Insurance Provisions Created Result Judges Call 'Unreasonable'

, New York Law Journal

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In addition, the court said in a decision written by Read, the hospital did not claim that the employer's protections against the suit were affected by the workers' non-citizen status.

Lippman, Graffeo, Smith, Pigott, Rivera and Abdus-Salaam joined in the ruling.

Timothy O'Shaughnessy of Mauro Lilling Naparty in Woodbury represented New York Hospital. Dennis Wade of Wade Clark Mulcahy in Manhattan argued for Microtech.

Pro Se Competency

In another ruling, the judges decided 6-0 that defendant Alias Stone was not deprived of a fair trial because he was allowed to represent himself at his trial for burglary for stealing the possessions of workers at a midtown Manhattan hotel in 2008.

The judges rejected Stone's argument in People v. Stone, 5, that the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Indiana v. Edwards, 554 U.S. 164 (2008), imposed on courts the obligation to not only determine if defendants were mentally competent to stand trial, but also if they met a "heightened" competency standard necessary for self-representation.

Stone was convicted of both burglary counts and eventually sentenced to seven years in prison after representing himself. But he displayed a deep distrust of lawyers, prosecutors and judges before and during the trial, which his appellate lawyers said should have triggered a more thorough inquiry of his mental state before being allowed to represent himself.

Following his conviction, Stone was diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and hospitalized.

Graffeo wrote for the court that Edwards did not impose a new obligation on judges to perform a special inquiry into the mental competency of people who seek to represent themselves at trial.

"We do not view Edwards as imposing such a requirement—and our interpretation is in accord with the federal appellate courts that have addressed the issue," Graffeo wrote, citing United States v. Bernard, 708 F.3d 583 (4th Cir. 2013), and United States v. Berry, 565 F.3d 385 (7th Cir. 2009).

Graffeo wrote that the fact that Stone sometimes "engaged in obstreperous conduct or emotional outbursts" was not in itself proof that he was incompetent to serve as his own counsel.

Lippman, Read, Pigott, Graffeo and Rivera joined in the ruling. Abdus-Salaam took no part.

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