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Primary Source Documents Archives

February 14, 2011

The Budget | The White House

Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2012 contains the Budget Message of the President, information on the President's priorities, budget overviews organized by agency, and summary tables.

To download "Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2012" as a single PDF click here (216 pages, 4.1 MB)

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February 15, 2011

New York State Public Health Legal Manual

Despite the rather sensationalized news reports about a "Doomsday manual", this new  resource/reference will be of use to local health officials as well as municipal attorneys throughout the state.  Click here for pdf version.



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February 16, 2011

Public Playground Safety Handbook

a playground (a slide)

Image via Wikipedia




This handbook presents safety information for public play- ground equipment in the form of guidelines. Publication of this handbook is expected to promote greater safety aware- ness among those who purchase, install, and maintain public playground equipment. Because many factors may affect playground safety, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff believes that guidelines, rather than a mandatory rule, are appropriate. These guidelines are not being issued as the sole method to minimize injuries associated with playground equipment. However, the Commission believes that the recommendations in this handbook along with the technical information in the ASTM standards for public playgrounds will contribute to greater playground safety.



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February 24, 2011

Pocket Guide for Federal Judges Discusses Sealed Cases


A recently published pocket guide for federal judges focuses on the occasional need to seal court records and proceedings.

Published by the
Federal Judicial Center, the 22-page pocket guide draws on the voluminous case law to discuss the process courts use to keep some of the proceedings and records confidential.

The guide states: "Essential to the rule of law is the public performance of the judicial function. On occasion, however, there are good reasons for courts to keep parts of some proceedings confidential . . . Usually that means that any transcript made of the proceeding will be regarded as a sealed record."

The guide (pdf) offers a procedural checklist of considerations when a record is sealed or when a proceeding is closed to the public.



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March 1, 2011

TRO issued in Wisconsin Capitol standoff


Ex Parte temporary restraining order. Resp. shall open the Wisconsin Capitol to members of the public during business hours and at times when governmental matters, such as hearings, listening sessions and court arguments are being conducted. This ex parte restraing order is in effect until the assigned trial court is able to schedule a hearing on the matter. If resp. wishes to have a hearing with respect to this order one will be scheduled as soon as possible before this court, the duty judge, if the assigned trial court is unable to hear the matter promptly. Pet. shall immediately serve a copy of this order on resp.
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March 9, 2011

Empire Justice Center: The Mortgage Meltdown II

New York's continuing foreclosure crisis and the need to help homeowners avoid the loss of their homes

Prepared by Barbara van Kerkhove, Ph.D. March 9, 2011



The report, which includes maps of several upstate regions, shows that in September, 2010 in all but one of New York's 62 counties, more loans are at imminent risk of foreclosure than are currently in foreclosure. The report calls for $15 million for the continuation of the Foreclosure Prevention Services Program.

To download a copy of the report , click on the report thumbnail included in this email or visit our website to view the report and press release.

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March 12, 2011

IRS: Calendar Connector Tool


Calendar Connector Tool

Install the IRS Calendar Connector and access Important Tax Dates for Small Businesses right from your desktop, even when you're offline. As new events are added, they will be automatically updated via the desktop tool.

This customizable tool allows you to specify what types of events you wish to view (general, employer, excise, or all) and how you want them displayed (by day, week or month).

The IRS Calendar Connector requires Adobe® AIR®. Follow these steps to install it on your computer:

Step 1
First, click on the "Get ADOBE® AIR®" button.
Click to install Adobe AIR
Step 2
When the AIR® installation is complete, click this button to install the IRS Calendar Connector.
Click to install the IRS Calendar Connector, version 1.0.0F
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MacWorld.com: How to migrate from your old iPad to a new model

Posted on Mar 11, 2011 1:03 pm by Lex FriedmanMacworld.com

Your iPad 2 is so close, you can almost hear the click of your new Smart Cover snapping into place. But if you already own the original iPad, you should take time now to prepare your migration from that device to the iPad 2. With advanced planning, you'll be ready to start playing with your new tablet practically from the moment you open up the box.

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April 15, 2011

Epocrates

Image representing Epocrates as depicted in Cr...

Image via CrunchBase

Epocrates is a leading provider of clinical solutions to healthcare professionals and interactive services to the healthcare industry. Most commonly used on mobile devices at the point of care, their products help healthcare professionals make more informed prescribing decisions, enhance patient safety and improve practice productivity. Their user network consists of over one million healthcare professionals, including over 300,000, or over 45% of, U.S. physicians.

Their free products, including apps for all major smart phones, are very useful for health care professionals, consumers, and lawyers who deal with both groups:

EPOCRATES RX FREE

FREE
Download

Free mobile drug reference

EPOCRATES MEDTOOLS FREE

FREE
Details

Free add-on applications for your Epocrates software

EPOCRATES CME FREE

FREE
Details

Free on-the-go learning center

EPOCRATES MOBILE RESOURCE CENTERS FREE

FREE
Download

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April 19, 2011

The Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP)



New York State Office of Children & Family Services has available for download a helpful new publication:


Know Your Permanency Options:

The Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP)


If you are a fully certified or approved foster parent and a relative has been placed with you as a foster child for six months or more, you may be eligible for the Kinship Guardianship Assistance Program (KinGAP). KinGAP is designed to support permanent placements for foster children with relatives to whom they are related by either blood, marriage, or adoption. This program provides financial support and, in most cases, medical coverage for the child. The financial support is similar to the foster care maintenance payments you receive as a foster parent.


Included with this booklet are two attachments to review with your caseworker when exploring your permanency options.

"Factors for Related Foster Parents to Consider When Reviewing Permanency Options" (page 12) will help you and your caseworker determine the best permanency option for the child and your family. "New York State's Permanency Comparison Chart" (page 13) compares kinship guardianship assistance, adoption assistance, and foster care.


April 22, 2011

Justia Opinion Summaries :: Justia Law



Justia Opinion Summaries 

Justia is providing FREE Daily & Weekly Opinion Summaries for all Federal Courts, and selected State Supreme Courts. 


See an example daily email for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or a weekly practice area email for Environmental Law.

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April 29, 2011

CALI::The Free Law Reporter


The Free Law Reporter™ is where free law meets accessibility. It's an electronic case reporter that freely publishes nearly every recent appellate and supreme court opinion, from state to federal US courts.
FLR uses the RECOP project as a starting point, making its opinions searchable online and available as ebook collections, with more features in development.

The Free Law Reporter™ (FLR) is an experiment that builds onCarl Malamud's Report of Current Opinions (RECOP).(more info about RECOP fromJustia,Robert Ambrogi and Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase). The RECOP bulk feed can be found at http://bulk.resource.org/courts.gov/recop/.

The goal of FLR is to develop a freely available, unencumbered law reporter that is capable of serving as a resource for education, research, and practice. The first step is to use FLR to provide greater access through enhanced and alternate formats of the weekly feeds coming from RECOP.

The weekly feeds provided by RECOP are a new source of court opinions from across the country with each weekly feed containing all slip and final opinions primarily from the appellate courts of the 50 states and the federal government released under a Creative Commons Zero License packaged as XML files in a single weekly archive.

Each weekly feed contains 2 groupings of opinions: slip opinions and paginated cases. The slip opinions are individual documents that come directly from the court, are paginated by the court, and contain little or no citation information. The paginated cases are individual documents that have been added to the West reporter system, contain West pagination and full West citations.

CALI's FLR project is processing the slip opinion portion of the archives to create a body of court opinions that is accessible to anyone including educators, librarians, students, lawyers and the public. The raw XML of the archives is processed into valid XHTML and some meta data is added to facilitate the indexing and classification of the documents. The XHTML files are saved into a web folder structure organized by weekly RECOP volume and jurisdiction for viewing with a web browser. The XHTML files are fed into a search engine powered by Apache Solr allowing for sophisticated searching and analysis of the documents. Finally the weekly volumes are gathered by state and federal jurisdiction into ebooks in the .epub format viewable on virtually any desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone and e-reader device. All of this available now at www.freelawreporter.org. The FLR website is updated weekly as new RECOP archives are released.


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May 3, 2011

FindLaw: New Case Law RSS Feeds

FindLaw logo

Image via Wikipedia

FindLaw announces: 

FindLaw's Case Law Feeds.

Exapnding on FindLaw's free resources for legal professionals, they now provide automatic case notifications from over 80 courts, including:

• All U.S. Courts of Appeal
• 44 State Supreme Courts
• 29 State Courts of Appeals

Click here to subscribe to the feed for the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal. Follow the simple steps to integrate the feed into your email program, news reader, webpage or blog. Then, each time FindLaw receives an opinion from this court, you will receive a notification and link to the full decision.



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May 4, 2011

U.S. Courts News: New Pilot Project Will Enhance Public Access to Federal Court Opinions

A dozen federal courts have been selected to participate in a pilot program in which the federal judiciary and theGovernment Printing Office are partnering to provide free public access to court opinions through the GPO's FDSys system.

The one-year pilot project was approved by the Judicial Conference in March 2010, and the GPO received approval from the Joint Committee on Printing - often referred to as the oldest joint committee of the Congress - in February 2011.

When fully implemented later this year, the pilot will include two courts of appeals, seven district courts, and three bankruptcy courts. In March, the Judicial Conference approved expansion of the pilot to include up to 30 additional courts.

The judiciary continually has sought ways to enhance public access to court opinions. Free access to opinions in all federal courts is currently available via the judiciary's Public Access to Court Electronic Records service (PACER).

Building on that success, staff from the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts met with GPO management to explore making opinions even more accessible. Fdsys can provide the public with a robust search engine that can search common threads across opinions and courts.

The initial 12 participating courts are the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second and Eighth Circuits; the U.S. district courts for the Districts of Minnesota, Rhode Island, Maryland, Idaho, and Kansas, the Northern District of New York, and the Northern District of Alabama; and the U.S. bankruptcy courts for the District of Maine, the Southern District of Florida, and the Southern District of New York.

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May 11, 2011

CourtListener.com


This site was created by Michael Lissner as part of a masters thesis at the University of California, Berkeley School of Information. Michael was advised by Assistant Professor, Brian Carver. The goal of the site is to create a free and competitive real time alert tool for the U.S. judicial system.

At present, the site has daily information regarding all precedential opinions issued by the 13 federal circuit courts and the Supreme Court of the United States. Each day, they also have the non-precedential opinions from all of the Circuit courts except the D.C. Circuit. This means that by 5:10pm PST, the database will be updated with the opinions of the day, with custom alerts going out shortly thereafter.

The coverage of their corpus for a given court varies, but it is growing on a daily basis. They are working to integrate the documents from other online sites that provide free public access to court documents.

To see a detailed overview of their corpus (updated daily), visit their coverage page


May 27, 2011

Teaching With Documents-National Archives



Teaching With Documents:
Lesson Plans

This section contains reproducible copies of primary documents from the holdings of the National Archives of the United States, teaching activities correlated to the National History Standards andNational Standards for Civics and Government, and cross-curricular connections.

Teaching with primary documents encourages a varied learning environment for teachers and students alike. Lectures, demonstrations, analysis of documents, independent research, and group work become a gateway for research with historical records in ways that sharpen students' skills and enthusiasm for history, social studies, and the humanities.


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June 1, 2011

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN TO SUE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TODAY FOR FAILURE TO STUDY "FRACKING"

A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN TO SUE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TODAY FOR FAILURE TO STUDY "FRACKING" Demand For Fracking Study In Delaware River Basin Ignored - Even Though Drilling Would Affect NY Watershed And Portions Of 8 New York Counties Feds Abandon Legally Required Responsibility To Assess Environmental & Public Health Impacts Of Natural Gas Drilling Schneiderman: Feds Have An Obligation To Protect Public Health & Safety - We Will Force Them To Do So...


Read complaint below:


DRBC Complaint (Final)[1]
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June 6, 2011

Cyberlaw Clinic | Berkman Center

Cyberlaw Clinic 

The Cyberlaw Clinic provides high-quality, pro-bono legal services to appropriate individuals, small start-ups, non-profit groups and government entities regarding cutting-edge issues of the Internet, new technology and intellectual property. Harvard Law School students enhance their preparation for high-tech practice and earn course credit for working on a variety of real-world litigation, client counseling, advocacy, legislation, and transactional/licensing projects and cases.

The Berkman Center's Interactive collection features conversations with and talks by leading cyber-scholars, entrepreneurs, activists, and policymakers as they explore topics such as: the factors that influence knowledge creation and dissemination in the digital age; the character of power as the worlds of governance, business, citizenship, and the media meet the Internet; and the opportunities, role, and limitations of new technologies in learning.

All Berkman events, including conferences, luncheon series talks, and most meetings, are webcast then archived here, along with unique productions like the Citizen Media Law Project podcast and episodes of Berkman.tv. A selection of the archive is also available on Berkman's YouTube channel.


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June 14, 2011

Gay Judge's Prop 8 Decision Survives Bias Claim - Civil Rights - CourtSide

"it is not reasonable to presume that a judge is incapable of making an impartial decision about the constitutionality of a law, solely because, as a citizen, the judge could be affected by the proceedings."



Gay Judge's Prop 8 Decision Survives Bias Claim
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July 2, 2011

Preliminary Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program



Full Text of Preliminary Revised Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement on the Oil, Gas and Solution Mining Regulatory Program


Well Permit Issuance for Horizontal Drilling And High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing to Develop the Marcellus Shale and Other Low-Permeability Gas Reservoirs


New York State Department of Environmental Conservation 


July 1, 2011



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July 10, 2011

Oil & Gas Law Brief : Keith B. Hall : Louisiana Lawyer : Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann Law Firm

Click here for an excellent summary from "Oil and Gas Law Brief", Posted by Keith B. Hall on July 09, 2011 of the current status of natural gas drilling in New York, with links to primary source documents; e.g.:

***

The DEC made various documents available on July 1, 2011, including an Executive Summary of the revised draft GEIS.  The full revised draft of the GEIS was made available yesterday.  The documents now available include: atime line regarding the GEIS, a fact sheet regarding what DEC believes it has learned from Pennsylvania's experiences with hydraulic fracturing, a press release regarding the DEC's recommendations, a list of the members of a new Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel, a PowerPoint presentation from DEC's July 1, 2011 press conference, a simple diagram showing how an intermediate casing would help protect ground water, and the full draft GEIS, which can be download in its entirety or in portions from a web page that allows downloads by individual sections of the GEIS.  A video of the DEC's July 1, 2011 press conference regarding its recommendations also is available.

***

For timely natural gas legal info, ADD THIS BLOG to your feeds or subscribe by email.




