This Weeks News

Jury Verdict of Bias Upheld in Case of Lesbian UPS Worker

Ben Bedell | August 3, 2015

Eastern District Judge Jack Weinstein affirmed a jury verdict this week in favor of a lesbian who claimed hostile work environment discrimination at United Parcel Service, and decried the fact that "no federal statute explicitly protects against employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation."

Courts Find No Violation in Visibility of Account Digits

By Joel Stashenko |

Two federal judges in New York, disagreeing with a Third Circuit decision, have ruled in unrelated cases that having consumers' account numbers visible on the outside of envelopes containing letters from debt collection agencies does not, by itself, violate the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

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

Panel Clarifies Standards to Waive Confinement Jury Trial

By Andrew Denney |

A Brooklyn appellate court found that if sex offenders want to waive a jury trial to determine whether they should be civilly confined, the waiver must be subject to an on-the-record colloquy.

Statistics Fall Short of Showing Intent, Circuit Says

By Andrew Keshner |

The Second Circuit ruled Friday that there could be circumstances where a putative class could rely on statistics alone to show discriminatory intent. But the statistics that sanitation employees cited did not convince the panel that there was discriminatory intent in the department's promotional practices.

James Leipold.

Employment Rate Up, but Number of Law Jobs Down, NALP Reports

By Karen Sloan |

The law school class of 2014 enjoyed slightly better success on the entry-level job market than its did predecessor, according to employment figures released by NALP, the National Association for Law Placement.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Senator Charles Grassley, (R-IA).

Pace of Judicial Confirmations Is Debated in U.S. Senate

By Mike Sacks |

Senators Charles Schumer of New York and Chuck Grassley of Iowa exchanged barbs on the Senate floor Thursday over the pace of judicial confirmations. In the process, Schumer, a Democrat, was rebuffed in his plea for immediate action on three New York nominations.

Magistrate Judge Brown

Obama Picks Brown to Fill Third Eastern District Spot

By Andrew Keshner |

President Barack Obama has nominated Eastern District Magistrate Judge Gary Brown to fill a vacancy on the Eastern District bench. He was among seven nominations made Thursday by Obama to the federal courts of New York, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.

Lawyer, Husband Sentenced for Obstructing IRA Audit

By Andrew Keshner |

Southern District Judge Denise Cote ordered personal injury attorney Marla Stein to be incarcerated for one year and a day, while her husband was ordered to serve 18 months.

Tom Brady

Quick Resolution Sought of Tom Brady Suspension

The NFL and the players' union filed a joint letter with Southern District Judge Richard Berman on Friday proposing a ruling by Sept. 4 in Tom Brady's lawsuit against the league seeking to have his four-game suspension overturned.

Police Officer Training Cited in Upholding Gun Conviction

By Andrew Denney |

Based on his training and experience with gun arrests, a New York policeman's stop-and-frisk search of a man who adjusted his waistband after making eye contact with the officer was justified, a split appellate court ruled.

No Bail for Man Charged With Trying to Join ISIS

Arafat Nagi had made an oath to the Islamic State group, outfitted himself to fight and had a one-way ticket to the Middle East at the time of his arrest, federal authorities said Friday.

Appellate Division, Third Department, courthouse in Albany

Panel Finds Trial Testimony Prejudiced Jury in Drug Case

By Joel Stashenko |

A drug defendant was granted a new trial after an appeals court said he was unfairly prejudiced by a confidential informant's testimony that the defendant was present at an earlier, uncharged drug buy.

Syracuse Doctor Sentenced for Wife's 2012 Murder

By Joel Stashenko |

A day after denying a prominent Syracuse-area doctor's motion to set aside his guilty verdict for killing his wife based on juror misconduct, Onondaga County Court Judge Thomas Miller sentenced him to 20-years-to-life.

Panel Finds Insufficient Probe of Prospective Juror's Biases

By Joel Stashenko |

A trial judge's failure to thoroughly question a prospective juror who suggested she might be biased against a defendant in a child-killing case led a divided Third Department to reverse the defendant's conviction and order a new trial Thursday.

Plaintiff Fee Award in Protracted Wage and Hour Case Affirmed

By Ben Bedell |

Attorney fees in a wages-and-hours case that were double the damages awarded to the plaintiffs were "amply supported" by the defendants' litigation tactics, the Second Circuit ruled Wednesday.

Trio of Witnesses Testify About Dewey's Finances, Accounting

By Nell Gluckman |

The trial of three former executives of the now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf moved at a faster pace Thursday with three witnesses taking the stand before a 1 p.m. lunch break.

Curtis Partners Help Secure Release for Convicted Spy for Israel

By Nell Gluckman |

When Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle litigation partners Eliot Lauer and Jacques Semmelman agreed to take on the case of Jonathan Pollard in 2000, they did not think they would still be working on it 15 years later.

Tightened Regulations Challenge Foreclosure Law Firms

By Lizzy McLellan and David Gialanella |

Nearly eight years after the subprime mortgage crisis violently shook the U.S. economy, law firms representing lenders and servicers in foreclosure actions are continuing to feel aftershocks that are sometimes fatal.

Burford Capital Expands Its Portfolio

By Julie Triedman |

For a third straight year, Burford Capital Limited, one of the world's largest litigation funders, posted record income for the first half of the year. And in an effort to deploy that cash in novel ways, the fund has just announced some new business lines: a law firm financing arm, a global judgment enforcement business and a brand-new $100 million joint venture aimed at financing the pursuit of U.S. bankruptcy claims.

