Letters to the Editor

Drafts Not Required for Retention Under Appraisal Standards

By Fred Kolikoff |

In his article, Michael Rikon suggests that the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice requires an appraiser to retain copies of all draft, preliminary, or incomplete reports. However, this is not true.

City's Credit Law Tackles Serious Discrimination

The article "City's New Credit Check Law Is Unnecessary" unfortunately gets a whole lot wrong about New York City's newly-enacted employment credit checks ban.

Why the City's Credit Check Law Is Necessary

The authors of the essay "City's New Credit Check Law Is Unnecessary" got one thing right—New York City's law is the strongest in the country. But the argument that this law is unnecessary is naïve, at best, and dishonest, at worst.

Next Steps to Achieve Marriage Equality: Train Local Judges

By Daniel S. Alter |

It would be naïve to think that the Supreme Court's decision blew through state courthouses across this nation like a cleansing breeze, instantaneously sweeping away harmful stereotypes and stagnant bias against same-sex relationships.

Sentencing for Oxycodone Based on Faulty Calculation

By Daniel N. Arshack |

Congress fixed the sentencing disparity for crack in 2010. They now need to do so for Oxycodone, correcting sentencing ranges to reflect its potency in relation to other drugs such as heroin and morphine.

Key Change in Rent Law Was Overlooked

By David Hershey-Webb |

A recent summary of the new rent laws missed what is probably one of the most significant changes to rent stabilization in almost 20 years: a provision that a rent stabilized apartment cannot be deregulated unless the prior tenant's legal regulated rent is $2,700.

Stakes Are Too High to Put Cameras in Courtrooms

By Leon Polsky |

While I am of course concerned with the trial participant who does not wish to be made part of a broadcast docu-drama, in an odd way I am more concerned with the participant who does.

'Brandes' Decision Sets Double Standard

By Marc Brawer |

I read the recent article on Joel Brandes' failed attempt to be reinstated to the bar with a great deal of puzzlement and dismay. Apparently, the Second Department has decreed that a disbarred lawyer may do paralegal work only for lawyers who have less expertise than the disbarred lawyer.

The Appellate Division, Second Department, at  41 Monroe Place, Brooklyn

Court of Appeals Should Review 'Brandes' Ruling

By Thomas F. Liotti |

The Appellate Division, Second Department, decision denying Joel Brandes readmission on a third attempt is unfair in that it takes an unprecedented view that an online consulting service constitutes the practice of law.

A screenshot of brandeslaw.com

Disciplinary Ruling Found 'Puzzling'

By Bernard Dworkin |

I read with puzzlement the front page news article in the June 22, 2015 New York Law Journal reporting the rejection by the Appellate Division, Second Department, of disbarred attorney Joel Brandes' application for readmission to the Bar.

Referee's Ruling Is Model of Judicial Discretion

By Michael S. Bank |

The decision published on June 22, page 17, by Special Referee Jeffery Helewitz granting a divorce despite the failure to include an authenticating certificate should be read and reread by all of the decision makers in New York State.

Support for Attorney Participation in Voir Dire

Henry Miller's thoughtful article on the practice of excluding lawyers from directly participating in jury selection by forbidding an attorney's direct questioning to prospective jurors in the federal courts reminds me of a distant controversy when this was advocated for New York State courts.

It's Time to Abolish Money Bail

By Joshua Norkin |

If the New York City Council and mayor want to ensure that nobody suffers the same fate as Kalief Browder, they need to think beyond a bail fund. Reform will only come when we can all agree that nobody, that means accused felons and repeat offenders, should sit in jail for no other reason than not having enough money to buy their freedom.

One of four surviving copies of the 1215 version of the Magna Carta at an exhibit at Fraunces Tavern Museum in lower Manhattan in 2009.

History Repeats Itself

By Arthur Engoron |

Approximately 20 years ago someone said in your pages that the Writ of Habeas Corpus arose out of the Magna Carta. I wrote the Law Journal a letter pointing out that this was a common misperception. Two guest authors recently repeated this canard, which apparently originated in the 17th century, in essays celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta.

Suggestions for Better Preparing an Expert

By Michael Einhorn |

As a testifying expert, I can report that valuation experts must sometimes prepare reports based on limited information made available after depositions and document requests have ended. In these instances, experts necessarily rely upon parties, fact witnesses or other experts to provide the support for additional information that can be useful in their forensic effort.

State Needs System to Expunge Criminal Records

By Judith Whiting |

The Coalition of Reentry Advocates write to commend Eastern District Judge John Gleeson on his well-reasoned decision to expunge a 2001 federal conviction because the barrier it has created to finding employment constitutes the sort of "extreme circumstances" warranting such action.

