This Weeks News

The World Trade Center on Sept. 17, 2001.

Congress Overrides Obama Veto of Sept. 11 Legislation

Congress voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged backing of the attackers, handing Barack Obama the first veto override of his presidency.

Headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in Washington D.C.

Judge Criticizes 'Phantom Judgment' He Was Compelled to Sign

By Mark Hamblett |

Judge William Pauley had a lot of problems Wednesday with a consent decree the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reached with a Cayman Islands bank accused of a pump-and-dump scheme—but he had to approve it anyway.

Firefighters drape purple and black bunting on the exterior of the firehouse where Battalion Chief Michael Fahy served.

Lawyer-Turned-Firefighter Killed in Bronx Blast Was 'Centered'

By Karen Sloan |

Big law firms wooed Michael Fahy as he prepared to graduate from New York Law School with honors in 1998, but after nine months as a first-year associate with Proskauer Rose, he left to pursue his passion for public service in the New York City Fire Department.

Hank Greenberg

On Witness Stand, Greenberg Pressed Over Transaction Memo

By Jason Grant |

On his second day of testimony in a civil case accusing him of fraud, former AIG CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg faced tough questions about an internal memo from 2000 that described how an allegedly sham transaction could be structured.

Failure to Inform Defendant of DNA Sample Requirement Invalidates Guilty Plea

By Andrew Denney |

A Queens judge has allowed a man convicted of possessing forged gift cards who was unaware the conviction would require him to submit a DNA sample to withdraw his guilty plea, finding that the defendant's ignorance of the requirement means he did not enter his plea willingly.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Second Circuit Clarifies Law for Consolidated Cases

By Mark Hamblett |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has clarified the law on when the dismissal of a single case among several consolidated cases can be considered a final, appealable decision.

Abid R. Qureshi.

'Informed by What I Am': Judges Talk Faith, Duty and the Law

By Zoe Tillman |

Over the past eight years, President Barack Obama has boosted diversity on the federal bench with his judicial picks. This month he added a name to his list of barrier-busting nominees: Abid Qureshi, believed to be the first Muslim tapped for a federal judgeship.

As Cybersecurity Hurdles Loom, Smaller Firms Face Big Challenges

At a panel discussion in New York on Tuesday, law firm data experts described the unique challenges that small and medium-sized firms face in combating cyberattacks. They also discussed how firms can show security assessors and clients that they have adequate defenses in place.

Law Firms Weigh Risks of Pressing Clients on Cyber Fears

By Nell Gluckman |

Panelists at a New York conference urged law firms to sell themselves as a cybersecurity resource to clients, but some in the audience were skeptical.

Justice William Blair, judge in charge of the Commercial Court, discusses the introduction of the new Financial List in the High Court of England and Wales at the offices of Brown Rudnick on Sept. 22.

British Judge Discusses New London Business Court During NY Visit

By Phil Albinus |

As business disputes grow in size and complexity, would a specialized court with judges who are experts in the matters, and who could speed up rulings and appeals, be a good idea in the United States? That was among the topics at a discussion given last week by The Hon. Mr. Justice Blair at the Times Square offices of Brown Rudnick.

Oral Hillary

Former Soccer Coach Acquitted of Slaying Boy

A former college soccer coach accused of killing of his ex-girlfriend's 12-year-old son has been found not guilty in a closely watched upstate trial.

Rikers Island jail complex

Family of Inmate Who Died at Rikers Settles Suit With City for $5.7 Million

New York City has agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle with the family of a mentally ill Rikers Island inmate who died after he was locked in his cell for six days without receiving attention or medicine.

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

Divided Panel Again Allows Suit Over No-Knock Warrant

By Andrew Denney |

A Manhattan appeals court reversed a lower court's ruling that dismissed a lawsuit by a mother of six whose home was invaded by mistake.

Columbia Law School

Columbia Law Forum to Focus on Possible N.Y. Constitutional Convention

By Joel Stashenko |

A panel discussion set for Oct. 20 at Columbia Law School is expected to address how a potential state constitutional convention might impact the current Constitution's home rule provisions.

Yahoo Security Breach Sparks Class Actions

By Amanda Bronstad |

At least six class actions have been filed against Yahoo! Inc. in the wake of last week's announcement of a security breach that compromised an estimated 500 million account holders.

U.S. Labor Dept. Goes After Palantir for Alleged Anti-Asian Hiring Bias

By Ben Hancock |

The U.S. Department of Labor is suing Palantir Technologies Inc. and seeking to terminate all of its government contracts for allegedly discriminating against Asian applicants for software engineer positions in violation of an executive order.

U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, Jr. in his office at the U.S. Department of Justice, in Washington, D.C., on his last day in office. June 24, 2016. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM.

