This Weeks News

Former Graubard Miller Partner Sues Firm Over Fee Split

By Christine Simmons |

A former Graubard Miller partner has sued the 20-attorney firm, claiming it was unfair to him in its distribution of a $72 million contingency fee and forced him to "sign away his rights" as a condition of getting paid.

Darcel Clark

Clark Sketches Priorities for Bronx DA Office

By Andrew Keshner |

Change may be in the offing for Bronx residents and their prosecutors if Democrat Darcel Clark is elected district attorney.

Adam Leitman Bailey and Dov Treiman

The Most Significant Title and Foreclosure Cases of 2015

By Adam Leitman Bailey and Dov Treiman |

Adam Leitman Bailey and Dov Treiman analyze three decisions: 'Faison v. Lewis,' where the Court of Appeals eliminated the statute of limitations from one entire category of cases; 'Flushing Savings Bank v. Bitar,' where the court explained the rules for determining the proper deficiency judgment amount and appraisal requirements; and 'Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans,' a unanimous decision from the the U.S. Supreme Court that the authors believe will also negatively affect the stability of residential real estate transfers and lending.

Dewey Jury Tosses More Charges But Is Deadlocked on Rest of Case

By Nell Gluckman and Christine Simmons |

The jury deliberating in the trial of the leaders of failed law firm Dewey & LeBoeuf threw out more falsifying business records counts against the former executives but remained deadlocked on a majority of the charges.

Judge Finds Arrest to Be Illegal by Just a 'Matter of Inches'

By Joel Stashenko |

While the axiom that a man's home is his castle is ingrained in the Anglo-American legal tradition, a state judge says the question of where the castle's gate begins is not so well defined.

60 Centre St.

New Commercial Division Deposition Rule to Take Effect

By Ben Bedell |

New rules that seek to encourage business and government agencies to produce deponents who can most effectively address inquiries about an entity's practices with respect to the issues in the case were announced Thursday and will take effect Dec. 1.

Political Sign Ordinance Said to Violate First Amendment

By Mark Hamblett |

A town ordinance that limits political signs on private property to 21 days before an election and five days after violates the First Amendment, a federal judge found.

Kids Get Benefits Despite Questions About Paternity

By Andrew Denney |

Two children are entitled to the Social Security benefits of the man identified as their father even though they might not be his biological children, a federal magistrate judge has concluded.

John Frederick Coots, top, and James Lamont

Songwriter's Heirs Reclaim Rights to Holiday Classic

By Larry Neumeister |

You'd better watch out: "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" is comin' back into the hands of the daughter and grandchildren of John Frederick Coots, who co-wrote the song in 1933 with James Lamont "Haven" Gillespie.

Bikram Yoga Can't Be Copyrighted, Appeals Court Rules

Bikram yoga aficionados can stretch and sweat with impunity following a Ninth Circuit ruling that the practice's signature sequence of poses is not copyrightable.

Dewey Jury to Return After Columbus Holiday

By Christine Simmons |

Two days after delivering a partial verdict that acquitted three Dewey & LeBoeuf executives of a number of charges, the jury continued to deliberate the remaining charges and asked on Friday to hear testimony from a key witness about accounting adjustments.

$2.5M Awarded to Estate of Disabled Assault Victim

By Associated Press/Joel Stashenko |

The estate of a woman who had the mental capacity of an infant has been awarded $2.5 million by a judge for the repeated sexual assaults she suffered in 2009 at a state group home in Orange County.

On the Move

Nine firms announce new additions, including Morvillo Abramowitz, Willkie Farr, and WilmerHale.

An ignitition interlock device

State Faults City Oversight of Ignition Overlock Devices

By Joel Stashenko |

Ignition interlock devices were installed in only about 5 percent of the DWI cases in which New York City courts ordered their use, the state comptroller's office said in an audit of Department of Probation records from August 2010 to December 2014.

Input Sought on Proposed Rule for In-House Counsel

By Joel Stashenko |

State court administrators are circulating for public comment a proposal that would allow the Appellate Division departments to register as in-house counsel attorneys who are lawyers in good standing in foreign jurisdictions.

Human Trafficking Summit

By Rick Kopstein, Photographer |

Members of New York's legal community gathered at a cocktail party following the end of a two-day summit conference on how state courts can combat human trafficking.

Panel: Nurse With Sanitizer Allergy Entitled to Benefits

By Joel Stashenko |

An appeals court has upheld a state Workers' Compensation Board's finding that a former nurse lost almost all of her wage-earning capacity when she developed a severe allergy to hand sanitizer.

Judge Jeanette Ruiz, left, has succeeded Judge Edwina Richardson-Mendelson as New York City Family Court's chief administrative judge.

City Family Court Gets a New Top Administrator

By Joel Stashenko |

Judge Jeanette Ruiz was named new administrative judge of New York City Family Court Thursday, succeeding Edwina Richardson-Mendelson, who served nearly six and a half years in the post.

The Appellate Division, First Department, at 27 Madison Ave.

Panel Adopts 'Garner' Privilege Test for Fiduciary Situations

By Ben Bedell |

The Appellate Division, First Department, has adopted the "Garner test" for determining whether an attorney-client privilege claimed by a corporation and its lawyers may be overcome by the "fiduciary exception."