'Daimler' Doomsday Is Doubtful

By Robert P. Knapp III |

Contrary to a recent article's cries of constitutional catastrophe, a pending New York bill would simply recodify long-standing New York law as to consent to jurisdiction by a foreign corporation registering to do business in New York—an issue not addressed in Daimler.

Consider the Price Of 'Eternal Vigilance'

By Arthur Engoron |

In a speech about deceased Argentine federal prosecutor Alberto Nisman (NYLJ, May 1), former New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau is quoted as follows: "There is an old saying that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty and history has certainly shown that, whether it's 9/11 or Pearl Harbor."

Mandatory Pro Bono Is Not the Answer for All Firms

By Steven H. Schulman and Fiona A. Brett |

Great pro bono practices are created not by mandates, but by attention to community needs and attorneys' interests.

Making Law Students Better Prepared for the Marketplace

By David Yassky |

It has become trendy to proclaim the demise of law schools and predict a bleak forecast for aspiring lawyers. These dire predictions are exaggerated and obscure the real but solvable challenges facing legal educators.

One of four surviving copies of the 1215 version of the Magna Carta at an exhibit at Fraunces Tavern Museum in lower Manhattan in 2009.

Magna Carta and the Jews

By Steven Z. Mostofsky |

I enjoyed the section on the Magna Carta's Anniversary, but I think history diminished its importance. It granted rights mostly to the nobility and expressly discriminated against the Jews.

Utica City Court Judge Gerald Popeo speaks to a defendant  in 2011.

Judicial Conduct Commission Fell Short

By Antonio Brandveen |

Now, more than ever, it is imperative that all judges abide by the law, uphold the integrity and dignity of the judiciary, demonstrate patience and courtesy to all who appear before them and protect and respect the rights of all parties. Judge Popeo repeatedly fell short of these responsibilities.

A gavel in front of clock

Denial of Lawyer's Trial Preference Should Be Revisited

By Richard E. Brook |

Putting aside my friendship with Sidney Segall, and my understanding of his pancreatic cancer and lymphoma prognosis, it seems on an objective level, that the humanity of the law was lost in Justice Aaron's decision denying his client a trial preference.

Rethink, Rescale Legal Education

We do prospective students a huge disservice with the lie that a JD is just a handy thing to have around, like a hammer or a roll of duct tape.

Raise Rates for 18B Attorneys, Experts

In this author's experience, there is an increasing reluctance amongst able counsel to accept court assignments offering such paltry rates. I have personally had experts laugh when I begged them to accept a court assignment to a complex family court case—upon making the "mistake" of mentioning what their hourly rate would be.

A gavel in front of clock

Justice Delayed: An Argument for Time Limits at Trial

By Andrew S. Kaufman |

There is no question that wide latitude should be accorded counsel and the court in terms of presentation of a case, but at some point does the excessive use of time becomes an abuse?

Environment Has Turned Against Legal Malpractice Plaintiffs

By Gregory Antollino |

Over the years, I've been offered many legal malpractice cases, prosecuted about 15, and won or settled all but three. But I agree that the deck is stacked against the plaintiff, compared to other causes of action.

Arab Bank headquarters in Amman, Jordan

Attacks on Character Do Not Alter Facts of the Case

In a recent letter to the Law Journal, the defense lawyers in 'Linde v. Arab Bank' attacked my personal character for not disclosing in my earlier letter that I had worked as an expert consultant for plaintiffs. Such a response is predictable. When the facts are stacked against you and the law is not on your side, you resort to ad hominem attacks against persons associated with the opposing party.

Herald Price Fahringer in 1998

Remembering Herald Price Fahringer

By Richard S. Weisbroat |

In bidding farewell to Herald Price Fahringer, there is yet another side to him that deserves mention: his gracious acknowledgment and gratitude to those who taught and helped him hone his skills and those in public service who came to his rescue by guiding him through the maze of procedural technicalities of appellate court practice.

Herald Price Fahringer in 1998

In Memory of Herald Price Fahringer

By Christopher X. Maher |

The defense of individual liberties lost its greatest champion with the passing of Herald Price Fahringer at the age of 87 on Feb. 12 (Lincoln's Birthday!).

Arab Bank headquarters in Amman, Jordan

Correcting the Record on Arab Bank Case

By Kevin Walsh and Douglas W. Mateyaschuk II |

We represent Arab Bank in Linde v. Arab Bank, and write to provide a more complete review of the case against the bank and its implications for Law Journal readers.

Judge's E-Signature Ruling Is Consistent With the Law

Contrary to Thomas M. O'Brian's recent essay, Judge Debra Stevens Modica's recent decision to allow a supporting deposition in a domestic violence case to be signed by an electronic signature created no change in the law, much less a "sweeping" one, as she was simply applying a law that has been in effect for more than 12 years.