Former Solicitor General Donald Verrilli to Join Munger, Tolles & Olson

By Susan Beck, Tony Mauro and Katelyn Polantz |

The onetime Jenner & Block partner, who will open an office for his new firm in Washington, D.C., called the decision "agonizing" in an interview Wednesday.

Steven Koppel, Aviva Yakren and Adam Verstandig of Sidley Austin

Sidley Snags Jones Day Real Estate Team

By Meghan Tribe |

A three-partner group has left Jones Day for Sidley Austin in New York. Steven Koppel, Aviva Yakren and Adam Verstandig, all of whom once worked at now-defunct Heller Ehrman, specialize in real estate finance.

Maurice Greenberg

Greenberg Explains Involvement as CEO in Failing AIG Line

By Jason Grant |

A lawyer for the New York Attorney General's Office peppered Hank Greenberg with hours of questions on Tuesday, attempting to show he had played an intense, "hands on" role in trying to control losses from a failing auto-warranty insurance segment at AIG.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

$50M Securities Fraud Verdict Against Vivendi Upheld on Appeal

By Mark Hamblett |

Vivendi's rosy statements about its prospects while it was struggling to pay massive debts run up during its global media acquisition spree justified a jury verdict for securities fraud, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held Tuesday.

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, center, listens to testimony of former Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman at a hearing on civil legal services at the Court of Appeals in Albany on Tuesday. At left is Justice Peter Tom, acting presiding justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, and at right is Justice Randall Eng, presiding justice of the Second Department.

NY's Chief Judge Urges Continued Focus on Civil Legal Services

By Joel Stashenko |

Speaking at a Court of Appeals hearing, the state's chief judge, Janet DiFiore, said the job of providing adequate civil legal representation to low-income people is incomplete.

Federal Judge, Facebook and Kirkland Make Amends in Court

By Christine Simmons |

Days after a federal judge blasted Kirkland & Ellis and its client Facebook for sending a junior associate alone to court, a team of five lawyers representing the social networking giant, including the company's new deputy general counsel, appeared and offered an apology.

Judge Clears Path for PACER Overcharge Suit

By Zoe Tillman |

The federal government is having trouble extinguishing lawsuits that accuse the federal court's PACER system of overcharging users to access case information and documents online. In the latest ruling, a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge on Monday allowed a class action alleging that a computer glitch caused the PACER system to incorrectly calculate charges for viewing case docket information to go forward.

Delrawn Small approaches Officer Wayne Isaacs' car

Breaking New Ground, N.Y. AG Steps in to Prosecute Police Officer in Killing of Unarmed Motorist

By Associated Press and Andrew Denney |

New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is prosecuting the case against a police officer charged with killing an unarmed motorist in Brooklyn during a road rage incident earlier this year while the officer was off duty, the first time his office has stepped into that role.

On the Move

Seven firms announce new additions or promotions, along with the Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office and Nardello & Co.

Federal Prosecutors Speak at Albany Law

Northern District U.S. Attorney Richard Hartunian; Court of Appeals Judge Michael Garcia, a former Southern District U.S. Attorney; and Eastern District U.S. Attorney Robert Capers discussed their roles as top federal prosecutors at Albany Law School Monday.

Abely Award Honorees

The 20th Annual Abely Awards were presented Monday by Sanctuary for Families Center for Battered Women's Legal Services at the offices of Davis Polk & Wardwell.

John Hincapie

Manhattan DA Loses Appeal of Vacated Murder Sentence

By Andrew Denney |

The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office has lost its appeal of a lower court's ruling to vacate the murder sentence of a man convicted of the 1990 slaying of a tourist on a subway platform that he says he didn't commit.

Circuit Lifts Injunction in AmEx Antitrust Litigation

By Mark Hamblett |

American Express policies that stop merchants from steering customers to other credit cards do not violate the Sherman Antitrust Act, the Second Circuit ruled Monday in a victory for the credit card company.

Crowds in line at Brooklyn Housing Court

Low-Income Tenants' Right to Counsel Closer to Realization

By Andrew Denney |

Supporters are optimistic that a bill under consideration by the New York City Council to establish a right to counsel for low-income tenants in Housing Court, to which a clear majority of New York City Council members signed on as co-sponsors, may soon be signed into law.

Maria Vullo

Vullo Seeks Corporate, Consumer Balance as NY Regulator

By Joel Stashenko |

Confirmed in June to lead New York's Department of Financial Services, Maria Vullo says she doesn't see a conflict in pursuing both pro-consumer and pro-business agendas.

U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court Term Promises to Be IP Blockbuster

By Scott Graham |

With four IP cases on the docket and several more knocking at the door of certiorari, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised for a banner year of patent, trademark and copyright decisions.