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July 16, 2011

NYSHA Animal Cruelty Investigation Manual



New York State Humane Association's manual, "How to Investigate Animal Cruelty in New York State - A Manual of Procedures" is a comprehensive document which includes chapters on how to be prepared ahead of time - before you actually receive a cruelty complaint, how to receive and investigate a complaint, examples covering many situations, all NYS laws pertinent to animals - annotated with explanations, case law relevant to animal cases, basic animal care standards, appendices containing forms to use in cruelty investigations, handouts on various animal care topics, and articles pertinent to various animal issues.

Sue McDonough, NYSHA President and Police Officer, provided technical input and expertise; Pat Valusek, NYSHA Vice-President and technical writer, researched supplementary material and additional examples, and wrote the text. Material was gathered from individuals who worked for various agencies, such as DA's offices, the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the ASPCA, SPCA with active cruelty investigation programs, state agencies such as the Dept. of Ag. & Mkts., and various police agencies.

The entire manual, HTML format -or- 8M PDF file, is now available online. Use the HTML option if you want to view/print specific sections of the manual. Use the PDF option to view a printer-friendly version of the manual in its entirety. Downloading may take a while, but, in Adobe Acrobat Reader, you'll then be able to save SAVE-AS icon a copy of the file or to print PRINTER icon the file.

NYSHA Fact Sheets relevant to animal cruelty

· Memorandum Regarding the Issue of Sustenance Including Veterinary Care
· Step by Step Example Animal Cruelty Case Investigation by Law Enforcement
· Peace Officers employed by SPCAs and What They Can Do by Law
· Jail Time and Probation in New York State
· Animal Hoarders
· Forfeiture of Animals in an Anmal Cruelty Case




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July 26, 2011

NYLJ: Gay Marriage Opponents Attack New Law on Multiple Fronts

A non-profit group called New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, backed by the Liberty Counselcharged in a lawsuit filed yesterdaythat the law had been rammed through the state Senate on the night of June 24 in violation of the Open Meetings Law and the Senate's own rules.

"Constitutional liberties were violated. Today we are asking the court to intervene in its rightful role as the check and balance on an out-of-control State Legislature," said Reverend Jason J. McGuire, executive director of the group and a resident of upstate Livingston County, where New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms v. New York State Senate was filed.

A spokesman for Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement that "the plaintiffs lack a basic understanding of the laws of the state of New York. The suit is without merit."


Read entire NYLJ article here.



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August 17, 2011

Governor Cuomo Signs New Ethics Laws--NYLJ


With a new ethics bill signed yesterday by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York became one of a handful of states requiring its lawyer-legislators to disclose the identity of their clients. Under the Public Integrity Reform Act, lawyers will be required to publicly reveal the identity of their own clients and clients they referred to the firm, when the client is doing business with, receiving grants from, seeking legislation from or is in litigation with the state. Additionally, every appearance by a lawyer-legislator before a state administrative agency will be recorded by the agency and made public. New York joins California, Washington, Alaska and Louisiana in requiring its lawyer-lawmakers to reveal clients.

The disclosure requirement takes effect in mid-2013, covering matters occurring during the 2012 calendar year. It kicks in when the legal fee exceeds $10,000 and the state contract is worth more than $50,000 or the grant is worth more than $25,000. The law affects only new clients or new matters for existing clients and attorney-legislators will not have to identify clients who are being represented in connection with an investigation or prosecution, involved in a domestic relations matter or a bankruptcy or "where disclosure of a client's identity is likely to cause harm."

Read entire NYLJ article here.


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August 25, 2011

Explorer for Natural Gas Loses Rights, Money Paid for Them-NYLJ


"[T]he evidence clearly demonstrates that Cabot, a sophisticated business entity, made a calculated and knowing decision to enter into the lease, approve title and pay the signing bonus with full knowledge" of the protective covenant and the opposition of the property owners' association, Justice Gilpatric held in Weiden Lake Property Owners Association Inc. v. Klansky and Cabot Oil, 3885/09. "Therefore, it is not entitled to rescission of the lease under a mistake of law."



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September 2, 2011

The Transgender Law and Policy Institute

http://www.transgenderlaw.org/

The Transgender Law and Policy Institute aims to advance transgender equality through advocating for non-discrimination laws and policy change. The number of transgender people in the United States population ranges from two to five percent and a smaller number are transsexual. Visitors will find that one of the many features on this very thorough site is under the Non-discrimination Laws" link,  which consists of lists, maps, and charts of which states and municipalities have non-discrimination laws that include gender identity and expression. Some of these laws include prohibiting discrimination in public employment and policies regarding restrooms and other gender-based facilities. Visitors interested in reading about such transgender related litigation in criminal, immigration, medical, tax, discrimination, or tort law will appreciate the "Litigation: Case Law" link


From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2011. http://scout.wisc.edu/




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September 6, 2011

3 Geeks and a Law Blog: CALI - Download Federal Rules eBooks (Civil Pro, Criminal Pro & Evidence)


The great people over at CALI (Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction), have partnered with the Legal Information Institute (LII) at Cornell Law School to bring free* .epub files of the Federal Rules of Civil ProcedureCriminal Procedure and Evidence. The downloads will currently work on iPads, iPhones, Nooks, and other devices that can read the .epub format (like Mobipocket if you're on Windows). 

Note: These are E-Book formats, so it won't work in your PDF Reader.

Read entire post from 3 Geeks and a Law Blog here.


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September 8, 2011

Oil & Gas Law Brief : New York Issues Economic Assessment Report Regarding Hydraulic Fracturing



From Keith B. Hall : Louisiana Lawyer : Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann Law Firm:

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation announced today its release of a a lengthy Economic Assessment Report that evaluates the economic effects that would result from the use of hydraulic fracturing within New York.  The DEC stated that its analysis "confirms that high-volume hydraulic fracturing activities could provide a substantial economic boost for the state in the areas of employment, wages and tax revenue for state and local governments."

***

The information released by the DEC today included: its announcement; a two-page Fact Sheet that summarizes economic impacts of hydraulic fracturing; a two-page Fact Sheet that summarizes local and community impacts; and the full, approximately 250-pages-long Economic Assessment Report.  

***


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September 14, 2011

Amazon to Introduce Book Lending to the Kindle | Inhabitat


Amazon, Kindle, e-readers, e-books, e-book lending service, amazon lending service, kindle library, kindle lending service, Library lending for kindle,

Amazon appears poised to once again change the face of the book publishing industry. As if the Kindle wasn't enough, Amazon's new vision for e-readers could turn your Kindle into a full-blown library, with access to thousands of book titles. According to a report released in the Wall Street Journal, Amazon aims to do to book lending what Netflix has already done to movies by allowing users to pay a flat subscriber fee, and subsequently have access a large selection of books.



Read more: Amazon to Introduce Book Lending to the Kindle | Inhabitat - Green Design Will Save the World 


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September 16, 2011

Residents sue town of Middlefield for drilling ban



From The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY:

A lawsuit has been filed against the town of Middlefield on behalf of Jennifer Huntington and other residents who have signed oil and gas leases, according to a media release from Levene, Gouldin & Thompson LLP, the Binghamton law firm retained for the effort. 

The town passed a local law in June that prohibits heavy industry, including gas drilling. 


Middlefield Complaint-full text:



Middlefield, NY Lawsuit

Anschutz Exploration Corp. v. Town of Dryden


A second law suit filed in as many days challenges a New York town's authority to ban natural gas exploration, drilling,etc.

Here are the initial documents:


Verified Petition & ComplaintAnschutz Exploration Corporation_Town of Dryden Zoning Challenge Sovas Affidavit With Exhibit Anschutz Exploration Corporation_Town of Dryden Zoning Challenge Memorandum of Law in Support of Petition & ComplaintAnschutz Exploration Corporation_Town of Dryden Zoning ...

September 22, 2011

Float

Image representing Scribd as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

Float is a fun and easy social reading app for your iPhone. Explore your favorite web content, including news, magazines, blogs, documents and more -- all in one 
place, while connecting with friends and readers just like you. Discover content by interests or through friend recommendations on Twitter, Facebook and Scribd.

Compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), and iPad. Requires iOS 4.0 or later.
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September 23, 2011

Free PACER Training Site Available

Are you interested in learning how to access federal court records
online, or want to sharpen the record-searching skills you already have?
A training site for the federal judiciary's Public Access to Court
Electronic Records (PACER) service recently became available.

The site features data from real cases filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Western District of New York in 2007. There's no charge. Current
and future users of PACER can benefit from the training site.




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October 6, 2011

NYLJ: Baum Firm to Pay $2 Million, Alter Practices

One of New York state's biggest foreclosure law firms will revamp its practices and pay a $2 million fine to settle a six-month probe by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District that found it had filed misleading pleadings, affidavits and mortgage assignments in state and federal courts.

In a settlement agreement announced today, the firm, Steven J. Baum, P.C. of Amherst, will implement a series of internal controls that include a pledge not to bring foreclosure actions without reviewing the original promissory notes or reviewing a copy of the note from its client or custodian of the document.

The 12-page agreement also prohibits the firm's employees from executing mortgage assignments as officials or representatives of MERS, an electronic mortgage registry system.

Read the entire NYLJ article here (Free Registration may be required).


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October 9, 2011

Secret U.S. Memo Made Legal Case to Kill a Citizen - NYTimes.com

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration's secret legal memorandum that opened the door to the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical Muslim cleric hiding in Yemen, found that it would be lawful only if it were not feasible to take him alive, according to people who have read the document.

The memo, written last year, followed months of extensive interagency deliberations and offers a glimpse into the legal debate that led to one of the most significant decisions made byPresident Obama -- to move ahead with the killing of an American citizen without a trial.

The secret document provided the justification for acting despite an executive order banning assassinations, a federal law against murder, protections in the Bill of Rights and various strictures of the international laws of war, according to people familiar with the analysis. The memo, however, was narrowly drawn to the specifics of Mr. Awlaki's case and did not establish a broad new legal doctrine to permit the targeted killing of any Americans believed to pose a terrorist threat.

Read entire NYTIMES Report here. (May require free registration)

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October 12, 2011

Divorce Cases Are Complicated by New Maintenance Rules-NYLJ

ALBANY - A new system for calculating interim maintenance awards in matrimonial actions, adopted last year to make no-fault divorce more palatable, is under fire from many attorneys who say it is confusing, and potentially inequitable.

Several matrimonial lawyers said the new rules are so rigid that they have taken from judges the discretion to decide fair temporary payments while divorce actions are pending.

***

But more and more lower court opinions have tackled the statute's anomalies.

In Scott M. v. Ilona M., 31 Misc. 3d 353, 915 N.Y.S. 2d 834 (2011), for instance, Justice Sunshine deviated from the guidelines by ruling that the temporary maintenance total was inadequate to meet the expenses of a wife and the couple's child, and he increased the amount, as well as awarded attorney's fees to the woman's attorney (NYLJ, Feb. 1).

Other cases, including J.H. v. W.H., 31 Misc.3d 1203(A), 2011 WL 1158653, and Jill G. v. Jeffrey G., 31 Misc.3d 1209(A), 2011 WL 1364481, have explored questions of how attorney's fees, child support and tax consequences should factor into the temporary maintenance formulas.

Meanwhile, court administrators have supplied judges and litigants with an eight-page online worksheet for calculating an appropriate maintenance award.

http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/TMG-Worksheet.PDF

http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/calculator.pdf

Read the entire NYLJ article by Joel Stashenko here.

October 18, 2011

NYSBA Ethics Opinion 882 (10/14/2011)

Topic: Lawyer's participation in residential real estate transaction that includes both a "seller's concession" and an equivalent "gross-up" in the sales

price


Digest: If the sales price in a residential real estate transaction has been "grossed-up" in exchange for a "seller's concession," all transaction documents containing the grossed- up sales price must disclose that the sales price has been increased by a sum equal to the seller's concession. Rules: 8.4(c).



"...in a residential real estate transaction where the sales contract, the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, the transfer tax return and any other documents that contain the sales price [shall] each contain the following statement (or a substantially similar statement): "The sales price has been increased by a sum equal to the seller's concession."


Read the entire opinion here.




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October 25, 2011

NYSERDA: Agriculture Disaster Program


PON 2422 Agriculture Disaster Program

Description

The Agriculture Disaster Program is available to assist farms and on-farm producers in New York State damaged by Hurricane Irene and/or Tropical Storm Lee. Many New York State farms sustained significant damage by the recent storms and existing aid is primarily focused on crops and soil conservation. Under this program, $4,175,000 is available to provide financial assistance toward projects replacing and installing a farm's electric and natural gas distribution and use equipment and systems damaged during the storms in non-residential facilities.

Covered equipment includes pumps, compressors, lighting, HVAC, chillers, refrigeration, commercial washers and some natural gas (limited to 10% of total). Farm residences are not covered.

The funds will be dispensed on a first come first served basis.  Limit is $100,000 per farm. The details are covered in the attached NYSERDA program description .


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November 19, 2011

CiteThisForMe - The Harvard Referencing Generator

CiteThisForMe

http://www.citethisforme.com/

Creating a bibliography or set of references used to be quite time consuming, however a number of free programs and applications have helped make this process much simpler. One such application is CiteThisForMe, which allows users to create their own references via this handy form. CiteThisForMe uses the Harvard referencing style, and visitors just need to enter a number of details to create each reference. Visitors have the option to cite a book, newspaper, journal, website, or other type of source. This version is compatible with all operating systems.


***


From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2011. http://scout.wisc.edu/

***


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November 21, 2011

PERF Statement on "Occupy" Protests



Over the last few days, the Police Executive Research Forum has been the subject of several false articles and blog postings alleging that we have been coordinating police crackdowns on Occupy protests. This is not true. PERF conducted two conference calls for the sole purpose of allowing police chiefs to compare notes about their experiences with "Occupy" protests. The last conference call was held on November 4--more than two weeks ago.

PERF urges everyone who wishes to obtain an accurate view of PERF's work to read a report that we released in July 2011 called "Managing Major Events: Best Practices from the Field." This report, which is available on our website athttp://www.policeforum.org/dotAsset/1491727.pdf, summarizes the views of police leaders who participated in a PERF conference in November 2010 to discuss issues related to major events such as large-scale protests. See especially the following:

--Chapter 2, titled "A 'Softer' Approach to Crowd Management: The Vancouver Model," offers this advice: "Be proactive by reaching out to the public or influential community groups beforehand to inform them of your planned activities during an event.... Use the 'meet and greet' strategy. Engage the crowd in a friendly, non-confrontational manner....Most protesters are peaceful; don't allow a small group of instigators to provoke an aggressive response from officers."