MTA Ordered to Allow Ads for Film About Muslim Comedians

By Mark Hamblett |

Southern District Judge Colleen McMahon said the First Amendment right of free speech requires the MTA to permit advertisements for a documentary about Muslim comedians on buses and in subway cars, regardless of its new policy to avoid controversy and litigation over political ads.

Queens Criminal Court Judge Toko Serita addresses the National Summit on Human Trafficking and the State Courts on Thursday.

Summit on Human Trafficking Focuses on Victim Assistance

By Andrew Denney |

While awareness of human trafficking by the courts and the public has grown in recent years, panelists and guests at a two-day national summit held in Manhattan Thursday agreed there is work to be done to change the way the justice system treats sex trafficking victims.

The toxic waste site in the Love Canal section of Niagara Falls in the 1970s.

Panel Reinstates Causes of Action in Love Canal Case

By Joel Stashenko |

In a suit alleging the unsafe handling of chemical contamination that dates back to the infamous Love Canal landfill discovered in the 1970s, a Fourth Department panel has found that plaintiffs were not blocked by judicial estoppel from bringing their action in state court, despite a related federal ruling on the same project.

Alexandra Shapiro, left, and Cynthia Arato

Q&A: Cynthia Arato and Alexandra Shapiro

By Jeff Storey |

Cynthia Arato and Alexandra Shapiro left partnerships at Gibson Dunn and Latham & Watkins respectively to launch their own litigation boutique in January 2009, a seemingly "risky proposition" in the best of times and particularly daunting during the financial crisis. But "for us, the time was right," they say.

 Dewey & LeBoeuf sign

Dewey Jury Quiet on Day After Partial Acquittal

By Nell Gluckman |

No questions were asked and no decisions were made Thursday by the jury deliberating the case against Dewey & LeBoeuf's former leaders—a stark contrast from Wednesday when the panel of seven women and five men threw out more than a dozen charges against each of the three defendants.

Robert Capers

Capers Nominated to Replace Lynch in the Eastern District

By Andrew Keshner |

Robert Capers, a senior federal prosecutor in the Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to head that office.

Nicholas Allard

Brooklyn Law Dean Allard Adds Role at Dentons

By Andrew Denney |

Brooklyn Law School Dean and President Nicholas Allard has taken a new second job as senior counsel at Dentons for the global law firm's public policy and regulation practice. He has resigned his position as a partner at Squire Patton Boggs.

Disbarred Attorney Faces 21 Counts in Real Estate Scams

By Andrew Keshner |

Brooklyn prosecutors have accused a disbarred attorney of stealing more than $1 million in real estate scams on two homes facing foreclosure.

Attorneys' Email Agreement Was Binding, Judge Finds

By Ben Bedell |

A Bronx Housing Court judge ruled that an email exchange between two attorneys constituted a binding settlement agreement, even though one client disowned it prior to a stipulation of settlement being signed.

Steven Davis, Joel Sanders and Stephen DiCarmine leave the courtroom yesterday after jurors acquitted them on some counts.

After Partial Verdict, More Dewey Deliberations

By Christine Simmons and Nell Gluckman |

A Manhattan jury found Dewey & LeBoeuf chairman Steven Davis, executive director Stephen DiCarmine and chief financial officer Joel Sanders not guilty Wednesday on some of the felony charges facing the firm's former leaders, but the jury was ordered to keep deliberating on the remaining counts.

Steven Davis, right, with his attorney Elkan Abramowitz outside court on Wednesday.

Observers Say Partial Dewey Verdict Is Good Sign for Defense

By Julie Triedman |

Reactions among several longtime New York-based white-collar counsel was unanimous: Wednesday's partial verdict acquitting three former Dewey & LeBoeuf executives on multiple counts of falsifying business records is very good news for the defense.

Weinstein Refers Definition of 'Flushable' to FTC

By Andrew Keshner |

Faced with a slew of consumer class action suits over supposedly flushable wipes but no consensus on the meaning of the word "flushable," a judge has decided to pause one of the cases to get a definition of the term from federal regulators.

Paul Smith's College is a private college located in Paul Smiths in Franklin County.

College's Bid for Name Change Blocked by Original Will

By Joel Stashenko |

A state judge has denied the request by a small college in the Adirondacks that it be released from the conditions of the will of a 20th century benefactor so that it can add the name of a 21st century benefactor.

James T. Foley Courthouse, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York

Policy Denying Electric Wheelchairs to Inmates Is Upheld

By Joel Stashenko |

While noting that the majority of state prison systems and the Federal Bureau of Prisons allow motorized wheelchairs, Northern District Judge Mae D'Agostino found that the New York state's policy was not discriminatory as applied in the case of Nathaniel Wright, who was provided with alternative means of helping him cope with his disability.

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

Panel Upholds Conviction of Ex-Nassau Police Official

By Andrew Denney |

A Brooklyn appeals court has upheld a conviction of conspiracy and official misconduct for a former police chief who took part in a scheme to shield a high school student whose father gave money to a police nonprofit from being arrested for stealing electronics.