Fake Pipe Bomb Counts as 'Destructive Device,' Appeals Court Rules

By Mark Hamblett |

A man who intentionally planted an incomplete bomb at a Home Depot to try to force the company to pay him $2 million is still guilty of planting a "destructive device" within the meaning of the extortion statute, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Daniel Bernstine

Law School Admission Council President Dan Bernstine Dies

By Karen Sloan |

Longtime Law School Admission Council President Dan Bernstine died late last week, according to the organization, which administers the Law School Admission Test and oversees the centralized law school application process.

Appellate Defender Office to Hold 'First Monday' Event

The Office of the Appellate Defender will host its 23rd annual "First Monday in October" fundraiser on Oct. 5—a Wednesday. The timing was altered this year to avoid conflicting with Rosh Hashana.

Martin Seidel

Cadwalader Corporate Litigation Chair Jumps to Willkie Farr

By Christine Simmons |

In another loss of a leading litigation partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, Martin Seidel, who was chair of its corporate litigation group, has moved to Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Comment Period Open on Amended Fiduciary Rules

By Joel Stashenko |

State court administrators are accepting comments until Nov. 15 on a set of proposed changes to the guidelines governing fiduciaries and the oversight of their work.

AG Names New Investment Protection Bureau Chief

By Joel Stashenko |

Katherine Milgram has been promoted to chief of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's investor protection bureau. Milgram has been with the Attorney General's Office since 2013 and most recently was deputy chief of the bureau she was named Monday to lead.

Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

Bharara to Talk Public Corruption at Oct. 6 Event

By Joel Stashenko |

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, who's no stranger to bringing public corruption cases, is set to discuss that topic as part of a panel at Albany, New York's College of Saint Rose.

New Law Allows People to Be Buried With Pets

New York state will now allow people to be buried with the cremated remains of their pet. However, cemeteries would not have to offer the option, and religious cemeteries would be specifically forbidden from doing so.

Legal Aid Marches to Shut Down Rikers

The Legal Aid Society of New York, the Association of Legal Aid Attorneys and the Service Employees International Union 1199 marched in New York City on Saturday to demand the closing of Rikers Island.

Asian American Bar Commends Trailblazer

The Asian-American Bar Association of New York honored Sylvia Fung Chin, a partner of counsel at White & Case who specializes in corporate and commercial financing, with the 2016 Norman Lau Kee Trailblazer Award on Saturday.

Justice Ling-Cohan

Despite Controversy, Judge Ling-Cohan Makes Re-Election Ballot

By Jason Grant |

At a nominating convention Thursday evening, delegates of the Manhattan Democratic Party voted overwhelmingly to put Supreme Court Justice Doris Ling-Cohan on a re-election ballot in November.

Judge Laura Jacobson

Judge in Legal Row With Brooklyn Democrats Kicked Off Party Ticket

By Andrew Denney |

Democratic delegates in Brooklyn approved on Thursday a slate of six judicial candidates for state Supreme Court to appear on the November ballot that did not include Justice Laura Jacobson, who is locked in a legal battle with the party.

001029-M-0557M-011.The USS Cole (DDG 67) is towed away from the port city of Aden, Yemen, into open sea by the Military Sealift Command ocean-going tug USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168) on Oct. 29, 2000.  Cole will be placed aboard the Norwegian heavy transport ship M/V Blue Marlin and transported back to the United States for repair.  The Arleigh Burke class destroyer was the target of a suspected terrorist attack in the port of Aden on Oct. 12, 2000, during a scheduled refueling.  The attack killed 17 crew members and injured 39 others.  DoD photo by Sgt. Don L. Maes, U.S. Marine Corps.  (Released).

2nd Circ. Clears Release of Sudanese Assets in USS Cole Suit

By Joel Stashenko |

Ruling Thursday, the Second Circuit kept intact a judgment that ordered New York banks to release Sudanese funds to victims in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole.

Judge Garaufis

Judge Rips Kirkland Over Associate's Appearance in Facebook Terror Networking Case

By Christine Simmons |

A Brooklyn federal judge called it "insulting" that Kirkland & Ellis didn't send a partner to handle a conference in litigation brought by terrorism victims against Facebook Inc.

ABA Beats Back Bid to Limit Accreditation Power

By Karen Sloan |

The American Bar Association will hang on to its power to accredit new law schools, despite a recommendation in June by a U.S. Department of Education committee to temporarily suspend that authority.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

US Appeals Court Upholds Ruling Online Advertisers Can Be Liable for Deceptive Content

The Second Circuit disagreed with a defendant online advertiser's argument that it cannot be held liable because it did not create the deceptive content on phony news sites where it advertised, saying that a defendant can be held liable under the act for participating in a deceptive scheme or has the authority to control the deceptive content in question.

