Legal News Archives

January 25, 2007

Breaking Legal Document

FindLaw: North Carolina State Bar Ethics Complaint Against D.A. Michael 'Mike' Nifong

Click above for full text.

January 29, 2007

Buffalo Innovation

Giving court staff, providers chance to connect - Business First of Buffalo:

In Family Court and in matrimonial cases, litigants are often referred to a nonprofit organization to complete a judge's order. But while courts often successfully link the litigant and service provider, legal advocates, lawyers and judges are not always aware of all of the programs available in the area.

So Bridget O'Connell, chair of the Bar Association of Erie County's matrimonial and family law committee, and Kristin Arcuri, chair of the bar's practice and procedure in Family Court committee, worked together to create a services fair where those in the legal community could meet providers and learn about their services. The event was held earlier this month at BAEC headquarters.

Continue reading "Buffalo Innovation" »

January 31, 2007

Libby Trial Exhibits

The Associated Press - Washington in Depth

From AP, Documents From The Trial of I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, updated January 30, 2007.

February 1, 2007

Pay Raise for NY Judges?? - Pay Raise for N.Y. Judges Gets Boost in Spitzer's First Budget

Via New York Law Journal (entire article)
February 1, 2007

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer on Wednesday included more than $111 million in his executive budget to provide all state judges with a pay raise retroactive to April 1, 2005.

The bold and apparently unprecedented initiative of including a judicial pay increase in an executive budget would result in an average salary hike of about 25 percent for the judges, who have not had so much as a cost-of-living increase in eight years.

Under the proposal, which mirrors one first advanced by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, the salaries of all judges -- including Housing Court judges, who were excluded under a Pataki administration plan -- would see a pay hike of roughly 23 percent as of April. The remaining 2 percent would kick in if Congress approves a cost-of-living increase for federal judges.

In his budget commentary, the governor noted that the cost of living has increased more than 20 percent as the salaries of judges have remained stagnant. Spitzer said a pay raise is warranted "as a matter of fairness to judges and their families and as a matter of public policy."

The pay structure would, for now, link the salaries of state Supreme Court justices to those of federal district judges, while tying the salaries of the other state judges to those of Supreme Court justices. If Congress approves the next scheduled cost-of-living increase for federal judges, the salaries of New York's judges would be calculated as follows on April 1:

Continue reading "Pay Raise for NY Judges??" »

February 3, 2007

Public Citizen Lawsuit Seeks Injunction Against Unconstitutional Rules

Public Citizen | Press Room - New Lawyer Advertising Rules in New York Violate Free Speech, Impede Internet Communications and Nonprofit Legal Services

WASHINGTON, D.C. – New rules governing lawyer advertising set to go into effect in New York violate free speech and would impose anti-consumer restrictions on lawyers’ advertising and Internet communications, according to a lawsuit filed today by Public Citizen and a New York law firm.

The lawsuit seeks to prevent enforcement of New York's attorney advertising rules that are scheduled to take effect on Feb. 1. The new guidelines are part of a revision of the rules contained in New York's Code of Professional Responsibility for lawyers, which is designed to protect consumers by prohibiting false and misleading lawyer advertisements. The rules were released on Jan. 4 by the presiding justices of the four divisions of New York's appellate courts.


To view the lawsuit, click here.

To read more about this issue, visit the Consumer Law & Policy Blog, co-sponsored by Public Citizen’s Consumer Justice Project.

February 6, 2007

Association of Justices of Supreme Court: No Screen For Us - N.Y. Justices Group Opposes Role in Screening

In a controversial move, the association representing New York Supreme Court justices has passed a resolution calling upon the judiciary to refrain from any involvement in the screening of candidates for elective judgeships.

The resolution was adopted unanimously by more than 100 justices who attended the association's Jan. 27 annual meeting, held in Manhattan as part of the New York State Bar Association's convention.

The resolution puts the 325-member association on a collision course with Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye and the four presiding justices of the Appellate Division who are in the process of implementing a court rule adopted last February deeply involving the judiciary in the screening of all candidates for elected judgeships.

The proposal comes at a particularly sensitive time because the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last August affirmed a decision by Eastern District of New York Judge John Gleeson ordering the state to reform its 86-year-old convention system. The court ordered that primaries must be held this year if the legislators did not adopt an acceptable alternative.

The Association of Justices of Supreme Court also adopted a resolution asking that justices on the bench before the ruling in Lopez-Torres v. New York State Board of Elections went into effect be exempted from any solution, whether imposed by the Legislature or the courts, requiring nomination in a primary.

And, in a third resolution, the association asked that pay raises not be linked to any other legislative issues. With Governor Eliot Spitzer's inclusion of money for pay raises in his executive budget last Wednesday, the prospects for a raise without linkage to legislators' salaries -- the issue that doomed judicial raises last year -- brightened considerably.


February 7, 2007

New York Judicial Watchdog Resigns Over ABA Panel's Change to Ethics Rules - Judicial Watchdog Resigns Over ABA Panel's Change to Ethics Rules

Accusing an American Bar Association panel of secretly watering down judicial ethics rules, the administrator of the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct has resigned in protest from an ABA advisory council.

In a resignation letter released Monday, Robert H. Tembeckjian objected strenuously to what he said is a plan to diminish the thrust of an ethics precept that says judges should "avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety." Tembeckjian said the ABA would make a "monumental mistake" if, as proposed, it relegates the "impropriety and appearance of impropriety" provision to an unenforceable guideline.

Currently, under the Model Code of Judicial Conduct, which many states use as a template for their own rules, judges who violate the provision are subject to disciplinary action. But a revision inserted into a updated code and slated for consideration by the ABA next week would change that so the "impropriety and appearance of impropriety" admonition would no longer constitute a rule. Rather, it would simply be a guideline.


Read full text of article by John Caher via NY Law Journal.

February 9, 2007

FBI Email Alerts

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched a service that sends out electronic mail (e-mail) alerts when new and vital information is posted on the Web site.

Subscribers select which topics that they want updates on, such as new electronic scams (e-scams) and warnings, most wanted terrorists, top ten fugitives, and local and national press releases. The alerts are transmitted as soon as updates are posted to the FBI's Web site or published in their daily, weekly, or monthly digests. The FBI views this service as a means of furthering American citizens' safety by keeping them informed. No personal information is required to sign up for this service, just an e-mail address to where the alerts will be sent. To sign up for the service please visit the"

Or click here.

February 12, 2007

Phase-Out Credit for Toyota and Lexus Hybrids Continues With Reporting of Fourth Quarter Sales

Phase-Out Credit for Toyota and Lexus Hybrids Continues With Reporting of Fourth Quarter Sales

IR-2007-28, Feb. 8, 2007

WASHINGTON — After reviewing the fourth quarter sales of Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc., the Internal Revenue Service announced that purchasers Toyota and Lexus vehicles may continue to claim the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit. Given the number of vehicles sold, the phase out period for Toyota vehicles began on October 1, 2006.
Toyota sold 67,857 qualifying vehicles to retail dealers in the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2006. This brings the cumulative sales of qualified Toyota hybrid vehicles sold from the period of Jan. 1, 2006, through Dec. 31, 2006, to 212,073.
Taxpayers may claim the full amount of the credit up to the end of the first calendar quarter after the quarter in which the manufacturer records its sale of the 60,000th qualified vehicle. For the second and third calendar quarters after the quarter in which the 60,000th vehicle is sold, taxpayers may claim 50 percent of the credit. For the fourth and fifth calendar quarters, taxpayers may claim 25 percent of the credit. No credit is allowed after the fifth quarter. The sale of Toyota ’s 60,000th qualified vehicle occurred in the quarter ending September 30, 2006.

The applicable credit amounts are found here:

See Related Item: Hybrid Cars and Alternative Motor Vehicles

February 13, 2007 NewsPoint - NewsPoint Newsreader

What is NewsPoint? NewsPoint is a desktop newsreader. It allows you to sign up to receive updates from and other online publishers. Once you’ve installed NewsPoint on your computer, it will automatically check for news updates from and the other publishers you’ve added. This means you can get the latest updates directly on your computer desktop, without having to surf lots of different websites to find it.

Sorry MacUsers--Windows only at this point. Download here.

February 14, 2007

“Pursuit of Excellence in Administrative Justice: Overview of the Rules of Conduct for Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers of the City of New York”

This presentation will be held in the Great Hall of the New York City Bar on the evening of February 22, 2007. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., is free and will provide CLE ethics credits for attendees.

The presentation will be the public introduction of the newly adopted Rules of Conduct and is open to the legal community, but is specifically aimed at providing information to the City’s administrative law judges and hearing officers now covered by the Rules effective February 13, 2007.

The program is co-sponsored by the Office of the Administrative Justice Coordinator, the Administrative Judicial Institute at OATH, and the New York City Bar's Committees on Administrative Law, Government and Ethics, and Litigation. The presentation will provide a basic overview of the Rules and their purpose, highlight key provisions and important obligations, and allow time for questions and answers.

To register, please contact Frank Ng at 212-442-4941 or by email:

For Full Text of Rules of Conduct, see extended entry:

Continue reading " “Pursuit of Excellence in Administrative Justice: Overview of the Rules of Conduct for Administrative Law Judges and Hearing Officers of the City of New York”" »

February 16, 2007

NYPD Can't Routinely Tape Protests

NYPD Can't Routinely Tape Protests

Associated Press Writer

(AP) - NEW YORK-A judge on Thursday said police cannot routinely videotape demonstrations when they involve purely political activity.

U.S. District Judge Charles S. Haight said New York Police Department videotaping of two recent protests was as egregious as police conduct at anti-Vietnam War demonstrations 35 years ago that led to permanent court oversight of police surveillance and intelligence collecting methods at large gatherings.

The judge said the city had violated the Handschu guidelines, created to settle a 1971 lawsuit brought by the Black Panther Party alleging that police engaged in widespread surveillance of legitimate political activity.
"Solely politically based investigations are flatly prohibited by the guidelines," the judge wrote. "In other words, there must always be a legitimate law enforcement purpose - having a purpose of investigating political activity exclusively for its own sake is never allowed."


Read the entire article.



Read Full Text of Decision

February 20, 2007

IRS: Dirty Dozen Tax Scams

Fraudulent Telephone Tax Refunds, Abusive Roth IRAs Top Off 2007 'Dirty Dozen' Tax Scams

Fraudulent Telephone Tax Refunds, Abusive Roth IRAs Top Off 2007 "Dirty Dozen" Tax Scams IR-2007-37, Feb. 20, 2007

WASHINGTON-- The Internal Revenue Service today identified 12 of the most blatant scams affecting American taxpayers and warned people not to fall for schemes peddled by scamsters.

This year the 'Dirty Dozen' highlights five new scams that IRS auditors and criminal investigators have uncovered. Topping off the list are fraudulent refunds being claimed in connection with the special Telephone Excise Tax Refund available to most taxpayers this filing season. The IRS is actively investigating instances of this scam involving tax preparers who are preparing inflated refund requests.

Also new to the Dirty Dozen this year are abuses pertaining to Roth IRAs, the American Indian Employment Credit, domestic shell corporations and structured entities.

"Taxpayers shouldn't let their guard down," IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said. "Don't get taken by scam artists making outrageous promises. If you use a tax professional, pick someone who is reputable. Taxpayers should remember they are ultimately responsible for what is on their tax return even if some unscrupulous preparers have steered them in the wrong direction."

Involvement in tax schemes leads to problems for scam artists and taxpayers. Tax return preparers and promoters risk significant penalties, interest and possible criminal prosecution.

The IRS urges taxpayers to avoid these common schemes:

Gitmo Detainees Cannot Challenge Their Detentions in U.S. Federal Courts

February 20, 2007

A U.S. federal appeals court dismisses cases filed by designated 'enemy combatants' being held at Camp X-Ray in the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. The majority rules that under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), federal courts lack jurisdiction over any cases filed by detainees, and the MCA applies retroactively to detainees' habeas petitions.

FindLaw Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals - 02/20/07


Walton v. New York State Dep't of Corr. Servs., No. 12 (N.Y. February 20, 2007)
In case involving recipients of collect calls from prison inmates, dismissal of suit seeking to enjoin defendant from collecting a 57.5% commission on its 2001 contract with MCI and other relief is modified to reinstate as timely petitioners' constitutional claims alleging violations of "the power to tax," "due process rights," "the right to equal protection," and "free speech and association rights."
[To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to]


Bradley v. Earl B. Feiden, Inc., No. 3 (N.Y. February 20, 2007)
In case involving a fire that broke out in plaintiff's kitchen that originated with plaintiff's new refrigerator, jury verdict for plaintiff on breach of warranty, which was reversed by the Appellate Division, is reinstated as sufficient evidence exists to support the verdict for plaintiff on breach of warranty claim against manufacturer and retailer of refrigerator, despite jury also finding for the manufacturer on a related products liability claim. The supplier of the bracket control assembly component of the refrigerator is contractually required to indemnify the manufacturer and retailer.
[To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to]


People v. Grajales, No. 14 (N.Y. February 20, 2007)
Conviction and sentence for robbery are affirmed where the prosecution discharged its statutory obligation to provide notice of intent to offer identification testimony at trial by serving timely notice under CPL 710.30(1)(b) of an on-the-street point out identification, despite defense counsel's learning about a prior photographic identification sometime during pretrial discovery.
[To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to]


Giandana v. Providence Rest Nursing Home, No. 197 SSM 42 (N.Y. February 20, 2007)
In case where alleged negligent acts involved decedent, partial summary judgment for plaintiff is precluded where questions of fact remain relating to how decedent was injured, whether third-party defendant was involved, and whether defendant nursing home was otherwise negligent.
[To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to]


New York City Transit Auth. v. New York State Pub. Employment Relations Bd., No. 5 (N.Y. February 20, 2007)
In case arising out of appellant's interview of one of its employees for using a racial slur against other employees, Civil Service Law section 202, the Taylor Law, does not provide a right to public employees in New York similar to section 7 of the NLRA, which allows an employee to refuse to submit without union representation to an interview which he reasonably fears may result in his discipline.
[To view the full-text of cases you must sign in to]

February 21, 2007

NY Cases to be Heard by Supremes

JURIST - Paper Chase: Supreme Court to hear NY trial judge selection, sentencing cases

Supreme Court to hear NY trial judge selection, sentencing cases

Via Jurist
Brett Murphy at 1:15 PM ET

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] agreed to hear two cases Tuesday, including one dealing with the procedure the state of New York employs to choose trial judges. In NY Board of Elections v. Torres, state election officials join both the Democratic and Republican parties in an appeal of a Second Circuit decision [PDF text; JURIST report] that the current process that picks judicial candidates for the general ballot at political conventions violates the First Amendment rights of both candidates and voters. In the case [Brennan Center materials], the lower courts ruled that New York's system of nominating its elected state trial court judges in political conventions [NY Election Law s. 6-106, PDF] rather than through primaries for trial level judges resulted in only friends of political powers having their names placed on the ballots. AP has more.

In Logan v. US, the Court will review the threshold for when repeat criminals can be treated as career criminals for sentencing purposes, when the convictions are for misdemeanor crimes. SCOTUSblog has more. Read the Court's full Order List [PDF text].


If you are not using Jurist, you should consider it. This is a valuable resource for practicing attorneys-not just academics.

Law School Hypothetical Comes to Life

Emergency spurs Weis case mistrial - The Boston Globe

The Charlie Weis medical malpractice trial came to an abrupt end in Suffolk Superior Court yesterday when the doctors accused of mishandling Weis's care rushed to the aid of a juror who collapsed in the jury box and the judge declared a mistrial.


Via BOSTON GLOBE (entire article)

February 23, 2007

Canada rules indefinite detention wrong

Canada rules indefinite detention wrong - Yahoo! News

By BETH DUFF-BROWN, The Associated Press (Via Yahoo!!--entire article)

1 hour, 43 minutes ago

OTTAWA - One of Canada's most contentious anti-terrorism provisions was struck down Friday by the Supreme Court, which declared it unconstitutional to detain foreign terror suspects indefinitely while the courts review their deportation orders.

The 9-0 ruling was a blow to the government's anti-terrorism regulations. Five Arab Muslim men have been held for years under the "security certificate" program, which the Justice Department had insisted is a key tool in the fight against global terrorism and essential to Canada's security.

The court found that the system violates the Charter of Rights and Freedom, Canada's bill of rights. It suspended the judgment from taking effect for a year, to give Parliament time to rewrite the part of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act that covers the certificates.


Read the full text of this ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada.

February 26, 2007

Judge Refuses to Limit NYC's Liability For Damages In Deadly Staten Island Ferry Crash

February 26, 2007

The federal judge overseeing the case brought by plaintiffs killed or injured in New York City's 2003 Staten Island Ferry crash denies the City's request to limit its liability to $14.4 million, representing the assessed value of the ship.

February 27, 2007



OpenCongress brings together official government information with news and blog coverage to give you the real story behind what's happening in Congress.

OpenCongress is a free, open-source, non-profit, and non-partisan web resource with a mission to help make Congress more transparent and to encourage civic engagement. OpenCongress is a joint project of the Sunlight Foundation and the Participatory Politics Foundation.

Official information from Thomas, the website of the Library of Congress, made available by all the bills, Members of Congress, votes, committee reports, issue areas, and more.

News articles about Congress from Google News.

Blog posts about Congress from Technorati and Google Blog Search.

Campaign contribution information from, the website of the non-profit, non-partisan Center for Responsive Politics.

OpenCongress makes it easy for anyone to track a bill, Member of Congress, or issue area, and to follow the latest developments by subscribing to an RSS feed for each.


Hat Tip to bespacific

February 28, 2007 - N.Y. Chief Judge Calls for Yearly Raises, Restructuring of Courts

Seeking to end a system that forces New York judges to "beg and plead" for even a modest salary raise, Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye said Monday that the judiciary would submit legislation to create a mechanism for annual cost-of-living adjustments for officials in all branches of state government.

The proposal was one of the initiatives outlined in a reform-driven state-of-the-judiciary address. Most notably, Kaye said that the court system has endorsed a constitutional amendment prepared by a special commission that would consolidate the state's 11 separate trial courts -- "the most archaic and bizarrely convoluted court structure in the nation" -- into a Supreme Court and a District Court.

The chief judge also backed the proposal by another commission to transfer oversight of local probation agencies from the executive branch to the judiciary and to significantly increase state funding for alternatives to incarceration.


Via (entire article)

Update from Mike Berry

The Title Insurance Rate Service Association ("TIRSA") has informed its members that its filing of the 2006 ALTA policy forms, as submitted to the New York State Insurance Department, have been approved by the Department for use in New York State effective May 1, 2007.

Michael Berey

Pro Hac Vice Admission Northern District NY Goes Electronic

Effective March1, 2007, motions for pro hac vice admission must be electronically filed, with the associated fee paid via credit card through Pay.Gov.

Here is the link to the Court's website announcing this change.

If you have any questions at all, please contact one of the the Court's ECF Help Desks.

March 5, 2007

United States v. Reich, 06-CR-1445 - 2nd Circuit Upholds Attorney's Conviction for Forgery

Tom PerrottaNew York Law JournalMarch 5, 2007

Perry Reich, the Long Island, N.Y., attorney who forged a federal magistrate judge's order, will remain in prison after a federal appeals court denied a bid to overturn his conviction.

A unanimous panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld on Friday all aspects of Reich's conviction for forgery and obstructing a judicial proceeding, as well as his 27-month sentence.

The ruling in United States v. Reich, 06-CR-1445, written by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, put an end to a case that surprised and saddened many in the New York legal community who knew Reich as an accomplished appellate lawyer.


For full text of decision.

March 7, 2007

New York City Civil Court: Contact Held Insufficient to Sue eBay Seller - Contact Held Insufficient to Sue eBay Seller

Mark Fass
New York Law Journal
March 7, 2007

In a case of apparent first impression, a Staten Island, N.Y., judge has ruled that a single eBay transaction between a New York buyer and an out-of-state seller is insufficient to establish personal jurisdiction in a breach of contract action.

One sale, "without more, does not constitute sufficient purposeful availment to satisfy the minimum contacts necessary to justify summoning across state lines, to a New York court, the seller of an allegedly non-conforming good," Richmond County Civil Court Judge Philip S. Straniere held in Sayeedi v. Walser, 10610/06.


(read full article on

March 9, 2007

N.Y. Judges Advised Not to Link Recusals to Pay Dispute - N.Y. Judges Advised Not to Link Recusals to Pay Dispute

Daniel Wise
New York Law Journal
March 9, 2007

The New York court system's Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics has concluded that judges should not recuse themselves from cases where state legislators or members of their firms are representing parties before them solely because of the "long-standing issue of judicial salary increases pending before the Legislature."

As judicial morale sagged after the Legislature failed to enact a pay increase in December, several judges around the state began to take themselves off cases handled by legislators or members of their firms.

Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman said in an interview that he had requested an opinion from the committee because he had gotten "a lot of inquiries from judges who had been asked by other judges to recuse themselves."


Read full text of article

Editorial: Buffalo News--State underfunding deprives poor of equal justice

Buffalo News: Another Voice

Updated: 03/09/07 6:51 AM

 By Stephen R. Lamantia

Nearly a decade ago, New York State Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye stated: "A justice system that allows disparities in justice based on the ability to pay is inconsistent with a fundamental principle of our free democratic society ' equal justice for all.'" Sadly, New York State, which prides itself as the birthplace of legal services for the poor, now ranks among the worst states in the nation when it comes to funding civil legal services for its low-income population. More than 80 percent of the most basic civil legal needs of New York's low-income population are not being met. These are in such critical areas as elder care, child care assistance, health care services, domestic violence and housing and human rights. The primary reason is lack of adequate state funding.


Read Full Text of Editorial


Stephen R. Lamantia is president of the Bar Association of Erie County.

Federal Appeals Court Rules D.C.'s Gun Ban is Uconstitutional

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, March 9, 2007

A challenge was brought against District of Columbia gun control laws which bar the registration of handguns, the carrying of pistols without a license, and also require all lawfully owned firearms be kept unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock. A district court dismissed the complaint against the District based on a finding that the Second Amendment, at most, protects an individual’s right to bear arms for service in the Militia, and that the term "Militia" in the Second Amendment refers to an organized military body, such as a National Guard unit. The ruling is reversed, as the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, the activities it protects are not limited to militia service, nor is an individual’s enjoyment of the right contingent upon his or her continued or intermittent enrollment in the militia.

March 18, 2007

US judiciary approves pilot program to release court recordings online

JURIST - Paper Chase: US judiciary approves pilot program to release court recordings online

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Natalie Hrubos at 2:52 PM ET

[JURIST] The federal judiciary has approved a pilot program that will allow the public to download free audio recordings of court proceedings over the internet. US District Judge Thomas F. Hogan [profile], executive committee chairman of the policy-making Judicial Conference of the United States [official website], said he views the program as an attempt to make court proceedings more transparent. Court participation in the program, which is set to begin in the next few months, is voluntary.

AP has more.


Several federal appeals courts like the Ninth and Seventh Circuits already provide audio recordings [Ninth Circuit audio files] of their oral arguments on their websites.


This is merely one feature from a daily e-newsletter from Jurist's Paper Chase. Add Paper Chase legal news to your RSS reader or personalized portal.

March 21, 2007 - Move to End Forced Judicial Retirement Gains Momentum in N.Y.

Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal
March 21, 2007

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said he wants to review the state Constitution's 150-year-old mandate that most judges retire at the end of the year in which they turn 70.

Just after attending a swearing-in ceremony Monday for Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye to a term that will end when she is forced to step down on Dec. 31, 2008, Spitzer said in an interview that leaders in private industries and professions "are wondering whether rules of that sort make any sense."

"I'm serious about it," he said. "I think it's an issue we should put on the table."


Full Text of article.

US Supreme Court-Oral Argument Previews from Legal Information Institute

The folks at Cornell's Legal Information Institute practically invented the idea of "adding value" to court information. Here is a sample of their oral argument previews, which are available on a free (Donations are appreciated) subscription basis as part of their "LII Bulletin". Subscribe here.


Bowles v. Russell (06-5306)
Oral argument: March 26, 2007

Keith Bowles was convicted of murder in Ohio and brought a
petition for habeas corpus in federal court, which was
denied. Bowles then filed a notice of appeal that was in
accord with an order from the District Court for the
Northern District of Ohio, but that was two days late under
the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Consequently, the
Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit dismissed the appeal
based on a lack of jurisdiction. At issue is whether the
Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 4(a)(6) imposes a
jurisdictional requirement which the Sixth Circuit was
required to enforce, or whether the rule could be
overridden due to unique circumstances. Bowles points to
equity factors, like the mistakes on the part of the
district court, and to recent cases regarding similar rules
as non-jurisdictional. Ohio argues that the time
requirement has to be given legal effect because it is
based on a statute from Congress. The Supreme Court's
decision will determine the jurisdictional status of time
requirements in procedural rules and the level of
discretion to be given to courts when addressing such

Continue: Click here.

March 22, 2007

COPA Ruled Unconstitutional

March 22, 2007

A federal judge rules that the Child Online Protection Act (COPA), a law intended to protect children from sexually explicit and pornographic online materials, is unconstitutional.