--Chapter 7, titled "Preparing for Protesters at Major Events," includes this recommendation: "When dealing with law-breaking protesters, don't forget that thousands of nonviolent protesters are merely exercising their First Amendment rights. So the police must differentiate the lawbreaking protesters from those who are peaceful."

We also invite everyone to review our many other reports on our website (http://policeforum.org), which can be found in the "Free Doc Library" and "Critical Issues Series" sections. We believe that these documents will provide an accurate view of PERF's history of promoting community policing and police strategies that ensure that everyone's Constitutional rights, including First Amendment free speech rights, are protected.

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Empire Justice Center: New York Laws Involving the Confidentiality of Domestic Violence Victim-Related Information

For a comprehensive listing of New York's confidentiality protections for domestic violence victims, see:

Review the provisions of New York's new AddressConfidentiality Program, effective June, 2012.


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December 2, 2011

Drilling Down: Archive of Oil and Gas Leases - Document - NYTimes.com

The New York Times has collected more than 111,000 oil and gas leases and related documents through open records requests made to more than six dozen counties with rich natural gas prospects. Over 100,000 of the documents in the archive are from Tarrant County, Tex., roughly 3,200 are from New York, and the remainder are from states including Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Related Article »




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January 15, 2012

Is Too Much Plus a Minus for Google? « StevenLevy.com

Google's Server Error page

Image via Wikipedia

On Tuesday, Google announced something called Search, plus Your World (SPYW). It marked a startling transformation of the company's flagship product, Google Search, into an amplifier of social content. Google's critics--as well as some folks generally well intentioned towards Google--have complained that the social content it amplifies is primarily Google's own product, Google+.



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January 17, 2012

App Store - New York State Bar Association Mobile Ethics App for NY Attorneys

Description


Searchable database of ethics opinions from the New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics. Available for search by keyword, category or opinion number. Search more than 850 opinions on topics including various conflicts of interest, attorney advertising, standards for social media and social networking and more. Opinions are keyed to the New York Rules of Model Conduct and are available for sharing via social networks or email. Ethics opinions are available to all and are of particular interest to attorneys in New York State.

iPhone Screenshots


January 27, 2012

New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment - Maps

For those interested in redistricting information, here is a link to the NYS Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment.  You will be able to see the proposed lines for all the NYS Assembly and Senators.  The Congressional lines have not been released as of yet.

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February 9, 2012

Ninth Circuit's Ruling in Prop 8 Case

Ninth Circuit's Ruling in Prop 8 Case
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February 16, 2012

California Audit Finds Broad Irregularities in Foreclosures - NYTimes.com

The improprieties range from the basic -- a failure to warn borrowers that they were in default on their loans as required by law -- to the arcane. For example, transfers of many loans in the foreclosure files were made by entities that had no right to assign them and institutions took back properties in auctions even though they had not proved ownership.

Commissioned by Phil Ting, the San Francisco assessor-recorder, the report examined files of properties subject to foreclosure sales in the county from January 2009 to November 2011. About 84 percent of the files contained what appear to be clear violations of law, it said, and fully two-thirds had at least four violations or irregularities.



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March 1, 2012

Stewart Challenges Resentence, Claims Penalty for Speech-NYLJ

Read Mark Hamblett's full text article here.

Mr. Fahringer told the circuit panel hearing United States v. Stewart, 10-3185-cr., that it was wrong to punish Ms. Stewart for comments made "on the steps of the courthouse," where there has always been "much wider latitude" for speech.

He urged the panel not to go "down that road" because "no one will be able to comment after a sentence for fear that the same thing could happen to them."

Read Ms. Stewart's brief.

***

And when asked about Mr. Fahringer's argument that the benefit of the doubt goes to the speaker when the speech is ambiguous, Mr. Dember answered that "Judge Koeltl didn't find any of the statements ambiguous at all."

Read the brief of the United States.




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March 5, 2012

Reentry Resource Center - New York



Reentry Net/NY is a support network and information clearinghouse on prison and jail reentry, and the consequences of criminal proceedings in New York State. Attorneys, social service providers, policy advocates, individuals with criminal records, family and community members are encouraged to join for full access to the online resource library, monthly mailings, and calendar updates.

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March 9, 2012

Judge Rebuffs Challenge to Ban on Non-Lawyer Firm Ownership-NYLJ

Jacoby & Meyers, LLP v. The Presiding Justices of the First, Second Third and Fourth Departments, A...Read entire Mark Hamblett NYLJ article here.


A challenge by Jacoby & Meyers to New York state's ban on law firms accepting equity investments from non-lawyers has been dismissed by a federal judge.

Southern District Judge Lewis A. Kaplan (See Profile) on March 8 said the personal injury firm's lawsuit challenging Rule 5.4 of New York's Rules of Professional Conductmust fail because the rule is not the only one in New York that "forecloses plaintiffs from receiving non-lawyer equity investment," but it was the only one challenged by the firm.

***

New York Assistant Attorneys General Daniel A. Schulze and Michael J. Siudzinski represented the state in Jacoby & Meyers, LLP v. The Presiding Justices of the First, Second Third and Fourth Departments, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, 11 Civ. 3387.






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March 13, 2012

Finding significant citations for legal opinions - Google Scholar Blog

English:

Image via Wikipedia


Read entire announcement from Google Scholar here.

Allowing users to find citing documents for an article is a key feature of Google Scholar. Ever since they added legal opinions,  legal researchers have asked them to make it easy to find significant citing decisions for a case - that is, decisions that discuss a case at some length, possibly supporting it, overturning it or differentiating it from others. 

They are changing how they present citations to legal opinions. Now, instead of sorting the citing documents by their prominence, Scholar sorts them by the extent of discussion of the cited case. Opinions that discuss the cited case in detail are presented before ones that mention the case briefly. They indicate the extent of discussion visually and indicate opinions that discuss the cited case at length, that discuss it moderately and those that discuss it briefly. Opinions that don't discuss the cited case are left unmarked. For example, see opinions citing Dique v. New Jersey State Police, 603 F. 3d 181.





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April 3, 2012

Important Announcement from Commission on Forensic Science - NY DCJS

From: Marvin Schechter 
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 6:42 PM
To: 'NYSBA LISTSERV CJS (criminaljustice@lists.nysba.org)'
Subject: IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT - COMMISSISON ON FORENSIC SCIENCE

 

All:

 

As of Monday, March 26th the briefing materials which are given to members of the NYS Commission on Forensic Science (CFS) are now being posted on the website of the Division of Criminal JusticeServices in a non-searchable PDF format.  These briefing materials include inter alia the accreditation assessments done by ASCLD/LAB (the entity which currently inspects laboratories and recommends their accreditation and whose reports the CFS is entirely dependent upon), the DCJS Annual Assessments of NY laboratories for the entire year, comments from various organizations regarding the Inspector General's Report which among other things was highly critical of the CS's role with respect to the failure (and eventual closing) of the Nassau County Police Laboratory. There are also documents which show the errors laboratories make, how these are discovered and how the errors are corrected.

 

In future briefing materials you can expect to see copies of "Self-Accreditation Reports" which are documents that contain checklists involving all aspects of what a laboratory does and which laboratory directors sign-off noting what is done and what is not followed by ASCLD/LAB criticisms which must then be corrected. 

 

While the above references to materials may be unfamiliar to many here is what you can expect to find.  First the plethora of reports are specifically keyed to a laboratory, e.g. The Westchester County Department of Laboratories and Research.  The DCJS Annual Assessments of letters from the laboratories detailing specifically errors made in forensic analysis across the broad spectrum of the forensic disciplines, what the laboratory did to correct the error and who was notified, e.g., on April 18, 2011, the Forensic Laboratories of the Onondaga County Health Department, Center for Forensic Studies (Onondaga) reported a weight discrepancy to ASCLD/LAB which led to an exchange of letters between ASCLD/LAB and Onondaga as to the cause of the discrepancy, the institution of random testing of past work of the examiner involved and corrective actions which were done to the satisfaction of ASCLD/LAB.  The correspondence reveals that the ADA was notified of the discrepancy.  Such material provides practitioners with an inside look at how problems can arise in the laboratory setting and may provide insights into how practitioners will treat discovery requests and prepare for direct and cross examination.  Also by reviewing such materials practitioners for the first time will have specific information to give judges about how a laboratory is working, any problems it may be having and thus provide jurists with a better understanding of how to handle oral arguments involving discovery and objections to the same.

 

Sometimes discrepancies cannot be explained as was the case in  letter from the ASCLD/LAB Biology Proficiency Review Committee (PRC) on May 11, 2011, to the Westchester County Laboratory regarding DNA samples in a proficiency test.  The proficiency test (including the samples)had been prepared by an outside agency.  After investigation the laboratory speculated to the PRC what the root cause of the discrepancy might be (possible degradation of the 20 year old sample) but could not explain why there was no degradation in two other samples received in the proficiency test.  Remarkably the laboratory told the PRC that "we have seen similar problems in CTS samples, which we can only postulate are attributable to variations in their sample preparation."

 

These example noted herein are simply to illustrate the wealth of information and new avenues of inquiry which are now available to both prosecutors and defense attorneys who are engaged in pre-trial preparation of cases involving forensic issues.  It is now axiomatic that counsel who have forensic issues in a NYS case must as a matter of course review the online materials of the CFS to discover whether the laboratory which is involved in the testing of materials that are germane to a particular case is having or has had problems either specifically related to the forensic discipline at issue or general operational problems that go the laboratory's credibility.

 

In addition to written materials, you can also view on the DCJS website a complete videotape of the CFS meetings.  I do not know if the video is downloadable but if not one can request a disc by callingthe CFS.  To get to the written materials and/or view the video go to the DCJS website, look on the left side of webpage for the title "Open Meetings," click on "Open Meetings," go to "Date of CFS Meeting," click on either the written materials or the video button.

 

As your Chair and also a member of the CFS, I am available to anyone who has questions about the import of the above.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 

 (Editor's note:  This material is very difficult to find.  Here is a link to the page.  


http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/pio/openmeetings.htm


Many direct links are reproduced here below)

 

MARVIN E. SCHECHTER, Esq.
1790 Broadway, Suite 710
New York, New York 10019
Tel.: (212) 307-1405
Fax.: (212) 307-1431
marvin@schelaw.com



 


03-27-2012 - DCJS Commission on Forensic Science Meeting

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April 4, 2012

Trove of Unsealed Court Documents Capture Kelley Drye Partner's Push to Get Paid After Age 70

Read entire article in AmLaw Daily

posted by

Sara Randazzo

(Editor's Note:  These documents provide a fascinating glimpse at how the "other half" work.  I suppose these days, we'd have to call them "the 1%")

***

Chronologically, the 83 pages of filings--which the judge overseeing the EEOC litigation ordered Kelley Drye to make public on March 2 over the firm's objections--begin with two letters from D'Ablemont clients expressing dismay that he will no longer be allowed to take the lead on their matters.

"While I understand your firm's position on partner advancement, it creates a rather difficult situation for our company as we move forward," says a letter (PDF) dated February 1, 2000, with the writer's name redacted. "We have remained a Kelley Drye client largely in part to your personal involvement in the growth of our company from 1970 to the present day."


***


How much did a Kelley Drye life partner earn? At the time the dispute was unfolding, according to excerpts of a Kelley Drye partnership agreement (PDF) made public Monday, attorneys who had achieved that status received a fixed annual income based on their average earnings in their three peak-earning years as equity partners. (The same agreement shows the firm protecting itself against becoming over committed to retired partners by capping life partner salaries at 4 percent of the firm's partnership earnings in a given fiscal year and requiring that any individual life partner cannot be paid more than half the average partner earnings for the year.)

***

In a March 2000 letter (PDF), D'Ablemont asks that the firm increase the client development funds available to him from $10,000 to $20,000. He needs the money, he writes, to maintain his membership at theWestchester Country Club ($6,800 a year), The Metropolitan Club($1,900) and the club at Seabrook Island ($1,000).


***

Jumping ahead, the next letter (PDF) contained in the unsealed documents that management sent to D'Ablemont is dated July 2008. It involves a separate dispute between the two sides--whether or not legal services provided to D'Ablemont's family should be paid for by the firm.

***


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April 12, 2012

1940 Census Goes Digital « Government Book Talk

Read entire Government Book Talk Article


Last week, on April 2, 2012, the 1940 United States census was released to the public in digital format by the National Archives in conjunction with the U.S Census Bureau athttp://1940census.archives.gov




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May 19, 2012

Check Your Future Social Security Payouts With New Online Tool | The Exchange - Yahoo! Finance

Seal of the United States Social Security Admi...

Seal of the United States Social Security Administration. It appears on Social Security cards. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Read Entire Article here.

by  Lisa Scherzer 

***
As of May 1, eligible workers over 18 can access their Social Security statements online -- and view their earnings and benefit information -- by creating an account at My Social Security.
***
You'll need to provide some personal information (address, Social Security number, phone number) that matches information already on file with Social Security to verify your identity, and answer a few questions for security purposes.
***
-The tool shows three options for your monthly benefit amount based on your current earnings rate: at full retirement age; at age 70; and at early retirement age (62). The estimates are based on your average earnings to date and assume you will earn the same annual income from now until retirement. 



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Typography for Lawyers


Equity: a new font for lawyers

A new text family designed by Matthew Butterick, 

inspired by legal typography and the needs of legal writers. 

Equity combines classic good looks with modern typesetting conveniences. 

Only available at the TFL website.

Typog­ra­phy for Lawyers: the book

Typography for Lawyers book cover

 








Get the book that Bryan A. Garner

editor in chief of Black's

 Law Dictionarycalls a "tour de force" that's 

"smartly reasoned," "well written," 

and "assuredly infallible."


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May 24, 2012

New IRS Publication for Conduit Issuers of Tax-Exempt Bonds

The Internal Revenue Service has released the new Publication 5005Your Responsibilities as a Conduit Issuer of Tax-Exempt Bonds. This publication provides an overview for state and local governments of the responsibilities of the conduit issuer with respect to tax compliance in municipal financing arrangements commonly known as conduit financings.  


This publication is based on the recommendations of the TE/GE Advisory Committee, also known as the ACT.

For more information about the above item or if you have other tax-exempt bonds questions, go to Tax Exempt Bond Community on IRS.gov. 

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May 31, 2012

New FEDERALLY MANDATED Income Withholding Order (IWO) REQUIRED to be in use by May 31, 2012-Broome Co. Bar Ass'n

       Please be advised that there is a new FEDERALLY
MANDATED Income Withholding Order (IWO) which is REQUIRED to be in use by May
31, 2012 - i.e. - effective immediately.