Donald Trump, left, and his ex-wife, Ivana Trump

Donald Trump's Divorce Records Will Stay Sealed, NY Judge Rules

By Zoe Tillman |

As Donald Trump gets ready for his first general election debate on Monday, he won’t have to contend with at least one potential distraction: a judge in New York has denied a request by news organizations to unseal records related to his 1990 divorce from Ivana Trump.

NYC to Pay Estate $8.25M for Wrongful Conviction

By Rebecca Baker |

The estate of a wrongfully convicted man whose case was called "rotten from day one" has settled its claims against New York City for $8.25 million.

Trump Hotels to Pay $50K for 2014 Data Breach

The Trump Hotel Collection company has agreed to pay $50,000 and shore up data security after breaches exposed more than 70,000 credit card numbers and other personal data, the state's attorney general said Friday in announcing a settlement.

Judge Schedules Hearing to Determine Woman's Burial Wishes

By Joel Stashenko |

A state judge in Manhattan ruled that, while a dead woman's children would generally have priority over where she's buried, there's also recourse under state law for others to argue in court for a burial elsewhere.

LeGaL to Screen Candidates for Civil, Supreme Courts

The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York is inviting all candidates who will be on the general election ballot for Civil Court and Supreme Court to appear before its screening panel.

Robert H. Jackson Federal Courthouse in Buffalo

Judge Approves Reduced Legal Fees in Employment Suit Against Sears

By Joel Stashenko |

Two law firms that successfully argued a woman's employment retaliation suit against Sears Home Improvement Products were awarded a little more than half of the $785,600 they sought in attorney fees.

Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announces charges against nine people Thursday, including two former aides of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Former Cuomo Aides Charged in Federal Corruption Probe

By Joel Stashenko |

Two of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's former top aides are among a group of defendants named in federal corruption charges unsealed Thursday.

U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission building in Washington, D.C.

No Guidance Expected on SEC Auditor/Client Relationships

Just days after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission took its first enforcement actions over close personal ties between auditors and clients, a top agency accountant said Thursday that he does not expect regulators to issue guidance specifying when a relationship crosses the line and compromises the review of a company's books.

Maurice Greenberg

What to Watch for in the Hank Greenberg Trial

By Jason Grant |

It took more than a decade, but the New York Attorney General's Office has finally started trial in its fraud case against former AIG chief executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg. Here are three key aspects to keep an eye on.

Supreme Court Justices Won't Answer Questions About Their Health

By Tony Mauro |

When Law.com asked the eight current justices to make public their health statuses earlier this month, a single response came back from Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. this week. His answer, in effect, was: "Thanks for asking, but we'll release information about our health when we feel the public needs to know."

Mylan CEO Heather Bresch testifies before the House Oversight Committee during a hearing on Capitol Hill addressing the price increase of the company's EpiPen product.  Septembrer 21, 2016.

Lawmakers Target FDA Along With Mylan CEO at Congressional EpiPen Hearing

Searching for solutions to the skyrocketing cost of the EpiPen, lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee looked to Mylan chief executive officer Heather Bresch on Wednesday and asked why the pharmaceutical company could not lower the price for the drug delivery device used to treat life-threatening allergic reactions.

City's $650M in Payouts for FY 2015-16 Sets Record

By Andrew Denney |

New York City paid out $655.8 million during the 2015-16 fiscal year to satisfy judgments and claims, a $47 million increase from the previous fiscal year and an all-time high, according to a report from Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.

Jessica Ortiz

SDNY Narcotics Unit Chief Leaves to Join Boutique

By Christine Simmons |

Litigation boutique MoloLamken has brought on Jessica Ortiz, the former chief of the narcotics unit at the Southern District U.S. Attorney's Office. She is the first woman partner of the 25-attorney boutique.

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

NY Appeals Court Sends Limited Claims Forward in Urban Compass Trade Secret Dispute

By Jason Grant |

A New York appeals court has decided to limit the potential unjust enrichment and quantum meruit claims brought by an entrepreneur who sued the apartment search website Urban Compass.

Three children in silhouette

Grand Jury Investigating State Foster Care System

A special grand jury has been empaneled to investigate New York's foster care system following the arrest of a suburban man on child sex abuse charges.

Former Suffolk County Police Chief James Burke is escorted to a vehicle by FBI personnel last week.

Ex-Chief Gets Sentencing Date in Civil Rights Case

A federal judge has set a sentencing date for the former Long Island police chief who admitted under a plea deal to beating a suspect who stole sex toys and pornography from the chief's sport utility vehicle.

NYLS Hosts Constitutional Debate

New York Law School hosted its Froessel Moot Court Competition on Sunday, where students debated whether a ban on sex offenders from using social media violates the First Amendment and 14th Amendment Due Process Clause.