marijuana Opt-Out Tracker | Rockefeller Institute of Government

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View which municipalities have made the decision to opt out of adult-use marijuana dispensaries and/or on-site consumption lounges in their jurisdiction. NOTE: While this dashboard is updated regularly it does not represent real-time, official information on municipalities' opt-out decisions.

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