The new IWO requires all payments be sent to the Support Disbursement
Unit in Albany, and instructs employers to REJECT IWO's that are not on the
new form.

The new form and instructions (prepared by OCA and the Office of
Temporary Disability Assistance (OTDA) can be found at OCA's new child support
website:

http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/childsupport/ 

This new child support website includes links to federal and state
child support resources - as well as OTDA's new Application for Support
Services Form and  the new IWO forms for use in both Family and Supreme Court.

Additionally - please be aware that that amendments to the Uncontested
Divorce Packet will include a special set of simplified instructions
about the new IWO and applications for child support services, copies of
which can be obtained at:

http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/pdfs/Divorce-Packet-Instructions.pdf 

ONCE AGAIN - PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE NEW FORMS ARE EFFECTIVE TODAY.
Submission of forms not incompliance with the new federally manadate
form will be rejected by employers.

Please circulate as you deem appropriate.

Thank you!!

Sindy L. Garey
Executive Director
Broome County Bar Association
(607) 723-6331
Email:  exdirbcbar@stny.rr.com 

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June 14, 2012

Sui Generis--a New York law blog: Lawyers' use of social media during trials

Read Nicole Black's Excellent Article in Full here or see link below:

***

...Formal Opinion No. 743, issued by the New York County Lawyers' Association Committee on Professional Ethics, which addressed the issue of how lawyers can ethically use social media for juror research during trials. The committee concluded that pursuant to RPA 3.5 it is ethically permissible for attorneys to conduct research and follow jurors' social media interactions only if the jurors are unaware of the monitoring.

More recently, the New York City Bar Association's Committee on Professional Ethics addressed a similar issue in Formal Opinion 2012. The specific issue addressed was: "What ethical restrictions, if any, apply to an attorney's use of social media websites to research potential or sitting jurors?"

The committee reached the same conclusion as the New York County Ethics Committee and concluded that lawyers can use social media to research jurors, so long as the jurors remain unaware that the research is occurring.

The committee explained that it was important to ensure that a juror did not learn of of the attorney's actions, whether in the form of a notification from the social media site or otherwise. If the attorney knew a juror would be aware of the monitoring, then it would be unethical to conduct the research on that particular site. Furthermore, even if the attorney was unaware that a notification would be sent, if the juror subsequently learned of the monitoring, then it could still qualify as a prohibited communication in violation of RPE 3.5.

****


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June 17, 2012

Verizon's new Share Everything Plans: The devil's in the details - Computerworld

Verizon High Speed Internet

Verizon High Speed Internet (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



There are a lot of details in Verizon's new Share Everything data, voice and text sharing plans, some of which are mentioned in footnotes on Verizon's Web site (pdf format).

Here, Computerworld attempts to explain it for you.

What's new? In simple terms, Verizon will launch on June 28 Share Everything Plans that share unlimited voice and texting across all the devices on a customer's account. Data will also be shared for up to 10 of those devices, including smartphones and tablets.


***

Verizon will charge a monthly line access charge per device, ranging from $10 for a tablet to $40 for a smartphone. Basic cell phones will be $30 a month, while Wi-Fi access devices, netbooks and notebooks will be $20 a month.

On top of that, data service will be charged at a rate starting at $50 for 1 GB per month, which can be shared across 10 devices. The rates go up as follows: 2GB for $60; 4 GB for $70; 6 GB for $80; 8 GB for $90 and 10 GB for $100. There is an overage charge of $15 for each 1 GB of data service.

***



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June 18, 2012

"The Story & The Algorithm: 2012 MIT-Knight Civic Media Conference" will livestream here June 18-19, 2012.

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.



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July 14, 2012

Freeh Report of the Actions of Penn State University

Freeh Report of the Actions of Penn State University
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July 22, 2012

Jack Daniel's Sends the Most Polite Cease-and-Desist Letter Ever--Mashable Business



Read the entire article here at Mashable Business.


In what might just be the nicest cease-and-desist letter ever, the people at Jack Daniel's Properties not only politely explained the situation to Wensink, the offending author, the company even offered to help pay for the cost of designing a new cover.

Jack Daniel's Properties isn't even forcing Wensink to take his book off the shelf. Instead, the company just wants him to change the cover when it's reprinted.





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July 23, 2012

Housing Choice Voucher Program Guidebook - HUD

The purpose of this guidebook is to advise public housing agencies (PHAs) and other organizations providing services to PHAs, regarding the administration of the tenant-based subsidy programs. It includes an historical review of the tenant-based rental assistance programs, discusses program requirements in detail, and provides helpful administrative practices currently used by PHAs that operate the program.

The new Housing Choice Voucher Program Guidebook (7420.10g) is enroute to Public Housing Agencies and HUD field offices through the normal hud distribution process. Additional hard copies may be requested from the HUD distribution center by telephone (1-800-767-7468) or on-line at HUDclips. An electronic copy may also be downloaded from link below.

The new Housing Choice Voucher Program Guidebook (7420.10g) is now available. It serves to advise PHAs and other organizations providing services to PHAs, regarding the administration of the tenant-based subsidy programs.

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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.


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August 14, 2012

Nursing Home Inspect Report-ProPublica




Use this tool to search more than 20,000 nursing home inspection reports, most completed since January 2011, and encompassing nearly 118,000 deficiencies. 


|Related Story: Search Nursing Home Inspection Reports With ProPublica's New Interactive Tool.




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August 16, 2012

USCIS - Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Process

Filing Process

How do I request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals?
To request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals from USCIS, you must submitForm I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals to USCIS. This form must be completed, properly signed and accompanied by a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, and a Form I-765WS, Worksheet, establishing your economic need for employment. If you fail to submit a completed Form I-765 (along with the accompanying filing fees for that form, totaling $465), USCIS will not consider your request for deferred action. Please read the form instructions to ensure that you submit all the required documentation to support your request. 
 
You must file your request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals at the USCIS Lockbox. You can find the mailing address and instructions on www.uscis.gov/i-821d. After your Form I-821D, Form I-765, and Form I-765 Worksheet have been received, USCIS will review them for completeness, including submission of the required fee, initial evidence and supporting documents. If it is determined that the request is complete, USCIS will send you a receipt notice. USCIS will then send you an appointment notice to visit an Application Support Center (ASC) for biometric services. Please make sure you read and follow the directions in the notice. Failure to attend your biometrics appointment may delay processing of your request for consideration of deferred action, or may result in a denial of your request. You may also choose to receive an email and/or text message notifying you that your form has been accepted by completing a Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance.

Each request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals will be reviewed on an individual, case-by-case basis. USCIS may request more information or evidence from you, or request that you appear at a USCIS office. USCIS will notify you of its determination in writing.

Note: All individuals who believe they meet the guidelines, including those in removal proceedings, with a final removal order, or with a voluntary departure order (and not in immigration detention), may affirmatively request consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals from USCIS through this process. Individuals who are currently in immigration detention and believe they meet the guidelines may not request consideration of deferred action from USCIS but may identify themselves to their detention officer or to the ICE Office of the Public Advocate through the Office's hotline at 1-888-351-4024 (staffed 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday) or by email atEROPublicAdvocate@ice.dhs.gov.

Will USCIS conduct a background check when reviewing my request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals?
Yes. You must undergo biographic and biometric background checks before USCIS will consider whether to exercise prosecutorial discretion under the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals process. If you have been convicted of any felony, a significant misdemeanor offense, three or more misdemeanor offenses not occurring on the same date and not arising out of the same act, omission, or scheme of misconduct, or otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety, you will not be considered for deferred action for childhood arrivals except where DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances.

What do background checks involve?
Background checks involve checking biographic and biometric information provided by the individuals against a variety of databases maintained by DHS and other federal government agencies.

If USCIS does not exercise deferred action in my case, will I be placed in removal proceedings?
If you have submitted a request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals and USCIS decides not to defer action in your case, USCIS will apply its policy guidance governing the referral of cases to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the issuance of Notices to Appear (NTA). If your case does not involve a criminal offense, fraud, or a threat to national security or public safety, your case will not be referred to ICE for purposes of removal proceedings except where DHS determines there are exceptional circumstances. For more detailed information on the applicable NTA policy visit www.uscis.gov/NTA. If after a review of the totality of circumstances USCIS determines to defer action in your case, USCIS will likewise exercise its discretion and will not issue you a Notice to Appear.

Can I obtain a fee waiver or fee exemption for this process?
There are no fee waivers available for employment authorization applications connected to the deferred action for childhood arrivals process. There are very limited fee exemptions available. Requests for fee exemptions must be filed and favorably adjudicated before an individual files his/her request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals without a fee. In order to be considered for a fee exemption, you must submit a letter and supporting documentation to USCIS demonstrating that you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You are under 18 years of age, homeless, in foster care or under 18 years of age and otherwise lacking any parental or other familial support, and your income is less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level.
  • You cannot care for yourself because you suffer from a serious, chronic disability and your income is less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level.
  • You have, at the time of the request, accumulated $25,000 or more in debt in the past 12 months as a result of unreimbursed medical expenses for yourself or an immediate family member, and your income is less than 150% of the U.S. poverty level.

Additional information on how to make your request for a fee exemption is available onwww.uscis.gov/childhoodarrivals. Your request must be submitted and decided before you submit a request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals without a fee. In order to be considered for a fee exemption, you must provide documentary evidence to demonstrate that you meet any of the above conditions at the time that you make the request. For evidence, USCIS will:

  • Accept affidavits from community-based or religious organizations to establish a requestor's homelessness or lack of parental or other familial financial support.
  • Accept copies of tax returns, banks statement, pay stubs, or other reliable evidence of income level. Evidence can also include an affidavit from the applicant or a responsible third party attesting that the applicant does not file tax returns, has no bank accounts, and/or has no income to prove income level.
  • Accept copies of medical records, insurance records, bank statements, or other reliable evidence of unreimbursed medical expenses of at least $25,000.
  • Address factual questions through requests for evidence (RFEs).

Will there be supervisory review of decisions by USCIS under this process?
Yes. USCIS will implement a supervisory review process in all four Service Centers to ensure a consistent process for considering requests for deferred action for childhood arrivals. USCIS will require officers to elevate for supervisory review those cases that involve certain factors.

Can I appeal USCIS's determination?
No. You cannot file a motion to reopen or reconsider, and cannot appeal the decision if USCIS denies your request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals. USCIS will not review its discretionary determinations. You may request a review using the Service Request Management Tool (SRMT) process if you met all of the process guidelines and you believe that your request was denied due to one of the following errors:

  • USCIS denied the request for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals based on abandonment and you claim that you did respond to a Request for Evidence within the prescribed time; or
  • USCIS mailed the Request for Evidence to the wrong address, even though you had submitted a Form AR-11, Change of Address, or changed your address online atwww.uscis.gov before the issuance of the Request for Evidence.

Can I extend the period of deferred action in my case?
Yes. Unless terminated, individuals whose case is deferred pursuant to the consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals process will not be placed into removal proceedings or removed from the United States for a period of two years. You may request consideration for an extension of that period of deferred action. As long as you were not above the age of 30 on June 15, 2012, you may request a renewal after turning 31. Your request for an extension will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If my period of deferred action is extended, will I need to re-apply for an extension of my employment authorization?
Yes. If USCIS decides to defer action for additional periods beyond the initial two years, you must also have requested an extension of your employment authorization.

Will USCIS personnel responsible for reviewing requests for an exercise of prosecutorial discretion under this process receive special training?
Yes. USCIS personnel responsible for considering requests for consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals will receive special training.



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August 19, 2012

App of the Week: The Bluebook Goes Mobile (Legal Productivity)

Read entire article by Tim Baran here.

Used by lawyers, judges, paralegals, law students and others in the legal profession,The Bluebook, A Uniform System of Citation, is the authoritative style guide for legal citation in the United States.

The frequently referenced, ever expanding (over 500 pages!) spiral bound 8.3 x 5.7 book in signature blue is now available on all Apple iOS devices, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch via the Rulebook App. as an in-app purchase for $39.99.


For one day only, August 22, 2012, the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure, Bankruptcy Procedure, Civil Procedure, Criminal Procedure and Evidence may be downloaded at no charge on the rulebook app . All you need to do is download the free app and then download the federal rules, which will be priced "free" on that day.
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August 20, 2012

HelloSign




 Scan or Import Documents to Sign for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation) and iPad on the iTunes App Store

Need to sign a document when you are on the go? The HelloSign app saves you from the laborious process of printing, signing and scanning.. All you need to do is:

1) Import any PDF from your email or take a picture of the document you need to have signed.
2) Create a realistic signature with your finger. Looks just like an ink signature.
3) Via email, send the signed document to the desired recipient(s).

Use HelloSign to sign and complete important and timely documents such as consulting agreements, NDA's, sales real estate contracts, financing agreements and more...

Key Features:
• Fingertip document signing 
• Edit any PDF or photo to add text, checkmark or signature
• Upload a document with camera
• Sign unlimited documents
• Open PDF files directly from your inbox
• Signed document are imported back into your email to make sending easy
• Always free and easy to use

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August 21, 2012

Revised Jury Instructions Hope to Deter Juror Use of Social Media During Trial | United States Courts

A Judicial Conference Committee has updated the model set of jury instructions (pdf) federal judges use to deter jurors from using social media to research or communicate about cases on which they serve. The new guidelines provide detailed explanations of the consequences of social media use during a trial, along with recommendations for repeated reminders of the ban on social media usage.

The update comes in response to a national survey of federal trial judges by the Federal Judicial Center at the request of the Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management (CACM).

"The overwhelming majority of judges take steps to warn jurors not to use social media during trial, but the judges surveyed said additional steps should be taken," said Judge Julie A. Robinson, CACM Committee chair. "The judges recommended that jurors frequently be reminded about the prohibition on social media before the trial, at the close of a case, at the end of each day before jurors return home, and other times, as appropriate. Jurors should be told why refraining from use of social media promotes a fair trial. Finally, jurors should know the consequences of violations during trial, such as mistrial and wasted time. Those recommendations are now part of the guidelines."

Read the full story
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August 25, 2012

StayExempt.org



The IRS office of Exempt Organizations (EO) is pleased to present "Stay Exempt"--a series of dynamic and comprehensive tax courses that can help your tax-exempt organization maintain its exempt status and meet its filing requirements.