Read the Child Online Protection Act (COPA)

March 23, 2007

LLRXCourt Rules, Forms & Dockets

LLRX -- LLRXCourt Rules, Forms & Dockets

This site includes links to over 1,400 sources for state and federal court rules, forms and dockets.


Our old friends at LLRX are still around and keeping up with our research needs, as is expected from Law Librarians. This unique, free searchable database is maintained and continually updated by Margaret Berkland.


Hat Tip to Sabrina I. Pacifici, founder, editor, and publisher, whose free newsletter, bespacific is well worth a look.


New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets

Aminopterin Confirmed in Recalled Pet Food and Implicated Tissue Samples

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker and Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine Dean Donald F. Smith announced today that scientists at the New York State Food Laboratory identified Aminopterin as a toxin present in cat food samples from Menu Foods, the manufacturer of the many brands of dog and cat food that are currently the subject of a nationwide recall.

The Food Laboratory received the pet food samples from a toxicologist at the New York State Animal Health Diagnostic Center at Cornell University, where testing has been underway to try to identify the cause of kidney failure in dogs and cats that consumed the recalled brands of pet food. At Cornell's request, the Food Laboratory tested the samples for poisons and toxins, and identified Aminopterin in the pet food samples at a level of at least 40 parts per million.


Department of Agriculture & Markets News
Friday, March 23, 2007
Contact: Jessica A. Chittenden

March 26, 2007

IRS e-News Subscriptions

e-News Subscriptions

The IRS offers fifteen (15) free e-Newletters on various topics. Subscribe here

My personal favorite is e-News For Tax Professionals., which provides the latest national news for the tax professional community, as well as links to resources on and local news and events by state.
It also includes the former IRS Digital Dispatch.

March 27, 2007

Litigation Articles & Legal Research Collection

Litilaw Legal Research & Litigation Related Articles

You'll want to review this free collection of hundreds of recently published articles of interest to litigators and related legal professionals. All articles are full-text, written by lawyers and have been published as part of continuing legal education (CLE) seminars, in legal journals, or are of similar quality.


Hat Tip to Bob Ambrogi

March 31, 2007

ABI Bankruptcy Exchange

ABI Bankruptcy Exchange

The ABI Bankruptcy Blog Exchange collects several blogs about bankruptcy into one convenient site.


This is an excellent resource for those of us who don't do bankruptcy, as well as those who still do.

April 3, 2007

No Raise for NY Judges - N.Y. Judges' Raises out of Budget After Last-Minute Bargaining

New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer said Friday the budget agreement he has negotiated with the state Legislature does not contain money for the judicial pay raises he proposed in January, nor allow for the creation of a commission proposed by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye to set future judicial salary increases.

"There is no judicial pay raise," Spitzer told reporters as he gave more details about what is in the $121 billion budget for fiscal year 2007-08. "I wish there were."

Spitzer said the $121 million in spending that he proposed was taken out of the budget by the Legislature. Of that amount, $111 million had been appropriated for judicial pay raises retroactive to April 1, 2005, and going forward.

That $111 million has been applied to other spending purposes under the agreement Spitzer made with the chief legislative leaders, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno.

The governor also said the commission that Kaye proposed be established to set future salary increases would not be provided for in the budget.


Joel Stashenko and Daniel Wise
New York Law Journal
April 3, 2007

full text

April 17, 2007

Suit Over N.Y. Rules on Lawyer Advertising Goes to Trial - Suit Over N.Y. Rules on Lawyer Advertising Goes to Trial

Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal
April 17, 2007

A federal judge on Friday declined to dismiss a challenge (Full text of Complaint)to the constitutionality of New York state's new rules on attorney advertising.

Northern District of New York Judge Frederick J. Scullin Jr., sitting in Syracuse, set June 18 for the beginning of a trial on the constitutionality of the state's new guidelines on attorney advertising.

The new rules, adopted by the presiding justices of the four Appellate Divisions, went into effect Feb. 1. They are being challenged by the personal injury firm Alexander & Catalano of Syracuse and Rochester, that firm's co-founder James L. Alexander and Public Citizen Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader in 1971.

After a hearing, Judge Scullin denied the state's motion to dismiss in Alexander v. Cahill, 5:07-CV-00117. Ruling from the bench, he also reserved judgment on the plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction against enforcement of the rules and told the parties to prepare for an expedited trial.


See entire article

April 18, 2007

Supreme Court Upholds Federal Abortion Ban Law in 5-4 Ruling


(U.S. Supreme Court) - In a challenge to the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act which proscribes a particular method of ending fetal life in the later stages of pregnancy, judgments enjoining enforcement of the Act are reversed as respondents failed to show that the Act, as a facial matter, is void for vagueness, or that it imposes an undue burden on a woman's right to have an abortion.

May 22, 2007

The Times Law Panel: live debate

The Times Law Panel: live debate-Business-Law-TimesOnline

The impact of the Blair years on the rule of law, the creation of the Ministry of Justice and the impacts of the Clementi reforms were the among the subjects under lively discussion at the first Times Law Panel live debate,
held at the College of Law's Bloomsbury campus in London in front of a crowd of students on Friday, May 18.

Click to listen:
Part I: Tony Blair and the rule of law

Part II: was the creation of a Ministry of Justice a mistake?

Part III: is Clementi overhyped?


Michael Smyth, Clifford Chance

Kirsty Brimelow, 187 Fleet Street Chambers

Katherine Gieve, Bindmans

Philippe Sands, QC, Matrix Chambers

Jonathan McCoy, Vodafone UK

Chair: Nigel Savage, chief executive of The College of Law


Hat Tip to Robert J. Ambrogi

May 23, 2007

2D Circuit Rules Judge Should Have Recused Self Over Judge's Mortgage Application Prepared By Cooperating Witness in Mortgage Fraud Case

US v. Amico, No. 03-1737

Convictions and sentences on charges arising from a mortgage fraud scheme are vacated as the district judge's handling of, and reaction to, his prior dealings with the government's main cooperating witness concerning a mortgage application for the judge created an appearance of partiality and recusal was required.

May 26, 2007

JURIST - Paper Chase

JURIST - Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news weblog, powered by a team of 20 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.

Subscribe to Paper Chase by e-mail. JURIST offers a free once-a-day digest

Massachusetts New Yorker marriages ruling [Suffolk Superior Ct.]

Sandra and Roberta Cote-Whitacre et al. v. Department of Public Health, Suffolk Superior Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, May 10, 2007 (order)

[ruling that a 1913 Massachusetts statute which forbids recognition of Massachusetts marriages of couples who are "expressly prohibited" from marrying in their home states only bars same-sex Massachusetts marriages of New York couples made after the New York Court of Appeals upheld a ban on New York same-sex marriage on July 6, 2006].

Reported in JURIST's Paper Chase here.

May 31, 2007

Boston Globe: Blogging defendant unmasked as "Flea"-settles case.

Blogger unmasked, court case upended - The Boston Globe

By Jonathan Saltzman, Globe Staff | May 31, 2007

It was a Perry Mason moment updated for the Internet age.
As Ivy League-educated pediatrician Robert P. Lindeman sat on the stand in Suffolk Superior Court this month, defending himself in a malpractice suit involving the death of a 12-year-old patient, the opposing counsel startled him with a question. Was Lindeman Flea?

Flea, jurors in the case didn't know, was the screen name for a blogger who had written often and at length about a trial remarkably similar to the one that was going on in the courtroom that day.In his blog, Flea had ridiculed the plaintiff's case and the plaintiff's lawyer. He had revealed the defense strategy. He had accused members of the jury of dozing.With the jury looking on in puzzlement, Lindeman admitted that he was, in fact, Flea.

The next morning, on May 15, he agreed to pay what members of Boston's tight-knit legal community describe as a substantial settlement -- case closed.


Entire article from BOSTON GLOBE

June 1, 2007

Fitzgerald Sentencing Memo on Libby

Here is the sentencing memo in pdf.

June 7, 2007

Op-Ed Contributor: Free Judges’ Pay

Free Judges’ Pay - New York Times


Published: June 7, 2007

SINCE Gov. Eliot Spitzer reappointed me chief judge three months ago, fair pay for our judges has been the consuming issue. In these critical, final days before the Legislature adjourns, New Yorkers deserve a frank explanation of why raising judicial pay and replacing New York’s broken system of compensation matter — and why so much is at stake if Albany fails to act now.


Entire OpEd (May require free registration if you are not already subscribed)

June 8, 2007

How Do We Increase Attendance At Summer Meetings? - Ex-Porn Star Dropped From N.Y. Bar Section Agenda

Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal
June 8, 2007

An appearance by an ex-porn actress at the summer meeting of the New York State Bar Association's Family Law Section has been canceled.

Patrick C. O'Reilly, chair of the section, said Wednesday he did not know of Sydnee Steele's background in the adult video industry when he arranged in January for her to speak at the meeting.


Read Entire Article at

He canceled her July 13 appearance in deference to some attorneys who questioned the appropriateness of Steele's presence, O'Reilly said.

The 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America

The 50 Most Influential Women Lawyers in America

Search for your name!! See if you agree? Congratulate your friends.


Entire Article from The National Law Journal

June 13, 2007

Senate Judiciary Committee Subpoenas Former White House Counsel


(June 13, 2007) - The Senate Judiciary Committee issues a subpoena for former White House Counsel Harriet Miers in the ongoing investigation of the U.S. Attorney firings.

Click for download


There is not really much to see...just a "fill-in-the blanks" form with an attached list of documents sought.

June 21, 2007

Rockland County Clerk Announcement

On or about May 14, 2007 the Office of the Rockland County Clerk issued the following "Important Announcement":

"Effective June 1, 2007 documents will not be returned to filers unless an appropriately sized pre-addressed envelope, which contains adequate pre-paid postage stamps, accompanies them. If you would like to make alternative arrangements for return, please contact us at 845-638-5221 prior to submitting documents".

The New York State Land Title Association has been advised that the Clerk's Office will, for now, return documents notwithstanding the lack of the pre-addressed and stamped envelope. However, at some unspecified point in time compliance will be required.

Mike Berey

June 22, 2007

PODCAST: Avvo Ratings "...a Scam..." Says John Henry Browne

Legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer earlier this week spoke with attorney John Henry Browne, a lead plaintiff in the lawsuit against Avvo. Also on the program were bloggers Denise Howell and Legal Blog Watch's Carolyn Elefant. Avvo representatives declined to participate.

Via Robert J. Ambrogi

June 25, 2007 - N.Y. Governor: 'Judges Should Know Better' Than to Sue for Raise - N.Y. Governor: 'Judges Should Know Better' Than to Sue for Raise

The judiciary would be bringing a "frivolous lawsuit" if it takes political leaders to court to demand a raise for New York's 1,200 judges, Gov. Eliot Spitzer said Friday as legislators again prepared to leave Albany without voting judges a raise.

"The judges should know better," Spitzer said at a Capitol news conference. "I sympathize with their frustration. I have been, I think, among the strongest proponents of giving the judges the pay raise they deserve. I will continue to push for it. Having said all that, I don't think litigation will be successful."


Read the entire article at

June 26, 2007

N.Y. Judges' Associations Prepare to Sue State for Salary Hike

Via New York Law Journal (entire article)

Volunteer attorneys for judges' organizations are drafting a lawsuit to force New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and the state Legislature to give state judges their first pay raise since January 1999. If filed by mid-July, as expected, the associations' suit would be the second before the courts seeking higher judicial pay. New York judges have been growing increasingly impatient after years of being told they deserve a raise only to see progress stalled by unrelated issues to which a pay hike has been linked.


July 2, 2007

FINDLAW: Pres. Bush Commutes 'Scooter' Libby's Prison Sentence


(Washington, D.C., July 2, 2007) - President Bush commuted the 30-month prison sentence given to Lewis Libby, Vice-President Dick Cheney's former Chief of Staff, for his role in lying to investigators in the Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation.

July 11, 2007

N.Y. Chief Judge Explains Her Deferral of Pay Hike Suit

Kaye calls continuing pay drought the most trying issue in her 14 years as chief judge
Joel Stashenko and Daniel Wise
New York Law Journal (entire article)
July 11, 2007

It can be a sign of strength to defer filing a lawsuit if doing so would weaken the position of judges who are advocating for a pay raise, Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye has told the state's judges in an e-mail communiqué.

"I have no doubt that a lawsuit by me on behalf of the Unified Court System would not have helped us one whit had it already actually been brought," she wrote in the memo. "Indeed, given these players, it would have damaged our cause."

The commencement of a lawsuit trying to force the New York Legislature and Gov. Eliot Spitzer to grant the state judiciary its first pay raise since 1999 "chills our dealing with our partners in government, including -- most pointedly -- further informal communications regarding pay increases," the chief judge wrote in an e-mail dated Friday.

"As lawyers and judges, we have all spent our lives dealing with litigation, and know that -- rather than a sign of weakness -- sometimes real strength lies in deferring potentially counterproductive action," Kaye said.


See the full text of Chief Judge Kaye's memo.

August 17, 2007

NY Law puts burden of proof on schools in special education disputes

The Daily Star - Online Edition

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- A new law will make it easier for parents of disabled children to challenge school districts' decisions regarding their child's education, Gov. Eliot Spitzer's office announced Thursday.

The law signed this week makes the school district responsible for proving it is satisfying legal obligations to provide an appropriate individualized education program for a student with a disability, according to Spitzer's office.

For more than 30 years in New York, school districts that were challenged had to prove in an administrative hearing that a student's program was appropriate, said Spitzer spokesman Jeffrey Gordon. However, a 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling put the burden on the party requesting an administrative ruling, usually parents, for all states that didn't have a specific law or regulation on the issue -including New York.

"This bill rightly places the burden of proof on school districts that have the expertise needed to assess options and the responsibilities for implementing individual educational plans," said Spitzer...The law, which goes into effect in two months, will also strike a balance between a parent's desire for private placements and a school district's obligation to pay for out-of-district services, said Gordon. In the case of a parent seeking a private program for their child, they would have to prove it was more appropriate than the school district's individualized program.

Read Entire Article

August 23, 2007

FOLLOWUP: - Lawyers Learn From HomeBanc's Demise - Lawyers Learn From HomeBanc's Demise

Closing attorneys vow to accept only wire transfers after dealing with lender's bounced checks
Andy Peters
Fulton County Daily Report (full text)
August 23, 2007

Even though a bankruptcy judge in Delaware this week saved them from financial ruin, real estate closing attorneys said they learned a powerful lesson from the collapse of HomeBanc Corp. -- never accept anything but a wire transfer at closing.

At least a dozen Atlanta-area law firms received bounced checks from HomeBanc last month, before the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Aug. 9. By HomeBanc's count, it bounced 134 checks worth at least $18 million, but the Georgia Real Estate Closing Attorneys Association estimates the figure was $28 million.

Assuming HomeBanc's checks were backed by sufficient funds, lawyers had disbursed the money at closings -- not only to the home's seller and the previous mortgage holder, but also to agents for their commissions and to surveyors, court clerks and others whose payments occur at closing.

When the checks bounced, lawyers had to scramble to find ways to cover their positions. Some took out home equity loans, others filed claims on their Errors & Omissions insurance policies.

On Tuesday, the bankruptcy judge handling HomeBanc transferred ownership of the loans to the closing attorneys. This move lets the lawyers recover their money by selling the loans to banks or other mortgage lenders.

The bounced checks occurred as a result of HomeBanc getting squeezed by broad turmoil in the U.S. housing market and the global credit market. As the market tanked, HomeBanc's primary source of funds, JPMorgan Chase, on Aug. 6 cut off money for the mortgages HomeBanc sold, according to HomeBanc's court filings.

Regardless of the problems in the market, attorneys said the rubber check problem could have been prevented simply by requiring HomeBanc to fund its loans with wire transfers.

As a result, "some law firms are requiring 100 percent wired funds from everybody -- lenders, buyers, even other attorneys," said closing attorney Jennifer L. Dickenson of Dickenson Gilroy. "There is a really high sensitivity right now to how we get the money into our accounts."

Why HomeBanc was allowed to fund mortgages with company checks, when the large majority of other mortgage lenders paid only by wire transfer, speaks to the clout HomeBanc carried in metro Atlanta -- if not its level of intimidation.

"They were big enough they could frankly bully everybody," said Jeffrey P. Ganek, managing partner of Ganek, Wright & Dobkin's Midtown office. "You had to follow their rules."

HomeBanc, or any mortgage lender, benefits by funding loans with checks as opposed to wire transfers, Ganek said. While wire transfers represent an immediate shift in money, checks take days to clear a bank, allowing HomeBanc to earn more interest on the money as it sat in escrow, Ganek said.

"Even if it's only a day or two extra it's sitting in an interest-bearing account, if you're doing enough loans, it's a lot of money," he said.


Read Entire Article

September 20, 2007

IRS Info for Debtors in Foreclosure

The IRS added a special new section today on its website: for people who have lost their homes due to foreclosure. The new section of includes a lot of information that may be useful to debtors losing their home due to foreclosure.,,id=174022,00.html

Jim Calloway
Director, Management Assistance Program
Oklahoma Bar Association
Be sure to click on Jim's name above to visit his excellent blog.

October 4, 2007

Disgraced Ex-Chief Judge Is Readmitted to Bar

New York Law Journal (read entire article)

Sol Wachtler, the former chief judge of New York state's high court, has been reinstated to practice law in New York by a unanimous state appellate panel. In a simple, one-page decision, the panel granted the motion filed by Wachtler, 77, who served on New York's Court of Appeals from 1972 until three days after his arrest in 1992 for harassing his ex-girlfriend, Joy Silverman.


October 7, 2007

President Kate's Blog

NYSBA President's Blog

You really should drop by NYSBA President Kate Madigan's blog and catch up on all the things Kate has been doing in her year as our President.

I'm particularly impressed with Kate's increased use of and ease with the latest technology.

Hear Kate on the Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast with Bob Ambrogi discussing Age Discrimination in the Legal Profession.

October 9, 2007

Lawyer 2 Lawyer on Toy Recall

On the latest Lawyer 2 Lawyer, hosts and attorneys, J. Craig Williams and Robert Ambrogi discuss the toy recall, the effect of the recall on the global economy and the fate of global outsourcing with our special international legal experts in China.

Click here to listen to Lawyer 2 Lawyer now!

October 10, 2007

Tom F. affirmed by Supremes

No. 06–637






[October 10, 2007]


The judgment is affirmed by an equally divided Court.

JUSTICE KENNEDY took no part in the decision of this

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the decision of the district court on August 9, 2006, reasoning by comparing the disputed section of the act with other sections that IDEA was not intended to deny reimbursement for students never enrolled in public school. The court held that upholding the district court ruling would require parents to enroll their children in inadequate public schools as a condition of eligiblility for tuition reimbursement.


See Background

October 30, 2007

JURIST - Paper Chase: ABA urges nationwide death penalty moratorium


JURIST - Paper Chase: ABA urges nationwide death penalty moratorium

Monday, October 29, 2007

ABA urges nationwide death penalty moratorium
Jaime Jansen at 6:59 AM ET

[JURIST] The American Bar Association (ABA) [official website] said Monday that there are serious flaws in the fairness and accuracy of several state death penalty systems [project website], and called for a nationwide moratorium on executions [JURIST report]. The ABA task force studied eight sample states - Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee [JURIST reports] - and found poor collection and preservation of DNA evidence, misidentification by eyewitnesses, false confessions and racial disparities.

The ABA study did not examine lethal injections [JURIST news archive], a form of execution that has come under fire nationwide recently. Several states have placed a moratorium on lethal injections pending US Supreme Court review in Baze v. Rees (07-5439) [docket; cert. petition]. In that case, the Court will consider whether the controversial three-drug mixture [DPIC backgrounder] of an anesthetic, a muscle paralyzer and a substance to stop the heart constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Several constitutional challenges to the procedure have arisen across the country, arguing that the first drug fails to make the inmate fully unconscious, thereby making the inmate suffer excruciating pain when the heart-stopping drug is injected.

AP has more.

October 31, 2007

JURIST - Paper Chase: Supreme Court blocks Mississippi lethal injection execution

JURIST - Paper Chase: Supreme Court blocks Mississippi lethal injection execution

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Supreme Court blocks Mississippi lethal injection execution
Mike Rosen-Molina at 7:26 PM ET

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website] granted a stay of execution [order, PDF] to a convicted murderer on Mississippi's death row Tuesday, pending the Court's decision on whether to grant certiorari in the case. Earl Wesley Berry was scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday night; his was the third stay granted by the justices since they agreed last month in Baze v. Rees (07-5439) [docket; cert. petition] to hear a challenge to the use of lethal injections [JURIST news archive] as a form of "cruel and unusual punishment." Experts say that the stay may amount to a de facto nationwide moratorium on the death penalty.

ABC News has more.

AP has additional coverage.

November 7, 2007 - N.Y. Bar Panel Urges Adoption of New Conduct Rules

Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal (read Entire Article)
November 7, 2007

Attorneys in New York state are a step closer to becoming the last Bar in the United States to have rules of ethical behavior based in form and substance on the American Bar Association's Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

The New York State Bar Association's House of Delegates last Saturday unanimously approved revisions that are designed to transform New York's current Code of Professional Responsibility into new state Model Rules of Professional Conduct.

It took the State Bar's Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct nearly five years to produce the almost 500 pages of proposed rules, which will now be sent to the appellate division's presiding justices for review and possible final adoption.


November 15, 2007 : Lawyers Take to the Streets In Support of Pakistani Brethren

Law Blog - : Lawyers Take to the Streets In Support of Pakistani Brethren


Defending the rule of law perhaps made for an atypical lunch break: “This is unusual for lawyers, but it’s the essence of what we’re about,” said Kathryn Grant Madigan, president of the state bar association.

Read More

November 30, 2007

New Pastures for Animal-Rights lawyers-NJ law Journal Career Center - New Pastures for Animal-Rights Lawyers

Mary Pat Gallagher
New Jersey Law Journal
November 30, 2007
When trusts and estates lawyer Elenora Benz meets with clients who want her to draw up a will, she asks not only about assets and heirs but also about pets and how they are to be provided for.

A New Jersey law enacted in 2001 lets pet owners set up lifetime or testamentary trusts for care of domestic animals. It even allows a court to appoint a trustee if needed and to make orders and determinations to carry out the intent of the creator and the purpose of the act.

Benz, who drafted the statute, has made use of it to help clients ensure their companion animals will be cared for and has even used it to provide for her own cats, dogs and Icelandic horses.

Pet-trust practice "is not going to make a fortune," says the Newton, N.J., solo, but it is a marketing tool, with some clients seeking her out specifically for that reason.

It's just one way in which a growing cadre of lawyers is melding a love of animals with legal practice as animal-related issues become incorporated in numerous legal areas, such as personal injury, landlord-tenant and family law.

They are getting a boost from animal-oriented legislation. The pet trusts law, N.J.S.A. 3B:11-38, is part of a spate of statutes in recent years. More than 30 states have similar statutes, including California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
Read Entire Article

December 5, 2007

Constitution Crisis in Pakistan - America's Lawyers Respond to Crisis

Constitution Crisis in Pakistan - America's Lawyers Respond to Crisis

A Message to Pakistan From America's Lawyers

We, the lawyers of America, stand shoulder to shoulder with the brave lawyers and citizens of Pakistan as you strive to preserve the rule of law in your nation.

An independent legal system and a just constitution are cornerstones of all lawful societies. The arrests of Pakistan's Supreme Court justices, and of thousands of lawyers, judges and civil leaders, are a profound breach of the rule of law.

The American Bar Association calls on President Pervez Musharraf to:

Restore the Constitution of Pakistan;
Reinstate Pakistan's Supreme Court justices; and,
Free those lawyers and civil leaders who have been wrongly jailed.

The courageous men and women of Pakistan, led by their legal community, remind citizens of all nations that justice and the rule of law are both precious and fragile.

The suspension of Pakistan's institutions of justice is a threat to the rule of law in all nations. We, the lawyers of America, stand with you.

Sign Petition


Ordinarily, I would not post such an appeal on an apolitical bar association blog; but this petition by the ABA deals directly with the reinstatement of the rule of law and the restoration of lawyers, judges, and courts to their positions. Our state bar President and others have been supportive (in official capacities) of the lawyers who have been jailed for fulfilling their obligations to the rule of law.


December 12, 2007 - Sentencing Commission Votes to Allow Retroactive Easing of Crack Cocaine Sentences - Sentencing Commission Votes to Allow Retroactive Easing of Crack Cocaine Sentences

Mark Sherman
The Associated Press (Read entire article)
December 12, 2007

The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to allow some 19,500 federal prison inmates, most of them black, to seek reductions in their crack cocaine sentences.

The commission, which sets guidelines for federal prison sentences, decided to make retroactive its recent easing of recommended sentences for crack offenses.

Most of those eligible could receive no more than a two-year cut in their prison terms, but roughly 3,800 inmates could be released from prison within a year after the March 3 effective date of Tuesday's decision. Federal judges will have the final say whether to reduce sentences.
U.S. District Judge William Sessions of Vermont, a commission member, said the vote on retroactivity will have the "most dramatic impact on African-American families." A failure to act "may be taken by some as particularly unjust," Sessions said before the vote.

Four of every five crack defendants is black. Most powder cocaine convictions involve whites.