Human Trafficking Summit Convenes in New York City

By Joel Stashenko |

New York and national experts are gathering in Manhattan this week for a "summit" on human trafficking and effective ways that state-level courts can respond.

The New York City Fire Department battles a seven-alarm fire at a storage facility in Brooklyn that held thousands of documents from the court system, law firms and others.

City Bar Offers Advice on Destroyed Files

By Andrew Denney |

Attorneys have an ethical obligation to tell their clients if documents such as wills, deeds and negotiable instruments or active case files are destroyed, according to an advisory opinion issued by a committee of the New York City Bar Association.

Ex-Public Defender Pleads to Illegal Gun Possession

By Joel Stashenko |

A former public defender in Monroe County has admitted to a federal charge of possessing a handgun in furtherance of a marijuana-growing operation at his home.

Feerick Center Awards

By Rick Kopstein, Photographer |

The Feerick Center for Social Justice held its 2015 awards & benefit reception at Bank of America on Monday.

Judicial Friends

New York Court of Appeals Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam recently presided at the installation of officers of the Judicial Friends Association, an organization established in 1976 by African-American judges.

 Dewey & LeBoeuf sign

Dewey Juror in E.R. Expected to Return; Judge Will Ask if Partial Verdict Is Possible

By Christine Simmons |

One of the 12 jurors weighing the criminal charges against three Dewey & LeBoeuf executives reported Wednesday she was in the emergency room, delaying discussions among the attorneys on how to respond to the jury's note that they were deadlocked.

Johnny Hincapie cries in Manhattan Supreme Court Tuesday as he learns he will be granted a new trial after 25 years in prison for murder.  At right is his defense lawyer, Ronald Kuby.

Judge Tosses Conviction in 1990 NYC Killing of Tourist

By Andrew Denney |

A man who maintains he was wrongly convicted in a notorious 1990 tourist killing deserves a new trial, a judge said Tuesday, throwing out a verdict in a case that helped crystallize an era of crime and fear in New York City.

From left, Defendants Steven Davis, Stephen DiCarmine and Joel Sanders enter court on Thursday.

Dewey Jury Says It Can't Agree on Most Charges in Fraud Case

By Nell Gluckman |

The jury deliberating in the trial of the former top executives of the now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf said in a note Tuesday that they could not agree on most of the charges against the defendants. Acting Supreme Court Justice Robert Stolz told them just after 4 p.m. to continue working and that he would respond in greater detail Wednesday morning.

A ship discharging ballast water

Circuit Orders EPA to Toughen Ballast Discharge Regulations

By Mark Hamblett |

Environmental groups trying to stop the unintentional transfer of invasive species from foreign bodies of water into U.S. waterways have won a shot at tougher regulations with a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Software Developer's Claims Revived in Trade Secrets Case

By Ben Bedell |

A software inventor had his claims for misappropriation of confidential ideas and breach of fiduciary duty revived Tuesday against an early investor who allegedly provided the inventor's trade secrets to the founders of Pinterest.

Former General Assembly President John Ashe in 2013

Prosecutor Finds 'Platform for Profit' at United Nations

By Larry Neumeister and Tom Hays |

A former president of the United Nations General Assembly accepted over $1 million in bribes and a trip to New Orleans from a billionaire Chinese real estate mogul and other businesspeople to pave the way for lucrative investments, Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara charged Tuesday.

Joan Illuzzi-Orbon and Michael McMahon

Democrat Has Financial Edge in Staten Island DA Race

By Ben Bedell |

In the final fundraising push before the Nov. 3 vote in Staten Island's hotly contested district attorney race, Democrat Michael McMahon garnered more than eight times the contributions Republican Joan Illuzzi did in September, according to campaign finance records filed Monday.

'First Monday' Argument

By Rick Kopstein, Photographer |

The Office of the Appellate Defender presented its 22nd annual "First Monday in October," a mock Supreme Court argument at New York University School of Law on Oct. 5.

Proskauer Creates Full-Time Pro Bono Partner Position

By Christine Simmons |

Proskauer Rose has tapped William Silverman to head the firm's pro bono efforts. Silverman, who is leaving Greenberg Traurig, will be the first partner-level lawyer to lead Proskauer's pro bono practice on a full-time basis.

City Fights $28M Verdict in Crash Involving Police

By Joel Stashenko |

A Bronx judge has set an Oct. 15 filing deadline for New York City's request that he set aside or reduce a $28.2 million jury verdict against the city for injuries a man suffered when hit by a car that was being followed by a police van.

States Ask High Court to Hear Texas Abortion Case

By Joel Stashenko |

The New York State Attorney General's Office is taking the lead among 12 states in urging the U.S. Supreme Court to grant certiorari in a case involving a Texas law it says restricts access to abortion clinics in Texas.

Mock Trial Event Seeks Volunteer Judges

The nonprofit Empire Mock Trial is seeking attorneys to volunteer to judge a competition at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District in Brooklyn on Oct. 24-26.

On the Move

Four firms have announced new additions, and Tracey Cushing Gilliam has joined MetLife Inc. as senior vice president and chief counsel in litigation.