This Weeks News

Twenty One Pilots

Atlantic Records, Reddit End Dispute Over 'Heathens' Leak

By Jason Grant |

After seeking to force Reddit to help identify who leaked and secretly posted the Twenty One Pilots song 'Heathens' online, Atlantic Records has informed a New York court that it no longer wants to press the issue.

Sources: Andrews Kurth, Kenyon & Kenyon Vote to Merge, But Not a Done Deal

By Christine Simmons and Katelyn Polantz |

The two firms, which have reportedly been discussing a merger, are now sharing office space in at least one city. Two sources say the firms have agreed to combine operations.

Housing Judge Finds for Queens Tenant Facing Eviction Over Son's Alleged Drug Dealing

By Jason Grant |

Citing mitigating factors, a Queens judge allowed a wheelchair-bound, 70-year-old mother to remain in her apartment of 49 years. She had faced eviction after her son was arrested for selling drugs from the home.

Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky

Judge in Stanford Sex Assault Case Removed From Criminal Duty

The California state court judge at the center of the Brock Turner sexual assault controversy has been reassigned to handle civil cases, amid continuing calls for him to step down from the bench.

GPS-Based Device Doesn't Violate Privacy Rights of Cab Drivers

By Andrew Denney |

A requirement that New York City taxicabs be fitted with payment devices that track drivers via GPS did not violate the Fourth Amendment rights of a cab driver accused of improperly overcharging riders, a federal appellate panel ruled in a 2-1 decision.

Judge Frank Doddato

Former Nassau County District Court Judge Frank Doddato Dies at 67

By Andrew Denney |

Frank Doddato, who served on the bench through 2015 and had a decades-long career in criminal law, has died after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Ghillaine Reid

Reid Departs Boutique for Large Firm's Financial Team

By Christine Simmons |

Ghillaine Reid, a former New York branch chief for the Securities and Exchange Commission, has joined McGuireWoods as a partner in New York and will co-lead the firm's broker-dealer practice.

Schneiderman Clears Police in Death of Tasered Man

New York's attorney general has cleared police in a Hudson Valley town of criminal wrongdoing in the death of a man subdued with a Taser in November 2015.

Fourth Circuit Courthouse in Richmond, Va.

Bias Suit by Ex-Booz Allen Lawyer Is Reinstated

A former in-house lawyer for Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. will get a second chance to press her claim that she was demoted and pushed out by managers with a pattern of discriminating against women over 40.

Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos

Theranos Challenges Federal Sanctions Over Lab Practices

Theranos Inc., the once-revered Silicon Valley medical startup, plans to challenge the revocation of its license to operate a lab, among other sanctions federal regulators imposed after finding lax blood-testing practices.

Recognition for Lawyers

Among other awards and honors, Columbia Law School professor Kathryn Judge was appointed to the research advisory committee of the Office of Financial Research, which was established by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010.

Correction

Please Help Us Remember 9/11

In a few weeks, the nation will mark the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, when more than 3,000 people died and the city, its courts and legal community were thrown into chaos.

In Quoting Profanity, Some Judges Give a F#%&. Others Don't

By Zoe Tillman |

Judges can get in trouble for cursing on the job, but in quoting from a trial transcript, witness statement or other evidence, they have leeway to decide what they're comfortable putting on paper. In interviews, state and federal judges revealed a range of attitudes about when and whether to include profanity.

Justice Bransten

Judge OKs $20M Malpractice Claim Against Curtis Mallet-Prevost

By Christine Simmons |

A Manhattan judge has refused to dismiss a former client's legal malpractice claim against Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle that alleges the firm's negligence in filing a document late in a government investigation led the client to lose $20 million.

Class Action Against Amazon Over Sale of Diet Pill Is Revived

By Andrew Denney |

A federal appeals court has reinstated a class action lawsuit against Amazon regarding its sale of a diet pill that contained a banned stimulant, finding the company failed to prove the plaintiff had agreed to settle his claim through arbitration.

From left, deans Harry Ballan of Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, Mary Lu Bilek of City University of New York School of Law, and Craig Boise of Syracuse University College of Law

A Trio of New Deans at Law Schools Across the State

By Andrew Denney |

Three new deans at New York law schools this semester say they're ready to tackle the formidable challenges in legal education and the profession.