Tuesday's vote follows two Supreme Court rulings Monday that upheld judges who rejected federal sentencing guidelines as too harsh and imposed more lenient prison terms, including one for crack offenses.

Kimbrough v. United States

Gall v. United States

December 13, 2007

Mitchell Report On Drugs in Major League Baseball


(New York, NY, Dec. 13, 2007) - Lawyer and former U.S. Senator George Mitchell released his independent report investigating the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs in professional baseball. The report states: "For more than a decade there has been widespread illegal use of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing substances by players in Major League Baseball, in violation of federal law and baseball policy." The report also includes a section of evidentiary exhibits relating to the purchase and delivery of drugs to MLB players and staff.

Get FindLaw's Free Weekly 'Sports Law Update' Newsletter

January 7, 2008 - N.Y. Chief Judge Proposes New Measure to Boost Pay of State Judges - N.Y. Chief Judge Proposes New Measure to Boost Pay of State Judges

N.Y. Chief Judge Proposes New Measure to Boost Pay of State Judges
Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal
January 7, 2008

A new judicial pay raise proposal offered Thursday by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye of the State of New York Court of Appeals would surrender some ground on retroactivity while tying future increases to salaries and cost-of-living adjustments given to federal judges.

The legislation would provide for retroactive raises for state judges to Jan. 1, 2007. Previous proposals by the chief judge, most recently in the judiciary budget plan for the 2008-09 fiscal year, provided for retroactivity to April 1, 2005 -- a time frame that was seen as an increasingly hard sell in Albany, N.Y., as the delay over passage of a judicial pay bill has dragged on.

In a cover letter accompanying the proposed bill, Kaye did ask that the Legislature at least consider the April 1, 2005, retroactivity date.


Read entire article

January 31, 2008

New Border Rules--From the Canadian Side

CBC News In Depth: Airport security

A change in American policy has created huge headaches for Canadians who feel the urge to travel south of the border from time to time. Since Jan. 23, 2007, Canadians flying to the U.S. have had to possess a valid passport.

The new rule — part of the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative — led to long lineups at passport offices across the country and a huge backlog as Passport Canada was inundated with a surge in the number of applications.

The initiative requires citizens of the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Bermuda travelling by air to the U.S. from other countries in the western hemisphere to present a valid passport, a Merchant Mariner's Document or a card issued under the NEXUS Air frequent traveller program.

The second stage of the initiative takes effect Jan. 31, 2008, when those who travel to the U.S. by land or water will be required to show valid identification when they cross the border. Verbal declarations will no longer be accepted.


Read entire article from CBC.

February 1, 2008

NYSBA's First Webcast: The Presidential Summit


Click the Play Button on this site to watch an excerpt from the January 30, 2008, live webcast of the Presidential Summit at the NYSBA Annual Meeting. "Youth at Risk" and "Globalization" were both on the agenda.

I was impressed by the video quality. Even in the full screen mode, there was very little degradation of the video signal.

The camera was well-placed and not intrusive. The presentations were almost like being in the room. It was fun to spot familiar faces in the crowd.

Congratulations to President Kate Madigan and her Electronics Communications Task Force for this historic broadcast. FULL DISCLOSURE: this blogger is a member of the ectf.

More content will be available soon.

February 5, 2008


Welcome to the Division of Administrative Rules

The complete unofficial NYCRR is now available online. This initial release of the online NYCRR does not yet include a table of contents. To find desired text, visitors simply enter a search term or NYCRR citation. A table of contents will be available in the near future.

The NYCRR primarily contains state agency rules and regulations adopted under the State Administrative Procedure Act (SAPA). The 22 Titles include one for each state department, one for miscellaneous agencies and one for the Judiciary. The Office of Court Administration and the Judiciary are exempt from SAPA requirements.


Hat Tip to Paul Gillan of S U P R A S P I N A T U S, the unofficial blog of the NYSBA Health Law Section, which deserves your attention on a regular basis.

March 12, 2008

Video of The Supremes

LawProse, Inc. - Interviews of United States Supreme Court Justices

Interviews of United States Supreme Court Justices

In 2006-2007, Bryan Garner interviewed eight of the nine Justices about legal writing and advocacy. These are the complete interviews. Because the files are large, the videos may take a few moments to start playing.

LawProse is making these interviews available as a public service. Anyone may freely use these videos for educational purposes, with appropriate attribution to Bryan Garner or LawProse.

March 15, 2008



At ABA TECHSHOW 2008, they're going "social" in a big way! They're harnessing the power of the Internet to help their conference attendees communicate and network better with each other. This ABA TECHSHOW Buzz page will be a place where you can read blog posts, see pictures from the conference, follow updates from attendees, or even check out some of the websites being talked about at the show - all for free!

TECHSHOW BUZZ Page, its almost like being there--but cheaper.


Thanks to Robert Ambrogi.

March 22, 2008

NYLJ: Free Limited Access

The New York Law Journal

Registering for free limited access to New York Law Journal gives you:

Daily Legal Alert emails
Full access to Judge’s Part Rules
Articles from select featured columnists
Highlighted Judge’s Profile
Select daily news stories
Select Decisions of Interest
Highlighted articles from our Special Reports
Select articles from 'The Back Page'

April 10, 2008

Kaye Sues State Over Judicial Salaries

By Joel Stashenko and Daniel Wise
April 11, 2008

ALBANY - Stymied for a fourth straight fiscal year in securing a pay raise for state court judges, Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye sued the Legislature and Governor David A. Paterson yesterday to force the first judicial salary increase in New York since 1999.

At about the time attorney Bernard W. Nussbaum was filing the complaint in Supreme Court in Manhattan at 60 Centre Street, Chief Judge Kaye and Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau (sent a message to the 1,300 judges saying that the exclusion of a pay raise in the budget adopted in Albany on Wednesday was the last straw.

"At this point, we are left with no choice but to take legal action to address this intolerable situation," the judges said. They called the need to file a suit, first threatened by the chief judge in April 2007 but often cited by her since then as a last resort, as "regrettable."

The complaint, Kaye v. Silver, names the chief judge and the Unified Court System as plaintiffs. The defendants are Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno, Mr. Paterson and the State of New York.

The New York Law Journal - Kaye Sues State Over Judicial Salaries

April 17, 2008

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

National Child Abuse Prevention Month

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect and encourage individuals and communities to support children and families. Learn more about the history of the month, see examples of Presidential and State proclamations, and find strategies for engaging communities and supporting families.
Visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway for more information and useful resources. (Formerly the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse)

April 18, 2008

Department of State Move Date

The Department of State moved its Albany office to a new location on February 15th, 2008. Their new address is:

New York State Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12231

April 21, 2008

Stimulus Payments Update-Payment Schedule

Starting May 2, your clients may be issued their payments. See the schedule.

Check the Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center on for updates.

Also in Spanish.

April 25, 2008


Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association

The NDNY-FCBA was constituted to provide a forum to promote a more effective exchange of ideas between the practicing bar and the federal court as well as to provide educational and social programs for attorneys and court personnel.

Upcoming Events

Federal Criminal Defense Practice Update
Tuesday, April 29, 2008, 8:15 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.
View Details (PDF Format)
Registration Deadline Extended & Walk-Ins Welcome

Second Circuit Court of Appeals Sitting, Admissions Ceremony & Reception
Friday, May 16, 2008, 10:00 a.m.
James T. Foley United States Courthouse, Albany, New York
View Details (PDF Format)
Application Deadline: May 8, 2008

April 28, 2008

Stimulus Payments Update

Even though April 15 has passed, disabled veterans and others who normally do not file a tax return can still submit a 2007 form to receive a payment. See news release IR-2008-65. Others who have already filed a return may get their payments directly deposited into their accounts starting April 28. News release IR-2008-66 has details.

Check the Economic Stimulus Payments Information Center on for updates. Also in Spanish.

April 30, 2008 - Chief Judge Writes N.Y. Governor to Deny Work 'Slowdown' by State's Judges

Vesselin Mitev and Daniel Wise
New York Law Journal
April 30, 2008

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye wrote New York Gov. David A. Paterson Tuesday to assure him that reports of judicial "slowdown" were "without basis."

In addition, the court system's Advisory Committee on Judicial Ethics issued an opinion Monday determining that Kaye's recent lawsuit to compel an increase in judicial salaries does not require judges to recuse themselves, but they may do so as a matter of individual conscience.

On Monday, Paterson cautioned the state's judges against engaging in any tactic that would slow litigation in order to press their case for a raise. A day earlier The New York Post had reported that increasing numbers of judges, most of them upstate, were refusing to hear cases where law firms with state legislators as members are appearing before them.

In her letter to Paterson Tuesday, Kaye wrote, "while some judges have individually chosen to recuse themselves from matters in which legislators or their firms appeared before them, there has not been -- nor will there be -- an adverse impact on litigants."
Read entire article.

May 14, 2008

Perils of Part-timers' Public Pensions Persist

Albany Times Union (Rick Karlin): Class-action lawsuit in state pension cases?

An Albany lawyer is preparing a class-action lawsuit to try to stop Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli from stripping pension credits from lawyers who state officials say don't deserve them. The lawsuit will likely be filed later this week in state Supreme Court in Albany County and will seek restraining orders against Cuomo and DiNapoli, said lawyer James Roemer, who specializes in public sector employment issues. While he wouldn't immediately divulge details of his legal strategy or name the initial plaintiffs, Roemer said he's representing four individuals from Long Island who have lost pension credits during the past few weeks.


UPDATE: Roemer has a web site for the class action suit Save New York State Retirement Benefits.


Albany Times Union (Fred LeBrun Column): Cuomo pension probe tinged with a certain lack of fair play

On the best of days, elevating the reputation of lawyers in general is too heavy a lift for one mere columnist. And these are certainly not the best of days for the image of the legal profession, thanks in great measure to state Attorney General Andrew Cuomo and his zealous rooting out of lawyers who may have gotten public retirement benefits for which they were not eligible. That Cuomo is himself a lawyer, and the First Lawyer of the state to boot, must be disconcerting at the least to the lawyer community. Particularly because the brush with which he's tarring a wide range of attorneys who don't deserve it is usually the stuff of spiteful lawyer-bashing. Hasn't Andrew heard all those professional courtesy jokes?

May 19, 2008

Swergold, v. Andrew F. Cuomo,

Operation Pushback has begun.

This class action suit was filed May 15, 2008. It will include all current members of the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System (ERS) and all current retirees from the ERS in all Tiers 1, 2, 3 and 4, who have rendered part-time annually salaried service, whether elected or by appointment, to any participating employer in the ERS.

Swergold, v. Andrew F. Cuomo,, Index No. 3897-08 NYS Supreme Court- Albany County

Pleadings and Briefs

Documents filed on Thursday, May 15, 2008:

Summons and Complaint

Exhibits to Summons and Complaint

May 28, 2008

New York Begins to Alter Policy on Gay Marriage

Gov. David A. Paterson has directed all state agencies to
begin to revise their policies and regulations to recognize
same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions, like
Massachusetts, California and Canada. In a directive the
governor's legal counsel, David Nocenti, instructed the
agencies that gay couples married elsewhere "should be
afforded the same recognition as any other legally performed

Read More:

June 11, 2008

NYS Department of Health Webcasts

The New York State Dept. of Health has a number of very important boards, committees, and councils which meet on a regular basis to discuss and determine the number of doctors, hospitals, and medical equipment available to the citizens of the Empire State and what all this will cost. Many of those meetings are now available via live webcasts.

Among those whose meetings will be webcast are the State Hospital Review and Planning Council, arguably the state's most important decision-making body on health care issues.

Meetings from January 2008 onward are being archived for ready reference.

June 17, 2008

ectf meeting

The ectf is meeting now by conference call. Many new areas are being considered for the coming year; including podcasting and more web casting.

Many new members have been welcomed.

It looks like an exciting year.

June 28, 2008

NYSBA | Archive of June House Webcast Now Available

For the first time ever, the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates meeting, which was held in Cooperstown on Saturday, June 21, 2008, was broadcast live on the Association Web site. Interested members of the Association were able to access the Webcast and watch the meeting as new President Bernice K. Leber (Arent Fox LLP)was sworn in and the House debated a full schedule of items of interest including reports from the Committee on Civil Rights, the Committee on Senior Lawyers and the Committee on Professional Discipline, as well as the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section report on electronic discovery.

The archived Web cast will remain on the association site for several monthsand be available for members to view at their convenience.

View the archive at

July 7, 2008

New CJA Fillable Voucher & Worksheets Forms Effective 7/15/08


United States Circuit Court Judge Peter W. Hall, Chair of the Second Circuit CJA and Pro Bono Committee, announces that the Circuit Court of Appeals and all the District Courts within the Circuit have agreed on a new initiative designed to expedite the processing of CJA vouchers in both the Circuit and District Courts. As of July 15, 2008, all vouchers submitted for processing to the Circuit or District Courts within the Circuit, must be typewritten on the official '.pdf' fillable voucher and worksheet forms provided for that purpose on the Courts website. No other forms will be accepted after July 15, 2008. Additionally, CJA Form 26 in the District Courts and CJA Form 27 for Appellate Vouchers in the Court of Appeals will be substituted for the Attorney's Affidavit in Support of a Voucher Claiming Excess Compensation, the use of which will be discontinued.

For more information, visit

Thanks to NDNY Federal Court Bar Assocation

July 18, 2008

Swergold v. Cuomo/Hill v. Cuomo

Save New York State Retirement

New documents have now been added to the Swergold v. Cuomo portion of the Pleadings and Briefs section. In addition, they are now providing the motion and other information for the new action Hill v. Cuomo.

July 21, 2008

Criminal Justice Resources: Sex Offender Residency Restrictions

Criminal Justice Resources: Sex Offender Residency Restrictions |

By Ken Strutin, Published on July 20, 2008 at, Law and technology resources for legal professionals (our old friends--law librarians).

There are laws in more than 20 states and hundreds of communities limiting or proscribing where convicted sex offenders may live and work. See Lawsuits Test Crackdown On Sex Criminals,, April 18, 2008; Sex-Offender Residency Laws Get Second Look, USA Today, Feb. 26, 2007. These residency zones or exclusions are frequently imposed in conditions of probation and parole or as a facet of registration laws. They raise constitutional issues in addition to the practical problems created by shutting off access to family members, affordable housing, employment, therapeutic treatment and public services.

This article collects recent court decisions, research papers and reports that have addressed the efficacy of exclusionary zoning laws and the impact of these restrictions on sex offenders reentering their communities. For additional resources on Megan's Law and the Adam Walsh Act, see generally Ken Strutin, Sex Offender Laws, LLRX, Sept. 28, 2007; and Sex Offender Resources (NACDL).

July 28, 2008

CA Bar Journal: Embarrassed lawyers fall victim to Internet scams

California Bar Journal

By Diane Curtis
Staff Writer

Internet scammers have found a new and sometimes vulnerable target: American lawyers. And some take the bait. “I didn’t have my radar high enough to see what was going on,” says one chagrined Long Beach lawyer who entered into an agreement with a bogus client and went so far as to send $193,000 from his client trust account to a Hong Kong bank because he believed a cashier’s check he had received from a well-known financial institution was good.


Read entire article here.

August 1, 2008

The Hague Justice Portal

The Hague Justice Portal is a gateway to information, news and research on the Hague organisations in the fields of international peace, justice and security. It improves access to the Hague courts, tribunals and organisations and encourages academic debate.

Free E-mail alert subscriptions are available.

August 14, 2008


The Nominating Committee invites members of the Association to submit nominations for consideration in developing its slate of nominees for 2009-2010 Association offices.

As part of the selection process, candidates for the offices of President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee may be required to appear before the Nominating Committee at its September 8 meeting in New York City at a time and location to be determined, or the October 31st meeting at the Albany Crowne Plaza.

Offices for nomination:

The Nominating Committee is accepting candidates for:

(a) President-Elect

(b) Secretary

(c) Treasurer

(d) Vice-President - One per judicial district (except the First Judicial District which has two Vice-Presidents).

(e) Elected Delegates - Three for each judicial district

(f) Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee - Eight (at least two of whom must come from the First District and two of whom are selected to further ethnic and racial diversity in the Association. The latter two may not both be from the same judicial district).

(g) Delegates to the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates - Five

Timetable for submitting recommendations:

Members seeking offices or nominating persons are strongly encouraged to file a declaration of candidacy and submit all background materials for that office with the Secretary no later than September 1, 2008 to ensure adequate time for review by the Nominating Committee and to secure an interview spot. Interviews will be scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Materials will be accepted up until October 1, 2008.

In making nominations, everyone is encouraged to keep in mind the diversity policy for the Association adopted by the House of Delegates in November 2003, which emphasizes the commitment to achieving diversity in the “membership, officers, staff, House of Delegates, Executive Committee, Sections and Committees and their respective leaders. Diversity is an inclusive concept, encompassing gender, race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age and disability.” Submissions must include biographical information about the candidate, including his/her Association activities. Candidates may submit a maximum of five letters in support of their nomination. Letters of support should be received prior to the deadlines stated previously. Please direct this information to:

A. Vincent Buzard
Chair, Nominating Committee
c/o Jessica Gitchel
New York State Bar Association
One Elk Street
Albany, NY 12207
or via fax at (518) 487-5564 or via e-mail at

Special eligibility criteria for candidates

A candidate for Vice-President or President-Elect must have served as a member of the House of Delegates, but need not be a member of the House at the time of nomination for office.

Candidates for Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee must be current members of the House or section chairpersons, or have served in either capacity within three years of the time of selection.

Nature of service

As provided under the Association Bylaws, the President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, thirteen Vice-Presidents, and eight Members-at-Large serve on the Executive Committee and in the House of Delegates, which manage the business and activities of the Association and generally meet quarterly. The President-Elect chairs the House and assists the President. The Treasurer serves as an ex-officio member (as does the President-Elect) of the Finance Committee, which oversees the financial affairs of the Association and meets approximately four times per year. The Treasurer presents the Association financial report at each House meeting. The Vice-Presidents assist in fostering communication with Association members in their districts concerning issues and activities of interest to the profession.

Elected Delegates are members of the NYSBA House of Delegates. The Delegates to the ABA House attend its semi-annual meeting and at that time present NYSBA positions on issues coming before that house. These Delegates also keep NYSBA apprised of ABA House actions.

The Nominating Committee, which generally meets two times per year, prepares the slate of nominees for the Association offices noted above.

September 10, 2008

Judge rules Oracle withheld Ellison e-mails | Politics and Law

From CNET News:

Oracle deliberately destroyed or withheld CEO Larry Ellison's e-mails and failed to preserve audio recordings sought as evidence in a class-action lawsuit filed against the software maker, a federal judge has ruled.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison
(Credit: Dan Farber/CNET News)
U.S. District Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco said Tuesday that Oracle willfully withheld tapes and transcripts of interviews that a journalist conducted with Ellison in 2001 and 2002 while researching a book about the Oracle founder called Softwar. The recordings and transcripts were stored on laptop by the author, Matthew Symonds, who directed a computer repair shop to destroy the laptop in late 2006 or early 2007, Illston said.
The lawsuit alleges the software giant made false statements about the company's financial condition in the second quarter of 2001 and made false statements about its Suite 11i business management software. The suit, filed by shareholders who held the stock when its price fell after the company reported disappointing results, also claims Ellison knew about the problems and sold about $900 million in stock before investors were told of the problems.

Hat tip to Barbara Beauchamp for this post.

Here is the full text of Judge Illston's Order.

September 18, 2008

NYTIMES: Panel Calls for Consolidation and Minimum Standards for Judges in Town Courts

NY Times (Jeremy Peters): Panel Calls for Consolidation and Minimum Standards for Judges in Town Courts

A special commission that spent more than two years studying the often-peculiar form of justice that is handed down in New York's 1,250 town and village courts issued a report on Wednesday that recommended consolidating some courts and setting minimum standards for judges' education and training. But the 31-member commission, consisting of lawyers, town justices and state judges, stopped short of recommending that town and village justices - most of whom lack legal backgrounds and, in some cases, even a high school diploma - have training as lawyers. Instead, the commission said courts should provide defendants the option of having their case heard by a judge who is a lawyer. The report's recommendations did not include the sweeping reforms that some critics of the justice court system had called for, like abolishing the courts altogether and replacing them with a more uniform system of district courts used in many other states. Instead, the recommendations represented "a pragmatic middle ground" that will modernize and improve the centuries-old system, said Carey R. Dunne, chairman of the commission.

September 22, 2008

Reappointment of Hon. Victor E. Bianchini (Recalled) U.S. Magistrate Judge

The current term of the office of Recalled United States Magistrate Judge Victor E. Bianchini is due to expire on December 19, 2008. The Second Circuit is seeking comments on the performance of Magistrate Judge Bianchini over the past year from the Bar and Public. The duties of Magistrate Judge Bianchini in this court include the following: on Habeas Petitions, Prisoner Civil Rights Cases, Social Security Appeals, conduct of various pretrial matters, preparation of Report and Recommendation on dispositive matters on delegation from the judges of the district court. Conduct of any necessary hearings and preparation of orders on cases that have been consented to the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge by the parties.

Comments from members of the bar and public are invited as to whether the incumbent part-time Magistrate Judge should be recommended by the Circuit for reappointment for a new one year term.

Click on the link below for the full notice and comment submission procedure.

Thank you.

Lawrence K. Baerman
Clerk - USDC
Northern District of New York

September 29, 2008

FINDLAW:Text of the Defeated Bailout Bill


(House Financial Services Committee) - The version of the financial bailout proposal that was voted down in the House of Representatives today. Full Text.

Related Resources from Findlaw:
More Documents Related to the Financial Crisis

October 7, 2008

Torts Insurance & Compensation Law Section Webcast Invitation - 10/7/08

Torts Insurance & Compensation Law Section
Executive Committee Webcast Invitation
October 7, 2008 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

You are invited to view the Torts Insurance & Compensation Law Section in action. On October 7th, the Section's Executive Committee will hold its quarterly meeting at the New York Bar Center. The first hour of this meeting will be broadcast over the internet and available for viewing at To view the webcast, simply access the link above on the day of the meeting and follow the directions on the screen.

Among the items on the agenda will be the Section's consideration and proposal of legislation to amend Insurance Law 3420(d). Also known as the disclaimer statute, the Executive Committee will examine whether it should require a policyholder or claimant show prejudice when an insurer's disclaimer is late, but otherwise valid. The Executive Committee will also address adoption of a strategic plan, and upcoming Section events.

This will be the first webcast by any NYSBA Section of one of its events. Our goal is to allow our members to view how the Section works, and afford to become more involved. As Chair of the Torts Insurance & Compensation Law Section, I invite you to become more active and to spend an hour watching this meeting.

Dan Gerber, Chair
Torts Insurance & Compensation Law Section

October 8, 2008


In case you have not yet heard it is with sadness that we report that the Hon. Howard G. Munson, Senior District Judge for the Northern District of New York, passed away on Sunday, October 5th. I would like to bring to your attention that the Syracuse newspaper today misprinted the date for the calling hours. Calling hours are TOMORROW October 9th from 3:00-7:00 p.m. at Burns-Garfield Funeral home not TODAY as the paper states.

The Court plans on holding a Court memorial service in the near future. Once the date has been established for the service at the Courthouse, an email will be sent to all bar members.

Lawrence K. Baerman
Clerk - USDC
Northern District of New York

November 7, 2008

NYSBA Action Alert: Help Protect the IOLA Fund and Civil Legal Services Funding

Office of the President

Dear New York State Bar Association member:

I am writing to ask that you assist the New York State Bar Association’s (Association) efforts concerning a critical unintended consequence of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) new Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP). Simply put, the new program would not cover New York’s Interest on Lawyer Accounts (IOLA) in order to provide unlimited insurance coverage for those accounts. Since 1983, the accumulating interest on money in those accounts has been earmarked for New York’s IOLA Fund. The IOLA Fund has been, and continues to be, an important source of funds for programs that provide civil legal services to New Yorkers who are unable to afford them.

It is important to persuade the FDIC to construe IOLA as non-interest bearing transaction accounts under TLGP. Alternatively, we urge you to support us in persuading the FDIC to grant an exception in the TLGP rules explicitly stating that funds in IOLA accounts have unlimited deposit insurance coverage regardless of dollar amounts. Additional information below explains the impact of this new rule on New York’s IOLA Fund.

Also, the links below will lead you to the Association’s Legislative Action Center, where you will be able to enter your zip code and send a message on this matter to your member of the House of Representatives and both US Senators from New York. A separate link below will enable you to send a message directly to the FDIC.

The FDIC’s new rules were published in the Federal Register on October 29, 2008. The period for public comment on the TLGP ends on November 13, 2008. Please act now!

To send a message to your Senators or Representatives, click here.

To send a message to the FDIC, click here.

Continue reading "NYSBA Action Alert: Help Protect the IOLA Fund and Civil Legal Services Funding" »

November 10, 2008

2008-2009 Presidential Transition Resources

Presidential Transition Team

Message to Presidential Nominees and Appointees, and Members of the President-elect's Transition Team:

The Presidential Transition Act of 2000 (P.L. 106-293) authorizes the General Services Administration (GSA) to develop a transition directory in consultation with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Act provides that the transition directory "

shall be a compilation of Federal publications and materials with supplementary materials developed by the Administrator that provides information on the officers, organization, and statutory and administrative authorities, functions, duties, responsibilities, and mission of each department and agency."
Senate Report 106-348 clarifies that the directory is intended to "
assist in navigating the many responsibilities that fall on a new administration" that is "confronted by an overwhelming amount of material.