As part of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) operating division of the Internal Revenue Service, EO strives to support the IRS mission of ensuring that all customers understand and meet their tax responsibilities.  It does this by offering specialized assistance to the full range of organizations exempt from Federal income tax under the Internal Revenue Code.  EO's programs and services help these organizations understand and comply with tax laws and regulations governing their tax-exempt status. 

The Director of EO plans, manages, directs, and executes nationwide activities for EO.  The Director reports to the TE/GE Division Commissioner. The Director also supervises and is responsible for EO's offices of Customer Education & Outreach, Rulings & Agreements, and Examinations.

The EO Customer Education & Outreach office coordinates, assists, and supports the development of internal and external communications, forms and publications, and external education and outreach efforts, including this website.

The EO Rulings and Agreements office processes applications for tax exemption and provides direction through private letter rulings and technical guidance.

The EO Examinations office promotes compliance by analyzing operational and financial activities of exempt organizations.  These activities include developing processes to identify areas of noncompliance, developing corrective strategies, and assisting other EO functions in implementing these strategies.

To find out more about EO, or for more information about exempt organization tax compliance issues, visit the EO pages external link at the IRS website. external link  For account-specific questions, call TE/GE's Customer Account Services, toll-free, at 877-829-5500.


Here's an example of the materials available:


playPresentation 1: Navigating IRS Resources for Tax-Exempt Organizations
Published: June 30, 2011
Ever wonder what the IRS Web site contains for exempt organizations? This mini-course will show you what's available and how to find it.
Download Printable PDF Presentation | Download Playable PDF Presentation



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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.


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September 8, 2012

Attorney Email Scams



A helpful blog devoted to sharing and identifying e-mail phishing scams directed at lawyers.  Don't be embarrassed or lose money.  Check the site and contribute variations you may have received.

Email scams written just for Lawyers. May the power of Google save you all.




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September 20, 2012

Florida judge disqualified in a case over Facebook friendship with prosecutor

Domville v. Florida, No 4D12-556 (Fl. Ct. App.; Sept 5, 2012)
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September 23, 2012

R.E., M.E., et al v. NYC Dep't of Education

" In resolving a central question presented by these appeals, we hold that courts must 
evaluate the adequacy of an IEP prospectively as of the time of the parents' placement 
decision and may not consider  "retrospective" testimony regarding services not listed in 
the IEP.  However, we reject a rigid "four-corners rule" that would prevent a court from 
considering evidence explicating the written terms of the IEP.
"


R.E., M.E., et al v. NYC Dep't of Education
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September 28, 2012

IN THE MATTER OF KINDLON--Decided September 27, 2012.


Respondent's misconduct arose out of his representation of a criminal defendant. During a recess in the trial and while the prosecutor was outside the courtroom, respondent viewed, handled and photographed a document that was on the prosecution's table. Respondent did not seek, nor was he ever granted, permission by the prosecutor to examine, handle or photograph the document.




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October 1, 2012

Internal Revenue Service


As you may have noticed, the IRS has made extensive changes to the look and functionality of the IRS.gov website.  These changes aim to improve online services for all stakeholders with the best content and Web experience that the IRS can offer.

The new navigation is one of the most significant changes users will see on IRS.gov.  While the home page looks similar, there are new colors, new headings and a completely new way to navigate the site.  To maintain a measure of continuity between the old and new, you'll find a menu list in the upper right-hand corner called "Information for..." that incorporates virtually all content from the old site under familiar headings such as "Charities and Non-Profits," Government Entities," "Retirement Plans" and "Tax Exempt Bonds." Alternately, you can always use the web address irs.gov/govt typed directly into your browser's address window to access the page.

If you bookmarked pages in the old website, check the redesigned site and update your bookmarks and favorites.  A new feature on every page gives you the option of clicking a heart graphic to save the page as a bookmark.



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October 9, 2012

MobileLaw for iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad on the iTunes App Store



The MobileLaw™ application is a legal text navigation platform that currently includes more than 200 United States legal texts for download, including federal statutes and codes from New York, California, and Texas. Texts are uploaded constantly, and each is free for you to download and use at your convenience. No subscriptions; no fees.

Search for the codes you want, bookmark the sections you find, add the notes you want, and email them all for future reference.

Eliminate the cumbersome "page flipping" inherent with the use of other electronic references - the MobileLaw™ application provides the user an accordion-style, expandable table of contents, which gives immediate access to the rule you need intuitively and elegantly. Adjacent statutory provisions are available with a swipe to the right or left.


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October 16, 2012

Westlaw Case Notebook Portable E-Transcript on the iTunes App Store

For iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod touch (3rd generation), iPod touch (4th generation), iPod touch (5th generation) and iPad.

Portable E-Transcript is a professional grade application available for your iPad® or iPhone®.You can review and annotate E-Transcripts anytime, anywhere - all you need is an iPad or iPhone to begin using your E-Transcript electronic witness testimony transcripts on the go.

Portable E-Transcript features:
• Works on your iPad and iPhone
• Word Index helps you search and find terms within your E-Transcript
• Receive E-Transcript format (PTX) via email, Dropbox, and iTunes®
• Ability to add electronic highlighting and notes
• Email a transcript with highlighting and notes from iPad or iPhone
• Update the transcript in the desktop version of Westlaw Case Notebook to include the highlighting and notes added in the app"

iPhone JD (Jeff Richardson) sums up his review:  If you already use Westlaw Case Notebook to manage your litigation files, then I imagine that this app would be very useful.  If you don't use that product, then I doubt that you will want to use this app to highlight a transcript because you have no easy way to export the file with your annotations.  Even so, this is an app that every litigator should keep on their iPhone and iPad just in case they receive a .ptx file from a court reporter or another attorney.  With this app installed, at least you can look at the transcript immediately without having to go to a PC or ask to have the file sent to you again in another format such as pure text or PDF.

Click here to get Westlaw Case Notebook Portable E-Transcript (free):  Westlaw Case Notebook Portable E-Transcript - West, a Thomson Reuters business

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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.



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November 9, 2012

JURIST - Paper Chase: Update all JURIST bookmarks and feeds to jurist.org!


Friday, November 09, 2012

Update all JURIST bookmarks and feeds to jurist.org! 
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 jurist.org. As part of our continuing transition from our old domain (jurist.law.pitt.edu) to our current domain (jurist.org), 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 jurist.law.pitt.edu will cease to function. Don't miss out on the latest legal news from JURIST - update your bookmarks and feeds today!




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December 28, 2012

State's Highest Court Distinguishes "Critical Evaluation" From "Reprimand" For Purposes of Public Employee Due Process Rights : New York Labor and Employment Law Report

From the New York Labor & Law Report-Bond, Schoeneck & King (an excellent free resource for NYS labor law-public and private)

Although public employers may be aware of their obligation to provide certain types of employees with an opportunity for a hearing prior to imposing discipline (such as a written reprimand), the line between a non-disciplinary counseling memorandum and a disciplinary reprimand is not always clear.  The New York State Court of Appeals' recent decision in Matter of Michael D'Angelo v Nicholas Scoppetta serves as an important reminder that the term "reprimand" may be interpreted more broadly than public employers anticipate.


Read full text of decision below:


Matter of Michael D'Angelo v Nicholas Scoppetta
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December 31, 2012

Ten NY Law Professors Submit Amicus Brief in Gas Drilling Case « LAW OF THE LAND-Salkin

Dean Salkin joined with nine other law professors in an amicus brief to the NY Appellate Division, 3rd Dept. in Norse Energy v Town of Dryden.  

She has made the following available:

A copy of the amicus brief from the law professors is available here

The Appellant's brief (Norse Energy) is available here

The Town's Brief is available here

An amicus brief from the US Chamber of Commerce in support of hydrofracking is available here 

The New York Farm Bureau's Amicus Brief is available here

The amicus brief of the Catskill Riverkeeper and other environmental groups is availablehere

The amicus brief of the Town of Ulysses, the Association of Towns of the State of NY, the NY Planning Federation and the New York Conference of Mayors is available here



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January 7, 2013

How I Went Completely Paperless in Two Days-lifehacker


Adam Dachis describes a system he uses for his "paperless" office.  It uses:

  • Doxie One or Doxie Go ($149-199): The Doxie One is the cheaper of the two scanners, but the Doxie Go comes with a battery so you can scan on the go. Personally, I use the Doxie Go so I can more easily scan away from my computer (and watch TV during those big scanning jobs) but either model will do the job just fine.
  • Evernote: You'll use Evernote to store and organize your new digital paper. Download the app and sign up for an account (if you don't have one already).
  • Eye-Fi X2 Card (Optional, $30): When you put an Eye-Fi card in Doxie, it'll transfer scans over Wi-Fi back to your computer. While it requires a little extra setup, Doxie works much better this way. All you have to do is scan and check your computer moments later to find the file(s).
Read the entire article...just click below:


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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. 
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January 31, 2013

Access to Court Opinions Expands | United States Courts


A pilot project giving the public free, text-searchable, online-access to court opinions now is available to all federal appellate, district and bankruptcy courts.

The Judicial Conference, the policy-making body of the Federal court system, approved national implementation of the project with the Government Printing Office, Federal Digital System (FDsys), which provides free access to publications from all three branches of federal government via the Internet. The pilot project pulls opinions nightly from courts' Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) systems and sends them to the GPO, where they are processed and posted on the FDsys website. The functionality to transfer opinions to FDsys is included in the latest release of CM/ECF which is now available to all courts. Twenty-nine courts participated in the original pilot, and now, all courts may opt to participate in the program.

Access to judicial opinions through FDsys allows the Judiciary to make its work more easily available to the public. Collections are divided into appellate, district or bankruptcy court opinions and are text-searchable across opinions and across courts. FDsys also permits embedded animation and audio.

Presently, more than 600,000 opinions dating back to 2004 are available. Opinions from the pilot are already one of the most heavily used collections on FDsys, with millions of retrievals each month.

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February 7, 2013

Lincoln's Other War-Time Proclamation | United States Courts




uscourts.gov THIRD BRANCH NEWS
 uscourts.gov | court locator | news

Lincoln's Other War-Time Proclamation

Lincoln's Other War-Time Proclamation

More than 200 years after his birth, on Feb. 12, 1809, and with a movie about him in the Oscar spotlight, Abraham Lincolnremains a source of fascination to Americans, including those in the world of law.

The public can learn more about one of Lincoln's most enduringly controversial Civil War decisions --  to suspend habeas corpus. Lincoln first suspended habeas corpus in April 1861, amid fears that Maryland would join the rebellion. A full narrative of the habeas dispute and the Supreme Court Chief Justice's response in the opinion Ex Parte Merryman is available on the Federal Judicial Center website.

Throughout the Civil War, Lincoln carefully weighed which limits on liberties were necessary to maintain the Union. He considered the legal authority for suspending habeas secondary to his obligation "to preserve, protect, and defend" the Constitution. There were many who disagreed with that position.

The Federal Judicial Center's website covers the opinion, the legal questions raised by Lincoln's decision, legal arguments, and more. Learn about the opinion, read about popularmedia response at the time, or conduct your own classroom debate on the suspension of habeas corpus.

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March 5, 2013

How Do I Navigate This Website? - N.Y. State Courts

Info and instructions for OCA's new website look.
 

NYS Office of Court Administration Executive Director Ronald Younkins said the remodeled site OCA contains the same information as in the past, such as news and insight for general consumers, jurors and lawyers, but is designed to make it easier to quickly find information.



1) Global Navigation Bar: Use this to reach the different main sections of the site.

2) Global Search: Search the entire contents of the NYCOURTS.GOV web site.

3) NYcourts.gov logo: Takes you back to NYCOURTS.GOV homepage.

4) Subject Bar: Identifies the subject area for that part of the site. 
Takes you back to the homepage for that subject.

5) Subject's Left Navigation: Find content within that subject area

6) Page Content Area: The information you are looking for.


Check out the new OCA site:

http://www.nycourts.gov





March 21, 2013

Funding Cuts Will Compromise Federal Courts, Judges Tell Congress | United States Courts

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April 8, 2013

Federal Judge Orders Service of Process through Facebook | BakerHostetler - JDSupra




In March, Judge Paul Engelmayer of the Southern District of New York ordered service of process on several international defendants through novel means--Facebook.

The case, FTC v. PCCare247, Inc., involves a group of individuals based in India who allegedly "tricked American consumers into spending money to fix non-existent problems with their computers." After problems with more conventional methods of international service, the court exercised its authority under the federal rules to fashion its own means of service. As Judge Engelmayer's order explains, Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f)(3) allows a judge to order a means of service of process so long as it is "(1) not prohibited by international agreement; and (2) comports with constitutional notions of due process." In this case, service by Facebook was not specifically prohibited by relevant international agreement, including the Hague Service Convention, to which India and the United States are signatories. Further, the circumstances in which the Facebook accounts would be served ensured service was constitutionally proper.



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April 21, 2013

HR624 - CISPA | Electronic Frontier Foundation

CISPA-2-0-HR-624-2013-Bill-Text by PartidulPiratRomania



https://www.eff.org/document/hr624-cispa

U.S. House passes #CISPA. Fight for online privacy moves to the Senate.




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April 22, 2013

Criminal Complaint Against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Filed in Federal (Not Military) Court

Criminal Complaint Against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev Filed in Federal (Not Military) Court by FindLaw



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April 27, 2013

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.

UPDATE:

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 www.rochesterlawdigest.com 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


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May 3, 2013

Updated Edition of Benchbook Now Available | United States Courts


The 6th edition (pdf) of the Benchbook for U.S. District Court Judges, a publication of the Federal Judicial Center, is now available online. The book, last updated in 2007, is a concise and practical guide to situations federal judges are likely to encounter on the bench. TheBenchbook covers procedures that are required by statute, rule or case law, with detailed guidance from experienced trial judges. And although new judges may benefit the most from the Benchbook, even experienced judges may find useful reminders about how to deal with routine matters, suggestions for handling more complex issues, and helpful starting points in new situations.

The 6th Edition includes a primer on a prosecutor's duty to disclose favorable information to defendants under Brady v. Maryland. There's a new section on civil pretrial case management focusing on the judge's role as an active case manager, and a completely revised section on sentencing, which contains an extensive colloquy for the sentencing hearing. There also are subsections on handling disruptive or dangerous defendants, and expanded jury instructions on the use of social media. Due to budgetary constraints, this edition of the Benchbook is published in electronic format only.

  • Download the 6th edition (pdf) of the Benchbook for U.S. District Court Judges.  
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May 18, 2013

New US manual for diagnosing mental disorders published | DSM-5 | guardian.co.uk


The field of mental health will face its greatest upset in years on Saturday with the publication of the long-awaited and deeply-controversial US manual for diagnosing mental disorders.

