This Weeks News

Lawrence K. Marks

Marks to Replace Prudenti as Chief Administrative Judge

Joel Stashenko | July 30, 2015

Judge Lawrence Marks will assume the post of chief administrative judge on Friday, succeeding A. Gail Prudenti as the lead day-to-day manager of New York's court system.

Panel: Harassment Suit Not Barred by Whistleblower Claim

By Ben Bedell |

The First Department said invoking New York's whistleblower statute, which prohibits retaliation against an employee for reporting unlawful corporate conduct that threatens public safety, does not preclude workplace discrimination claims that are "separate and independent" from a retaliation claim.

Steven Davis, Joel Sanders and Stephen DiCarmine

Ex-Partner Says Dewey Failed to Pay Promised Compensation

By Christine Simmons |

A former structured finance partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf said he left the firm in late 2010 with a group of other attorneys because he was not paid what he was promised and only learned of Dewey's 2010 debt offering to investors through a client.

Parole Violator's Sentence Found 'Exceedingly Harsh'

By Andrew Denney |

An Eastern District judge failed to explain in open court why she sentenced a sex offender who violated his parole to a prison term greater than the recommended sentencing guidelines, an appellate court ruled in an order for resentencing.

Firm Sanctioned for Actions in Foreclosure Case

By Andrew Keshner |

A bank's law firm has been sanctioned for failing to mention it was negotiating a mortgage modification with a borrower while pressing a foreclosure action against the borrower in the courts.

Anti-death penalty activists hold a four day liquid-only fast and vigil to mark the anniversaries of the 1972 Furman and 1976 Gregg Supreme Court decisions involving the death penalty. The vigil, organized by the Abolitionist Action Committee, coincided with court's last public session of the current term when the opinion in Glossip v. Gross was expected to be announced. June 29, 2015.

Citing Breyer's Dissent, Okla. Inmates Want Death Case Reheard

By Tony Mauro |

After absorbing defeat in the U.S. Supreme Court lethal-injection case in June, lawyers for three death row inmates decided to take advantage of what they saw as the decision's silver lining: an unusual dissent that declared the time had come for the court to take a full re-examination of capital punishment, rather than a piecemeal approach.

Objections in Settlement of Credit Card Suit Filed

By Andrew Keshner |

Retailers filed objections Tuesday to a preliminary settlement of an antitrust class action suit against American Express based on disclosed communications between a lawyer for the plaintiffs and an ex-Willkie Farr & Gallagher partner.

New York University School of Law

Plaintiffs Attorney Gives $2M for Civil Jury Study

By Andrew Denney |

The founder of civil litigation boutique Susman Godfrey has given $2 million to the New York University School of Law to study the decline of the civil jury trial in American jurisprudence.

Capitol of Puerto Rico, in San Juan

Mayor, Lawyers Seek Action on Puerto Rico Debt Crisis

Mayor Bill de Blasio and other New York City elected officials are urging Washington to aid Puerto Rico during its fiscal crisis. Puerto Rico's governor said last month that the island's $72 billion public debt is unpayable given the current level of economic growth.

Judge Daniels

Judge Expresses Skepticism in Boosting PLO Judgment

Southern District Judge George Daniels has indicated he doesn't see a compelling need to raise a $654 million lawsuit award to victims of terror attacks in Israel to more than $1 billion, especially since he allowed lawyers to ask the jury to fully compensate the victims at a February civil trial.

Panel Disbars Attorney for Misusing Client Funds

By Ben Bedell |

Luigi Rosabianca, who was described in 2014 New York magazine article as a leading lawyer representing wealthy foreigners buying real estate, was disbarred Tuesday by the Appellate Division, First Department.

 Dewey & LeBoeuf sign

CPA Details False Entries in Dewey's Accounts

By Julie Triedman |

A former accounting manager testified Monday that she and others in Dewey & LeBoeuf's finance department falsified the firm's financial statements by making illegitimate entries at the end of each fiscal year between 2008 and 2011.