GSA and NARA hope that this online directory will introduce you to the operation of the Federal government and the resources available to help you begin your service in the new Administration. If you have questions or comments about this directory, please contact us.


The site may be of interest to lawyers and law firms who will be doing business with the new administration.

November 13, 2008

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye's final State of the Judiciary speech

(NY Times (James Barron): State's Top Judge, Now 70, Gives Her Farewell Speech)

After delivering what she called her "swan song," an hourlong speech on Wednesday in which she said her role as "chief plaintiff" in a lawsuit over judicial pay "sickens me," the state's chief judge said she had not endorsed anyone as her successor. "I'm waiting to see the list" of seven potential candidates recommended by a state commission, the chief judge, Judith S. Kaye, said after her speech on the state of the state judiciary. The panel will forward the names to Gov. David A. Paterson next month, and he is expected to nominate a new chief judge in January. Judge Kaye also said that if the governor called and asked for her thoughts, "I would hand him my state of the judiciary and tell him to read it carefully." Judge Kaye, who was the first woman to become chief judge when she was elevated in 1993 and is now the longest-serving chief judge in the state's history, will step down at the end of the year, having reached 70, the mandatory retirement age for judges. She had been an associate judge on the Court of Appeals for 10 years when Gov. Mario M. Cuomo promoted her to chief judge.


Webcast Available to View Online

Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye's final State of the Judiciary speech will be available over the Internet at

The chief judge, who is stepping down Dec. 31 because of the courts' mandatory retirement age of 70, is speaking today at 1 p.m. at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University, 566 Laguardia Place, in Manhattan.

It is the first State of the Judiciary address Chief Judge Kaye has given outside of Albany in her 15 years as chief judge.

2008 NYSBA Solo and Small Firm Survey

Bernice K. Leber, the President of the New York State Bar Association, has formed a Special Committee on Solo and Small Firm Practice. The Committee’s charge is to make a comprehensive study of particular issues and challenges which confront solo and small firms practices, and to recommend ways in which the bar associations, the Courts, and other entities may assist them in meeting those challenges and in achieving successful practices and balanced lives.

I am asking that you take a few moments to complete this brief survey to help us find ways to help you and other solo and small firm practitioners. Complete the survey online by December 5, 2008 and enter your name for a prize drawing* for a free CLE program (live or recorded) presented by the Law Practice Management (LPM) Committee.

2008 NYSBA Solo and Small Firm Survey

Robert Ostertag,
Chair, Special Committee on Solo and Small Firm Practice

* Members who complete the survey online by December 5, 2008 and enter their contact information in the prize drawing question will be automatically entered into a drawing for a free LPM sponsored CLE program. Three winners will be selected randomly.

November 17, 2008

Albany Law Hosts Tribute to Siegel

Albany Law School will host an event to celebrate the career of Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus David D. Siegel on Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 5:30 p.m. A tribute will be given by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye, New York Court of Appeals, as well as other special guests.

Professor Siegel, who joined the Albany Law School faculty in 1972, has taught and still writes extensively on civil procedure, federal jurisdiction and practice, conflict of laws, and New York practice. He is the author of New York Practice, the leading treatise on New York practice, and one of the few commentators appearing in the United States Code Annotated.

For more information, or to share memories of Professor Siegel, visit

November 22, 2008

Failed Bank List

FDIC: Failed Bank List

The FDIC is often appointed as receiver for failed banks. This page contains useful information for the customers and vendors of these banks. This includes information on the acquiring bank (if applicable), how your accounts and loans are affected, and how vendors can file claims against the receivership.

This list includes banks which have failed since October 1, 2000.

November 24, 2008


NYSBA News Release
November 24, 2008

Grassroots Efforts of Association Members Prove Essential in Winning Important Extension

New York State Bar Association President Bernice K. Leber (Arent Fox LLP) released the following statement praising the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) decision to extend unlimited insurance coverage to Interest on Lawyer Accounts (IOLA) under the FDIC's new Temporary Liquidity Guarantee Program (TLGP):

"The FDIC's decision to grant IOLA funds unlimited deposit insurance coverage is a resounding victory that protects precious funding that is so desperately needed in order to deliver vital civil legal services to the poor, not only in New York but also in the 36 other states that rely on interest generated from lawyer accounts. The FDIC’s considerate action ensures the safety of client funds deposited in IOLA, regardless of the amount. With home foreclosures and evictions on the rise, and with a growing number of low-income people - from single mothers to the elderly - struggling to survive, we must continue to do everything we can to protect this critical source of legal funding. This announcement brings a ray of good news during these difficult economic times.

I applaud the members of our New York State Bar Association for their outstanding grassroots efforts in making the FDIC and our congressional leaders aware of this important issue. More than half the letters received by the FDIC came from members of the State Bar Association. We place the fight for access to justice for the poor among our top legislative priorities. Throughout New York and the nation, bar associations of all sizes, as well as individual lawyers and law firms, joined state and national political leaders in forming a bipartisan coalition that answered our call. I thank everyone for getting involved and for truly making a difference."

The FDIC's October 23 Interim Rule establishing TLGP provides full deposit insurance coverage on noninterest-bearing transaction accounts.


November 30, 2008

Annual Meeting - Tuesday, January 27, 2008, 9:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

As secretary of the General Practice Section, I am involved in preparing the presentation for the General Practice Section at the Annual Meeting. I just want to advise the Forum that we believe that we have an excellent program scheduled and you should make every effort to attend. These are the speakers in the order of appearance:

The Hot Tips from the Experts section is back to one hour or more - Bill DaSilva will continue to handle this portion. He always has good speakers.

David Rosen, a law secretary in Queens Supreme Court, will give the CPLR update. He spoke last year and was very good. His materials alone are worth the price of admission.

Joel Sharrow and Vince Gallo, who are active on the Real Estate Forum, will speak on the current mortgage foreclosure situation. Joel will speak from the lender’s viewpoint and Vince will speak from the borrower’s viewpoint. They will speak at the end of the program so we can allow time for questions. Those of you who are on the Real Estate Forum know that they both have a lot of knowledge on the subject and a lot of good things to say.

Martin S. Kera
240 Madison Avenue-7th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Phone (212) 681-1600
Fax (212) 681-1601, 1603

December 5, 2008

Cornell LII Lawyer Directory

Our friends at Legal Information Institute (LII) announce a new service, currently in "pre-Beta"; i.e., still time to get in early and take advantage of their enormous audience.

The LII's Lawyer Directory service is a collaborative venture with Justia and other organizations that provides free access to legal information. We highlight lawyers who support our partners, or who make their own material freely available on the web via blogs.

Note: Badges and support levels only enhance the placement of a sponsoring lawyer's profile on the LII Lawyer Directory listing pages. Lawyers do not have to purchase a sponsorship to be included or to have a full profile in the LII Lawyer Directory itself (which is free).

December 28, 2008

Layoff Tracker

Layoff Tracker - Law Shucks

As of December 22, there have been over 1,759 layoffs this year. Law Shucks has mashed the numbers and come up with a graph and chart. Scroll down for the chartwhich details the lawyer and staff layoffs by big firms.

December 29, 2008 M-H to Keep Ratings reports "LexisNexis Group's Martindale-Hubbell has no
plans to abandon its lawyer ratings, the company insisted in
response to blog postings about its layoff of attorney rating
specialists." For the full story, see here.

January 13, 2009

Nicole Black: People v. Wrotten

Technology (already) invades the courtroom « Practicing Law in the 21st Century

At the end of December, the First Department handed down its decision in People v. Wrotten, 2008 NY Slip Op 10226. At issue in Wrotten was whether the trial court erred in allowing the complainant to testify at trial via two-way, televised video.

The court held that the trial court improperly admitted the testimony since New York statutory law did not specifically provide for it, but also noted:

At the very least, even assuming that [the] defendant’s Sixth Amendment right of confrontation was not violated, she was denied a valuable component of that right. In our judgment, in the absence of express legislative authorization, depriving [the] defendant of a face-to-face meeting with her principal accuser — indeed, the person whose testimony was necessary for the prosecution to make out a prima facie case — tainted the fairness of the trial.

Niki also talks about the use of Twitter for reporting from the courtroom.

Lippman to be Chief Judge

The New York Law Journal - <font color=red>Free Breaking News:</font> Paterson Set to Nominate Lippman as Chief Judge

Paterson Set to Nominate Lippman as Chief Judge

By Joel Stashenko
January 14, 2009

ALBANY - Governor David A. Paterson will introduce Justice Jonathan Lippman tomorrow as his nominee to become New York's next chief judge, said several sources who have been notified of the governor's decision.

January 14, 2009

NY Times (John Eligon): Paterson Picks Chief Judge Nominee

(Full text of article in NYTIMES)

Gov. David A. Paterson nominated Justice Jonathan Lippman on Tuesday to be the next chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. Justice Lippman, 63, the presiding justice of the First Judicial Department of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court, one of the state's midlevel appeals courts, is expected to be introduced at a news conference in Albany on Wednesday. Despite the nomination, Mr. Paterson renewed his criticism of the selection process. The Commission on Judicial Nomination gave Mr. Paterson a list of seven male candidates last month, and the governor was required to select one of them to replace Judith S. Kaye, who was the first woman on the Court of Appeals and the first female chief judge…He was widely considered to be the choice favored by Ms. Kaye, who was forced to step down at the end of last year after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70. Ms. Kaye served 25 years on the court and 15 years as chief judge, the longest tenure of any chief judge in state history.

January 22, 2009

NYSBA Annual Meeting 2009 Webcast

NYSBA Annual Meeting 2009
January 26 – 31st, 2009
New York Marriott Marquis, New York City

NYSBA President Bernice K. Leber invites you to view the 2009 Presidential Summit Webcast and the January 2009 House of Delegates Webcast.

The Presidential Summit Webcast commences at 3 p.m. (EST) on Wednesday, January 28, 2009 and you may access it at

The January 2009 House of Delegates meeting begins with the New York Bar Foundation and New York State Bar Association annual meetings at (EST) on Friday, January 30, 2009. You may access the Webcast and a full agenda for the meeting at

We invite your feedback on the Webcast experience and encourage you to use the feedback links on the respective Webcast pages.

January 26, 2009

Taxpayers in New York File with Different Center

News release IR-2009-7 announces that taxpayers in Delaware, Illinois, New York and Rhode Island who file paper income tax returns will send them to different processing centers this year.

New York paper filers will now file in Kansas City Service Center in Kansas City, Mo.

February 8, 2009

FDsys beta-Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents

US Government Printing Office - FDsys - Home

GPO's Federal Digital System (FDsys) provides public access to government information submitted by Congress and Federal agencies and preserved as technology changes.

Federal Digital System (FDsys) is now available as a public beta!

In conjunction with the change of administration on January 20, 2009, the Daily Compilation of Presidential Documents will provide more timely access to Presidential Documents by making materials available in electronic format on a daily basis

February 13, 2009

Alltop - Top Law News

Alltop - Top Law News

Alltop--All the top Legal news is Guy Kawasaki's latest brainstorm; i.e., a sort of super RSS feed of the top news from blogs and other sources on a topic of your choosing. Read the summary, click through to the full piece, and Post to Twitter.

Its harder to describe than to use.

February 24, 2009

NOTICE - To all members of the Northern District Bar

The United States District Court for the Northern District of New York is
seeking qualified applicants for the position of a full-time United States
Magistrate Judge to be located in Syracuse, New York. The Public
Announcement and Application Form are available on the Northern District of
New York website at:

Thank you

Lawrence K. Baerman, Clerk

March 4, 2009

NYSBA Is On Twitter

Our own New York State Bar Association is on Twitter. If you’d like to "follow" the association, please visit

March 5, 2009

Grant helping to establish women's center at Cornell Law School

Grant helping to establish women's center at Cornell Law School | | The Ithaca Journal

THACA - The Avon Foundation for Women has awarded a $1.5 million grant to the Cornell Law School to establish the Avon Global Center for Women and Justice, which will work to improve access to justice in an effort to eliminate violence against women and girls, the law school announced this week.


Read entire article here.

CA State Supreme Court Prop 8 Gay Marriage Arguments

Live Feed: CA State Supreme Court Prop 8 Gay Marriage Arguments

March 11, 2009

FINDLAW: Bernard Madoff's Criminal Charges Prior to Plea Agreement


(U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. N.Y., Mar. 10, 2009) - The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York filed revised criminal charges against alleged Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff. The criminal information filed today accompanied confirmation by Ira Sorkin, Bernard Madoff's criminal defense lawyer, that his client would plead guilty to federal charges.

March 12, 2009

FINDLAW: Bernard Madoff's Guilty Plea Allocution and Statement to the Court


(U.S. Dist. Ct., S.D. N.Y., Mar. 12, 2009) - Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty in federal court and read this six-page allocution to Judge Denny Chin and the victims of his felonies. The former investment manager admitted: "As I engaged in my fraud, I knew what I was doing was wrong, indeed criminal. When I began the Ponzi scheme, I believed it would end shortly and I would be able to extricate myself and my clients from the scheme."

March 31, 2009

House of Delegates Meeting Webcast-4-04-09

NYSBA President Bernice K. Leber invites you to view the April 2009 House of Delegates Meeting Webcast.

The Webcast begins at 8:30 a.m. (EST) on Saturday, April 4, 2009 and you may access it at

Highlights of the meeting include reports from the Wrongful Convictions, Privacy, and Global Warming Task Forces. Informational reports from the Task Force on the State of Our Courthouses and the Special Committee on Solo and Small Firm Practice also are scheduled to be presented to the House.

We invite your feedback on the Webcast experience and encourage you to use the feedback link on the Webcast page.

April 6, 2009

Richard Susskind on the End of Lawyers

Legal Blog Watch

Bob Ambrogi spent the tail end of last week at ABA Techshow in Chicago. It was a good conference in many ways. But the highlight for Ambrogi was the keynote address delivered Thursday by Richard Susskind, the legal technology consultant, adviser, author and Big Thinker.

His talk was based on his new book, "The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services," which followed from his 1996 book, "The Future of Law." His key point was that the delivery of legal services will see rapid and fundamental change -- not that lawyers need to make it change, but that change will come and is coming despite us. Ambrogi has summed up a few of Susskind's key points.

Click here for Ambrogi's take on the speech that has lawyers on line buzzing.

April 8, 2009

Free Live Webcasts

NYSBA Committee on Lawyers in Transition
Spring 2009 – Career Development Series

Free Live Webcasts

Session One:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009
12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Interviews: 10 Most Difficult Questions and 10 Best Answers
Presented by Deb Volberg Pagnotta, CEO, Interfacet, Inc.

Positive Minded Networking: Creating a Gameplan
Presented by Elena Kaspi, J.D., M.S.W., A.C.C., LawScope Coaching

Session Two:

Thursday, May 14, 2009
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Comeback Lawyers: Selling Yourself & Using Flexibility as an
Asset in a Down Market
Presented by Debbie Epstein Henry, Founder/President, Flex-Time Lawyers LLC

Session Three:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009
12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Crafting Your Resume for Today’s Market: How to Make Them Want to Meet You Selling Yourself in the Interview: Listen First Then Speak
Presented by Chelsea Silverman, Senior Vice President - Director of National Staffing, Strategic Legal Solutions

The NYSBA Committee on Lawyers in Transition is pleased to announce that it will be sponsoring free LIVE webcasts for all attorneys in need of career assistance this spring.

If you are currently unemployed, looking to make a career change, leave your current job or transition back to the workforce after time away from the profession, the Committee on Lawyers in Transition is here to help. The Committee is sponsoring a series of programs designed to help attorneys in transition. The programs will offer advice and resources to increase the odds of finding rewarding work. Topics include interviewing tips, maintaining a positive attitude, networking techniques, resumes and cover letters, and transitioning your career in general.

Session One of the series will take place on Wednesday, April 22, 2009 from noon - 2:00 p.m. Materials will be forwarded to all registrants, along with the web access code and link to view the program. Participants will be able to ask questions of the presenters.

The programs are free to all attorneys, but pre-registration is required. Register online today.
Each program will be webcast live from the office of the committee chair, Lauren J. Wachtler, at the location listed below.

Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP
Tower 49, 12 East 49th Street, 30th Floor
New York, NY 10017

Limited seating is available for each session at the “live” program. If you would like to attend in person, please contact Kathy Suchocki, Staff Liaison to the Committee on Lawyers in Transition at (518) 487-5590 or

If you are unable to participate in the LIVE webcasts, the recorded archives will be available online and posted at the Committee's website -

Visit the Committee’s Blog at

April 13, 2009

Application for Judicial Positions

Please see this link to a letter from Desiree Kim regarding applications for various judicial positions appointed by the Mayor of the City of New York:

I encourage any member who is eligible to seriously consider applying. A judiciary of the highest quality is essential if we are to maintain the high standards that have been set by the Mayor. This is an excellent opportunity for those interested in a judicial position. Please note that applications must be filed no later than April 23.
Best regards.

Bernice K. Leber
President, New York State Bar Association
Partner, Arent Fox LLP, New York, NY

April 21, 2009

Richard Susskind: The End of Lawyers? Free Webcast

[Apr. 22] The End of Lawyers? The End of Law Schools?
Professor Richard Susskind, Author of "The End of Lawyers?" and IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England

Wednesday, April 22, 12:15 pm
Griswold Hall 110, Harvard Law School
RSVP required for those attending in person (
This event will be webcast live at 12:15 pm ET.

Will lawyers be casualties in the digital revolution? This is the controversial prediction of Richard Susskind, author of The End of Lawyers? Rethinking the Nature of Legal Services. He believes that lawyers will have to ask themselves what elements of their current workload could be undertaken more quickly, more cheaply, more efficiently, or to a higher quality using different and new methods of working – because if they don’t, their competitors will. The market is unlikely to tolerate expensive lawyers for tasks that can be better discharged with support of modern systems and techniques.

Prof. Susskind predicts that the legal profession will be driven by two forces in the coming decade: by a market pull towards the commoditization of legal services, and by the pervasive development and uptake of new and disruptive legal technologies. The threat here for lawyers is clear - their jobs may well be eroded or even displaced. At the same time, for entrepreneurial lawyers, Susskind foresees quite different law jobs emerging which may be highly rewarding, even if very different from those of today.

Is the same true of law schools? Is the current model of legal education facing radical change? Prof. Susskind will explore these and other challenging questions in a lecture open to the entire Law School community.

About Richard Susskind
Richard Susskind has specialized in legal technology for 25 years, advising firms and governments. Since 1998, he has been IT Adviser to the Lord Chief Justice of England. In 2003, he was appointed by the Cabinet Office as Chair of the Advisory Panel on Public Sector Information. He holds law professorships at Gresham College in London and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. Susskind is a graduate of the University of Glasgow and earned a doctorate in law and computers from Balliol College, Oxford. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the British Computer Society.


Richard Susskind's Publius essay on Realising the Value of Public information


Sponsored by the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.

April 23, 2009

Susskind: The End of Lawyers-Web Cast

I watched a lot of the presentation by Susskind at Harvard on the live web cast and was a bit put off by his emphasis on very large firms, for whom he works as a consultant. He doesn't seem to address more than half the profession who are solos or small firm members.

I still can't figure out how we are to get around jurisdictional limitations on practice if we are solos or small firms? Perhaps we are not intended to survive?

The entire thought-provoking presentation can be seen here:

It takes a while to load as it is quite large.

May 6, 2009

Army Recruiting Immigrants

Only citizens or permanent residents used to be eligible to serve
in the US Army. The Los Angeles Times,0,5078748,full.story
reports "But starting today, 10 Los Angeles-area Army recruiting
offices will begin taking applications from some foreigners who
are here on temporary visas or who have been granted asylum. In
all, the pilot program, which was launched in New York in
February, seeks to enlist 1,000 military recruits with special
language and medical skills, most of whom will join the Army.
Those who are accepted will get an expedited path to citizenship
in return for their service."

Hat Tip to Immigration Daily.

May 8, 2009

NY State Senate Live Online


If the Senate is not in session, you can check out videos on demand, which should be posted shortly.


Gannett (Joseph Spector): New York Democratic legislators launch Web site

Senate Democrats launched a new Web site Thursday to help the public offer comments on state legislation, track bills and better interact with their lawmakers. The revamped site - - includes links for some senators' Twitter and Facebook pages, and allows the public to engage in "crowdsourcing," where they can debate or comment on state proposals. For instance, the site includes a page where people can vote or comment on the various ideas to curb state property taxes. Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith, D-Queens, said the site will hopefully be a model for other state legislatures. The site also will include live streaming of Senate hearings, and videos and photos from lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans.

May 27, 2009


Provides a Forum and News Source on Issues of Interest

(Albany, N.Y. – May 26, 2009) – The Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section (EASL) of the New York State Bar Association announced the launch of a new blog that will act as a new informational resource on topics of interest, including the latest section programs and initiatives, as well as provide a forum for debate and discussion to anyone in the world with access to the Internet. It is available through the State Bar Web site at

June 4, 2009

FINDLAW: Sotomayor Senate Judiciary Questions & Answers

Click on the TV icon in the lower right hand corner for full screen view.

June 13, 2009

Smith Complaint in State Senate Coup Action

Complaint Complaint Casey Seiler Malcolm Smith: Summons and verified complaint.

Toggle full screen in UPPER right hand corner.

Sen. Breslin Affirmation in NY Senate Coup Action

Breslin Breslin Casey Seiler

Toggle full screen in UPPER right hand corner.

NYS Senate Coup Action Filings

CapCon has the legal filings. (Memorandum | Coup transcript | Breslin affirmation | Smith complaint).

Hat tip to The Albany Project.

See Breslin Affirmation and Smith Complaint in more detail here below:

June 22, 2009

New York State Bar Association Approves Comprehensive Plan to Help Solo and Small Firm Practitioners

ALBANY, NY (06/22/2009)(readMedia)-- The New York State Bar Association released a new report outlining a comprehensive plan to help solo and small firm practitioners - the largest and fastest growing segment of its membership. The report, authored by the Special Committee on Solo and Small Firm Practice, was adopted by the House of Delegates, the decision- and policy-making body of the Association, at its June 20 meeting in Cooperstown.

The Special Committee, chaired by Past President Robert L. Ostertag (Ostertag O'Leary and Barrett, Poughkeepsie) and established in August 2008 by Immediate Past President, Bernice K. Leber (Arent Fox LLP, New York City), was charged with making a thorough study of the issues and challenges that confront solo practitioners and small firms in New York.

Committee members, working in four sub-committees, also reviewed the quality, accessibility and level of awareness of existing State Bar programs designed to assist solo practitioners and small firms. They recommended new programs, benefits, resources and services that should be developed to help these practitioners and their firms.

"One of my priorities over the next year as president is to make sure the State Bar offers programs and services that are relevant and helpful to our members, particularly as they struggle in these tough economic times. With more than 64 percent of our members now working in firms of 20 or fewer attorneys, these initiatives will bring value to the growing majority of our membership," said State Bar President Michael E. Getnick (Getnick Livingston Atkinson & Priore, LLP, Utica and of counsel to Getnick & Getnick, New York City). "I want to thank Bernice Leber and Robert Ostertag for their leadership on this critical issue."

For a full copy of the New York State Bar Association Special Committee on Solo and Small Firm Practice's report, go to


Continue reading "New York State Bar Association Approves Comprehensive Plan to Help Solo and Small Firm Practitioners" »

June 23, 2009

State Bar 'Refines' Position on Same-Sex Couples, Says Marriage Is the Only Possible Path to Equality

The New York Law Journal - State Bar 'Refines' Position on Same-Sex Couples, Says Marriage Is the Only Possible Path to Equality

By Jeff Storey
June 23, 2009

Legalizing same-sex marriage is the only way to achieve full equality for gay and lesbian couples, the New York State Bar Association's policy-making body has concluded, abandoning a menu of legislative options it offered only four years ago.

The bar group's House of Delegates, meeting in Cooperstown on Saturday, overwhelmingly endorsed an amendment to the Domestic Relations Law "to allow same-sex couples to marry and to recognize their marriages if contracted elsewhere." The LGBT Committee's report is posted at

Read the State Bar's proposed resolution, and Report and Recommendationon Marriage Rights for Same-Sex Couples

Read full article with historical background..

June 28, 2009

Stonewall Riot Police Reports, June 28, 1969 - OutHistory

Stonewall Riot Police Reports, June 28, 1969 - OutHistory

Seven pages of NYPD records reproduced on were obtained in May 2009 by Jonathan Ned Katz, Director of the website, in consultation with historian David Carter, and two additional pages reproduced were obtained in 1988 by the late Michael Scherker, under the New York State Freedom of Information Law.

For the first time, in the seven documents obtained by Katz, the names of those arrested are not blacked out, providing the public and historians with important new evidence about the rebellion's participants. None of the nine NYPD reports made available on have earlier been published.