Criticizing Trial Judge, Appeals Court Throws Out Manslaughter Plea

By Jason Grant |

A First Department panel criticized a lower court judge for pressuring a criminal defendant into submitting to a DNA test without a lawyer present.

Judge Randolph Moss

Fiduciary Rule's Challengers Warn Judge of 'Extraordinary Risk' for Advice Industry

By C. Ryan Barber |

A judge in Washington heard arguments for more than two hours Thursday on whether to block a U.S. Department of Labor rule that requires investment advisers to act in their clients' best interests—a heightened standard designed to curb billions of dollars in fees in the retirement plans marketplace.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo: Effort to Combat Corruption Is 'Aggressive Action'

By David Klepper |

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law on Wednesday what he called a "first-in-the-nation" response to the U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, one that some say will discourage people from contributing to groups involved in controversial advocacy, such as Planned Parenthood or gun rights groups.

A May 7, 2009 photo by Carol Highsmith

Photographer Seeks $1B From Getty in Copyright Violation Lawsuit

By Larry Neumeister |

An accomplished photographer who lets the public use thousands of her images of America for free has sued the Getty Images photo agency for more than $1 billion, saying it is improperly selling her work to customers and threatening those who don't pay.

Law Firms Find Reward in Risk Over 401(k) Fee Suits

By Lizzy McLellan |

Despite some major recoveries in class actions over excessive 401(k) fees, the group of lawyers litigating these cases remains small, as few are willing to put the whole firm at risk.

Pharrell, Robin Thicke Challenge Verdict in 'Blurred Lines' Dispute

By Amanda Bronstad |

Pointing to what they call a "cascade of legal errors," Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke have asked a federal appeals court to overturn last year's verdict finding that their 2013 smash hit "Blurred Lines" had infringed on a copyright for Marvin Gaye's "Got To Give It Up."

Sheldon Silver

Silver to Remain Free on Bail While Appealing Conviction

By Christine Simmons |

Southern District Judge Valerie Caproni on Thursday questioned whether the jury charge in Sheldon Silver's case, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 'McDonnell v. United States', was erroneous and whether the potential error was harmless.

National Sept. 11 Museum

Court Shuts Down Dispute Over 9/11 Museum Contract

By Jason Grant |

New York's Appellate Division, First Department, found against a steel company's claim that it lost millions because of an allegedly breached contract for work on the Sept. 11 Museum.

Thomas Tamm.

Ex-DOJ Lawyer Censured for Leaking Information

Thomas Tamm, a former DOJ lawyer who faced disciplinary action for leaking information to the press about domestic surveillance under President George W. Bush, was censured on Thursday by the D.C. Court of Appeals, which said there were "mitigating factors" that made a lesser punishment appropriate.

Lebanese Canadian Bank headquarters in Beirut

Hezbollah Victims Lose Appeal in Terror Funding Case Against Lebanese Bank

By Mark Hamblett |

Victims of Hezbollah rocket attacks in Israel in 2006 cannot sue a Lebanese bank in U.S. courts simply because the bank allegedly used a New York account to transfer several million dollars, the Second Circuit ruled Wednesday.

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark presides over a meeting of bureau chiefs on Aug 1.

New Bronx District Attorney Begins to Deliver on Promises

By Andrew Denney |

For the Bronx criminal justice system, change is coming as new District Attorney Darcel Clark begins to implement her reform ideas, but observers said the hard part will be in seeing that they take root.

Four Big Firms Advise on Sale of Stake in Empire State Building Owner

By Brian Baxter |

White & Case, Proskauer Rose, Goodwin Procter and Clifford Chance are handling a $622 million deal that will see Qatar's sovereign wealth fund acquire a 9.9 percent stake in the Empire State Realty Trust Inc., owner of New York's iconic Empire State Building.

Florida Firms Among Top Recruiters in NYC This Year

Several Florida-founded law firms, including some already entrenched in the New York legal market, have rapidly expanded in Manhattan this year. While these firms' history in Manhattan varies from new entrants to long-established offices, Greenberg Traurig; Akerman; Holland & Knight and Greenspoon Marder have each claimed large net gains in New York in 2016.