Bid to Block Disclosure of Citizens United Donors Rebuffed

By Joel Stashenko |

A Southern District judge on Monday denied Citizens United's request for a preliminary injunction against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's attempt to have the group disclose to his office a list of its contributors.

Ford Motors HQ

Circuit Rejects Alien Tort Suit Against Ford, IBM

By Ben Bedell |

An effort to sue Ford Motor and IBM for alleged complicity in South Africa's apartheid regime was dismissed by the Second Circuit Monday, which said said the U.S. parent companies could not be held liable for aiding and abetting their South Africa subsidiaries.

Lawyers Remain Cautious as Clients Inquire About Iran

By Nell Gluckman |

It may still be illegal for most U.S. and European businesses to do business in Iran, but it’s not premature for their lawyers to begin dissecting the nuclear deal that was announced earlier this month.

Law school graduates line up to take the New York bar exam at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in July 2013.

Fewer Candidates Expected to Sit for July Bar Exam

By Andrew Denney |

Following a general decline in law school admissions, the number of aspiring attorneys expected to take the New York's July bar examination on Tuesday and Wednesday is slightly smaller than in 2014.

The 71st Precinct in Brooklyn

Judge Suppresses Suspect ID Over Police Lineup Choices

By Joel Stashenko |

A Brooklyn judge found a lineup identification of an attempted murder suspect was "unduly suggestive" because the defendant appeared with five others who were too dissimilar in appearance from him.

Chenango County Courthouse

Judge Tosses Suit Over Courthouse Ejection

By Joel Stashenko |

A Northern District judge said that although Chenango County Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dowd had recused himself from Moshe Shtrauch's divorce case, the judge was still protected by judicial immunity when he ordered court personnel to remove Shtrauch from the courthouse.

David Miranda

State Bar Chooses Members to Study NY Constitution

By Joel Stashenko |

The New York State Bar Association has announced the makeup of a 25-member committee that will study whether New Yorkers should authorize a statewide convention in 2017 to consider changing the state Constitution.

A. Gail Prudenti, Chief Administrative Judge

Prudenti to Leave OCA for Post at Hofstra

By Joel Stashenko |

Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti announced Monday she will retire after 23 years on the bench, the past 3 1/2 of them as the top lieutenant to Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, to be an administrator and adviser at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University.

Sheldon Silver, left, and his lawyer Joel Cohen leave court in April.

Court Refuses to Dismiss Criminal Case Against Silver

By Andrew Keshner |

A federal judge has refused to dismiss charges against former New York state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, noting defendants face "a high hurdle" when trying to challenge an indictment's sufficiency in a dismissal motion.

Victims Lose Claim to Inheritance Renounced by Inmate

By Joel Stashenko |

A Surrogate's Court judge has determined that an inmate validly renounced his deceased mother's inheritance before claims for a share of her estate were filed by the Office of Victim Services and the father of the inmate's victim.

Morgan Stanley headquarters at 1585 Broadway

Morgan Stanley Loses Bid to Dismiss Insider Trading Suit

By Ben Bedell |

Judge Colleen McMahon denied Morgan Stanley's motion for summary judgment on the grounds that "there is plenty of evidence­—most of it out of the mouths of Morgan Stanley's own personnel—from which a jury could conclude" that Morgan Stanley traded on insider information for the benefit of its own account.

Former Alaska senator Ted Stevens exits the federal courthouse in D.C. in April 2009.

D.C. Circuit Urged to Order Release of Prosecutors' Manual

By Zoe Tillman and Mike Scarcella |

Legal professors, civil rights advocates and other groups this week urged a federal appeals court in Washington to force the U.S. Department of Justice to publicly disclose a prosecution playbook that was written and distributed after the government botched the case against the late Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens.

Sister Loraine Marie Maguire, of Little Sisters of the Poor, speaks to members of the media after attending a hearing in the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in Denver, Colo., Monday, Dec. 8, 2014.