July 14, 2009

My Kind of MCLE

Committee on Green Real Estate MCLE Program and An Evening with the
New York Mets and Atlanta Braves

The Real Property Law Section would like to invite you to the Committee on Green Real Estate's first MCLE program. Topic of discussion will be on the green building techniques that were applied to the New York Mets' construction of Citi Field. One hour of continuing legal education credit will be provided. After the program you can also sign up to attend the New York Mets v. Atlanta Braves game.

To view the full details of this event and to register go to:


Held at the ABA headquarters in Chicago, this public program series focuses on law and legal issues of general interest. Past programs are now available for download.

Programs include The Response, Guantanamo Courtroom Drama: Screening and Q&A with Producer/Actor/Lawyer Sig Libowitz;

The Lincoln Myth: How pop culture defines America's great lawyer/president; and

A Conversation with Joseph Margulies, author of Guantanamo and the Abuse of Presidential Power.

July 23, 2009 - ABA Plans for Litigation Over FTC Rules on Identity Theft - ABA Plans for Litigation Over FTC Rules on Identity Theft

The president of the American Bar Association said Wednesday that the group is preparing to go to court if it cannot persuade the Federal Trade Commission to exempt lawyers from new regulations to protect against identity theft.

H. Thomas Wells Jr. said in an interview that the New York-based firm Proskauer Rose has signed up to represent the ABA pro bono. The trade commission is scheduled to begin enforcing the regulations Aug. 1, and Wells said the bar association would file a lawsuit by the end of next week if necessary to head off enforcement.

"If they stay with the Aug. 1 date and we don't get some kind of sign, we'll be filing before Aug. 1," said Wells, a partner at Maynard Cooper & Gale in Birmingham, Ala.


Read entire article.

NAF Barred from Credit card & Consumer Arbitrations

Office of Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson

Swanson Also Wants Congress to Ban "Fine Print"€ Forced Arbitration Clauses

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson and the National Arbitration Forum, €”the country'€™s largest administrator of credit card and consumer collections arbitrations, €”have reached an agreement that the company would get out of the business of arbitrating credit card and other consumer collection disputes.

           " €œI am very pleased with the settlement.  To consumers, the company said it was impartial, but behind the scenes, it worked alongside credit card companies to get them to put unfair arbitration clauses in the fine print of their contracts and to appoint the Forum as the arbitrator.  Now the company is out of this business,"€ said Swanson.


Read entire Press Release from Minnesota AG


Hat tip to Bob Ambrogi, who looks at the implications of this move and the connections to collections industry giant Mann-Bracken..

August 27, 2009

ABA Files Suit Against FTC Over Applying Red Flags Rule to Lawyers

The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times : ABA Files Suit Against FTC Over Applying Red Flags Rule to Lawyers

(Updated 1:51 p.m.)

The American Bar Association filed suit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against the Federal Trade Commission, seeking an injunction to block the application of the so-called Red Flags Rule to practicing lawyers.

The ABA’s 20-page complaint (.pdf), was filed by a team from Proskauer Rose.

September 6, 2009


Current News cloud - Google US News Tags by NEWZingo

NEWZingo is constantly watching Google News for new stories, extracts related "tags" and displays them in a cloud.
The cloud shows the current popular news tags. The bigger the tag, the more stories are about its topic.
In one glimpse you can see what the news is about, watch the cloud change as real world events unfold and then are forgotten.

The little arrows (^,v) indicate whether the tag is becoming more important, or less important

September 22, 2009

High Court Rules Paterson's Appointment of Ravitch Constitutional

The New York Law Journal -Free Breaking News: High Court Rules Paterson's Appointment of Ravitch Constitutional

Read entire report from NYLJ

Full text of decision.

September 24, 2009

NY OCA: Volunteer Attorney Program

Volunteer Attorney Program

The sharp downturn in the economy has had a profound impact on the justice system and the legal community. The number of unrepresented litigants in court has increased dramatically. At the same time, substantial numbers of attorneys find themselves unexpectedly unemployed.

In response to these concerns, the court system has established the Volunteer Attorney Program, offering attorneys opportunities to volunteer to serve the courts and the public.

Under the Program, attorneys can volunteer to provide advice and assistance to unrepresented litigants (Pro Bono Volunteer Attorney); or, they can serve in a judge’s chambers, performing legal research, writing and related functions (Chambers’ Volunteer Attorney).

Attorneys can volunteer full-time or part-time, on a schedule that is convenient to them. Participating attorneys select the court in which they want to serve and the type of cases they prefer to handle (subject to availability).

October 2, 2009

Feed Demon 3.0

So you want to stay up to date with news from the Boston Globe and the New Orleans Times-Picayune and 75 other news outlets as well? Feed Demon 3.0 can make it happen. This recently released edition of the popular RSS news aggregator syncs effectively with Google Reader, and it makes it easy to update your subscriptions and share items with others. Visitors should also note the application's compatibility with Twitter feed reading and tagging features. This version is compatible with computers running Windows 95 and newer

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2009. To subscribe to the Scout Report in text or HTML format, go to:

ACLEA/ALI-ABA CLE Summit Webcast Opportunity

ACLEA and ALI-ABA are hosting an invitational summit, Equipping Our Lawyers: Law School Education, Continuing Legal Education, and Legal Practice in the 21st Century, on October 15-17, 2009, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Summit will open on October 15th with two expert panels, The Future of the Legal Profession and The Impact of Technology on Lawyer Development, both to be webcast live from Scottsdale. The webcast does not require advance registration and will be accessible on the morning of October 15th free of charge at A complete description of the webcast is now available at; just click on "Summit Webcast" on the navbar.

The Summit will examine all aspects of lawyer education and development to make concrete recommendations for equipping lawyers for practice and ensuring their continued competence as legal professionals in a rapidly changing world. For more general information about the Summit, including its agenda and materials, or to participate in its online discussion forums, go to and click "Access the Discussion Forum." More information will be posted as the date of the Summit draws closer.

NYSBA is a "Silver Level" sponsor of this event.

Update: It will take place on October 15, and consist of two presentations:

11:45 - 1:15 The Future of the Legal Profession
1:30 - 3:00 The Impact of Technology on Laywer Development

For more info click here


Hat Tip to NYSBA's Terry Brooks for this timely info.

October 5, 2009

Modernization of New York's Land Use Laws Continues to Meet Growing Challenges of Sustainability

Patricia Salkin
Albany Law School

Pace Law Review, Vol. 29, No. 563, 2009

There has never been a more challenging time to practice land use planning and zoning law in New York. With goals of sustainability at the forefront of the land use regulatory agenda, this brief account of recent developments in land use law highlights some discernable trends, namely: the modernization and increased flexibility of New York State planning and zoning enabling acts, the inspired local initiatives and lethargic State response to affordable housing issues, and the increasing impact of alternative energy systems on local regulatory schemes.

Part I of this article explores the impacts on community development caused by the many modifications to New York State’s planning and zoning enabling acts over the last two decades. Particularly, the article identifies the delegation of extensive discretionary authority to local governments as New York’s signature approach to land use control.

Part II discusses “affordable housing” as a key attractant for judicial action and local government response. With the exception of the Long Island Workforce Housing Act in 2008, the State has been slow to act on judicial calls to action, forcing local governments to develop unique solutions in order to provide affordable housing.

Finally, Part III notes the challenges being faced by lawyers and planners in light of growing preference for alternative energy systems, with specific focus on reactions to Wind Energy and Solar Energy installations.

Download the entire article here.

October 16, 2009

Operation Bad Deeds

The United States Department of Justice - United States Attorney's Office


Six lawyers were among 41 defendants charged in New York yesterday for allegedly using fraud to obtain over $64 million in mortgages on more than 100 properties. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced the multi-agency effort, dubbed "Operation Bad Deeds," at a news conference yesterday, saying the 41 were charged in eight separate cases representing a "smorgasbord of scams"

Read entire article.

CLE Program: Representing the Pro Bono Debtor Under BAPCPA*

Underwritten by: The Community Foundation of Herkimer and Oneida Counties, Inc.
and the Upstate Institute of Colgate University

Friday, October 30, 2009
Registration at 11:45 a.m.
Buffet lunch at 12:00 p.m.
Presentation from 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Cost: Lunch and CLE credits are free of charge to attorneys admitted to practice in New York State and who pledge to take a minimum
of two pro bono bankruptcy cases annually.

Where: Radisson Hotel-Utica Centre, 200 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13502

CLE Credit: 3 Hours Skills and 1 Hour of Ethics

*Appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys

by emailing
For questions, call Dawn Simmons Norris at (315) 295-1683.

Trista F. O'Hara, Esq.
Pro Se Coordinator
NDNY Federal Court Bar Association, Inc.
221 S. Warren Street, Suite 130
Syracuse, New York 13202
Office #: (315) 422-2711
Toll Free #: 1-877-422-1011
Fax #: (315) 422-2778

November 14, 2009

The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online

Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online [Last reviewed in the Scout Report on October 22, 1999]

The Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics Online is frequently updated, and is maintained by the United States Department of Justice and the Bureau of Justice Statistics. The site offers over 1000 tables of data from over 100 sources. An interesting and multi-perspective approach to measuring the level of crime can be found in section number three, which is titled "Crime, Victims", and it resides on the left hand side of the homepage. It offers statistics about the frequency of various crimes by presenting data from victimization surveys, and officially recorded offenses. Visitors interested in printing the text, tables, or both, of each section, can download them via a link in each section that immediately precedes the list of the topics of that section. The "Archive" link in the menu across the top of the page, allows visitors to download complete editions of the Sourcebook, going back to 1994. Each section of the books can be downloaded separately, or the entire book for that year can be downloaded as a zip file

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2009.

December 14, 2009

Draft Report on New York State's Juvenile Prisons

Draft Report on New York State's Juvenile Prisons - The New York Times

Original Document (PDF)
A draft report by a New York state task force shines a harsh light on the problems in the state's prisons for juvenile offenders. The problems are so acute that the state agency overseeing the prisons has asked New York. Family Court judges not to send youths to any of them unless they are a significant risk to public safety, recommending alternatives, like therapeutic foster care. Related Article

January 5, 2010

NYTIMES: Liptak: ALI Gives Up Death Penalty Work

Sidebar - Group That Shaped Death Penalty Gives Up on Its Own Work -

Last fall, the American Law Institute, which created the intellectual framework for the modern capital justice system almost 50 years ago, pronounced its project a failure and walked away from it.


Read entire article.

January 8, 2010

Unbundling Discussion

Two Chief Justices Have One Word of Advice for Solos: Unbundling - News - ABA Journal

Unbundled legal services are one way to close a justice gap that is growing as more people find themselves unable to afford a lawyer, according to the chief justices of the California and New Hampshire supreme courts.

However, solo practice lawyers do not agree, if one takes the comments which follow this article as any indication. These comments are well worth reading for a real sense of the discussion on this current practice issue.

January 11, 2010

Supreme Court Halts Prop 8 Trial Broadcasts


(U.S. Supreme Ct., Jan. 11, 2010) - This morning the U.S. Supreme Court halted both realtime and delayed broadcasts of proceedings in the California Prop 8 Same same-sex marriage trial. You can view the order here:

Prop 8 Video Ruling

January 24, 2010

NYSBA Annual Meeting 2010-Live Webcasts

January 25 – 30th, 2010
Hilton New York, New York City

Unable to travel to NYC? You can still be a part of State Bar Week by staying connected through daily updates and two free webcasts.

Daily Annual Meeting Updates
Stay informed on the big events of each day

To receive daily annual meeting updates by email, send a blank email (no subject, no message, no signature block) to:

View daily annual meeting updates online at

Wednesday, January 27
2010 Presidential Summit
Panels to explore social media and wrongful convictions

A lawyer uses her iPhone inside a courtroom to tweet a disparaging remark about the judge. A man is freed after 16 years in jail for a crime he did not commit due to DNA evidence proving his innocence. These two diverse, yet true-to-life, examples demonstrate how social media and wrongful convictions have each affected the legal profession in the past year and spurred significant discussion about important issues ranging from attorney-client privilege to how faulty identification procedures can lead to a wrongful conviction.

Watch this event live as it happens: 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time)

Friday, January 29
HOD to discuss Code of Judicial Conduct
Chief Judge Lippman also scheduled to address delegates for the first time

The State Bar’s House of Delegates is expected to consider, on an informational basis, the report and recommendations of the Special Committee to Review the Code of Judicial Conduct when delegates convene today for the House meeting in Manhattan during the Annual Meeting. Other agenda items include committee and section reports.

View the live Webcast at 9:00 a.m. (Eastern Time)

February 1, 2010

Lippman Rallies State Bar Backing for Threatened Judiciary Budget

The New York Law Journal - Lippman Rallies State Bar Backing for Threatened Judiciary Budget

By Joel Stashenko
February 01, 2010

Facing the prospect of a budgetary showdown with Governor David A. Paterson, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman has won support from the New York State Bar Association against what he called the governor's "outrageous" criticism of the court system's new spending proposal.

In his first speech to the state bar's House of Delegates as chief judge, a feisty Judge Lippman on Friday defended the judiciary's $2.7 billion spending plan, especially the $183.5 million increase from the current year that Mr. Paterson had blasted as "business as usual" in the face of crushing state fiscal and economic problems (NYLJ, Jan. 20).

The increase in the judiciary's budget proposal contains $48 million for the first pay raise for state judges since 1999.

"I'll be damned after 11 years…to make any apologies for putting that money into the budget," Judge Lippman said to the applause of the state bar leaders.

Read entire article here.

February 5, 2010

Lawyer Sues Sallie Mae Over ‘Unrelenting’ Student Loan Robocalls

Seattle lawyer sues Sallie Mae over collection phone calls - Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle):

A Seattle attorney said he was “unrelentingly” harassed by automatic-dialed phone calls from student-loan company SLM Corp., or Sallie Mae, over his law school loan and is suing the company.

Mark A. Arthur is the plaintiff in Arthur v. SLM Corp., a lawsuit filed in federal district court in Seattle. The suit is intended to be a class action and seeks injunctive relief and damages.

Hat tip to ABA Journal

February 10, 2010

Sign of the Times: ABA will cut dues for many lawyers not at big firms

ABA will cut dues for many lawyers not at big firms

The ABA said in a Feb. 9 press release that its House of Delegates at its midyear meeting in Orlando, Fla., had approved a new dues structure that will reduce costs by 50% for solo practitioners and by 25% for the other lawyers. The changes will take effect in May. The organization is also creating new installment payment options that will be offered by August.

Hat Tip to The National Law Journal

March 19, 2010

Kindle for PC (and Mac)

Kindle for PC

Read Kindle Books on Your Computer. No Kindle required
Access your Kindle books even if you don't have your Kindle with you, Automatically synchronizes your last page read and annotations between devices with Whispersync. Create bookmarks and view the annotations you created on your Kindle

View larger image. Shop for Books in the Kindle Store
Search and browse more than 450,000 books, including 101 of 112 New York Timesョ Best Sellers. If you are a non-U.S. customer, book availability may vary. Find New York Times Best Sellers and new releases for $9.99, unless marked otherwise. Get free book samples - read the first chapter for free before you decide to buy. Books you purchase can also be read on a Kindle.

NOTE: Kindle newspapers, magazines, and blogs are not currently available for Kindle for PC.

MAC NOTE: There is a Beta edition for your Mac. When you click on the page and link, the automatic download of the PC version will begin; but the page recognizes your Mac and offers you the Mac Beta. Just discard the .exe file.

Download Kindle for PC Beta.

Lawyers Helping Lawyers: In Good Times and Bad

Thursday, March 25, 2010
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (registration at 5:30 p.m.)

LaTourelle Resort and Spa
1150 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY

The program is FREE to all attorneys, but pre-registration is required. Dinner is included.

This program has been approved for 2.0 MCLE credits in Ethics for all attorneys, including both newly admitted and experienced attorneys.

Co-sponsored by
The Tompkins County and Broome County Bar Associations; Lawyers Helping Lawyers Committees of Broome, Tompkins, Cortland, Chemung and Tioga Counties; and the New York State Bar Association Lawyer Assistance Program. This program is funded through a grant from the New York State Lawyer Assistance Trust.

Program Description
Presenters will share their perspectives on practicing law in a manner that enhances and integrates mental, emotional and spiritual health and development of community.

5:30 – 6:00 p.m. Registration
6:00 – 6:15 p.m. Introduction
Mariette Geldenhuys, Esq., Mariette Geldenhuys Attorney at Law
6:15 – 6:40 p.m. A Lawyer’s Family Story of Depression
Hon. Michael J. Miller (Ret.)
Hinda Miller
6:40 – 7:05 p.m. A Lawyer’s Story of Alcoholism
Lenore Le Fevre, Esq.
7:05 – 7:30 p.m. Lawyers Helping Lawyers (panel discussion)
Hon. John C. Rowley, Tompkins County Court Judge
Charles Oliver Wolff, Esq., Law Office of Charles Oliver Wolff
Richard M. Wallace, Esq., Guttman & Wallace
7:30 – 7:55 p.m.
Lawyers Assistance Program
Paul Curtin, Outreach Coordinator, 4th Department New York State Bar Association’s Lawyer Assistance Program

7:55 – 8:00 p.m. Questions and Answers
For registration or additional Information please contact Sindy Garey, Director of the Broome County Bar Association

*** The meeting location includes a Spa and is offering a 15% discount on Spa services for attendees and a special $99.00/night room rate as well. For information on Spa services and reservations, go to

April 11, 2010



A portrait honoring Judge Stephen D. Gerling, former Chief United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern Districtof New York, will be dedicated on Tuesday, May 4, 2010, at 4:00 p.m. in Judge Diane Davis’s courtroom located on the second floor of the United States Courthouse,10 Broad Street, Utica, New York.

Light refreshments will be served immediately after the dedication. Further details to follow.

Trista F. O’Hara, Esq.
Pro Se Coordinator
NDNY Federal Court Bar Association, Inc.

April 14, 2010

Calls for State Insurance Threaten Property Transfers

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
By Adam Leitman Bailey and Dov Treiman

Adam Leitman Bailey, founding partner of Adam Leitman Bailey, P.C., and Dov Treiman, a partner at the firm, write:

Currently before the State Legislature are two bills that would inject the state in the business of title insurance, damaging New York's standing as the capital of real estate transactions. One would broaden the power of the State Insurance Fund to provide a State alternative to the current private system of title insurance. The other would create a new state title authority for the same purpose. Many real estate attorneys see these bills as a threat, both to the heart of the safe transfer of real estate and to the capitalist system itself.

Read the full text of this article here.

April 16, 2010

elderLAW e-NEWS

The NYSBA Senior Lawyers Section is pleased to provide you with the April edition of the ABA's elderLAW e-NEWS. The ABA's elderLAW e-NEWS is published by the ABA's Senior Lawyers Division and is available as a result of their kind permission and assistance; they retain all rights to the materials.

The ABA's elderLAW e-NEWS is located on the Senior Lawyers Section Web site; please click on this link to view the contents:

April 21, 2010

NDNY: Attorney Admission Ceremony & CLE

Tuesday, April 27, 2010, 9:30 a.m.

Attorney Admission Ceremony & CLE

“Take it to the Limit?: Effective Advocacy & the Ethical Boundaries of
Witness Preparation”
(1.5 Hours, 1.0 Ethics & Professionalism; 0.5 Skills)
James Hanley Federal Building & Courthouse
3rd Floor Ceremonial Courtroom, 100 S. Clinton St., Syracuse, New York
Registration begins at 9:00 a.m.

Complimentary luncheon following the program at Kitty Hoynes Restaurant.
Admission Application Deadline April 22, 2010.
Pre-registration for CLE & luncheon required by April 23, 2010.
Please visit the NDNY FCBA website for details at

Trista F. O'Hara, Esq.
Pro Se Coordinator
NDNY Federal Court Bar Association, Inc.
P.O. Box 1306
Syracuse, New York 13201
Office #: (315) 422-2711
Toll Free #: 1-877-422-1011
Fax #: (315) 422-2778

May 6, 2010


The Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association cordially invites you to attend a Court Session of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Admissions Ceremony and Reception. For all those who are not yet admitted to the Second Circuit, the FCBA invites you to apply for admission and participate in the Admissions Ceremony.

On Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 10:00 a.m., the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit will convene a Court session in the James T. Foley United States Courthouse in Albany, New York. Following the Court’s Session, at approximately 11:15 a.m., there will be an Admission Ceremony to admit attorneys to the bar of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. FCBA President Bartle Gorman will move for admission of all applicants who have been approved for admission by the Court.

The guest speaker will be E. Stewart Jones. A reception for all newly admitted attorneys and their guests will immediately follow the Admission Ceremony.

Admission applications can be obtained from the Court’s Internet site, or by contacting the Clerk of Court, Catherine O’Hagen Wolfe at 212-857-8500.

Interested attorneys should forward completed admission applications to John M. Domurad, Chief Deputy of the Northern District of New York, 445 Broadway, Room 509, Albany, New York (518-257-1800) no later than Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

May 7, 2010

Live Stream FREE: Duke Law hosts conference on litigation in federal courts, May 10-11

Duke Law hosts conference on litigation in federal courts, May 10-11

Duke Law School will host a unique conference on civil litigation in federal courts May 10-11. Sponsored and organized by the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules, the conference will bring together more than 180 federal judges, practitioners, and academics to undertake a comprehensive examination of issues of access, fairness, cost, and delay in the civil litigation process.

The 2010 Civil Litigation Conference will feature new data from several empirical studies on current litigation practice and proposals for improving civil litigation in the federal trial courts. In particular, data on actual litigation costs incurred by law firms and major corporations will be available for careful analysis.

“Much of the data to be presented at the conference has not been available before,” said Judge John G. Koeltl of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a Civil Rules Committee member and conference organizer. “This will be important new information on what is actually happening in different practice areas.” Among the topics to be discussed are the cost of litigation and recent Supreme Court decisions that have focused attention on pleading standards and discovery.

“This conference hopes to build on the legacy of the 1976 Roscoe Pound Conference and all it contributed to the reform of the administration and delivery of justice in the federal system, as well as on the 1997 Boston College of Law Conference on Discovery,” said Judge Mark Kravitz of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut, chair of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules.

Proceedings will be streamed live at and at Conference registration is closed.

May 27, 2010

Legal Clips-School Law

Legal Clips

Legal Clips, a service of the National School Boards Association Office of General Counsel has a new home. You may now subscribe to Legal Clips in a variety of ways:

1. Simply visit the new Legal Clips website:
2. Subscribe to the new Legal Clips RSS feed:
3. Subscribe to their new e-newsletter. (Legal Clips is switching to a new e-newsletter service next week. New subscriptions have been suspended until then. Check back in June!)

This free service provides thousands of subscribers with weekly updates on important and interesting school law issues, as well as helpful resources. Anyone may subscribe. Your input is both welcome and encouraged. They hope this new website will become an interactive community generating vibrant and meaningful discussions on school law issues. You can post comments on the new website, or simply follow them on Twitter @legalclips.

June 14, 2010


The Nominating Committee invites members of the Association to submit recommendations for consideration in developing its slate of nominees for 2011-2012 Association offices.

As part of the selection process, candidates for the offices of President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer and Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee may be required to appear before the Nominating Committee at its meeting in New York City on Tuesday, September 21 or the November 5th meeting in Albany.

Offices for nomination:

The Nominating Committee is accepting candidates for:
(a) President-Elect
(b) Secretary
(c) Treasurer
(d) Vice-President
One per judicial district (except the First Judicial District which has two Vice-Presidents).
(e) Elected Delegates - Three for each judicial district
(f) Members-at-Large of the Executive Committee - Four (at least one of whom is selected to further ethnic and racial diversity in the Association and must come from a judicial district other than the First Judicial District, since there is currently a member-at-large selected to further diversity from that district).
(g) Delegates to the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates - Five.
(h) As specified in the Bylaws, the three most recent former Presidents will fill the Member-at-Large positions on the Nominating Committee.
Special eligibility criteria for candidates:
A candidate for Vice-President or President-Elect must have served as a member of the House of Delegates, but need not be a member of the House at the time of nomination for office. Candidates for Member-at-Large of the Executive Committee must be current members of the House or section chairpersons, or have served in either capacity within three years of the time of selection.

Nature of service:
As provided under the Association Bylaws, the President-Elect, Secretary, Treasurer, thirteen Vice-Presidents, and eight Members-at-Large serve on the Executive Committee and in the House of Delegates, which manage the business and activities of the Association and generally meet quarterly; they also serve as liaisons to Association committees and sections.

The President-Elect chairs the House, assists the President, and becomes President on June 1 the following year. The Treasurer serves as an ex-officio member (as does the President-Elect) of the Finance Committee, which oversees the financial affairs of the Association and meets approximately four times per year. The Treasurer presents the Association financial report at each House meeting. The Vice-Presidents assist in fostering communication with Association members in their districts concerning issues and activities of interest to the profession.

Elected Delegates are members of the NYSBA House of Delegates. The Delegates to the ABA House attend its semi-annual meetings and at that time present positions on issues coming before that house. These Delegates also keep NYSBA apprised of ABA House actions.

The Nominating Committee, which generally meets two times per year, prepares the slate of nominees for the Association offices noted above.