Judge Denies Habeas Writ for Two Chimpanzees

By Joel Stashenko |

Supreme Court Justice Barbara Jaffe said Thursday that while the campaign by the Nonhuman Rights Project to have chimps recognized as possessing the legal rights of humans might succeed in the future, she must rule against issuing the writ.

The now-retracted Rolling Stone article

Suit Filed Over Retracted Rolling Stone Rape Article

By Christine Simmons |

Three University of Virginia graduates have brought a defamation suit in the Southern District against Rolling Stone, asserting the magazine's now-retracted article about an alleged gang rape at a campus fraternity had a devastating effect on their reputation.

Ex-Wilson Sonsini Worker Sentenced to Two Years

A former software engineer at a prominent California firm was sentenced to two years in prison for insider trading by a Manhattan judge who noted that he should have realized the dangers of his actions when one of his firm's lawyers was arrested on the same charges in a separate prosecution.

Louis Eppolito and Stephen Caracappa

City to Pay $5M to Family of 'Mafia Cops' Victim

By Andrew Keshner |

Almost 30 years after New York City police officers working for organized crime killed a man, the city settled with the victim's family for $5 million.

Dean and Adam Skelos

Criminal Trial Is Scheduled for Dean Skelos and Son

Southern District Judge Kimba Wood scheduled a Nov. 16 trial date for Dean Skelos and his son, Adam, at a hearing Thursday where the pair pleaded not guilty to a revised indictment adding new extortion and bribery charges alleging they bullied an executive into giving the son a no-show job in exchange for political favors.

Lawrence K. Marks

Marks Chosen as New Chief Administrative Judge

By Joel Stashenko |

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.

stack of credit cards

Retailers Move to Upset Credit Card Pact

By Christine Simmons |

Dozens of retailers in a class action against American Express are urging the court to reject a proposed settlement because co-lead plaintiff counsel "has betrayed the class he purports to represent by secretly collaborating" with a former partner at Willkie Farr who represented an adversary, MasterCard.

Protesters outside the Staten Island Supreme Court on Feb. 5.

Sealing of Garner Grand Jury Records Is Upheld

By Andrew Keshner |

A Brooklyn appellate court refused to unseal the Eric Garner grand jury records Wednesday, finding the applicants pressing for disclosure failed to meet their legal burden to compel the opening of presumptively secret proceedings.

Juror Johnna Lorraine on July 8

Guilty Verdict in Murder Case Stands Despite Juror's Texts

By Joel Stashenko |

Although a juror violated repeated warnings by exchanging texts with her friends about a highly publicized murder case, her comments did not reveal bias or misconduct that merited setting aside the guilty verdict, an Onondaga County Court judge has ruled.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is awarded a Doctor of Laws honorary degree at the 263rd commencement of Princeton University in Princeton, N.J., on June 1, 2010.  The hood is presented by Douglas W. Clark, the University's Chief Marshal for University Convocations.

Professor Says Ivy League Rejects Conservative Justices

By Marcia Coyle |

A survey by a conservative legal scholar suggests the natio's Ivy League schools are giving short shrift to conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices when they confer honorary degrees.

Pro Se Wife Denied Motion to Upset Custody Agreement

By Andrew Keshner |

A woman who had second thoughts three days after representing herself in a divorce settlement that gave her husband legal and residential custody of their children could not convince a judge to disturb the pact.

Paul Napoli and Marc Bern

Napoli Bern Hires Mediator to Settle Firm Dispute

By Christine Simmons |

The feuding equity partners of Napoli Bern Ripka Shkolnik have engaged Mark Zauderer, a partner at Flemming Zulack Williamson Zauderer, to mediate their partnership dispute and adjourned a contempt hearing that was scheduled Wednesday.

Judge Berman

Judge Lets Spying Charges Against Banker Go Forward

A federal judge refused on Wednesday to throw out a spy case against a Russian banker, rejecting arguments that the U.S. government was overreaching by prosecuting a defendant who was openly working as an agent of a foreign government.

Alan Rothstein

City Bar Reorganizes Staff, Names New Counsel

By Andrew Keshner |

As Alan Rothstein prepares to retire as the New York City Bar Association's longtime general counsel, the organization has brought in two new attorneys and re-worked some responsibilities for existing staff.

New York University School of Law

U.S. Justice Official to Join NYU Law as Senior Fellow

By Andrew Keshner |

Marshall Miller, principal deputy assistant attorney general and chief of staff of the Department of Justice's Criminal Division, is leaving to join New York University School of Law's corporate compliance program.

Legal Services Groups Win Grants for Benefit Appeals

By Joel Stashenko |

Legal Services NYC will receive the largest of the state awards totaling $6.8 million that are going to 12 groups to provide legal assistance to low-income New York residents who have been denied federal disability benefits.

Timothy O'Sullivan of the Lawyers Fund for Client Protection testifies in Albany Tuesday.

Committee Explores Uniform Attorney Discipline System

By Joel Stashenko |

During a review of New York's attorney disciplinary system, the leader of the Lawyers' Fund for Client Protection said one unifying rule should be that lawyers who steal from their clients should be barred from practice.

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.