Zara Can't View Former GC's Emails, Judge Rules

After losing his job as the general counsel of Zara, Ian Jack Miller held onto his company laptop. He even used the laptop to email a lawyer that helped him sue the fast-fashion retailer, alleging it discriminated against him because he's gay and Jewish. In what may strike some as a surprising ruling, a judge has blocked Zara from seeing files he stored on the device, ruling that they aren't relevant to the merits of the case.

Judge Reed O'Connor.

Why Conservative States Handpicked This Texas Judge for Transgender Bathroom Challenge

By John Council |

Few outside of Texas had ever heard of Fort Worth U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor before he issued a nationwide injunction preventing transgender students in public schools from using bathroom facilities that match their gender identity rather than their sex. But with that controversial ruling, O'Connor landed in the national spotlight—a hero to cultural warriors on the right end of the political spectrum and a bully to those battling to expand transgender rights.

Melania Trump, wife of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, speaks at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, July 18, 2016.

After Hulk Hogan, an L.A. Litigator Is Standing Up for Melania Trump

By Julie Triedman |

What do Melania Trump and Hulk Hogan have in common? Their lawyer, Charles Harder of Beverly Hills, whose entertainment law boutique Harder Mirell & Abrams has been particularly busy of late.

How the Internet's Transition from US Control Is Making Law Firms Richer

By Roy Strom |

When it comes to understanding how the internet works or what controls it, most people are in the dark. But plenty of law firms are cashing in as one of the world's most valuable resources prepares for a controversial transition away from the oversight of the U.S. government.

Mishandled Jury Note Prompts New Trial in Sex Assault Case

By Andrew Denney |

A Brooklyn appeals court has ordered a new trial for a man convicted in 2013 of various sex crimes and burglary after the trial judge in his case improperly handled a jury note.

The Court of Appeals in Albany

Court Rejects Residency of State Senate Candidate

By Associated Press, Jeff Storey |

New York's highest court has ruled that a Democratic contender for the state Senate who registered to vote in Washington D.C. in 2014 doesn't meet the state's five-year residency requirement.

Councilman Asks DOJ to Probe City Bail Policies

By Christine Simmons |

New York City Councilman Rory Lancman is calling for a Justice Department investigation into the bail system in the city, citing thousands of indigent defendants languishing in Rikers Island because they can't pay $500 or $1,000 in bail money.

Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo to Pay $4M in Student-Debt Agreement

A year after publishing a report on widespread problems with the serving of student loans, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau reached a $4 million settlement Monday with Wells Fargo over allegations the bank charged illegal fees and failed to inform borrowers of their payment options.

Columbia University's Low Memorial Library

Grad Students at Private Colleges Win NLRB Ruling to Unionize

By Rebekah Mintzer |

Graduate students at Columbia University performing teaching and research roles are employees under federal law who can join labor unions, a labor panel ruled Tuesday in a decision that significantly bolsters unionization movements at other colleges and universities.

Public Interest Group Charges Collusion in Proposed CVS Pharmacy Settlement

By Amanda Bronstad |

A consumer advocacy group has accused a Chicago plaintiffs' attorney of colluding with a defendant to reach a class action settlement on behalf of the same litigant he's represented in dozens of other lawsuits across the country.

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros

Second Former Fox Host Sues, Says Ailes Is a 'Sexual Predator'

By Jason Grant |

Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros has sued the network and several of its executives, claiming that she was sexually harassed and then retaliated against when she complained about advances made by Roger Ailes, the network’s founding chairman and long one of TV news’ most powerful figures.

According to a court decision, photographs like this depict the dumping of polluted water into Newtown Creek.

Cement Co. Photographed Dumping in Creek Held in Civil Contempt

By Mark Hamblett |

Photographs show a Brooklyn concrete company violating a consent decree by dumping polluted, cement-laden water into Newtown Creek, and now it's going to pay for it.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

CFPB Flooded With Thousands of Comments Over Arbitration Rule

From the day the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau moved to ban contract language prohibiting class action waivers, business groups led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce prepared to write the obituary for mandatory arbitration.

ABA Drops Inquiry Into BYU Law School's Ex-Mormon Policy

By Karen Sloan |

The American Bar Association has dropped an inquiry it launched last year into whether a policy enabling the expulsion of ex-Mormons at Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School violates ABA anti-discrimination accreditation standards.