Timetable for submitting recommendations:
Members seeking office may place their name before the Nominating Committee by self-declaration or nomination. Candidates for President-Elect must be submitted to the Secretary no later than September 1, 2010. Persons serving as President and President-Elect receive a stipend of $50,000 and $25,000, respectively. Candidates seeking all other offices are strongly encouraged to file a declaration of candidacy and submit all background materials by September 1, 2010 to ensure adequate time for review by the Nominating Committee.

In making nominations, everyone is encouraged to keep in mind the diversity policy for the Association adopted by the House of Delegates in November 2003, which emphasizes the commitment to achieving diversity in the "membership, officers, staff, House of Delegates, Executive Committee, Sections and Committees and their respective leaders. Diversity is an inclusive concept, encompassing gender, race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age and disability." Submissions must include biographical information about the candidate, including his/her Association activities. Candidates may submit a maximum of five letters in support of their nomination. Letters of support should be received prior to the deadlines stated previously. Please direct this information to:

Kathryn Grant Madigan
Chair, Nominating Committee
New York State Bar Association
One Elk Street
Albany, NY 12207
Fax: (518) 487-5564

June 16, 2010

The Law.Gov Movement

The Law.Gov Movement

The "Law.Gov" movement is a campaign to put all primary legal materials in the public domain. Some call it "democratizing" law. Attorney and co-host, Bob Ambrogi welcomes Carl Malamud, founder of and Tom Bruce, the Director of the Legal Information Institute at Cornell University Law School, to share with us the latest on Law.Gov. Carl and Tom explore the Law.Gov movement, the benefit of public access to legal materials and who opposes the idea as well as the various workshops across the states.

Download MP3

June 18, 2010

FCBA CLE and Admissions Ceremony

CLE Program, Attorney Admissions Ceremony & Luncheon on 6/24/10

9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. CLE Program
11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Admissions Ceremony
12:00 p.m.-1:00 p.m. Luncheon

These events are free to members of the NDNY-FCBA and/or Cayuga County
Bar Association. The cost is $50 to non-members. To become a member of the
NDNY-FCBA, please visit

Topic: Ethics Update: The New Rules One Year Later
Advertising: Alexander v. Cahill - Problems Arising Under
The New Rules; Judicial Perspectives on Ethical Issues
(2.0 CLE Credit Hrs. Ethics & Professionalism)

Judicial Panel of Federal and State Judges including
Chief Judge Norman A. Mordue and Judge Frederick J. Scullin, Jr.
Moderator: Patrick M. Connors, Esq.

Admissions Ceremony & Complimentary Luncheon to follow.

Springside Inn, 6141 West Lake Rd., Auburn, New York 13021.
Co-sponsored with the Cayuga County Bar Association.
Admissions Applications by 6/17/10 (Tracy Donovan at
CLE & Luncheon Registration by 6/21/10 (NDNY-FCBA at

June 22, 2010


From Empire Justice Center:


The Situation:


All the state funding that has been the budget for general civil legal services has been eliminated, including the Governor's own $1 million commitment - a total of $13.2 million.

New York's Interest on Lawyer Account (IOLA) Fund is poised to cut grants by at least 70% percent because of abysmally low interest earnings - grants to providers would go from $25 million statewide to an estimated $6.5 million.

At the very same time, increasing numbers of New Yorkers are in need of civil legal services as their homes go into foreclosure, they lose their jobs are denied Unemployment Insurance or Public Assistance, they face eviction or seek an order of protection from an abuser and can't afford to hire a lawyer to help them.

We need your help to preserve these critical services! Please take a moment to click here to send an email to your legislators asking them to make access to justice a top priority!

June 24, 2010

Stephen C. Krane--RIP

Stephen C. Krane, Proskauer Rose General Counsel, Dies

Steven C. Krane, the general counsel of Proskauer Rose and a former state bar president who was instrumental in a wide-ranging reformulation of the state's attorney ethics rules, died of a heart attack Tuesday. He was 53.

Read full article.

June 26, 2010

Steven C. Krane Service

The service for former President, Steven C. Krane will be at 11:30 a.m. on Monday, June 28, 2010 at:

Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home
1076 Madison Avenue (between 81st & 82nd Streets)
New York, NY

An online guest book is available

August 17, 2010

Bankruptcy Filings Up 20 Percent in June

Bankruptcy Filings Up 20 Percent in Jun
August 17, 2010

Bankruptcy filings rose 20 percent in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2010, according to statistics released today by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. A total of 1,572,597 bankruptcy cases were filed in federal courts in that period, compared to 1,306,315 bankruptcy cases filed in the 12-month period ending June 30, 2009. This is the highest number of bankruptcy filings for any period since many of the provisions of the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 took effect. See press release

August 19, 2010

FINDLAW: Roger Clemens Obstruction Indictment

Roger Clemens Obstruction Indictment

September 12, 2010

Lawyers in Transition: Public Interest Practice Webcast

On September 23rd, from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., the NYSBA’s Committee on Lawyers in Transition will be offering a career development webcast on public interest practice. For free registration or to learn more, go to

September 22, 2010

PLI SmartBrief: Legal error might halt foreclosures by hundreds of U.S. lenders

An abrupt halt to home foreclosures by Ally Financial in 23 states might spread to hundreds of other mortgage companies across the U.S. that used the firm to process their paperwork. The head of foreclosures at Ally, the nation's fourth-largest mortgage lender, said he certified the legality of foreclosure documents without reading them. Mortgage investors that used Ally to service their loans include Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Ally officials said. The Washington Post (9/22) , Bloomberg (9/21)

New, New NY Power of Attorney (POA) Survey

Here's your chance to give your opinion on the new, new POA form:

A new law regarding Power of Attorney became effective on September 1, 2009, with substantive technical amendments that took effect on September 12, 2010.

NYSBA, with the support of the Elder Law Section, is interested in examining what problems lawyers in NYS have encountered with the new POA law/form, including drafting the proper form tailored to the client's needs, problems encountered with the execution requirements and our collective experience in reviewing forms that have been drafted by other attorneys.

NYSBA would also like to determine if the new Agent's Acknowledgment and/or Gifts Rider achieve the goal of deterring financial abuse, and to what extent New York lawyers have encountered barriers with third party acceptance of pre and post 9/09 POAs.

NYSBA has developed a short survey that will collect your important thoughts and experiences. It is anticipated that NYSBA will take a position with regard to the new POA law/form and will present its position and the findings of the survey to the NYS legislature. Your response to this survey is very important and will assist NYSBA and the Elder Law Section to prepare an empirically based and compelling analysis of the law and its impact on the state’s legal profession. Please complete your survey no later than Friday, October 8, 2010. Thank you for your help and prompt response.

Use this link to access the short survey:

September 24, 2010


Highlights From a Deposition of Jeffrey Stephan

September 28, 2010

Civil Case Reports Newly Available Online

News Item > Civil Case Reports Newly Available Online

Reports showing, by U.S. district and magistrate judge, various pieces of federal court business pending more than six months are now available online.

In the Civil Justice Reform Act of 1990, Congress required that such reports be prepared and submitted twice a year. The reporting requirements are designed to help reduce costs and delays in civil litigation in the district courts. The information also may be used to evaluate demands on the district courts’ resources.

Included in the reports are all motions pending more than six months, all bench trials submitted for decision more than six months, bankruptcy appeals pending more than six months, Social Security appeal cases pending more than six months, and civil cases pending more than three years.

September 29, 2010

Bloomberg: JPMorgan Based Foreclosures on Faulty Documents, Lawyers Claim

JPMorgan Based Foreclosures on Faulty Documents, Lawyers Claim - Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co. faces a legal challenge next month that could cast doubt on thousands of foreclosures after a mortgage executive at the bank said she didn’t verify documents used to justify home seizures.

Read her entire deposition here.

October 11, 2010

LAW.COM: When Foreclosure Cases Get Tough, Big Firm Lawyers Step In - When Foreclosure Cases Get Tough, Big Firm Lawyers Step In

But a review of state and federal cases filed in the last few weeks shows lenders are turning away from the "foreclosure mills" and to large law firms when homeowners fight foreclosure and challenge banks to prove their documents are legit.

Read entire article.

October 12, 2010

NYSBA: General Practice Section Fall Meeting

General Practice Section Fall Meeting
Thursday, November 4, 2010 through Saturday, November 6, 2010
- Location -
Mohonk Mountain House
New Paltz, NY

View/Download Program

View/Download Registration Form

View/Download Hotel Form

For more information, contact:

From Program Chair, Lynne S. Hilowitz, Esq.:

“Please tell everyone how good the program will be, how great a venue and how long it has been since our section had a successful program like this one is sure to be with their help in attending.

You might mention that the Mohonk is usually much more expensive but we secured a special rate and that the price includes 3 meals a day- Full American Plan. “




October 13, 2010

AP: Robo-signers: Mortgage experience not necessary

Robo-signers: Mortgage experience not necessary - Yahoo! News

NEW YORK – In an effort to rush through thousands of home foreclosures since 2007, financial institutions and their mortgage servicing departments hired hair stylists, Walmart floor workers and people who had worked on assembly lines and installed them in "foreclosure expert" jobs with no formal training, a Florida lawyer says.
In depositions released Tuesday, many of those workers testified that they barely knew what a mortgage was. Some couldn't define the word "affidavit." Others didn't know what a complaint was, or even what was meant by personal property. Most troubling, several said they knew they were lying when they signed the foreclosure affidavits and that they agreed with the defense lawyers' accusations about document fraud.
"The mortgage servicers hired people who would never question authority," said Peter Ticktin, a Deerfield Beach, Fla., lawyer who is defending 3,000 homeowners in foreclosure cases. As part of his work, Ticktin gathered 150 depositions from bank employees who say they signed foreclosure affidavits without reviewing the documents or ever laying eyes on them — earning them the name "robo-signers."
The deposed employees worked for the mortgage service divisions of banks such as Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase, as well as for mortgage servicers like Litton Loan Servicing, a division of Goldman Sachs.


Read entire article here.

November 4, 2010

Meeting of the NYSBA House of Delegates- Webcast Live from the State Bar Center

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The House of Delegates is meeting on Saturday, November 6th at 9:30 a.m. to review the agenda items below. If you are interested in keeping abreast of these issues, please view the webcast located at: This webcast will also be available as a recording after November 6th.

Included in the webcast will be a memorial to the late Steven C. Krane, NYSBA's 104th President, as presented by the Honorable Judith S. Kaye.


9:30 a.m. Approval of minutes of June 19, 2010 meeting
9:35 a.m. Report of Treasurer – Mr. Seymour W. James, Jr.
9:45 a.m. Report and recommendations of Finance Committee re proposed 2011 income and expense budget – Mr. David M. Schraver
10:00 a.m. Report of Task Force on Government Ethics – Prof. Patricia A. Salkin
10:20 a.m. Report and recommendations of Committee on Bylaws – Hon. Cheryl E. Chambers
10:35 a.m. Report of President – Mr. Stephen P. Younger
10:50 a.m. Memorial to Steven C. Krane – Hon. Judith S. Kaye
11:00 a.m. Report and recommendations of Committee on Standards of Attorney Conduct re licensing of in-house counsel – Mr. Joseph E. Neuhaus and Ms. Barbara S. Gillers
11:25 a.m. Reports and recommendations of Dispute Resolution Section – Messrs. Simeon Baum, Jonathan Honig and John Wilkinson

a) Notice of Mediation Alternative
b) Pre-hearing disclosure in international arbitration

12:05 p.m. Report of New York County Lawyers’ Association re State Commission on Judicial Conduct – Hon.Betty Weinberg Ellerin and Mr. Klaus Eppler
12:25 p.m. Report of Special Committee on Rules for Consideration of Reports – Ms. Claire P. Gutekunst and Ms. Ann B. Lesk
12:40 p.m. Report of The New York Bar Foundation – Ms. M. Catherine Richardson
12:50 p.m. Administrative items – Mr. Vincent E. Doyle, III
1:00 p.m. New business
Next House of Delegates meeting:
Friday, January 28, 2011, Hilton New York, New York City

November 6, 2010, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Live Webcast >

Lawyerist Insider Newsletter

Lawyerist Insider Newsletter — Lawyerist

Get free law practice advice when you subscribe to the Lawyerist Insider newsletter

Receive free advice on marketing, practice management, legal technology, and careers with an email newsletter, the Lawyerist Insider.

Approximately once per week you will get inside information on how to make your practice more profitable, more efficient, and more effective! You will also be joining a community of other lawyers interested in building their own fulfilling practices.

November 18, 2010

Senior Lawyers eNews

The Senior Lawyers Section is pleased to provide you with this recent edition of the ABA's elderLAW e-NEWS. The ABA's elderLAW e-NEWS is published by the ABA's Senior Lawyers Division and is available as a result of their kind permission and assistance; they retain all rights to the materials.

Please click this link to view the ABA's elderLAW e-NEWS:

November 29, 2010

NYLJ: Conferences Prevent Foreclosures But Strain Courts, OCA Reports

Conferences Prevent Foreclosures But Strain Courts, OCA Reports

Andrew Keshner
New York Law JournalNovember 29, 2010

Mandated pre-foreclosure conferences have become increasingly effective in helping to keep people in their homes, but the labor-intensive proceedings are straining court resources and have contributed to an "unprecedented" shift in the civil caseload, a study by the Office of Court Administration (OCA) has concluded.

December 2, 2010


In February 2011, NYS Workers Compensation Board is offering a
new Civil Service Exam for the position of WCB ALJ.
ALJs are hired off this list.

This exam open to all who meet listed qualifications:
25-438, Compensation Claims Referee
January 3 Application Deadline

December 7, 2010

NYS DEC: Report an Environmental Violation Online

Report an Environmental Violation Online - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

The New York State Environmental Conservation Police values the watchful eyes and ears of citizens concerned with our environment. Use this form to report suspected violations of New York State environmental conservation laws. Submitted forms are immediately forwarded 24/7/365 to DEC dispatchers. If an immediate response is needed, file your complaint by phone by calling the DEC Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) hotline at 1-800-TIPP-DEC (1-800-847-7332). Caution: never put yourself at risk to get any of the information. Gather whatever information you can without trespassing or exposing yourself to harmful materials or situations.

Click here for online form.

December 13, 2010

NYLJ: Lippman Predicts Sizable Raise for Judiciary After Bill Signing

Lippman Predicts Sizable Raise for Judiciary After Bill Signing

Governor David A. Paterson on Friday signed legislation its supporters say clears a path to give New York state's 1,300 state-paid judges their first raise since 1999.

The new law requires the establishment every fourth year of a seven-member commission to evaluate and make recommendations about the adequacy of the judges' pay and non-salary benefits. Each panel's recommendations would go into effect automatically unless the Legislature and the governor enacted a statute to modify or reject the findings. The first raises would be paid in the fiscal year beginning April 1, 2012.

Read full article at NYLJ (requires free registration)

December 27, 2010

NYLJ: ABA to Study Changing Role of Criminal Defense Lawyers Post-'Padilla'

Tony Mauro and Daniel Wise

New York Law Journal

December 27, 2010

The question of whether the role of the criminal defense lawyer has been affected by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Padilla v. Kentucky, 08-651, will be the focus of a task force established last week by the American Bar Association's criminal justice section.

The goal is to explore the obligations on lawyers to advise clients about the consequences of criminal convictions and help criminal defense lawyers understand and meet those responsibilities.

In Padilla, the Court found that a defense lawyer's failure to advise a client that a guilty plea would have deportation consequences for the client amounted to "constitutionally deficient" representation.

The ruling has had repercussions not only for lawyers representing immigrants. It is being used in cases where guilty pleas have had consequences in other areas, including employment, child custody and housing. 

Read entire article here (free registration required)

January 7, 2011

NYSBA: Introducing the Electronic State Bar News

Office of the President

I recently became one of the millions of people who own an iPad, and I find it is changing the way I keep up with the latest news. With the rise in popularity of smart phones, like the Blackberry and Droid, along with the iPad, it is clear that the way we consume information has changed drastically within the last decade. The ability to receive news electronically keeps us up-to-date on the latest developments within our profession and allows us to manage our time more efficiently and effectively.

In recognition of this fact, we are pleased to announce that beginning with the January/February 2011 edition, the State Bar News will be sent to all members electronically in a mobile-friendly format. You will still receive a hard copy by regular mail, and you will have the option to also receive the State Bar News in an electronic format. If you do not wish to receive the electronic State Bar News, simply opt out of receiving future SBN e-mails by clicking on a link at the bottom of your first SBN electronic issue. The choice is yours.

You should receive the State Bar News e-mail in the coming days. Thank you for your continued readership and support of the New York State Bar Association.

Best regards,

Stephen P. Younger
President, New York State Bar Association
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Enhanced by Zemanta

January 9, 2011

Criminal Complaint- U.S. v. Loughner

PDF of Criminal Complaint alleging premeditation.

Enhanced by Zemanta

February 2, 2011

National Association of Administrative Law Judges establishes Special Education IHO Section

A special education teacher assists one of her...

Image via Wikipedia

NAALJ is in the process of establishing the Section under the direction of its chair, Jim Rosenfeld, of Seattle University School of Law, and the newly-appointed NAALJ liaison, Judge Jim Murray of the Maryland Office of Administrative Hearings. The only requirements for membership in the Section are membership in NAALJ ($50.00 per year) and being a special education impartial hearing officer (IHO) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). (All IHOs are, of course, eligible to join NAALJ.) The broader objective of the Section is to provide a forum for the sharing of ideas and experiences and for contributing members' unique viewpoint to the improvement of special education dispute resolution process. To join the Section and to discuss how you can participate in this effort, contact the Section Chair, Jim Rosenfeld at or Jim Murray, the NAALJ Special Education Section Liaison at

Enhanced by Zemanta

February 8, 2011

Accusations of Fraudulent Mortgage Documents Led Citigroup to Settle With Homeowners - ProPublica

Take this case in New York, in which Citigroup's mortgage unit, Citimortgage, filed this proof of claim. Both the promissory note and the mortgage produced were agreements between the borrower, Replique D'Amelio, and the lender, Home Loan Center. Citimortgage also included an assignment of mortgage, dated June 24, 2010, to prove that ownership of the mortgage had been transferred to Citimortgage. The homeowner's attorney objected, however, questioning the validity of the mortgage assignment and noting that bankruptcy proceedings had started June 2, 2010--before the supposed transfer of ownership was executed. "The assignment of mortgage is an attempt to perfect a lien after the commencement of the case and therefore is voidable by this Court," attorney Linda Tirelli argued in a motion objecting to Citimortgage's proof of claim. Rather than produce an original assignment to prove its claim, the company chose to settle.

Enhanced by Zemanta

February 9, 2011

Dept. of Transportation Report on the Toyota Unintended Acceleration Investigation - Personal Injury - CourtSide

FINDLAW:  Courtside:

Dept. of Transportation Report on the Toyota Unintended Acceleration Investigation 
By Kevin Fayle on February 9, 2011 12:45 PM | 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released its report on its investigation into the reports of unintended acceleration in Toyota vehicles. The investigation found no evidence of any electronic defect that would have caused the unintentional acceleration. Instead, the investigators determined that the issue was caused by mechanical problems already addressed by previous product recalls.

Dept. of Transportation Report on the Toyota Unintended Acceleration Investigation
Enhanced by Zemanta

February 14, 2011

NYLJ: Rule Would Address Campaign Donations and Case Assignments

Rule Would Address Campaign Donations and Case Assignments 
Joel Stashenko New York Law Journal
February 14, 2011 

ALBANY - Attorneys who have contributed $2,500 or more and firms that have donated $3,500 or more to judicial candidates would be barred for two years from appearing before those judges under a new rule Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman will outline this week. The chief judge said in an interview that he would unveil the new requirement during his 2011 State of the Judiciary address at the Court of Appeals in Albany on Tuesday. Judge Lippman, who said he had the authority to impose the rule on his own, noted that court administrators have been considering the new rules since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., 129 U.S. 2252 (2009). In that ruling, a 5-4 Court held that a West Virginia Supreme Court judge should have recused himself because he had received large campaign contributions from executives of a coal company in a case before him.

Enhanced by Zemanta

February 16, 2011

NYSBA Pres. Younger: OPPOSE devastating cuts to the funding for the Legal Services Corporation

Office of the President

I am writing to ask that you take IMMEDIATE ACTION today to help us advocate for one of the Association's 2011 federal legislative priorities - funding for civil legal services through the Legal Services Corporation (LSC).

The LSC was created to ensure that indigent Americans have access to a lawyer and the justice system for civil legal issues regardless of their ability to pay.  The LSC provides funding to independent local legal services programs through a competitive grant process.  This week the House of Representatives is considering a bill -HR 1- that would reduce LSC's current fiscal year funding by a devastating $70 million.  Such a cut would threaten New York's legal service providers, which are already stretched so thin that they have to turn away many of those seeking their services.

I am in Washington, D.C. today, February 16, to carry this important message to members of New York's congressional delegation.  Please help me reinforce this message by contacting your member of Congress through our Legislative Action Center below.

Please go to the Association's Legislative Action Center to OPPOSE devastating cuts to the funding for the Legal Services Corporation:

Best regards,

Stephen P. Younger
President, New York State Bar Association
Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

Enhanced by Zemanta

February 21, 2011

Albany Law plans to cut its class size, budget

Enhanced by Zemanta

March 1, 2011

NYLJ: State Bar Blasts Proposal to Cap Medical Malpractice Awards

New York Law Journal

March 01, 2011

ALBANY - The New York State Bar Association and its president yesterday blasted a recommendation by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Medicaid reform task force to cap medical malpractice awards for non-economic losses at $250,000.

Such caps are "anathema with respect to equal protection/access to justice," the state bar's Committee on the Tort System said in a memo in opposition to the Medicaid Redesign Team's recommendation. The memo was endorsed by the bar's executive committee.

Stephen P. Younger, the president of the state bar, said that the organization would write to Mr. Cuomo and all 212 state legislators urging them to oppose the cap proposal. Mr. Younger said he and other association officials will also ask state bar members to write letters to their legislators opposing the cap.

Read entire article at NYLJ.

Enhanced by Zemanta

March 7, 2011

Administrative Judicial Institute Program Announcement: Implicit Bias in Judicial Decision Making: Striving for Fairness from the Bench, March 23, 2011, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Dear Colleagues,


The Administrative Judicial Institute is pleased to invite you and your fellow administrative law judges to attend a program entitled " Implicit Bias in Judicial Decision Making: Striving for Fairness from the Bench"," on Wednesday evening, March 23, 2011, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  The program will be presented by Columbia Professor Dana Carney and New York University Law School Professor Sarah Burns and will focus on helping judges understand how unintended biases develop and can impact judicial decision making, and how they might be avoided or addressed. 


The program will be held at the Institute's 14th Floor Lecture Room at 40 Rector Street and will provide 2 CLE credits in ethics.  A description of the program is posted on the Institute's website.  Please share this announcement with your fellow judges and tribunal attorneys. 


To register, go to the Upcoming Programs link on the Institute website: .  The registration link will be active after 4 p.m. today. 


Hope to see you there,

Ray Kramer


Raymond E. Kramer

Administrative Law Judge

Administrative Judicial institute at the

Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings

40 Rector Street, 6th Floor

New York, New York 10006

Phone: 212-442-4928; - 4929

Fax: 212-442-8910   

Enhanced by Zemanta

March 8, 2011

JURIST: Obama orders resumption of Guantanamo military trials

 March 7, 2011
Jaclyn Belczyk at 4:55 PM ET

Photo source or description
[JURIST] US President Barack Obama [official website] on Monday issued an executive order [text; fact sheet] allowing military commissions for Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archives] detainees to resume. New charges in the military commission system have been suspended since shortly after Obama took office in 2009. Monday's order also establishes a procedure for establishing a review process for detainees who have not been charged, convicted or designated for transfer....

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] condemned the order [press release], calling it, "window dressing for the reality that today's executive order institutionalizes indefinite detention, which is unlawful, unwise and un-American."

Enhanced by Zemanta

March 23, 2011


Slaw is a Canadian co-operative weblog about any and all things legal.

They began in 2005 with a focus on legal information and research, but now consider any aspect of law their meat and drink. Their audience is primarily lawyers, law librarians, and others working in or studying law. Their aim is to share knowledge, offer advice and instruction, and occasionally provoke.

They operate with a core of regular contributors and a penumbra of occasional contributors, as well as a significant roster of regular columnists. They have published literally thousands of entries and have received many more thousands of comments from their readers, who are not only Canadians but can also be found in dozens of countries around the globe. They have been honoured with quite a few awards: the 2008 and 2009 Blawgie for Best Overall Law-Related Blog, the 2009 Clawbie for Best Canadian Law Blog, and the Canadian Association of Law Libraries 2009 Hugh Lawford Award for Excellence in Legal Publishing, to mention a few.

Enhanced by Zemanta

March 25, 2011

NYSBA Pro Bono: Free Criminal Law CLE Program

Friday, June 17, 2011 
Staying Ahead of the Curve: What Every Criminal Defense Lawyer Needs to Know

Free Criminal Law CLE Program for Public Defenders, Conflict Defenders and Assigned Counsel
7 MCLE Credits (6.0 Professional Practice and or Skills; 1.0 Ethics)

Click here for the Program Agenda and On-Line Registration

Enhanced by Zemanta

March 29, 2011

NYLJ: 'Hundreds' of Layoffs Loom as Judiciary Prepares to Slash Another $70 Million

Read entire report in NYLJ.