Religious Groups Flock to High Court to Challenge Contraception Mandate

By Marcia Coyle |

In a scenario reminiscent of same-sex marriage challenges last fall, the U.S. Supreme Court now has five petitions for review from religious nonprofits challenging the government's means of accommodating their objections to contraceptive health insurance. And some heavy-hitting lawyers are on board.

Sen. John Sampson

State Senator Found Guilty of Obstructing Investigation

A once-powerful New York politician was convicted Friday on charges he lied to the FBI in an attempt to obstruct a corruption investigation targeting him for embezzlement.

Judge Focuses Issues in Suit Against Proskauer

By Christine Simmons |

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Oing rejected a request by an oil tanker company to decide a legal question early on in its legal malpractice suit against Proskauer Rose.

Yusef Salaam, one of the Central Park Five, entering Manhattan Supreme Court during their original trial.

Pact Reached on Release of Central Park Five Documents

By Andrew Denney |

New York City and the attorneys for the Central Park Five have reached an agreement to release a large cache of discovery documents from the criminal case against five men originally convicted of beating and sexually assaulting Patricia Meili in 1989 and their subsequent civil suit against the city.

Court Shields Statement on Medical Procedure

By Andrew Keshner |

A physical therapist's statement about a doctor's purported use of a power drill during a medical procedure was prepared for the malpractice case against the doctor and is shielded from claims of defamation, a judge decided.

Fishkill Correctional Facility

Circuit Rules Grievances by Inmates Are Protected

By Joel Stashenko |

The voicing and filing of grievances by members of inmate liaison committees in New York state prisons are constitutionally protected activities, a Second Circuit panel has ruled, reinstating an inmate's claim that he faced retaliation for his activities as a committee member at Fishkill Correctional Facility.

Correction

Circuit Clears Way for Lawyer's OT Suit Against Skadden

By Ben Bedell |

Holding that a contract lawyer doing document review work for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom "provided services that a machine could have provided," the Second Circuit overruled a lower court Thursday and said the lawyer could proceed with his claim for overtime pay.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo

Judge Orders Release of Limited Data on Garner Officer

By Andrew Keshner |

A judge has granted the Legal Aid Society's petition for a summary indicating the number of substantiated complaints brought against Officer Daniel Pantaleo before his fatal confrontation with Eric Garner, as well as any recommendations made to the police department based on those complaints.

Charles Gibbs

Holland & Knight, Ex-Partner Continue Battle Over Payments

By Christine Simmons |

After Holland & Knight moved to preserve its share of $500,000 in fees awarded to former partner Charles Gibbs in two trust and estate matters, Gibbs shot back with a claim that the firm still owes him more than $1 million in compensation.

Insurer Says Dewey Claimed to Be Financially Healthy

By Nell Gluckman |

When Dewey & LeBoeuf solicited $150 million from insurance companies in a private placement in 2010, it assured investors that it was financially stable, Robert Mills, who handled private placements for The Hartford group, testified Thursday.

Job Bias Cases Cannot Invoke Ledbetter Act, Circuit Rules

By Ben Bedell |

Lawsuits claiming that gender, age or disability discrimination caused an employee's demotion cannot circumvent statutes of limitation by invoking a 2009 law that triggers a new claim each time a paycheck is issued, the Second Circuit ruled Tuesday.

Comments Sought on Plan to Redact Personal Data

By Joel Stashenko |

Court administrators have circulated for public comment two amended rules it says are needed to extend protections against the release of confidential personal information in matrimonial actions.

Masonic Medica Research Laboratory

Attorney Indicted for Lab Fund Theft

By Andrew Keshner |

Brooklyn prosecutors say Arthur Fisch tried to steal more than $450,000 from Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, where he had been vice president of the board.

Appellate Division, Third Department, courthouse in Albany

Panel Upholds Rejection of Post-Release Residences

By Joel Stashenko |

The state's denial of three transitional housing locations for a convicted killer who is eligible for release after serving 30 years in prison was upheld Thursday by a state appeals court.