Early drafts of the book, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM-5, have divided medical opinion so firmly that authors of previous editions are among the most prominent critics.

Known informally as the psychiatrists' bible, the $199 tome from the American Psychiatric Association is the guidebook that US doctors will use to diagnose mental disorders. The latest edition is the first major update in 20 years.

Read entire analysis by Guardian.


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June 2, 2013

Members of the Authority Address Internet Sales of Alcoholic Beverages | New York State Liquor Authority

NYS SLA Addresses Internet Sales of Alcoholic beverages by Leonard E Sienko Jr



At the April 9, 2012 Full Board meeting, the Members of the Authority issued a declaratory ruling regarding the involvement of licensees, internet technology companies and third party advertisers in online sales of alcoholic beverages. This declaratory ruling provides guidance to licensees with respect to whether such relationships violate the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law. In addition, based on information obtained while this matter was being considered, the Members of the Authority also issued an advisory providing guidance to manufacturers, wholesalers and importers with respect to their ability to sell wines featuring the same brand, trade name and vintage with or without the addition of a sticker featuring the wording "Direct," "Reserve," or any similar wording. The declaratory ruling and advisory are available on the Authority's website. Chairman Rosen also announced that the Authority will be hosting meetings with industry members to further examine the issues involved with internet sales of alcoholic beverages.
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June 11, 2013

Bradley Manning Trial Transcripts | Freedom of the Press Foundation


The US military has refused to release transcripts of Bradley Manning's trial. In addition, they've denied press passes to 270 out of the 350 media organizations that applied. Without public transcripts or a press pass, it's virtually impossible for media organizations to accurately cover the trial and for the public to know what the government is doing in its name.

In response, Freedom of the Press Foundation has crowd-sourced funding to place a professional stenographer in the media room covering the trial. We will post full transcripts shortly after each day's proceedings end. The morning session with be posted by 7 pm the same evening. The afternoon session will be posted by 9 am the next morning. The transcripts will be released under an Attribution 3.0 Unported Creative Commons license.

For more information on these crowd-sourced transcripts, click here.

DateTranscript
June 3, 2013 06-03-13 AM session.pdf
June 3, 2013 06-03-13-PM-session.pdf
June 4, 2013 06-04-13-AM-session.pdf
June 4, 2013 06-04-13-PM-session.pdf
June 5, 2013 06-05-13-AM-session.pdf
June 5, 2013 06-05-13-PM-session.pdf
June 10, 2013 06-10-13-AM-session.pdf
June 10, 2013 06-10-13-PM-session.pdf


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June 20, 2013

New York Times Limits Mobile Readers To 3 Articles Per Day From June 27 | Ubergizmo



New York Times, one of the most read news sources online and offline, announced today that mobile users will now be restricted to 3 free articles per day starting from June 27th. Those who want to read more than that would have to subscribe. Up till now readers who have been accessing the publication through its apps or mobile site were allowed to read 10 to 15 articles per day for free from the Top News section, that changes now.



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June 23, 2013

Here's Apple's Closing Slide Deck in E-Book Case, and the DOJ's, Too - John Paczkowski - News - AllThingsD

I find the similarities and differences between the presentations fascinating. Apple's use of its own products is obvious to any MacUser. 

Thanks to John Paczkowski for sharing these summation slideshows. 












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June 28, 2013

Northern New York Historical Newspapers by Northern New York Library Network (NNYLN)



Northern New York Historical Newspapers

http://news.nnyln.net/

If you have ever dreamed of having access to over 2.3 million newspaper pages from 65 newspapers in northern New York, this website will make that dream a reality. Created and maintained by the Northern New York Library Network, the online collection contains historical newspapers from counties that include Clinton, Essex, Oswego, and St. Lawrence. The dailies here include the Clarkson Integrator, the Essex County Republican, and the Plattsburgh Daily Press. Visitors should not miss the How To Search area to get acquainted with the best way to access particular subjects of interest. Additionally, the FAQ area contains helpful links for those seeking to support the initiative through donations and other forms of aid.


From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2013. https://www.scout.wisc.edu/


July 8, 2013

Notice of Claim and Certificate of Designation for Service of Notice of Claim-NYS Secretary of State



The General Municipal Law was recently amended in relation to service of notices of claim against public corporations.  Public corporations, as defined in the General Construction Law, include municipal corporations, district corporations and public benefit corporations. Specifically, General Municipal Law section 53 was amended to permit notices of claim against public corporations to be served on the New York Secretary of State.  The New York Department of State will forward the notice of claim to the person designated by the public corporation to receive the notice of claim.

Public corporations will be required to file a certificate with the New York Department of State designating the New York Secretary of State as their agent for service of notices of claim.  The certificate must provide address information for the transmittal of notices of claim.  Failure of a public corporation to file such a certificate will not invalidate any notice of claim served on the New York Secretary of State.

A person serving a notice of claim on the New York Secretary of State will be charged a $250 service fee.  Half of the service fee will be retained by the New York Secretary of State and the other half provided to the public corporation or public corporations named in the notice of claim.  Public corporations that do not file a Certificate of Designation of Notice of Claim with the New York Department of State will not receive a share of the service fees.

Certificates of Designation of Notice of Claim may be filed online. Online filing is available from 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. 

Paper forms are also available.  Completed paper forms may be sent to the Department of State, Division of Corporations, State Records and Uniform Commercial Code, One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY  12231. 

The Secretary of State may be served with notices of claim against public corporations beginning Monday, July 15, 2013. 

Any questions regarding notices of claim may be sent to the Department of State at eDesignation@dos.ny.gov.


Online Filing of Designation:  https://appext20.dos.ny.gov/noc_public/f?p=800:8


Online Filing of Amendment: https://appext20.dos.ny.gov/noc_public/f?p=800:2

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In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A. - NYTimes.com




WASHINGTON -- In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation's surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.

The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court's classified decisions.

The 11-member Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, was once mostly focused on approving case-by-case wiretapping orders. But since major changes in legislation and greater judicial oversight of intelligence operations were instituted six years ago, it has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions that will most likely shape intelligence practices for years to come, the officials said.

Last month, a former National Security Agency contractor, Edward J. Snowden, leaked a classified order from the FISA court, which authorized the collection of all phone-tracing data from Verizon business customers. But the court's still-secret decisions go far beyond any single surveillance order, the officials said.

Read entire NYTIMES report by clicking first link belowe:



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July 9, 2013

EPIC - In re EPIC - NSA Telephone Records Surveillance



  • EPIC Files Supreme Court Petition, Challenges Domestic Surveillance Program: EPIC has filed a Petitionwith the U.S. Supreme Court, asking the Court vacate an unlawful order by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that enables the collection of all domestic phone record by the NSA. The order, directed to Verizon, requires the production of all "call detail records" for calls made "wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls." EPIC said "It is simply not possible that every phone record in the possession of a telecommunications firm could be relevant to an authorized investigation. . . . Such an interpretation of [the law] would render meaningless the qualifying phrases contained in the provision and eviscerate the purpose of the Act." For more information, see In re Electronic Privacy Information Center. (Jul. 8, 2013)



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July 10, 2013

Apple guilty of conspiring to raise ebook prices, federal judge rules | Technology | guardian.co.uk

Read entire Guardian report here.


Tech company to face trial for damages over attempt to thwart Amazon's dominance after book publishers settle with U


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July 15, 2013

New Guide for Judges in Expanding Area of International Arbitration-US Courts


A new guide on international commercial arbitration (pdf) written for U.S. federal judges is now available online. In less than 100 pages, it offers a practical overview of a complicated area of law that has become the preferred means of resolving cross-border business disputes.

Stacie Strong, a 2012-2013 Supreme Court Fellow working with the Federal Judicial Center, wrote the guide prior to beginning her fellowship year. Strong brought her unique background to the topic; she is not only a law professor at the University of Missouri, she also has practiced international commercial arbitration for a number of years in the U.S. and in England, and is dual-qualified as a U.S. lawyer and an English solicitor.

Read the full story.

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July 16, 2013

Snowden leak: Microsoft added Outlook.com backdoor for Feds • The Register


There are red faces in Redmond after Edward Snowden released a new batch of documents from the NSA's Special Source Operations (SSO) division covering Microsoft's involvement in allowing backdoor access to its software to the NSA and others.

Documents seen by The Guardian detail how the NSA became concerned when Microsoft started testing Outlook.com, and asked for access. In five months Microsoft and the FBI created a workaround that gives the NSA access to encrypted chats on Outlook.com. The system went live in December last year - two months before Outlook.com's commercial launch. Those Outlook users not enabling encryption get their data slurped as a matter of course, the documents show. "For Prism collection against Hotmail, Live, and Outlook.com emails will be unaffected because Prism collects this data prior to encryption," an NSA newsletter states.

Read entire Register report here.



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July 25, 2013

TranscriptPad update provides improved reports - iPhone J.D.



Jeff Richardson:  TranscriptPad imports the text versions of depositions provided by a court reporter and organizes them into cases.  You can then use the app to read and annotate the deposition.  And instead of simply marking all of the important stuff with a yellow highlighter (although you can do that too), TranscriptPad lets you add issue codes as you review a deposition.  So if a Question and Answer are relevant to damages in a case, you can select those lines and apply the "Damages" issue code (or whatever other issue codes you want to create).  When you are finished reviewing the deposition, the app creates a handy report organized by issue code so that you can, for example, see all of the key "Damages" testimony at one time, all of the key "Comparative Fault" testimony at one time, etc. 
***
Ever since the app was first released, it has cost $49.99, but because Apple doesn't allow developers to charge for app updates, the developer told me that he is raising the price of the app to $89.99 to cover the future cost of development.  I believe that the price increase will occur on Monday, July 29, 2013. 

***


***

Check out Transcript Pad for yourself: http://www.litsoftware.com/products/transcriptpad/




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Email message deemed signed writing within meaning of CPLR 2104-Stipulation of Settlement by Email Upheld

Forcelli v. Gelco Corp. (Index No. 27584/08) (App Dive 2d Dept, decided July 24, 2013) by Leonard E Sienko Jr








Accordingly, we hold that where, as here, an email  [*15] message contains all material terms of a settlement and a manifestation of mutual accord, and the party to be charged, or his or her agent, types his or her name under circumstances manifesting an intent that the name be treated as a signature, such an email message may be deemed a subscribed writing within the meaning of CPLR 2104so as to constitute an enforceable agreement. 






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August 1, 2013

Providing For Your Pets In The Event of Your Death or Hospitalization--NY City Bar-COMMITTEE ON ANIMAL LAW-MARCH 2013

Providing for Your Pet in the Event of Death or Hospitalization



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August 11, 2013

Internet Research Tips and Resources for Lawyers-Lawyerist

Sam Glover:  Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch have powerfulsearch-fu. You should buy their book, The Cybersleuth's Guide to the Internet, whether or not you have had a chance to attend one of their internet research seminars.

At the Strategic Solutions for Solo & Small Firms conference, Levitt and Rosch gave two presentations on advanced internet research (not just legal research, but lawyers obviously need to be able to research more than cases and statutes). Knowing how to do more than just type words into Google's search box -- as well as the kinds of information you can find for free online -- can be critical.

Here's Sam Glover's take on some of their best suggestions.

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Jureeka 4.0 -- Powered by LII | LII / Legal Information Institute

JUREEKA 4.0 -- NOW POWERED BY LII

CREATED BY MICHAEL POULSHOCK. NOW POWERED BY LII.

Surf the legal web you didn't know was there! Working in your web browser, Jureeka simplifies online legal research by transforming plain-text legal citations into direct links to the source. Download Jureeka for Firefox

Before:After:
Image of text after JureekaImage of text after Jureeka

The brand new version 4.0 is now powered by the full collections of the Legal Information Institute and has been enhanced for optimal performance in Firefox.

Download Jureeka for Firefox

For Google Chome users, version 3.3 is still available, but version 4.0 is on the way soon!

Download Jureeka for Chrome

Learn more at the Jureeka Blog

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August 12, 2013

Floyd et.al v. City of New York-Liability Opinion

Floyd Liability Opinion 8-12-13


Floyd et. al. v. City of New York--Remedy Opinion

Floyd Remedy Opinion 8-12-13


August 16, 2013

Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tax Provisions-IRS



The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or health care law, contains many tax and other provisions for employers. The IRS will administer the tax provisions included in the law. Visit HealthCare.gov andSBA.gov/healthcare for more information on other provisions.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or health care law, includes new health insurance coverage and financial assistance options, including the Premium Tax Credit, for individuals and families. The IRS will administer the tax provisions included in the law. Visit HealthCare.gov for more information on coverage options and assistance.
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August 20, 2013

NY Appellate Court Finds Town Has No Authority to Regulate Docks | LAW OF THE LAND

Town of Carmel v. MELCHNER, 2013 NY Slip Op 1259 - NY: Appellate Div., 2nd Dept. 2013 - Google Scholar by Leonard E Sienko Jr



Town of Carmel v. Melchner, 105 A.D.3d 82 (2 Dept. 2/27/2013)

After a thorough analysis of the relevant case law, the appellate court determined that where the State owns the submerged land, it has exclusive jurisdiction over the navigable waters above it.  As such, the State law preempts any municipal or local laws. 




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September 29, 2013

Judiciary to Remain Open If Government Shuts Down | United States Courts


In the event of a government shutdown on October 1, 2013, the federal Judiciary will remain open for business for approximately 10 business days. On or around October 15, 2013, the Judiciary will reassess its situation and provide further guidance. All proceedings and deadlines remain in effect as scheduled, unless otherwise advised. Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) will remain in operation for the electronic filing of documents with courts.


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This Weird Law Dictates How Government Shutdowns Work - Business Insider



Andrew Cohen-The Atlantic:

If rogue Republicans do not relent over the budget impasse by October 1, whatever pandemonium happens next will largely be governed by a federal statute you likely have never heard of: the Antideficiency Act. You can call it the "anti-deadbeat" law -- a collection of statutory and administrative provisions, really -- that forbid federal officials from entering into financial obligations for which they do not have funding, like paying the salaries of their employees or buying the things they need to run the government.

It's also the law that wisely permits certain "essential" government functions -- like the military and the courts, for example -- to keep operating even in the absence of authorized legislative funding.

***


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September 30, 2013

NYSBA Offers Fastcase as Member Benefit

Starting this month, all NYSBA members will receive free and unlimited access to the following libraries: 

Decisions of N.Y. Court of Appeals, 1950-present; 
A.D. Decisions, 1955-present; 
Misc. Decisions, 1950-present; 
N.Y. Consolidated Laws; 
N.Y.C.R.R.; 
N.Y.S. Constitution; 
U.S. Code; 
2d Cir. Decisions from 1924; and
 U.S. Supreme Court Decisions.