Cortland County Supreme Court Justice Philip R. Rumsey, the president of the Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, said the courts are being ill-used by the governor and the Legislature.

"The other two branches are requiring the courts to establish 'worthy programs,' such as the mandatory settlement conferences in foreclosure cases," Justice Rumsey said. "But then they are not providing the resources to do what they have required."

Enhanced by Zemanta

March 30, 2011

NYLJ: OCA Contacts Unions On Feasibility of Furloughs

Court administrators said yesterday they are contacting union leaders to see whether furloughs are worth exploring as a way of making up part of $170 million in cuts being imposed on the Judiciary. "Furloughs are a possibility but they have to be negotiated," Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said.

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 13, 2011

Budget Deal Cuts $15.8M From Legal Services - The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times

Budget Deal Cuts $15.8M From Legal Services The bipartisan deal on the federal budget includes a $15.8 million midyear cut for the Legal Services Corp., according to new details released on Tuesday. The cut is smaller than the $70 million that House Republicans proposed to take in February from the Legal Services Corp., which is the nation's largest funding source for civil legal aid to the poor. Still, program officials had hoped to avoid any cut because demand for legal aid has increased during the economic downturn.

Enhanced by Zemanta

NYLJ: Children's Centers at Courts Are Hit Hard by Budget Cuts

A program that provides what the courts have described as "a safe, supportive haven" in the courthouse for children whose parents are involved in legal proceedings has fallen victim to budget cuts. Administrators this week mandated substantial cuts in the funding and hours of operation of 34 children's centers. The hours of Family Court centers will be halved, while those outside Family Court will be eliminated entirely.

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 14, 2011

Gov't orders 14 lenders to reimburse homeowners - Yahoo! News

Citibank, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, the nation's four largest banks, were among the financial firms cited in the joint report by the Federal Reserve, Office of Thrift Supervision and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 20, 2011

NYLJ: 58 Given Pink Slips as Court Layoffs Begin

58 Given Pink Slips as New York Court Layoffs Begin

For the first time in 20 years, New York's court system laid off employees today. Jobs being cut include computer programmers, secretarial staff, auditors and attorneys, Judge Lawrence H. Marks said.

Read full article in NYLJ (free registration required)

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 22, 2011

ILW.COM - immigration news

ILW.COM Immigration Daily 

Want to give your web site constantly updated content and provide your visitors with the latest immigration news? You can display the latest daily immigration headlines on your web page--and they'll be automatically updated every time the stories change, with no action needed on your part! Headlines change several times each weekday and will link your visitors to a summary of each story and further background info. You'll need to insert some HTML code to make it work, but once you've added the code, you'll be all set.

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 28, 2011

NYLJ: 'Unseemly Process' to Follow Announcement of Job Cuts

'Unseemly Process' to Follow Announcement of Job Cuts

New York Law Journal

April 28, 2011

ALBANY - The next round of layoffs in the state court system will touch off a scramble in which senior employees whose jobs are being eliminated will claim the positions of less-experienced colleagues.

See an explanation of the civil service bumping process.

"It is an unseemly process, which is why we always say it sounds better to say you are going to lay off workers than to actually do it," said Steven Madarasz, a spokesman for the Civil Service Employee Association. The CSEA is the largest of 11 unions representing court employees, counting as members about 6,000 of the courts' 15,200 nonjudicial workers.

"It is a pretty ugly process because who gets the initial layoff notice may well not be the person who actually goes out the door," Mr. Madarasz added.

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 29, 2011

SmartBrief: Judges See Little Improvement in Foreclosure Procedures -


 Some judges are skeptical of claims by lenders that they have substantially improved their foreclosure procedures since controversy over the practices exploded last fall. F. Dana Winslow, a N.Y. State Supreme Court Justice in Long Island's Nassau County, said there has been only "a marginal improvement in what is being submitted to the court." For example, financial institutions are "showing a better chain of title" about who owns the debt, he said. "But I'm not seeing any additional clarity on who has control over the actual mortgage note signed by the borrower and lender and where the note is."

Enhanced by Zemanta

May 16, 2011

Confidential Federal Audits Accuse Five Biggest Mortgage Firms Of Defrauding Taxpayers [EXCLUSIVE]

Enhanced by Zemanta

May 18, 2011

Bar Groups Support Gay Marriage

In their remarks at the city bar's 44th Street headquarters, Mr. Seymour, of Sullivan & Cromwell, and other bar leaders focused on the legal disadvantages faced by unmarried same-sex couples and called civil unions "not an acceptable substitute for marriages."

Enhanced by Zemanta

NYLJ: Courts Begin Notifying Workers of 'Painful But Unavoidable' Plans to Trim 367 Jobs

ALBANY- Court administrators began notifying 367 nonjudicial employees this morning that their jobs are about to vanish. Starting June 1, that number of clerk, court officer, court reporter, attorney, support and other positions will be vacated. And the jobs will remain empty as the Judiciary grapples with a $170 million cut in its proposed $2.7 billion budget. Of the cuts being announced today, 343 are in the state's numerous trial courts and 24 in the appellate courts. They are in addition to the loss two weeks ago of 74 jobs at the Office of Court Administration. The new layoffs represent 2.4 percent of the courts' 15,326 employees. But 1,928 law clerks, confidential secretaries and other personnel who work directly for the system's individual judges are exempt from the cuts, meaning that 2.7 percent of the remaining workers are losing their jobs.

Enhanced by Zemanta

May 25, 2011

QR Codes Catch on as Useful Links in Marketing and Recruiting Campaigns - Magazine - ABA Journal

They're showing up everywhere: at bus stops, on posters, in the pages of magazines. And now those little black-and-white matrix bar codes, better known as QR codes, are creeping into law firms.


Scan this  QR with your phone and see where it takes you...

Read entire article here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

June 2, 2011

NYLJ: Hundreds of 'Terrific' Workers Laid Off as Personnel Cuts End

New York Law Journal

June 02, 2011

Emotions were a mix of sadness, resignation and some anger yesterday as more than 300 nonjudicial employees lost their jobs so the court system could absorb $170 million in budget cuts.


Noreen Scanatico, a court reporter in Brooklyn Supreme Court who lives in Brooklyn, said she will have a job today. But as one of the employees "retreating" to lower-paid work under the civil service "bumping" process (NYLJ, April 28), Ms. Scanatico only knew yesterday that she will be in a lower criminal court in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan or Staten Island.

"When we go into our 9 a.m. meeting, they will tell us where we are assigned," she said. "It's like the Academy Awards: Open the envelope and see who the winner is."

Ms. Scanatico said she has tried to stay upbeat since the layoffs became reality with the adoption of the state budget two months ago.

"No amount of crying is going to fix it," she said yesterday. "Cuomo is not listening."

Read entire article here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

June 6, 2011

"Link Rot" and Legal Resources on the Web: A 2011 Analysis by the Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group |

The Chesapeake Digital Preservation Group has completed its fourth annual investigation of link rot among the original URLs for online law and policy-related materials archived though the group's efforts.

Originally launched as a Web-preservation pilot project in 2007, the Chesapeake Group is today part of the Legal Information Archive. Group participants include two academic law libraries, the Georgetown Law and Harvard Law School Libraries, and the State Law Libraries of Maryland and Virginia.

The Chesapeake Group focuses primarily on the preservation of Web-published legal materials, which often disappear as Web site content is rearranged or deleted over time. In the four years since the program began, the Chesapeake Group has built a digital archive collection comprising more than 7,400 digital items and 3,200 titles, all of which were originally posted to the Web.

For this study, the term "link rot" is used to describe a URL that no longer provides direct access to files matching the content originally harvested from the URL and currently preserved in the Chesapeake Group's digital archive. In some instances, a 404 or "not found" message indicates link rot at a URL. In other cases, the URL may direct to a site hosted by the original publishing organization or entity, but the specific resource has been removed or relocated from the original or previous URL.

All of the Web resources described in this report that have disappeared from their original locations on the Web remain accessible via permanent archive URLs here at, thanks to the Chesapeake Group's efforts.

Enhanced by Zemanta

June 11, 2011

JURIST - Paper Chase: Iceland drafting new constitution using website, social media

Julia Zebley at 3:27 PM ET

Photo source or description
[JURIST] The government of Iceland [BBC backgrounder] is letting its general population help shape its new constitution through a number of new media formats, including theConstitutional Council website [in Icelandic], where new parts of the working draft [text, in Icelandic] are put on the site and rewritten to include public consensus. There are alsoTwitter and Facebook pages for comments, as well as a YouTube channel [official websites, in Icelandic] dedicated to the drafting process.

Enhanced by Zemanta

June 13, 2011

In New York, Malpractice Negotiations Offer Way to Curb Health Care Expenses -

Under the New York program, cases are assigned from their earliest stages to a judge with training in medical issues who holds frequent settlement conferences, often after months, rather than years. A nurse with legal training helps the judge. Lawyers are required to have the authority to settle. Justice McKeon, who started the approach when handling cases against public hospitals in the Bronx, said settlement became more difficult the longer a case lingered. State court officials say statistics indicate he settles about 20 percent more cases than other judges.

Read entire article from NYTIMES. (Requires registration)

Enhanced by Zemanta

June 14, 2011

Governor Cuomo Proposes Marriage Equality Act

Andrew Cuomo

Image via Wikipedia

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today submitted a program bill to bring marriage equality to New York state. The Marriage Equality Act permits all couples to enter into marriage in New York state, thereby removing the current barrier same-sex couples face in recognizing their relationships, protecting their families and obtaining essential benefits. Specifically, the Act grants same-sex couples who seek to marry equal status under the law as well as hundreds of rights, benefits and protections that are currently limited to married couples of the opposite sex.

Read full text of Gov.'s press release here.

Enhanced by Zemanta
Marriage Equality Bill

June 29, 2011

Special Report: A little house of secrets on the Great Plains - Yahoo! News

CHEYENNE/ATLANTA (Reuters) - The secretive business havens of Cyprus and the Cayman Islands face a potent rival: Cheyenne, Wyoming.

At a single address in this sleepy city of 60,000 people, more than 2,000 companies are registered. The building, 2710 Thomes Avenue, isn't a shimmering skyscraper filled with A-list corporations. It's a 1,700-square-foot brick house with a manicured lawn, a few blocks from the State Capitol.

Neighbors say they see little activity there besides regular mail deliveries and a woman who steps outside for smoke breaks. Inside, however, the walls of the main room are covered floor to ceiling with numbered mailboxes labeled as corporate "suites." A bulky copy machine sits in the kitchen. In the living room, a woman in a headset answers calls and sorts bushels of mail.

A Reuters investigation has found the house at 2710 Thomes Avenue serves as a little Cayman Island on the Great Plains. It is the headquarters for Wyoming Corporate Services, a business-incorporation specialist that establishes firms which can be used as "shell" companies, paper entities able to hide assets.

Wyoming Corporate Services will help clients create a company, and more: set up a bank account for it; add a lawyer as a corporate director to invoke attorney-client privilege; even appoint stand-in directors and officers as high as CEO. Among its offerings is a variety of shell known as a "shelf" company, which comes with years of regulatory filings behind it, lending a greater feeling of solidity.

Read entire, much longer, article here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

July 5, 2011

With Salary Freeze, More New York Judges Are Leaving the Bench -

Now, for the first time in memory, judges are leaving the bench in relatively large numbers -- not to retire, but to return to being practicing lawyers. Turnover in New York has increased rapidly in the last few years: nearly 1 in 10 judges are now leaving annually, a new study shows.

In New York State, at least a dozen have resigned and explicitly cited the pay. The latest is James M. McGuire, a judge on the intermediate state appeals court in Manhattan, who last week resigned his position at the white marble courthouse on Madison Avenue. His judicial salary was $144,000. He stepped down to be a partner at a law firm, Dechert LLP, where average partner pay is $1.4 million.

New York, as the state with what officials say is the longest judicial pay freeze, is the focus of a national debate about whether controversial rulings, court corruption and politicized judicial campaigns have so eroded support for courts that there is no constituency for increasing judges' pay. "I never expected to get rich as a judge, but I never expected to get poor either," said Robert A. Spolzino, who resigned as an appellate judge in Brooklyn two years ago to return to law practice.

Read entire NYTIMES article here.  (Requires registration)


July 8, 2011

National Law Journal: House committee proposes $104 million funding cut for LSC

Zoe Tillman

The Legal Services Corporation is warning that the House Appropriations Committee's proposal to cut $104 million in funding next year could leave hundreds of thousands of low-income individuals without access to legal assistance

The committee on Wednesday released its proposed fiscal year 2012 budget. Funding for the LSC would drop by about 26 percent, from $404 million this year to $300 million. In April, Congress reduced the group's fiscal year 2011 funding from the original $420 million allocation. 

According to a statement released by the LSC, the cuts would roll back funding to its lowest level since 1999. 

The bulk of LSC's funding is distributed to 136 nonprofit legal aid programs across the country. By the end of 2011, the group anticipates that at least 200 attorneys will have been laid off from Legal Services Corporation-funded programs across the country and many more will be laid off following the 2012 cuts. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

August 27, 2011

Judges in New York to Get Raise of 27 Percent -

A state commission decided on Friday to increase the pay of the more than 1,200 New York State judges by 27 percent over three years, ending a decade of battles in Albany and the courts, and giving judges their first raise in 12 years.


The three commission members appointed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo were joined in voting for the proposal by the appointee of the Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, who, like the governor, is a Democrat. The two appointees of the state's chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, opposed it as inadequate, as did the appointee of the leader of the State Senate, Dean G. Skelos, a Republican. 


The raises will go into effect next spring unless they are overruled or modified by legislation passed by both houses of the Legislature and signed by the governor. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

September 9, 2011

A Decade of Fighting Terror with Terror: CCR Reflects on 10 Years After 9/11 | Center for Constitutional Rights

On Wednesday, September 14, CCR will be hosting a panel discussion at the NYU School of Law entitled, "A Decade of Fighting Terror: CCR Reflects on 10 Years After 9/11," featuring CCR President Emeritus Michael Ratner, CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren, and CCR Attorneys Shayana Kadidal and Rachel Meeropol. The event, to be held at D'Agostino Hall, 108 West Third St. (at MacDougal St.) in New York, is from 6:30 to 8:30, and is free and open to the public; space is limited so please RVSP by Monday September 12

If you are unable to attend in person, go to to watch a live webcast.

Enhanced by Zemanta

September 23, 2011

NYSBA | Join the Lawyer Referral Service In Aiding Flood Victims

Federal Emergency Management Agency

Image via Wikipedia

The New York State Bar's Lawyer Referral and Information Service is recruiting attorneys that can provide free telephone consultations to individuals affected by recent hurricane flooding. The need is for attorneys with insurance, landlord/tenant or FEMA appeals experience as well as those who can help with general practice matters. 


Please respond as soon as possible if you can help flood victims in need.


Thank you for your help.


Eva Valentin-Espinal

Coordinator, Lawyer Referral and Information Service



518.487.5700 PHONE

518.487.5694 FAX



Enhanced by Zemanta

October 4, 2011

NYS Dept. of Taxation and Finance Cuts 37 Lawyers-- Times Union

Albany Times-Union:

...the counsel's office in the Department of Taxation and Finance took an especially deep cut. It has 42 PEF members -- all of whom are attorneys -- and 37 were issued pink slips. The employees said this would leave the five lawyers and "a handful" of exempt employees to do legal work at the department. An administration official countered that around 20 would remain in place, and that the office is currently "bloated." The attorneys perform several tasks. They help draft legislation and changes to the tax code as needed during the state budget process, and issue advisory opinions for taxpayers about how the law should be applied. They also handle cases of taxpayer grievances, litigating on behalf of the state. More than $500 million worth of cases are outstanding, Wells and the other employees said. According to the Division of Tax Appeals' 2009-10 annual report, $130 million worth of disputes were decided, with the state winning roughly half of them. "That's money out there where they're supposed to be fighting to bring it to the state," Wells said. "Having far fewer people to do that is going to mean less coming in, and our understanding is there's not a plan in place to replace the work."

Enhanced by Zemanta

October 21, 2011

Cameras in Court Pilot Project Now Has 70 Videos Online

From US Court News:

The federal judiciary's digital video pilot, which started in July, now
has posted some 70 videos of various courtroom proceedings in eight
separate cases.

In all, 14 federal trial courts are participating in the three-year

The pilot is limited to civil, not criminal, cases. No proceedings may
be recorded without the approval of the presiding judge and the consent
of the parties. The recordings are posted on this website and also may
be posted on the participating court's website.

You can read more about the pilot project, and view the videos already

on the Cameras in Courts page.

Enhanced by Zemanta

November 20, 2011

State Bar of Michigan (and others) Partner with Ruby Receptionists

Virtual Receptionist

    Ruby Receptionists
    NEW! Ruby Receptionists is the perfect solution for solo and small law firms. We're the bright, friendly virtual receptionist service that provides top-notch service at a fraction of the cost of an onsite receptionist. Best of all, your callers will think we work in your office.

    How we help attorneys:
  • Answer your calls with your custom greeting
  • Let you know who's on the line before transferring
  • Transfer callers to you live wherever you are
  • Answer FAQs about your firm
  • Route calls based on the type of call (potential clients, current clients, people from the court, etc.)
  • Send voicemail messages to your e-mail inbox
  • Promptly relay messages to you via e-mail or text
  • Return calls on your behalf to confirm appointments, gather info, or relay a message
  • State Bar of Michigan members enjoy free setup, ongoing free voicemail boxes, and discounts on monthly charges. To learn more, contact Diana Stepleton at (866) 611-RUBY (7829) or by e-mail to or visit us

They're also currently working with:

Enhanced by Zemanta

November 28, 2011

Deep Overtime Cuts Bring Delay, Rethinking of Case Presentation-NYLJ


Justice Michael V. Coccoma (See Profile), the chief administrative judge for courts outside of New York City, said he receives eight to 12 requests daily, mainly in Family Court and often when someone is being remanded and transportation becomes an issue late in the day.

"I try to determine if this is something unanticipated, if it is going to cause a financial hardship to the parties [to push the matter over to the next day], whether it is an emergency," Justice Coccoma said. "I put a lot of weight on the judge and what he or she tells me is going on."

Justice Coccoma said sometimes it is cheaper to spend the money for overtime than require a jury close to verdict to return the next day, or to stop jury selection when only one more juror is needed. Jurors and prospective jurors get paid $40 a day.

"For the most part, the requests have been reasonable," Justice Coccoma said. "But if I start seeing a court that is frequently asking for OT, I will take a closer look. Is it a problem with the judge's case management or calendar? Is it a problem of over scheduling cases? The judges have been cooperative; the court staff has been cooperative. We just have to learn to work with it."


Read entire NYLJ article here.(May require registration)


Enhanced by Zemanta

December 1, 2011

A Tale of Two States and Three Survivors: | Marci A. Hamilton | Verdict | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia

In New York, for anything other than a first-degree felony sexual assault occurring after 2006, the statute of limitations ("SOL") cuts off prosecution when the victim is 23, at the latest.  For civil claims, too, a victim would have had to file his suit by age 23 at the very latest, and likely much earlier than that. 

Until 2002, Pennsylvania was as bad as New York regarding child sexual abuse SOLs.  Once you turned 20, you were shut out of court.  But in August 2002, the state extended the civil SOL to the victim's 30th birthday.  Then, in 2005, it extended the criminal SOL to the victim's 50th birthday.  Neither extension, however, was retroactive, which means that if someone turned 20 before August 2002, he or she would not get the benefit of the 10-year civil extension without putting forward a legal theory alleging misrepresentation, fraud, or conspiracy.


This simple comparison of child sexual abuse SOLs in two contiguous states, New York and Pennsylvania, should give readers an idea of the confusion and complexity when we widen the lens to take in all 50 states.

I (Hamilton) have a website,, for which I regularly update a 50-state survey of criminal and civil SOLs for child sexual abuse.  It is a Herculean task that takes a large team of students to accomplish.  Not only must the law in 50 states be kept current, but updates are constantly occurring, as the law is in constant flux.

Whatever limitation is set in a particular state, eventually a case of heinous abuse is discovered that is time-barred--leading to a grave injustice.  Then the state extends the SOL so the next equally heinous case will be covered.  But unless the SOLs are eliminated, there will always be the next awful case.


Enhanced by Zemanta

December 4, 2011

Anthony V. Cardona, Longtime Third Dept. Presiding Justice, Dies-NYLJ

Anthony V. Cardona, the presiding justice in the Albany-based Third Department since 1995, 
died Sunday evening of cancer. He was 70. (Full obituary by Joel Stashenko)

Administrative duties had been handed over to Justice Thomas E. Mercure in late January (NYLJ, Feb. 1) 

when Justice Cardona was hospitalized. He underwent surgery on Jan. 23. He died in St. Peter's Hospital in Albany.

Justice Cardona had announced his intention to retire at the end of 2011.

He was appointed presiding justice by Governor Mario M. Cuomo in 1994 and reappointed by George E. Pataki in 2005.


Judge Cherished Opinions Standing Up for the 'Little Guy'

In In re Golden, 56 AD3d 1109 (2008), Justice Cardona concluded that both common law and state Human Services Law 

permit transgendered individuals to legally assume a new name to reflect their new identification; i

People v. Pauly, 21 AD3d 595 (2005), he rejected constitutional challenges to the retroactive application of Rockefeller drug law reforms;

 and in Auto. Ins. Co. of Hartford v. Cook, 21 AD3d 1155 (2001), in dissent, 

he said an insurer has a duty to defend a policyholder who killed an intruder in self-defense.

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 15, 2011

FindLaw Legal News App


With the FindLaw Legal News App you can access legal news and information any time of day. 

Need a lawyer? They've got that too with their online lawyer directory at your fingertips.

iPhone Screenshots

iPhone Screenshot 1
iPhone Screenshot 2
iPhone Screenshot 3

January 9, 2012

NYND Magistrate Judge Opening

Attention all Members of the Northern District Bar:

This email is sent as a reminder that the Court is soliciting applications for the Appointment of a United States Magistrate Judge in Albany, New York.

The application deadline is Tuesday, January 31st, 2012.

Applications and additional information on the appointment opportunity are available on the Court's website:

Thank you,

Lawrence K. Baerman, Clerk
Enhanced by Zemanta

January 21, 2012

Blacks Face Bias in Bankruptcy, Study Suggests -

Read entire article here.

Blacks are about twice as likely as whites to wind up in the more onerous and costly form of consumer bankruptcy as they try to dig out from their debts, a new study has found.


The disparity persisted even when the researchers adjusted for income, homeownership, assets and education. The evidence suggested that lawyers were disproportionately steering blacks into a process that was not as good for them financially, in part because of biases, whether conscious or unconscious.

Enhanced by Zemanta

February 8, 2012

Court Officers Kill Gunman in Middletown City Court-NYLJ

Court officers fatally shot a man this morning who entered the vestibule outside Middletown City Court and opened fire with a 12-gauge pump shotgun. The man's name is being withheld; but he is known to Middletown law enforcement personnel.

Update:  Gunman identified as  43-year-old Timothy Mulqueen.

Enhanced by Zemanta

February 15, 2012

Scholarships at the Young Lawyers Section Trial Academy-NYSBA

Criminal Justice Section

To Members of the New York State Bar Association:

In memory of Jack Litman, Esq., an esteemed member of the Criminal Justice Section for many years, the Section is pleased to offer two full tuition scholarships at the Young Lawyers Section Trial Academy, Wednesday March 21 through Sunday March 25, 2012, at Cornell Law School in Ithaca. The scholarships will be awarded to two deserving attorneys to honor Jack's passions for equal justice, diversity, and the promotion of skill in the legal profession. Attorneys with diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Applications for the scholarships may be submitted by any member of the New York State Bar Association. If you are interested, please fill out the application form by March 4, 2012 and either email it or fax it to:

Patricia W. Johnson
New York State Bar Association
1 Elk Street
Albany, New York 12207
Phone (518) 463-3200 Fax: (518) 487-5688

To apply for the scholarship please visit:

For more information on the Trial Academy please visit:

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 25, 2012

Debt Collectors Take Places Alongside Hospital Staffs -

Read entire article by Jessica Silver-Greenberg.

Hospital patients waiting in an emergency room or convalescing after surgery are being confronted by an unexpected visitor: a debt collector at bedside.

This and other aggressive tactics by one of the nation's largest collectors of medical debts, Accretive Health, were revealed on Tuesday by the Minnesota attorney general, raising concerns that such practices have become common at hospitals across the country.

To achieve promised savings, hospitals turn over the management of their front-line staffing -- like patient registration and scheduling -- and their back-office collection activities.
Employees were told to stall patients entering the emergency room until they had agreed to pay a previous balance, according to the documents. Employees in the emergency room, for example, were told to ask incoming patients first for a credit card payment. If that failed, employees were told to say, "If you have your checkbook in your car I will be happy to wait for you," internal documents show.

Enhanced by Zemanta

May 2, 2012

Lippman Announces Pro Bono Requirement for Bar Admission-NYLJ

Read entire NYLJ article by Joel Stashenko here.

