April 2022 Archives



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The US Supreme Court Thursday ruled Thursday that damages for emotional distress are not recoverable in a private lawsuit to enforce either the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 or the Affordable Care Act. This decision clarifies what damages are available to individuals who sue under federal anti-discrimination statutes.

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Judge moves congressional, State Senate primaries to August | WSKGWSKG

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VESTAL, NY (WSKG) -- The Steuben County judge overseeing the redrawing of New York's congressional and State Senate maps has ordered that primary elections for those races to be held in August.

The decision came two days after the state's highest court ordered the lower court to create new maps for congressional and State Senate districts, ruling that the old lines were improperly approved by the Democratic-controlled Legislature and drawn with partisan intent. 

The court left State Assembly districts intact.


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The judge didn't address in his oral ruling whether or not the $10,000-a-day fine was retroactive to the date Trump was supposed to have turned over the documents -- March 31 -- or if the clock would start running on Monday. 

He was expected to issue a written ruling by Tuesday.

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The Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers sent a letter to ABA President Reginald Turner on Monday that proposes a change to Model Rule 5.5 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which can be adopted by states as their own. Model Rule 5.5 governs unauthorized practice of law and multijurisdictional practice.

"Our proposal advocates that a lawyer admitted in any United States jurisdiction should be able to practice law and represent willing clients without regard to the geographic location of the lawyer or the client, without regard to the forum where the services are to be provided, and without regard to which jurisdiction's rules apply at a given moment in time," said the letter, written by Brian Faughnan, president of the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers.


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A public-private partnership is throwing the book at climate change, but a treatise for reducing carbon emissions had to be written first.

New York State Energy Research and Development AuthorityEmpire State Realty Trust, the Durst OrganizationVornado Realty Trust and Hudson Square Properties produced a free online guidebook for making buildings compliant with Local Law 97, using the Empire State Building's efforts to go greener as an example.

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Read more...get the guidebook...



Brendan J. Lyons

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ALBANY -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany's effort to keep secret the psychological treatment records of suspected pedophile priests was rejected Thursday by a state appellate court in a ruling that could affect thousands of Child Victims Act cases in New York.

The appellate panel also upheld state Supreme Court Justice L. Michael Mackey's decision ordering the diocese to turn over the personnel records of at least 48 priests whom the church determined had been credibly accused of child sexual abuse over a period stretching from 1946 to 1999.

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Read more about this major interpretation of the NYS Child Victims Act...



A judicial trainwreck. - by Robert B. Hubbell

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The decision by the Trump-appointed judge "was so bad it is not even wrong." (Credit: Wolfgang Pauli.) The ruling was a politically motivated "position paper" that ignored the law, science, and the rules of the English language. Ian Millhiser discusses this "train wreck" of a decision in his excellent article in Vox, The Trump judge's opinion striking down the airplane mask mandate is a legal disaster. I recommend Millhiser's article in its entirety...

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Brian Lee More from This Author

Litigation Reporter


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Lucian Chalfen, spokesman for New York's Unified Court System, said Rivera "continues in not meeting our qualification for employment and remains out of compliance with our vaccine mandate. As such she will be barred from entering her chambers or any court facility and must work from home."

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Trump Judge Finds That CDC Lacks Power To...Control Disease Spread

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A Trump-appointed district court judge found Monday that in issuing its mask mandate for travel on public transportation, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) overstepped its authority. 

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POUGHKEEPSIE - Attorneys throughout the state have organized a three-day protest after Governor Hochul removed modest rate increases for attorneys that participate in the "assigned counsel" program for people who cannot afford an attorney.  The attorneys will not be accepting new clients from any courts on April 18th, 19th, and 20th.

Governor Hochul removed the raises for 18-b attorneys from the state budget. The Senate and the Assembly had approved raising the rates in criminal cases from $75 an hour to $150 an hour for people charged with felonies and $120.00 an hour for misdemeanor cases. The family court rate was slated to go from $75 an hour to $150 an hour.  The current rate structure has been in place for more than a decade without any increases.

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On March 15, the Senate unanimously passed S. Res 546, which "encourages member states to petition the ICC or other appropriate international tribunal to take any appropriate steps to investigate war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Russian Armed Forces."

When he introduced the resolution, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) said, "This is a proper exercise of jurisdiction. This is what the court was created for." The United States has refused to join the ICC and consistently tries to undercut the court. Yet a unanimous U.S. Senate voted to utilize the ICC in the Ukraine conflict.

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By Special to Syracuse.com | Kathleen M. Dougherty

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Kathleen M. Dougherty is the executive director of the Onondaga County Bar Association Assigned Counsel Program.

Open Letter to Sens John Mannion and Rachel May; and Assembly members Will Barclay, John Lemondes, Pam Hunter, Bill Magnarelli and Al Stirpe:

It was with great disappointment that I learned that Gov. Kathy Hochul's final state budget did not include any amendments to county law article 18-b or the Family Court Act regarding compensation for assigned counsel and attorneys for the child (AFCs). Nor did the budget include any funding for an increase in the hourly rates. Almost as upsetting, there seems to be no clear reason given for the failure to include the increase, especially in light of the fact that it was in both the Senate and Assembly one-house budgets.

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The Associated Press

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New York approved 52 licenses Thursday that will allow hemp farmers to get a head start on growing marijuana for the state's upcoming adult market.

Of them, the most -- six -- are in Dutchess County, with four each in Schoharie and Washington counties.

The state Cannabis Control Board approved the licenses under a recent law that allows hemp cultivators to grow marijuana for the legal recreational market for two years. Hemp is a type of cannabis plant with lower levels of THC, marijuana's active ingredient.