Fastcase also offers a full subscription with access to other federal libraries and resources from all 50 states, which is typically available for a list price of $995 per year.  Through this exclusive agreement, NYSBA members can subscribe to the full Fastcase library for only $195 per year - a discount of 80%.  In addition, starting in October, new attorney members (those in their first two years of admission) will receive access to the full Fastcase library free of charge as a NYSBA member benefit.

In order to help you get the most from this new benefit, NYSBA will provide Fastcase training this fall, free of charge for NYSBA members. They will distribute details about Fastcase training in the coming weeks.

To sign up, visit NYSBA.org, log in to your NYSBA member account, and click the Fastcase banner at the top of our homepage or find it in the "pull-down menu" under "Members".

If you do not know your password please enter your email address at www.nysba.org/pwhelp. If you do not know the email address NYSBA has on file for you, please contact the State Bar Service Center at 800-582-2452 to get assistance logging in.

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October 3, 2013

General Order 48 | Northern District of New York | United States District Court


Please be advised that the Court has issued General Order #48 In Re: Stay of Certain Civil Cases Pending the Restoration of Department of Justice Funding.  

All civil cases (other than civil forfeiture cases) in which the United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of New York has appeared as counsel for the United States, its agencies, and/or its employees are hereby stayed until the business day after the President signs into law a budget appropriation that restores Department of Justice funding. 

Full text of General Order #48 can be found here:

http://www.nynd.uscourts.gov/content/general-order-48

Thank you.

Lawrence K. Baerman, Clerk of Court

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October 6, 2013

Alex Rodriguez Sues MLB Over 'Witch Hunt'-- FindLaw

Since they have so much free time on their hands, here's a little something to keep Yankee fans interested during the playoffs.  

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October 7, 2013

State police issue 'field guide' for NY's gun law | Press & Sun-Bulletin | pressconnects.com



State Police has issued a field guide for its troopers and other law enforcement on how to handle New York's controversial gun-control law.

The 20-page guide, quietly issued last month and obtained by Gannett's Albany Bureau, notes that police officers have been concerned about enforcing the SAFE Act, which was championed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and passed by the Legislature last January.

***

Darcy Wells, a spokesman from State Police, said field guides are often issued to assist police with new laws.

"We issue field guides on a routine basis, and in this case, because this is a new law, we had our counsel's office put together a guide not only for our members but others in law enforcement," Wells said in an email.


Get a copy of the Guide to the New York SAFE Act for Members of the New York State Police, by clicking below:







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October 19, 2013

SCOTUSblog iOS app now available : SCOTUSblog

The SCOTUSblog iOS app is now available in the App Store for free download.  In addition to mobile access to the regular content on the blog, users will be able to receive push notifications pertaining to breaking news at the Supreme Court.  They promiset new features and improvements regularly.




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October 26, 2013

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT BAR

Please see the memorandum from Chief Judge Sharpe regarding the Pilot Mandatory Mediation Program that begins on January 1st, 2014.

http://www.nynd.uscourts.gov/news/mandatory-mediation-program

Lawrence K. Baerman
Clerk of Court

Dear Northern District Bar Member

As you may know, the Northern District has been deemed a congested court by the Judicial Conference Committee on Case Administration and Case Management. Over the past several years the Court, working closely with the Federal Court Bar Association, has been exploring ways to streamline the civil case resolution process. As a product of these discussions the Northern District of New York will be implementing a more robust Court annexed mediation program. The new Pilot Mandatory Mediation Program was fashioned after a similar program that was adopted in the Western District of New York several years ago. That program, along with several other paid mediation programs across the country, has shown great success in resolving cases at an early stage in the litigation process saving both time and money for the parties.
The Pilot Mandatory Mediation Program will run for two years starting with cases that are filed after January 1, 2014. Additionally, any civil case where a Rule 16 Conference has been scheduled after January 1, 2014 will be placed into the program. The Court and the Federal Court Bar Association felt strongly that the success of this program would hinge on the quality and expertise of the mediation panel. The Court, working closely with our ADR Committee and Federal Court Bar Association, selected highly qualified lawyers from across the district to participate as mediators in this new program. All of the selected mediators are required to attend an advanced mediation training seminar which focuses on federal mediation techniques.

As part of the new process, the parties will select the mediator of their choice from the Court approved list of mediators and complete a mandatory two-hour mediation session. The cost of the two-hour mandatory session will be capped at $300.00 ($150.00 per-hour, the $300.00 fee for the first two-hour session will be shared equally by the parties). Thereafter, the parties may agree to continue the mediation session beyond the mandatory two-hour period at the rate established for that mediator. During the pilot program, the Court has set a rate cap not to exceed $300.00 per-hour for those cases that proceed beyond the two-hour mandatory session. At the conclusion of the two-year pilot, the Court will evaluate the success of the program to determine if it should continue as a permanent part of our ADR suite. Attorneys participating in the program can expect to receive a short survey about their impressions of the new program. I ask your assistance in completing the survey so that we may properly assess the value of this program.

During the pendency of this Pilot program, the Court's current pro bono mediation, early neutral evaluation, and arbitration programs will be suspended. The Court will however, continue to operate the pro bono assisted mediation program which is designed to help pro se litigants proceed through court annexed mediation.

For more information on this new program, please refer to General Order #47 - Pilot Mandatory Mediation Program which is available on our Court Website under General Orders at www.nynd.uscourts.gov.

Thank you,

Gary L. Sharpe Chief Judge

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November 8, 2013

Traffic stop brings 3 enemas, 2 X-rays and 1 colonoscopy in cops' fruitless drug search, suit says

Complaint: David Eckert v. City of Deming, Hildago County, Gila Regional Medical Center Lawsuit by ghostgrip







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November 9, 2013

Welcome to the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Online | IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Online

Seminars from the 2013 Forums Now Available at IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Online

The IRS today reminds tax professionals that they can earn continuing professional education credits online through seminars filmed at the 2013 IRS Nationwide Tax Forums. The 14 self-study seminars are now available on the IRS Nationwide Tax Forums Online (NTFO) site. Self-study seminars provide information to students using interactive videos, PowerPoint slides and transcripts.


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November 13, 2013

Joint Landowners Coalition of New York Inc.--Complaint Against New York State and Governor Cuomo

Joint Landowners' Coalition NYS Complaint.pdf



The complaint contains several legal theories:  takings claims are brought under the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, § 7 of the New York State Constitution. In addition, the complaint alleges that the State has imposed an illegal moratorium, has failed to comply with the provisions of SEQRA, has deprived landowners of rights with relief requested under 42 USC § 1983 and has violated substantive and procedural due process under the 14th Amendment. The complaint also seeks to compel the State to complete the SGEIS in a declaratory judgment action and Article 78 mandamus...

Visit the JLCNY page for further details on the action, which is awaiting  filing.



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64 Federal Courts Now Publish Opinions on FDsys | United States Courts

A project providing free online access to federal court opinions has expanded to include 64 courts. The federal Judiciary and the Government Printing Office partner through the GPO's Federal Digital System, FDsys, to provide public access to more than 750,000 opinions, many dating back to 2004.

The Judicial Conference approved national implementation of the project in September 2012, expanding participation from the original 29 courts. FDsys currently contains opinions from 8 appellate courts, 20 district courts, and 35 bankruptcy courts.

Federal court opinions are one of the most heavily used collections on FDsys, with millions of retrievals each month. Opinions are pulled nightly from the courts' Case Management/Electronic Case Files (CM/ECF) systems and sent to the GPO, where they are posted on the FDsys website. Collections on FDsys are divided into appellate, district or bankruptcy court opinions and are text-searchable across courts. FDsys also allows embedded animation and audio - an innovation previously only available with opinions posted on a court's own website or on the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER).

While the public already can view federal court opinions for free on PACER, the FDSys project presents just another way to make court-related information more accessible to the public.


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November 15, 2013

JURIST - Paper Chase: Federal judge dismisses Google books copyright infringement case


[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of New York (SDNY) [official website] on Thursday dismissed [opinion, PDF] a class action lawsuit arising againstGoogle [corporate website] over the company's unapproved scanning and uploading of copyrighted materials.


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November 18, 2013

"Richard C" retroactive SNAP payments went out the weekend of Nov. 15th!--Empire Justice Center



In a recent settlement (Richard C. v. Proud), New York State has agreed to issue back benefits for those time periods when individuals were improperly sanctioned.  The restored benefits will allow low income families to purchase much needed food for their families, especially during the holiday season, and will offset recent federal cuts to the SNAP program.  As an added bonus, the 100% federally funded benefits will bring at least an additional $80 million in food expenditures to local economies.

November 14, 2013

The New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) is issuing restored SNAP benefits to tens of thousands of households across New York State, in accordance with the "Richard C v Proud" class action court settlement. 

Read the press release.

See our  new "Richard C" Q&A about the back SNAP payments.

Sign up for the informational webinar on Wednesday, November 20, 2013 to learn more.

Get a copy of OTDA's "Richard C" notice to class members

Review the "Richard C" stipulation of settlement.



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November 19, 2013

George Zimmerman Arrest Report: 'He Cocked, Pointed Shotgun at Me' - CourtSide

George Zimmerman Arrest Report: 'He Cocked, Pointed Shotgun at Me' by FindLaw






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December 3, 2013

New York --THE COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE PUBLIC CORRUPTION--PRELIMINARY REPORT DECEMBER 2, 2013

131202 Moreland Preliminary Report---NYS



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December 4, 2013

Nonhuman Rights Project v. Laverly - Habeas Petition

Nonhuman Rights Project v. Laverly - Habeas Petition by FindLaw




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December 10, 2013

New York State Tax Relief Commission Final Report

New York State Tax Relief Commission Final Report



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December 15, 2013

Unwitting lawyer is suspended for arranging client loans to secure Nigerian inheritance


An Iowa lawyer who believed his client was due to inherit $18.8 million from a long-lost Nigerian cousin has been suspended for tapping clients for loans in a failed effort to reap the windfall.

The Iowa Supreme Court suspended lawyer Robert Allan Wright Jr. for a year, according to the Legal Profession Blog, the Business Recordand KCCI.com. According to the opinion (PDF) issued Friday, Wright believed his lucky client had to pay $177,660 in Nigerian inheritance taxes and additional cash for an "anti-terrorism certificate" before receiving the money.


Read the entire report from the ABAJournal here.


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December 17, 2013

NSA collection of phone metadata likely in breach of fourth amendment - read the judge's ruling | World news | theguardian.com


US district court judge Richard Leon says mass collection of phone metadata is 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary' in its scope. Guardian US national security editor Spencer Ackerman takes us through the ruling in annotated text:



Klayman et, al versus Obama et. al




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January 4, 2014

Revenue Procedure 2014-11

Revenue Procedure 2014-11 by Leonard E Sienko Jr


Revenue Procedure 2014-11 provides procedures for reinstating the tax-exempt status of organizations that have had their tax-exempt status automatically revoked under section 6033(j)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code for failure to file required annual returns or notices for three consecutive years.


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January 12, 2014

Undocumented Immigrant Granted Law License by California Supreme Court--FindLaw

Undocumented Immigrant Granted Law License by California Supreme Court by FindLaw






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Legal Research on Your iPhone from Fastcase « Fastcase | The Smarter Alternative for Legal Research.



Fastcase for the iPhone is the largest free law library on the iPhone and it uses smart search technology from Fastcase's fully-featured Web-based legal research application, which allows you to sort the most relevant results to the top of the list, customize and re-sort search results, and integrate citation analysis tools right into the results list.

This application is free, but you will need to register an account so that you can save favorites and your own customized search history. There are tons of customizable features, so the more you use the Fastcase App, the better it fits you!

Download Fastcase for iPhone. Questions? Visit the iPhone FAQ


Do You Access Fastcase Through Your Bar Association?

If you access Fastcase through your bar association, you will need to register an account for our Fastcase for the iPhone App. You will be able to do this once you download the application from the App Store. Please note that in the registration process, you will create a new username and password to use with the Fastcase App. When you are accessing Fastcase on the web through your bar association, continue to use your bar login credentials.


Have You Already Registered with Fastcase?

If you are a current Fastcase subscriber or if you have signed up for a free trial of Fastcase in the past, you do not need to re-register to access the Fastcase iPhone application. Just download the application and login using the same username and password that you used to access your subscription or trial at http://www.fastcase.com.



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January 13, 2014

Public Alert: Scam Emails About Phony Court Cases Carry Computer Virus | United States Courts

The federal judiciary has learned of an email scam, in which emails purporting to come from federal and state courts are infecting recipients with computer viruses.

According to the Security Operations Center of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, the emails are instructing recipients to report to a hearing on a specified day and time. The emails also instruct recipients to review an attached document for detailed case information. When the attachments or links in the email are opened,  a malicious program is launched that infects the recipient's computer. Several state courts have reported similar schemes, and also are warning the public about potential viruses.

Unless you are actively involved in a case in federal court and have consented to receive court notifications electronically, you generally will not be served with court documents electronically.

If you receive an email regarding a federal court case or matter of which you are unaware, you should contact the federal court in your jurisdiction before opening any attachments or links. Use the court locator to find your court's contact information.



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January 15, 2014

WordPerfect Viewer returns to LawBox - iPhone J.D.

Jeff Richardson  "...For three years, Corel sold an iPhone version of the app for $4.99 and an iPad version for $5.99.  Unfortunately, Corel did not introduce very many new features during that time -- just some minor things like adding folders in late 2012.

As of January of 2014, the app is now back in the hands of LawBox, the original developer.  California attorney Nicholas Zeltzer, the founder of LawBox, tells me that he has already updated the app for iOS 7, and I see that the app does now have a new look on both the iPad and iPhone..."


Read all of Jeff's piece here.


Click here to get WordPerfect Viewer for iPhone ($4.99):   Badge_appstore-sm

Click here to get WordPerfect Viewer for iPad ($5.99):   Badge_appstore-sm


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January 26, 2014

TreasuryDirect

TreasuryDirect is the first and only financial services website that lets you buy and redeem securities directly from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in paperless electronic form. You enjoy the flexibility of managing your savings portfolio online as your needs and financial circumstances change - all the time knowing your money is backed by the full faith of the U.S. government.