ALBANY - Starting next year, prospective lawyers must show that they have performed at least 50 hours of law-related pro bono service before being admitted to the New York state bar, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced yesterday.

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman's Law Day 2012 Remarks

Enhanced by Zemanta

May 3, 2012

UPDATE: Your Opinion on the Pro Bono Requirement is Sought by NYSBA Prexy

Office of the President

In his Law Day speech on Tuesday, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced that beginning next year, people seeking admission to the bar in New York will be required to perform at least 50 hours of pro bono service at some point prior to their application. According to Chief Judge Lippman's speech, this service can be performed during law school, or prior to the admission process. 

(Text of Lippman's speech:

The New York State Bar Association has not yet seen any written version of this new requirement, but will follow the matter closely. In the meantime, we are interested in our members' reactions and comments. Email us at


Vincent E. Doyle III, President

Enhanced by Zemanta

May 9, 2012

Law School Plans to Offer Web Courses for Master's -

The law school of Washington University announced Tuesday that it would offer, entirely online, a master's degree in United States law intended for lawyers practicing overseas, in partnership with 2tor, an education technology company.

Washington University will share the revenues from the $48,000 program -- the same tuition paid by students at the St. Louis campus -- with 2tor, which will provide marketing, the Web platform and technical support, including a staff member to monitor each live class and deal with any technical problems that arise.


Enhanced by Zemanta

May 13, 2012

Point of Personal Privilege - Your Blogger (Patricia Salkin) Will Soon Be at Touro Law School « LAW OF THE LAND

One of our favorite legal bloggers moves on to a new position.  I am certain that Dean Salkin will continue to spice her scholarship with innovative uses of technology.

Touro College & University System President and CEO, Dr. Alan Kadish, is pleased to announce that Patricia E. Salkin has been appointed the new dean of the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center. Salkin is a nationally known scholar and expert in land use planning and government ethics. She is currently the Associate Dean and Director of the Government Law Center of Albany Law School where she is also the Raymond & Ella Smith Distinguished Professor of Law.

"When searching for a new leader for Touro Law Center, we sought a dynamic individual with professional distinction who demonstrated potential for achieving and maintaining excellence and innovation in teaching, research, scholarship and service in the public interest," said Dr. Kadish. "I am confident that we found such a candidate in Patricia Salkin. I look forward to working with her as she leads the Touro Law Center into the future."

Salkin was named Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg's dean after a national search to replace current Dean Lawrence Raful. Raful announced last July that he would be stepping down to join the faculty full time after serving as dean for eight years. Salkin is the fifth dean appointed at Touro Law, and is the first female dean in the school's history. Salkin will begin her tenure as dean on August 1, 2012.

Enhanced by Zemanta

May 21, 2012

DC Seeks IDEA Mediators

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education for the District of Columbia has just issued an RFP for IDEA mediators.  Here is the link to the posting for the Mediators:
To access it otherwise, you can log on to: and click on "solicitations" and then click on "list all opportunities".

June 21, 2012

New study: Tort reform has not reduced health care costs in Texas

(Unfortunately the primary source--the article, itself,-is behind a pay wall at the Wiley Online Library for at least a month after publication.)

A new study found no evidence that health care costs in Texas dipped after a 2003 constitutional amendment limited payouts in medical malpractice lawsuits, despite claims made to voters by some backers of tort reform. The researchers, who include University of Texas law professor Charles Silver, examined Medicare spending in Texas counties and saw no reduction in doctors' fees for seniors and disabled patients between 2002 and 2009.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Hero dog prompts women's shelter to accept canines - CBS News

(CBS News) KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Every day, battered women go to domestic violence shelters in this country.

But sometimes, they don't stay because they're not allowed to keep their pets with them.

That was the rule at a shelter in Kansas City, until one victim and her heroic dog needed help.

The rules have now changed. And so has the shelter.

Enhanced by Zemanta

July 13, 2012

Marc Goodman: A vision of crimes in the future | Video on

Write text here...

Enhanced by Zemanta

July 22, 2012

Join Us! Hail and Farewell Reception, August 27, 2012




Hail and Farewell Reception

August 27, 2012

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.



Hon. David R. Homer, U.S. Magistrate Judge

Hon. Christian F. Hummel, U.S. Magistrate Judge



Please join the NDNY Federal Judiciary, the NDNY Federal Court Bar Association, the Albany County Bar Association, and the Rensselaer County Bar Association in our recognition of Hon. David R. Homer's completion of his term as U.S. Magistrate Judge as well as our welcome of Hon. Christian F. Hummel as the incoming U. S. Magistrate Judge.


The welcome reception will be held on Monday, August 27, 2012 from 5:30 to 7:30 in the first floor foyer of the James T. Foley - U.S. Courthouse, 445 Broadway, Albany, New York.   Light hors d'ouevres will be served and a cash bar will be available.  The program will begin promptly at 6:00 p.m.


Please R.S.V.P. to Melissa Withers at by

August 23, 2012.  If you have any questions please call (315) 422-2799.


We look forward to seeing you there.

Melissa M. Withers
Administrative Director
NDNY Federal Court Bar Association, Inc.
Post Office Box 7067
100 South Clinton Street
Syracuse, NY  13261-7067
(315) 422-2799 (main)
(315) 422-2778 (fax)

Enhanced by Zemanta

July 24, 2012

Referee Report Faults Holzman but Rejects Most Conduct Charges-NYLJ

Read entire NYLJ report by Brandon Pierson here.

A referee has found that Bronx Surrogate Lee Holzman (See Profile) should have fired Michael Lippman, the former chief counsel to the Bronx public administrator, and reported him to the First Department Disciplinary Committee in 2006 when he discovered that Lippman had collected excessive legal fees from estates. But the referee has rejected the rest of the charges brought against Holzman last year by the Commission on Judicial Conduct.

See referee's report.

Enhanced by Zemanta

July 25, 2012

Debt Collection Attorney Listing: Attorney Who Can Sign Name is Good Enough (CL&P Blog)

From Craig's List.  The third paragraph is particularly interesting.

We are a collection agency/debt buyer. What we are looking for is a part time attorney to work for us as our corporate counsel, on our payroll, about 5 to 6 hours a week. This is a short term employment arrangement, no longer than 90 to 120 days.

Your job will be to sign pleadings, praecipe for entry of appearances, praecipe for writ of execution, and garnishment orders. Our paralegal will prepare all paperwork for your signature. This is very standard stuff for us.

If you are an attorney looking for challenging legal work, this is not for you. WE DO NOT NEED F LEE BAILEY- we are fee shopping. If you passed your boards with a D+, and you can sign your name, you possess all the credentials required for this job. If this opportunity interests you, please feel free to reply to this email with a brief description of who you are, when you got your law license, and what you will be needing from us in the way of compensation.

Read entire post and comments at CL&P Blog.

Enhanced by Zemanta

August 8, 2012

Two New York State Court Panels Suppress Evidence and Spark Great Controversy | Sherry F. Colb | Verdict | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia

Read entire article by Prof. Colb here.

This is Part One in a two-part series of columns on two New York State appeals court panel decisions and the law relating to stop and frisk.  Part Two will appear on August 15 here on Justia's Verdict. -Ed.

At the end of June and the beginning of July, respectively, two panels of a New York State appeals court (the Appellate Division, First Department) each ruled that police had violated a suspect's state constitutional rights against unreasonable searches and seizures, and that as a result, the trial judges should have suppressed the weapons found on the suspects--that is, the judges should have excluded the weapons from evidence that could be introduced against the defendants at a criminal trial.


In one sense, the distinctive aspects of New York law have little bearing on the suppressions at issue in the two New York cases, In re Darryl C. and In the Matter of Jaquan M.  In both of those cases, the majorities of the appellate court panels did not dispute that police were justified in taking the first two steps discussed in De Bour: (1) approaching to request information, and (2) posing the more pointed questions that would plainly be aimed only at a suspect.  Both courts found, however, that the police lacked "reasonable suspicion" to believe that the suspects were committing, had committed, or were about to commit a crime, and that the police also lacked reasonable suspicion to believe that the suspects posed a danger or were armed.  On their face, then, it would seem that these two decisions represent fact-specific applications of a standard that is, for the most part, the same under federal and New York State constitutional law.

Enhanced by Zemanta

August 27, 2012

Conduct Commission Questions If Judicial Plates Violate Code-NYLJ

Judges whose license plates identify the office they hold may, in effect, be trading on their positions to avoid the consequences of being stopped for traffic infractions, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct has suggested.

Prompted by a recent disciplinary decision, the commission is seeking input for a public report to address the issue of whether the special vehicle plates violate the code of judicial conduct. It sent letters earlier this month to more than 200 judicial and legal organizations seeking input.

The commission initially disclosed in Matter of Schilling that it planned to conduct the study. In that case, the commission recommended the removal of former town justice Diane Schilling of East Greenbush, Rensselaer County, for arranging to fix one traffic ticket issued to herself and another to the wife of a fellow justice (NYLJ, May 11).


In his letter seeking input, commission administrator Robert Tembeckjian said the agency's staff is studying how many judicial plates are issued in New York, who holds them and if the plates carry any special privileges for the bearers. The staff is also researching the policies of other states on issuing plates identifying a vehicle as being owned by a judge.

Enhanced by Zemanta

August 30, 2012

September 12, 2012 Lunch and CLE Program - Stern v. Marshall

United States Supreme Court Stern v. Marshall decision and its effect on bankruptcy courts' exercise of judicial power--"narrow" question of limited scope or more far reaching implications?

Presented by:

Hon. Margaret Cangilos-Ruiz

Co-Sponsored by the Central New York Bankruptcy Bar Association and Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association




LUNCH 12:30P.M.TO1:00P.M. CLE 1:00 P.M. TO 2:00 P.M.

COST: $25.00 (includes lunch, gratuity and written materials)


PHONE: 315-478-3203



PO BOX 4967, SYRACUSE, NY 13221-4967


Enhanced by Zemanta

Continue reading "September 12, 2012 Lunch and CLE Program - Stern v. Marshall" »

September 16, 2012

In Prosecutors, Debt Collectors Find a Partner -

Enhanced by Zemanta

September 17, 2012

State Judges Lose Bid For Retroactive Pay-NYLJ

"The Court of Appeals has spoken." Braun wrote in Larabee v. Governor of the State of New York, 112301/07. "If it wants to speak differently, upon another appeal, the Court will do so. However, this court cannot speak differently than the Court of Appeals."


Braun observed that Justice Edward Lehner had initially ruled in the plaintiffs' favor inLarabee v. Governor of State of New York, 20 Misc 3d 866 (2008), and ordered that judges receive retroactive pay. But Braun said that the Court of Appeals' ruling onLarabee and two other cases had superseded that holding (NYLJ, Feb. 24, 2010).

He quoted the Court of Appeals as saying that "whether judicial compensation should be adjusted, and by how much, is within the province of the Legislature."

Braun was assigned to the case after Lehner retired.

Enhanced by Zemanta

September 20, 2012

Lippman Unveils Rule Detailing Bar Admission Pro Bono Mandate- NYLJ

Read entire NYLJ report by Joel Stashenko & Christine Simmons

Details of the new 50-hour pro bono requirement for applicants to the New York bar were unveiled yesterday by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

Specifics of the program announced in May were eagerly awaited by law schools, public interest groups, bar associations and other members of the bar. They were announced by Lippman at a press conference at New York University School of Law.

The first-in-the-nation requirement will take effect immediately for first- and second-year law students, who will have up to 34 months to fulfill the mandate. Current third-years are exempt.

Read the new rule on pro bono practice.

Enhanced by Zemanta

October 18, 2012

Second Circuit Strikes Down DOMA

Windsor v. United States 12-2335-cvAP reports that:

A divided federal appeals court in Manhattan this morning became the second in the nation to strike down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.

In Windsor v. United States, 12-2335-cv, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit upheld a ruling by Southern District Judge Barbara Jones (See Profile) that the 1996 law that defines marriage as involving a man and a woman was unconstitutional.

A majority of the three-judge Second Circuit panel, in a ruling by Chief Judge Dennis Jacobs (See Profile), concluded that the definition violated the Equal Protection Clause. Its opinion joined an earlier decision by the First Circuit in Boston.

Enhanced by Zemanta

October 31, 2012

Hurricane Sandy: Customer Assistance Available for Westlaw

Grey rule


October 31, 2012

To our customers impacted by Hurricane Sandy:

We understand that the full extent of the damage will not be fully understood for days, but we want you to know we are here to help.

Thomson Reuters is committed to helping customers affected by Hurricane Sandy restore their practices and businesses as soon as possible. To assist in the rebuilding effort, we've set up a dedicated hotline. If you have been displaced by the disaster, please contact Customer Service at 1-800-554-8909, ext. 43356, to let us know that you're safe and what your needs are. When you're ready to get back on your feet, we're ready to help.

Thomson Reuters is committed and proud to stand with you throughout your process of recovery and rebuilding.

Very best wishes,

Bob Azman
Senior Vice President, Customer Experience & Education
Thomson Reuters

Enhanced by Zemanta

New York Courts-Sandy Closings

For information on Downstate Court Closings follow this link:

Or Call:

Volunteers needed to help Sandy victims--NYSBA LRIS

The State Bar's Lawyer Referral and Information Service is recruiting attorneys who can provide free telephone consultations to individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy. There is need for attorneys with insurance, landlord/tenant, co-op and condo, or FEMA appeals experience, as well as those who can handle general practice matters.

We encourage attorneys outside the NYC area to volunteer. The program is set-up to assist victims via phone consultation.

Please respond as soon as possible if you can help hurricane victims in need. 

Go to: to fill out your volunteer form.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Important SDNY Notice: Extension of Deadlines in Criminal Cases


WHEREAS, Hurricane Sandy has caused extraordinary damage and disruption in the New York City metropolitan area, including, but not limited to, widespread power and utility outages in New York City, extensive transportation problems created by closure of the New York City mass transportation systems, dislocation of New York City residents, and other related delays such as the inaccessibility of the United States Courthouse in Manhattan,

WHEREAS, it is currently unclear when the United States Courthouse in Manhattan will again be accessible,

WHEREAS, current transportation restrictions render it difficult and in some cases impossible for individuals to travel to the Courthouse,

IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 45(a) (3) and (b) (l), that all deadlines in any pending criminal cases that would otherwise expire under the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure or any statute, rule, or order are extended until Monday, November 5, 2012, or until such time as specified in a further order of the Court.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, pursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 45 (a) (3) and (b) (1) and Section 3161 (h) (7) (A) of Title 18, United States Code, that all deadlines in any pending criminal cases requiring action by a grand jury are further extended until November 12, 2012, or until such time as specified in a further order of the Court, and that the ends of justice served by granting this continuance outweigh the interests of the public and any criminal defendant in a speedy trial.


Dated: October 29, 2012




Enhanced by Zemanta

November 5, 2012

Filing a Sandy-related Consumer Complaint in New York | Eric T. Schneiderman, NYS AG

After receiving hundreds of complaints from New York consumers about increased costs for gas, food, water and other essential goods and services, the NYS AG's office is investigating post-Hurricane Sandy price gouging. They are doing everything they can to stop unscrupulous individuals from taking advantage of New Yorkers trying to rebuild their lives after the storm.

If you believe you are a victim of price gouging, please call the office at 800-771-7755 or visit the website to file a complaint.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Courts--update on closings



I noticed NYS Unified Court System updated their closings page yesterday - wasn't sure if it is of interest


Please note that updated info regarding court closings/openings is available at:





Connie Schin
Marketing Manager
One Elk Street, Albany, NY 12207
518.487.5687 Phone
518.487.5758 Fax

Enhanced by Zemanta

November 7, 2012

New York County Lawyers' Association Provides Hurricane Assistance to Legal and Greater Community

New York, NY - November 7, 2012 - To aid members of the community left devastated in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the New York County Lawyers' Association (NYCLA) is providing assistance to lawyers and members of the greater community through a variety of efforts to help hurricane victims get back on their feet immediately and in the longterm. Click on the link below for info on how you can help:

Do you have insurance law experience? Help hurricane victims with claims/coverage issues through NYCLA's Legal Counseling Project
Enhanced by Zemanta

November 9, 2012

JURIST - Paper Chase: Update all JURIST bookmarks and feeds to!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Update all JURIST bookmarks and feeds to! 
Matthew Shames at 12:30 AM ET

[JURIST announcement] If you have not already done so, please update all of your bookmarks and RSS feeds to As part of our continuing transition from our old domain ( to our current domain (, the University of Pittsburgh will soon be disabling public access to our old server. At that time, any RSS feeds and bookmarks that are still pointing to will cease to function. Don't miss out on the latest legal news from JURIST - update your bookmarks and feeds today!

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 2, 2012

Capitol Confidential » Gov. Cuomo's top judge candidates are in

Read entire news article here.

The Commission on Judicial Nomination's seven nominees are:

-Sheila Abdus-Salaam, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, First Department;
-Rolando T. Acosta, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, First Department;
-Kathy H. Chin, Esq., attorney in private practice (Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP);
-EugeneM. Fahey, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, Fourth Department;
- Jenny Rivera, Professor of Law, CUNY School of Law;
-Margarita Rosa, Esq., Executive Director, Grand Street Settlement;
-David A. Schulz, Esq., attorney in private practice (Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz, LLP).

Enhanced by Zemanta

December 18, 2012

S7641-2011 - NY Senate Open Legislation - Enacts the "uniform notice of claim act" - New York State Senate

The Governor has signed the Uniform Notice of Claim Act.  

December 20, 2012

Advising Clients on Expiring Bush Tax Cuts-Pinni Bohm

2012 should be known as the year Congress left tax and estate planning attorneys unable to properly advise clients on dealing with the Internal Revenue Code. I can assure you that the feeling is quite unsettling. As is known, the so-called "Bush Tax Cuts" are expiring December 31, taking with them the increased $5,120,000 transfer (estate and gift) tax exemption, the reduced transfer tax top bracket of 35%, the lower income tax brackets of 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33%, and 35%, and the reduced taxes on qualified capital gains and dividends (which will be taxed as ordinary income next year).

How should an attorney respond to urgent tax planning questions from clients? There is no single recommendation that all tax attorneys will agree to. Nonetheless, you will likely be safe by recommending that your clients consider accelerating all income for the current year and deferring all deductions to the next year. Additionally, they should consider putting as much income as possible into retirement accounts that tax now, but do not tax future withdrawals. Lastly, if they have sufficient assets that they could afford to live without, they should be pushed to transfer them to loved ones, whether in trust or outright.

The clock is ticking...

For more detailed suggestions in advising clients on individual tax planning and estate and gift tax planning, go to Accounting Today and Forbes, respectively.

Pinni Bohm, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), is a tax and estate planning attorney with the Bohm Law Firm, who welcomes all questions by email.

Enhanced by Zemanta

January 27, 2013

JURIST - Paper Chase: US schools must allow disabled students to compete in extracurricular sports

US schools must allow disabled students to compete in extracurricular sports 
Julie Deisher at 3:12 PM ET

Photo source or description
[JURIST] The Office for Civil Rights of the US Department of Education [official website] issued guidance [text, PDF] on Friday, clarifying school districts' existing legal obligations to give disabled students an equal chance to compete in extracurricular sports alongside their able-bodied classmates. The US Secretary for Education Arne Duncan [official profile]acknowledges the critical role sports play in the school experience. 
Enhanced by Zemanta

March 30, 2013

Blogging in One Hour for Lawyers Review By Sam Glover

Blogging in One Hour for Lawyers is one of the latest in the ABA's "trendy topics in one hour for lawyers" series of overpriced books. This is unfortunate, because Ernie Svenson's practical, quick-start guide to blogging, written with lawyers in mind, is actually quite good, despite its silly name (it takes more like 2 or 3 hours to read) and hefty price tag ($40, unless you get the iBook version I linked to above, which is more reasonably-priced at $20).

Sam Glover is an "A-List" legal blogger.  He has a lot of blogging experience and opinions about blogging for lawyers which he is not afraid to express.  Read his entire review of this new book here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 9, 2013

A Recap of ABA TechShow in 39 Links · Robert Ambrogi's LawSites

Bob Ambrogi makes you feel as though you were there.

If you missed ABA Techshow last week, here's an armchair recap,  courtesy of the bloggers and journalists who covered it.

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 22, 2013

Miranda's Public Safety Exception: | David S. Kemp | Verdict | Legal Analysis and Commentary from Justia

As Americans are still reeling from the recent Boston Marathon bombing, a debate is brewing over whether the surviving suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, should have been read his Miranda rights. On Friday, April 19, a mere five days after the bombing, Emily Bazelonopined on Slate that "anyone who worries about the police railroading suspects" should be alarmed that the FBI publicly opted not to read the suspect his right to silence or his right to an attorney. On the blog Balkinization, professors Jason Mazzone and Sandy Levinson engaged in a heated discussion as to the proper interpretation of the Supreme Court's decision in Miranda.

Read David Kemp's full analysis of the issue here.

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 27, 2013

Big Ideas About The Future of Law in 6 Minutes - LexThink.1 2013 - Legal Ease Blog

Allison Shields makes it easy to find and watch this year's Big Ideas:

The videos from this year's LexThink.1 presentations have been posted. 

In case you don't know about LexThink.1, it's an event that is usually held in conjunction with the ABA TECHSHOW. LexThink.1 takes place the evening before TECHSHOW begins.

Here's the format: 10 speakers, each with only 6 minutes to speak on a particular topic related to the future of law practice (this year's theme was "Disruption"), and each presentation includes 20 slides (which are automatically advanced every 18 seconds by the event host, not by the presenters themselves).

Read more:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Rochester Law Digest

The Rochester Law Digest is an independently owned and operated bi-monthly publication covering recent decisions and opinions from all the New York appellate courts, as well as articles of general interest to the legal community.

You can  stay informed about recent appellate decisions from across the state by reviewing their bi-monthly Digest and  "Just Released" page. You can also sign up for their bi-monthly digest and email notice of updates to their "Just Released" page.

For now all this goodness is free.


To all those who recently signed-up, thank you for your interest in the Rochester Law Digest mailing list.  The "Just Released" page of the website was updated on April 27th, 2013, with summaries of selected Appellate Division and Court of Appeals cases released last week. The next issue of the Digest will be out on May 1 and I hope to include summaries of any decisions that are released next Tuesday (April 30) in the Digest.  The next update of the "Just Released" page of the website will include cases released between May 1st and May 3rd.  I hope you find the summaries (and Digest) useful.

Bruce Freeman

Enhanced by Zemanta

April 30, 2013

How lawyers are mining the information mother lode for pricing, practice tips and predictions - ABA Journal

The day is here: Big data, loosely defined as the computer analysis of torrents of information to find hidden gems of insight, is slowly transforming the way law is practiced in the U.S.

Law firms are using big data to identify which cases will be easy slam dunks and those that are air balls. They're relying on the technology to get a read on what other law firms are charging, so they can adjust their rates accordingly. And big data is also popping up in law firm human resources departments, where tech-savvy department heads are crunching data on potential new hires in the hopes of coming up with recruits who are truly a good fit.

Read the entire article here.


I suppose its only price-fixing and a violation of anti-trust laws when a couple of solos and small firm practitioners talk about charges--not when the big folks do some data mining?

Enhanced by Zemanta

May 3, 2013

"Federal Practice 301: A Seminar on Dispositive Motions"

Please join the NDNY FCBA for a CLE Program in Albany on Wednesday, June 5, 2013.

This program is recommended for experienced attorneys only.

Federal Practice 301:  A Seminar on Dispositive Motions"

Presenters of this program will be:

Robyn Hoffman, Esq.
Law Clerk to Hon. Randolph F. Treece
Magistrate Judge
Northern District of New York

Michael Langan, Esq.
Law Clerk to Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby
U.S. District Court Judge
Northern District of New York

Wednesday, June 5, 2013
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m.
James T. Foley U.S. Courthouse
Jury Assembly Room, 1st Floor
445 Broadway
Albany, New York
This program has been approved in
 accordance with the requirements 
of the New York State Continuing
Legal Education Board for 3.0 credits towards the Skills Requirement

The Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association has been certified by the New York State Continuing Legal Education Board as an Accredited Provider of continuing legal education in the State of New York.

This program is appropriate for experienced attorneys.

This program is not appropriate for newly admitted attorneys.

This is a single program.  No partial credit will be awarded.

This  program is complimentary to all Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association Members.  Click on the link below to join.  The CLE program materials will be posted to our website.  As a member you may access all historic CLE materials for the NDNY FCBA CLE programs at:

If you have any questions you would like to submit prior to the program please submit them in advance to:

Thank you for your interest in the NDNY FCBA.  We look forward to seeing you at this upcoming CLE program.

Melissa Withers
NDNY Federal Court Bar Association, Inc.

Wednesday June 5, 2013 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM EDT
Add to Calendar

James T. Foley U.S. Courthouse
445 Broadway
Jury Assembly Room, 1st Floor
Albany, NY 12207
Driving Directions

Enhanced by Zemanta

May 13, 2013

NYSBA Pro Bono Appeals Program

The New York State Bar Association is proud to provide an innovative Pro Bono Appeals Program that offers free representation to individuals of modest means in selected appeals to the Appellate Division in both the Third and Fourth Departments.