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Read more...see list of farms by county...


READ: Mark Meadows' texts with Mike Lee and Chip Roy - CNNPolitics

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(CNN)CNN has obtained text messages of separate conversations that then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had with Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah and Republican Rep. Chip Roy of Texas after the 2020 presidential election and through early January 2021.

The messages reveal how two GOP allies of then-President Donald Trump lobbied and encouraged the White House in its efforts to overturn the election. The text messages were obtained by the House select committee and reviewed by CNN.
Note: CNN has removed personal information from the texts and adjusted profanity. Errors in spelling and grammar reflect the messages as reviewed by CNN.

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NYC's Fearless Girl statue will stay put opposite NYSE for now--NY Post

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The 4-foot bronze Fearless Girl statue that was deposited in front of New York City's Charging Bull in 2017 will remain in its current spot opposite the New York Stock Exchange at least until early next year while city officials wrestle with a permanent disposition for the popular symbol of female empowerment, a city board decided Monday.

Members of the Public Design Commission granted an 11-month permit extension and said they would spend the next six months exploring a way for New York City to take ownership of the statue, which is currently the subject of litigation between artist Kristen Visbal and State Street Global Advisors, the Boston-based asset-management firm that commissioned it.

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Pages 12, Numbers 12, and Keynote 12 - TidBITS

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Apple has updated its iWork apps to version 12, providing Shortcuts support in all three apps to create and open documents when running in macOS 12 Monterey. You can also now use Shortcuts to add rows to a table in Numbers and rehearse a slideshow or start presenting in Keynote. Pages now enables you to publish files up to 2 GB directly to Apple Books and can read comments and tracked changes using VoiceOver. And Numbers now lets you create formulas and quickly fill cells with autofill using VoiceOver and enables copying a snapshot of table cells without formulas, categories, or hidden values. (Free; Pages, 284.5 MB, release notesNumbers, 252.8 MB, release notesKeynote, 341.8 MB, release notes; macOS 11.0+)

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By: Nicole Elizabeth Price

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On Nov. 10, 2021, the New York City Council passed a bill that regulates employers and employment agencies' use of "automated employment decision tools" in making employment decisions. The bill was returned without Mayor Bill de Blasio's signature and lapsed into law on Dec. 11, 2021. The new law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2023. This new law is part of a growing trend towards examining and regulating the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in hiring, promotional and other employment decisions.

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Over the weekend, a GM Cruise converted Chevy Bolt without a driver was pulled over by San Francisco Police. In an unexpected turn, the car "bolted" to a safe spot. Cruise responded.

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JOHN WHITTAKER


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A.940B passed the Assembly by a 102-44 vote largely along party lines. Both Assemblyman Andrew Goodell, R-Jamestown, and Joe Giglio, R-Gowanda, voted against the legislation. Versions of the bill had been introduced in 2019 and 2020 and didn't make it out of the Assembly Governmental Operations Committee. 

A companion bill (S685) has been introduced in the state Senate but has not made it out of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee.

The bill requires the state Municipal Police Training Council, which operates under the state Division of Criminal Justice Services, to develop, maintain and disseminate a minimum standards policy governing the use of automatic license plate reader systems. The minimum standards policy must include provisions on permissible uses of automated license plate reader technology, data sharing and dissemination, prohibited uses, record retention and management, and training. It also calls on the Municipal Police Training Council to recommend to the governor a series of rules and regulations to establish an ongoing training program for all current and new police officers regarding license plate readers along with recommendations for periodic retraining of police officers.

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Chicago audio nerd pirate station airs old radio dramas | WBEZ Chicago

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Radio producer David Goren has been researching, mapping and archiving audio from pirate stations for his Brooklyn Pirate Radio Sound Map project. He said stations exist in West Indian, Latino and some Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. And despite lots of FCC enforcement in the area, "activity is stable. In Brooklyn there are 25-30 stations on every day," Goren said.

During the pandemic, underground stations moved even closer to their immigrant audiences, he noted. They spent more hours on air and targeted programming to the demographically vulnerable.

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Cannabis Workforce Development | Department of Labor

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The New York State Department of Labor is launching a new Cannabis Workforce Site: https://dol.ny.gov/cannabis-workforce-development. This is a one-stop shop for resources and tools for individuals interested in working and building relevant professional skills in the New York Cannabis Industry. The website will be updated as new opportunities become available.

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The New York State Department of Labor's Cannabis Workforce Development Unit is designed to assist both job seekers and businesses who work in the adult-use, medical cannabis, and cannabinoid hemp industries. We connect workers to a variety of employment opportunities in this emerging field. We also support businesses so they may thrive in the New York economy. Explore how we can help New Yorkers work in this exciting industry.

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A federal judge invalidated portions of Florida's voter suppression bill (S.B. 90). See League of Women Voters v. Lee. The opinion is remarkable--and lengthy (300 pages). Here is a synopsis of this important opinion by Judge Mark E. Walker,Talking Points MemoOne Federal Judge's Primal Scream About The Dramatic Erosion Of Voting Rights.

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Adult-use cannabis products excise tax

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If you're an adult-use cannabis products distributor, you must pay an excise tax on your sales of adult-use cannabis products (AUC) to adult-use cannabis products retailers. If you're an adult-use cannabis products retailer, you must pay a retail excise tax on the AUC you sell or transfer to retail customers.

Before you begin distributing or selling AUC, you must register with the Tax Department. If you're not a licensed distributor or retailer, you must first apply for an AUC license with the New York State Office of Cannabis Management (OCM).

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