Lawyer Suspended for Effort to Circumvent Injunction

By Andrew Denney |

A Long Island attorney has been suspended for one year for trying to circumvent a restraining order filed by the New York State Crime Victims Board intended to halt her incarcerated client from accessing settlement funds, an appellate court ruled.

On the Move

Paul Keller, an intellectual property litigation practitioner, has joined Norton Rose Fulbright as a partner; Greenberg Traurig has added John Kaufmann as of counsel in its tax practice; and more.

Correction

Chief Judge Lippman

Lippman Makes Permanent Panel on Access to Justice

By Joel Stashenko |

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced Wednesday that he has made permanent the task force he created in 2010 to highlight the unmet legal needs of low-income New Yorkers and to push for higher spending on civil legal services.

Caesars Palace in Las Vegas

Caesars' Defamation Claim Against Creditors Dismissed

By Andrew Denney |

A Manhattan Commercial Division judge on Monday dismissed a claim by embattled casino operator Caesars Entertainment that a group of its creditors defamed the company in statements to the media and in regulatory hearings.

Attorney Elkan Abramowitz questions Frank Canellas on the stand, as Acting Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Robert Stolz and Steven Davis, far right, look on.

Star Witness Ends Testimony in Dewey Bosses' Fraud Trial

By Julie Triedman |

After seven days of testifying against his former bosses at Dewey & LeBoeuf—which included heated questioning from both the prosecution and defense and at one point led to tears on the witness stand—former finance director Francis Canellas concluded his role as the prosecution's key witness in the fraud trial of the collapsed firm's top leaders.

Judge Abrams

Judge Orders Resentencing, Citing Ineffective Assistance

By Andrew Keshner |

Southern District Judge Ronnie Abrams has ordered resentencing for a Chinese immigrant, saying he was deprived of effective legal assistance because his attorney should have informed the court that mandatory deportation would accompany any prison sentence of more than a year.

Suit Challenges NJ Ban on Church Sale of Headstones

By Charles Toutant |

The Archdiocese of Newark has filed a suit against New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie over a new law that bars it from selling headstones to parishioners intending to be buried in its Catholic cemeteries, which the suit says was a response to lobbying on behalf of secular companies that sell monuments.

Dean and Adam Skelos

New Indictment Boosts Charges Against Skelos, Son

By Larry Neumeister |

The latest indictment against a former state Senate leader says he pressured an insurance company that wanted to discuss legislation with him into hiring his son, and then supported his son after he bragged to his new boss that he didn't have to show up for work because of his father's powerful post.

Thomas Libous

Lawmaker Found Guilty of Lying to FBI Agents

The No. 2 Republican in the state Senate was convicted by a federal jury Wednesday of making false statements to the FBI about arranging a high-paying job for his son.

Attorney Sentenced to Jail and Probation in Tax Fraud

By Andrew Keshner |

An ex-partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed has been sentenced to a three-month jail sentence and five years of probation after pleading guilty to tax fraud.

Workers at a Wendy's franchise

NY Board Backs $15 Hourly Wage for Fast-Food Workers

By Associated Press/Joel Stashenko |

The state's $8.75-an-hour minimum wage would go up to $15 an hour by the end of 2018 for some fast-food workers in New York City and in the rest of the state by July 1, 2021, under a proposal approved Wednesday by a state wage board.

Whitestown Town Hall

Justice Censured for Seeking Leniency from Police for Son

By Joel Stashenko |

A town court judge has been censured for engaging in "impermissible advocacy" with police officers who were investigating his son for animal cruelty in 2013, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct announced Wednesday.

Gov. Cuomo

Cuomo's Office Makes Two Appointments

By Joel Stashenko |

Sandi Toll has become first assistant counsel to Gov. Andrew Cuomo. She was an attorney with Jenner & Block in Manhattan for 11 years, and a partner for four years, before joining Cuomo's office as assistant counsel in 2013.