Big-Name Attorneys Recall Favorite Law School Classes

By ALM Staff |

As law students head back to school over the coming days, we decided to rewind the clock for a group of prominent attorneys and ask them to share the courses they took that stuck with them. A common thread among their answers was how those classes shaped their mindset and focus down the road.

The Court of Appeals in Albany

Commission to Hold Session on Judicial Selection

By Andrew Denney |

With the mandatory retirement of Court of Appeals Associate Judge Eugene Pigott Jr. set for the end of this year, the commission charged with recommending his successor has scheduled a meeting next week to demystify the process.

NYPD officer

Report: NYPD Must Comply With Rules for Investigations

By Mark Hamblett |

The New York City Police Department Intelligence Bureau needs to improve its compliance rate with strict guidelines for investigating political activity, according to the New York City Department of Investigation’s Office of the Inspector General for the NYPD.

Fines Are Doubled for Misbranding Fur

New York is raising the fines for misbranding fur, whether it came from an animal or consists of synthetic fibers that look the part.

State Classifies Machetes as a Dangerous Weapon

New York state has added machetes to a list of "dangerous or deadly" weapons that also includes daggers, razors and stilettos.

Deadline Friday: Nominations Sought for Top Women in Law Awards

The New York Law Journal is seeking nominations for accomplished female attorneys in New York’s legal community who represent excellence in private practice, corporate counsel work, public interest law, legal education and the judiciary.

A United Airlines Airbus A320

Judge Dismisses NY Case Against Airbus for Flight Injury

By Mark Hamblett |

A New York federal court lacks jurisdiction to hear a products liability case against Airbus for injuries a flight attendant incurred on a flight from Boston to Washington D.C., Eastern District Judge Denis Hurley has ruled.

60 Centre St.

Suit Dismissed in Case Where Client's Alleged Antics Caused Lost Business

By Andrew Denney |

A Manhattan judge has dismissed a suit filed by managers of a law firm against a disgruntled client who allegedly "caused a scene" at the firm's office in the presence of other clients, an incident which the firm said cost it business.

A New Mortgage-Backed Securities Crisis for Law Firms?

By Gina Passarella |

Lawyers involved in commercial mortgage-backed securities deals are no stranger to tumult, and, since 2008, they've also had to adjust to increased regulation. But a new rule set to take effect Dec. 24 has some predicting new obstacles to a deal pipeline that still hasn’t fully recovered from the recession.

Private Prisons Predict 'Heavy Cost' After Justice Department Ends Use

By Marcia Coyle |

The U.S. Justice Department's plan to end its use of private prison operators could deliver a financial hit to those companies' bottom lines, as shown by the precipitous drop in their stock prices Thursday. But the end won't come without a fight, groups that have long opposed private prisons said.

Joseph Caputo, fence jumper at the White House. Handout

Leap Over White House Fence Wasn't Protected Speech, Judge Rules

Sporting an American flag as a cape on Thanksgiving Day last year, Joseph Caputo leaped over the fence that separates the public street from the White House lawn. An arrest and criminal charge inevitably followed.

Columbia Law School

What's New in Law School Course Offerings This Year?

By Michael Moline |

Beyond torts, contracts and evidence, an array of new courses are designed specifically to prepare new lawyers to meet emerging challenges, such as the Zika virus and transgender issues.

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Foley Square

Vacancy on 2nd Circuit as Judge Takes Senior Status

By Mark Hamblett |

By the time a new president is elected, there will be at least two new vacancies at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Judge Richard Wesley took senior status on Aug. 1 and Judge Gerard Lynch is set to take senior status effective Sept. 5.

Richard Hartunian

Northern District U.S. Attorney Named Chair of DOJ Advisory Group

By Andrew Denney |

U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian has been appointed by Attorney General Loretta Lynch to lead a key advisory committee.

Insurer Agrees to Pay Improperly Denied Claims

New York's attorney general has reached a settlement requiring a Buffalo-based insurer to pay thousands of improperly denied claims for outpatient psychotherapy and about 125 claims for nutritional counseling for eating disorders.

Slamming 'Revolving Door,' Whistleblower Rejects $8M

It would be hard for most people to say no to a cool $8.25 million, but Eric Ben-Artzi, a former chief risk officer at Deutsche Bank who blew the whistle on illegal accounting practices there, is clearly not most people.