They offer product information and research across the entire line of Treasury securities, from Series EE Savings Bonds to Treasury Notes.  TreasuryDirect accounts offer Treasury Bills, Notes, Bonds, Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS), and Series I and EE Savings Bonds in electronic form in one convenient account.

Services for Finance Professionals and Institutional Investors

If you're managing large investments for your clients, company, institution, or even government agency, TreasuryDirect extends its services to you as well. Recognizing that your needs are diverse and unique, they've created dedicated sections for institutions and government agencies.

Brought to you by...

TreasuryDirect is brought to you by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Bureau of the Fiscal Service. The mission of  the Fiscal Service is to borrow the money needed to operate the federal government and to account for the resulting debt. They do this by offering  a variety of savings and investment products. 

Learn more:


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January 30, 2014

Instructions for voluntary dissolution of a New York corporation (TR-125)



A New York State business corporation may voluntarily dissolve. By doing so, the corporation ends its obligation to pay future taxes and fees to New York State. The dissolution process involves both the Tax Department and the New York Department of State.

Background

New York business corporations must pay franchise and other taxes to New York State. The corporation pays the taxes in exchange for the privilege of exercising its corporate franchise, doing business, employing capital, owning or leasing property, or maintaining an office in the state.

When a New York business corporation decides it will no longer conduct business in New York, it will want to be sure that it ends its obligation to pay state taxes and fees. The process of voluntary dissolution:

  • brings the existence of the corporation to an end; and
  • ends the corporation's obligation to pay future state taxes and fees to New York State.


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February 4, 2014

National Flood Insurance Program: Flood Hazard Mapping | FEMA.gov


The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created this helpful set of resources for policymakers, elected officials, journalists, and members of the general public who would like to know more about the world of flood hazard mapping. On this site, visitors can find a host of resources and over a dozen thematic links, such as Coastal Projects, Change My Flood Zone Designation, and User Groups. Each link is preceded by a brief introduction to the resource, along with a description of the various items within each link. Visitors shouldn't miss the Online Tutorials offered here, as they include several multimedia instructional resources designed to provide in-depth training on different facets on these programs.

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout 1994-2014. https://www.scout.wisc.edu/

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Alleged Silk Road kingpin slapped with indictment in NY • The Register

US v. Ross Ulbricht Indictment by Ars Technica




The man thought to be behind the Silk Road drug bazaar has been indicted in a New York district court, and charged with narcotics conspiracy, engaging in a continuing criminal enterprises, conspiracy to commit computer hacking, and money laundering conspiracy.

The charges against Ross William Ulbricht were announced by Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a statement on Tuesday.


Click below to read entire Register report:


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February 9, 2014

JURIST - Paper Chase: NYC police unions continue to pursue stop and frisk appeal


[JURIST] On Friday, a group of police unions filed a motion to block Mayor Bill de Blasio's[official website] proposed settlement and removal of former mayor Michael Bloomberg's[BBC profile] appeal of the stop and frisk policy. The motion was filed [AP report] in the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] in response to de Blasio's recent decision to drop the city's appeal. Police Commissioner William Bratton supported [AP report] de Blasio's decision to drop the appeal.



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February 14, 2014

Joint Landowners file suit to end fracking delay | WBNG-TV:Binghamton, New York



Albany, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The Joint Landowners Coalition of New York filed a lawsuit in an effort to force a decision on allowing natural gas drilling using hydraulic fracturing.

The Article 78 Petition asks the State Supreme Court to compel the Department of Environmental Conservation to finalize the Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement or SGEIS.


Joint Coalition et.al vs. Cuomo et.al-Petition

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February 17, 2014

Spying by N.S.A. Ally Entangled U.S. Law Firm - NYTimes.com


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Most attorney-client conversations do not get special protections under American law from N.S.A. eavesdropping. Amid growing concerns about surveillance and hacking, the American Bar Association in 2012 revised its ethics rules to explicitly require lawyers to "make reasonable efforts" to protect confidential information from unauthorized disclosure to outsiders.

Last year, the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision, rebuffed a legal challengeto a 2008 law allowing warrantless wiretapping that was brought in part by lawyers with foreign clients they believed were likely targets of N.S.A. monitoring. The lawyers contended that the law raised risks that required them to take costly measures, like traveling overseas to meet clients, to protect sensitive communications. But the Supreme Court dismissed their fears as "speculative."




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February 25, 2014

PacerPro offers a better way to search federal court records than PACER

Robert Ambrogi reviews a new and better way to search federal court records.  

 PacerPro, a service started by Gavin McGrane, a San Francisco lawyer who became frustrated with PACER's shortcomings and wanted an easier way to use it. Even better, PacerPro is now free. It launched in November 2012 as a subscription service at $25 a month. But in January it eliminated the subscription fee. "We decided to allow people to get a chance to know us and see how good the product is," McGrane told me.

MODERN INTERFACE

PacerPro provides a clean, modern interface to the PACER system. But PacerPro is more than just lipstick on a pig. It actually improves on the federal site through features such as real-time universal search, aggregated search results and one-click downloads of entire dockets. To achieve real-time universal search, PacerPro bypasses PACER's Case Locator. Instead, it logs in directly to all 214 court sites. Whereas the Case Locator will not find same-day data, PacerPro will. Search PacerPro by party or attorney name or case number.

Read Bob's entire review here.




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March 5, 2014

Public Notice - Appointment of Part-Time U.S. Magistrate Judge | Northern District of New York | United States District Court

The Court is accepting applications for the position of a Part-Time Magistrate Judge at Plattsburgh, New York.  The position will become available upon the retirement of the Hon. Larry A. Kudrle on November 1, 2014.  The Application Package is available on the Court's Website at www.nynd.uscourts.gov.

Applications close on April 30, 2014.


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March 8, 2014

Offer In Compromise Form (Updated)--IRS


 Do You Have the Most Recent Offer-In-Compromise Form?

When submitting an Offer in Compromise for your client, use the January 2014 versions of Form 656-B, Offer in Compromise Booklet, and Form 656, Offer in Compromise. The OIC user fee has increased from $150 to $186 in January. IRS will return applications submitted on older versions of the form with the old user fee.


Click here for updated Offer in Compromise Booklet.

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March 17, 2014

NYSBA | Mandatory Reporting Campaign

Office of the President

David Schraver

Since 2004, the New York State Bar Association has strongly opposed any requirement that New York lawyers report their voluntary pro bono service or contributions to public authorities.  We firmly believe that requiring such reporting dilutes the voluntary nature of lawyers' pro bono service.  Lawyers should provide pro bono service because they recognize the critical importance of access to justice and lawyers' unique ability to assist - not because they feel pressured into doing so.

I encourage you to write to the Chief Judge, the Chief Administrative Judge, and the Presiding Justices of the Appellate Divisions to express opposition to this requirement.  We have set up a webpage with contact information, a sample letter, and a link to send an e-mail message directly to the Chief Judge to express your opposition.  Go to www.nysba.org/probonoreporting.

Sincerely,

David M. Schraver, President





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March 22, 2014

Open Book New York


DiNapoli: Financial Records of 500 Public Authorities Now on www.openbooknewyork.com

State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli Thursday announced that financial information for more than 500 state and local public authorities is now available at Open Book New York,http://www.openbooknewyork.com/, a transparency website launched by DiNapoli in 2008. The database, going back to 2007, can be downloaded in an Excel, tsv or csv format.


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March 24, 2014

Fed Courts App-- iTunes


This app contains the full text of all of the federal rules of procedure and the local rules for every federal court in the country - including district, bankruptcy, and appellate courts. Provides access to PACER, the address of every district, bankruptcy, and appellate court in the United States, and using GPS obtain turn-by-turn directions to any federal courthouse in the country. 

Best of all no subscription or in app purchase is required. The app is $2.99 US. Ready access to the rules is a crucial part of the legal profession, so don't be caught without them and download this app today. 

In addition to all local rules of every federal court in the United States, the following rules of procedure are included:

Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure
Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure; 
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure; and
Federal Rules of Evidence.

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April 4, 2014

JURIST - Legal News & Commentary

Jurist has a new, slick, clean, uncluttered look for their website.

If you've never accessed Jurist:

JURIST (http://jurist.org) is a web-based legal news and real-time legal research service powered by a mostly-volunteer team of over 60 part-time law student reporters, editors and Web developers led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. 

JURIST is produced as a public service for the continuing legal education of its readers and law student staffers, and uses the latest Internet technology to track important legal news stories and materials and present them rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.

Check out their Twitter feed as well:   https://twitter.com/JURISTnews


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April 18, 2014

JURIST - Judge upholds New York state gun law

[JURIST] A trial judge for the Supreme Court of New York [official profile] dismissed [text] a lawsuit on Thursday challenging the state's strict gun laws. The plaintiffs, a group of gun rights activists, argued [lohud news report] that the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (SAFE Act) [text] infringes upon rights granted by the state constitution[text]. Judge Thomas McNamara held that the plaintiffs failed to show any right being infringed upon by the act. 



Judgment by Jon Campbell

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April 29, 2014

Appellate Divisions Announce New Requirements for Retainer Agreements

All four of the Appellate Divisions recently adopted a new rule governing contingent fees in claims and actions for personal injury and wrongful death. The new rule is mandatory. The rules for the respective Appellate Divisions are: First Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 603.7[e]); Second Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 691.20[e]); Third Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 806.13[c]); and Fourth Judicial Department (22 N.Y.C.R.R. Section 1022.31[c]). Lawyers should be aware that the language varies slightly among the different Judicial Departments. Please note, these changes do NOT apply to medical malpractice cases, which are NOT subject to the new rules and must be handled in accordance with NYS Judiciary Law 474-a.

 


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April 30, 2014

My Health Care Wishes App-ABA



The My Health Care Wishes smartphone app gives individuals the ability to store and share important health care wishes. In an emergency, you'll have immediate access to a PDF version of your advance directive.

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An example:  Your Dad is 89 and your Mom is, 91. He takes her to the hospital and she's admitted to the ICU but he's told he can't make medical decisions for her even if she is incapacitated. She's his wife and he's her proxy. What's this about? He brought the wrong form with him! He brought the Power of Attorney document (POA) that only applies to financial & legal decisions. The Durable Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) is what he needs but it's at home and no one else is there. He has a cell phone, calls you, his daughter. You have what he needs securely stored on your Smartphone --the document showing your Dad as primary proxy. A click and the correct document is emailed, and your Dad losing little time tells doctors what his wife of 65 years wants.

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The Pro version is US $3.99.  The Lite version is Free.  Check the App store to compare.


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May 5, 2014

Town of Greece v. Galloway

Town of Greece v. Galloway by United Press International







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May 10, 2014

Understanding the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision--IRS

More information is now available on IRS.gov to help you better understand the Individual Shared Responsibility Provision of the Affordable Care Act. Check the minimum essential coverage chart,exemption chart and basic examples of the payment calculation to learn more about this provision.

Our clients will report minimum essential coverage, report exemptions, or make any individual shared responsibility payment when they file their 2014 federal income tax return in 2015.

For the latest information about ACA tax provisions, visit IRS.gov/aca and HealthCare.gov for information about health insurance coverage and financial assistance.





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May 11, 2014

CFPB Finds Private Student Loan Borrowers Face "Auto-Default" When Co-Signer Dies or Goes Bankrupt > Blog > Consumer Financial Protection Bureau



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...the CFPB issued a consumer advisory to borrowers about how to release their co-signers from their loans. Many lenders advertise that a co-signer may be released from a private student loan after a certain number of consecutive, timely payments and a credit check to determine if the borrower is eligible to repay the loan on their own. But most student loan servicers do not tell consumers when they are eligible to release their co-signer, so consumers need to ask directly for information on how to do this.

To help borrowers release their co-signers, the CFPB has put together instructions that consumers can edit and send to their student loan servicer. They can download sample letters to send by mail, or they can just cut and paste the text when they log into their account on the servicer's website. Sample letters include those from the student who may want to release their co-signer, and those from the co-signer who may want to be released.

The advisory can be found at:
http://www.consumerfinance.gov/blog/consumer-advisory-co-signers-can-cause-surprise-defaults-on-your-private-student-loans/

The sample letter on how a borrower can release a co-signer is at:
http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201404_cfpb_inquiry-letter_how-to-release-cosigner.doc

The sample letter on how to be released as a co-signer is at:
http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201404_cfpb_inquiry-letter_how-to-be-released-as-cosigner.doc

The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act established an ombudsman for student loans within the CFPB to assist borrowers with student loan complaints. The ombudsman is submitting today's midyear report to the Director of the CFPB, the Secretary of the Treasury, the Secretary of Education, and Congress.

The CFPB began accepting consumer complaints about private student loans in March 2012.

More information is at: consumerfinance.gov/students.

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Read entire CFPB Report Here.

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May 14, 2014

Google must delete search results on request, rules EU court - CNET

Google must delete search results on request, rules EU court


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May 16, 2014

U.S. Courts Resources Recall Landmark Brown v. Board Decision | United States Courts


Brown v. Board

With May 17 approaching as the 60th anniversary of theBrown v. Board of Education decision, the U.S. Courts website has resources to commemorate the landmark ruling that ended segregation in public education.

Read the full story and listen to a podcast on Brown v. Board of Education.

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May 27, 2014

Airbnb will provide anonymous user data in New York's investigation of illegal hotels-ABA Journal

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The website will give the anonymous data to New York Attorney General Schneiderman, according to theagreement (PDF). Airbnb will turn over identifying information, however, for users who in the next year become a subject of investigation by the state. The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.), Business Insider,CNNMoney and Bloomberg have stories.

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Read full ABA Journal article here.





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May 31, 2014

Application for New York State Education Department Certification as a Special Education Impartial Hearing Officer: Special Education : P-12 : NYSED

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking applications from individuals to serve as impartial hearing officers (IHOs) to conduct special education impartial due process hearings for students with disabilities, 3-21 years of age pursuant to section 200.1(x) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education.

To Apply:

Interested individuals should submit a letter of interest, completed application and resume no later than July 30, 2014 to:

New York State Education Department
P-12: Office of Special Education
89 Washington Avenue, 309 EB
Albany, NY 12234
Fax:  518 402-3583
Attention: Due Process Unit - Impartial Hearing Officer Search

Questions may be directed to Sharon Veltman at (518) 473-0170 or by email tospeced@mail.nysed.gov.

Application for Impartial Hearing Officer Candidate word document (75 KB)

Please share as appropriate. Thank you.

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June 2, 2014

FATCA Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) List Search and Download Tool



FATCA Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) List Search and Download Tool is Now Available

The FFI List Search and Download Tool located on the FATCA Website is now available.  

Use the Search and Download Tool to find out if a Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) has registered.