This Weeks News

Circuit Revives Claims of Reprisal Campaign Against Inmate

By Ben Bedell |

A prisoner's claim that he was confined in an unventilated cell with a non-working toilet for at least seven days states a cause of action for cruel and unusual punishment, the Second Circuit said Friday.

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

Experts Say Dewey Defendants Must Weigh Risks of Testifying

By Julie Triedman |

Now that the Manhattan District Attorney's Office has rested its case against Steven Davis, Stephen DiCarmine and Joel Sanders, a fateful decision awaits the defendants—whether to take the stand.

NYPD officer

Police Incidents Pace Claims Against City, Comptroller Says

By Christine Simmons |

New York City saw a 14 percent increase in personal injury and property damage claims in 2014, including a rise of claims against the police department to an all-time high, according to a new report from the city comptroller's office.

Lawyers Sanctioned $317K for Statements in Divorce Case

By Ben Bedell |

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge has levied a $317,000 sanction against a law firm and two of its partners in a matrimonial case, saying they made "misrepresentations and knowingly false statements to the court."

Sanctions Ordering Jones Day Partner to Make Video Tossed

By Amanda Bronstad |

A federal appeals court has reversed an unprecedented sanction that required a Jones Day partner to make a training video for the firm's lawyers on how to avoid improper objections and other misconduct in depositions.

National Security Agency campus in Fort Meade, Md.

D.C. Appeals Court Upholds Continued NSA Surveillance

A federal appeals court on Friday ruled in favor of the Obama administration in a dispute over the National Security Agency's bulk collection of telephone data on hundreds of millions of Americans.

Panel Dismisses Lawsuit Over Gym Class Injury

By Andrew Denney |

The Second Department panel wrote that it could not find that an eighth-grader tripping another student while running for a ball raised questions of negligence and said the incident happened so quickly that it could not have been prevented by "even the most intense supervision" by the school district.

Man Convicted in Plot to Sell Deadly Ricin as 'Death Pills'

A Manhattan man looking to acquire ricin so he could sell "simple and easy death pills" and guarantee "risk-free" murder was convicted of federal charges Thursday.

Police outside the U.S. Supreme Court moments after the court announced its opinion.  June 26, 2015.

DC Circuit Upholds Speech Limits on High Court Plaza

By Marcia Coyle |

The elevated, white marble plaza in front of the U.S. Supreme Court is a nonpublic forum where demonstrations are constitutionally prohibited, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled Friday, reversing a trial judge.

On the Move

Lowenstein Sandler, Otterbourg, Fox Rothschild, Cozen O'Connor, Mayer Brown and JAMS all announce new additions, while Andrews Kurth has elected three partners to its principal governance body.

Tom Brady

Goodell, Brady Fail to Reach Settlement in 'Deflategate'

Last-minute settlement talks between lawyers for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady have failed, leaving a Manhattan judge to decide the fate of "Deflategate."

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

Dewey Prosecution Rests as Defense Files Dismissal Papers

By Nell Gluckman |

The prosecution's three-month-long fraud case against Dewey & LeBoeuf's top executives rested Thursday after calling its last witness, and attorneys for two of the defendants wasted little time in asking that the charges against their clients be dismissed.

Magistrate Faults Firm's Handling of Discovery

By Andrew Denney |

A federal magistrate judge has recommended Morelli Alters Ratner be sanctioned for failing to disclose documents to the defense in a personal injury case.

Partners at Kornstein Veisz Wexler & Pollard, LLP, from left: Lawrence Fox, William Pollard, Marvin Wexler, Kevin Fee and Daniel Kornstein

After 35 Years, Litigation Boutique Kornstein Veisz to Close

By Christine Simmons |

Facing an expiring lease and a senior partnership in their 60s, prominent litigation boutique Kornstein Veisz Wexler & Pollard is dissolving and its partners are moving to new firms next week.

Jordan Zeidman

Mother Owes Son $5,000 Bar Mitzvah Gift From 'Baba', Judge Says

By Andrew Denney |

A 20-year-old man is entitled to an overdue bar mitzvah gift that he claimed his mother failed to deliver from his grandmother, a Nassau County court found.

An AR-15

Wal-Mart to Stop Selling AR-15s and Similar Weapons

By Claudia Lauer |

The decision to remove the weapons was not political, a company spokesman said. He said the company had seen a decrease in sales of the particular models of guns but stores would increase inventory of other models of shotguns and rifles popular among hunters.

Michael Garofola attends ABC's

A Lawyer Searches for Love on Reality Television Programs

By Jennifer Henderson |

Lawyers tend to neglect the details of their private lives, or at least keep them hidden from view. They like to avoid public embarrassment, long odds, and the appearance of skipping work. In other words, the opposite of a reality television star. So why does Michael Garofola keep going back for more?

Elena Kagan.

U.S. Law Schools Should Work to Improve Writing, Kagan Says

By Tony Mauro |

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan thinks American law schools—including those in the top tier—need to "think in a deep way" about how to help their students become better writers.

First Circuit Upholds Rulings Favoring Firm in Bias Suit

By Sheri Qualters |

Ropes & Gray has won a federal appeal in a case brought by a former associate, who alleged he was fired after he complained about racial remarks made by partners at the Boston-based firm.

Fishkill Correctional Facility

Federal Prosecutors Probing State Inmate's April Death

The Southern District U.S. Attorney's Office has joined a local investigation into the April 21 death of Samuel Harrell, an inmate at Fishkill Correctional Facility, following a confrontation with prison guards.

Officer Daniel Pantaleo

Board to Appeal Cop Records in Fatal Garner Encounter

By Ben Bedell |

New York City's Civilian Complaint Review Board is seeking to overturn a judge's order that they release a summary of records of any prior complaints against Officer Daniel Panteleo and any recommendations the board made to the NYPD based on such complaints.

Panel Faults Lineup, Orders New Trial

By Andrew Denney |

A trial court should have regarded as unduly suggestive identification testimony in which a defendant who was later convicted was picked out of a lineup in which he was the only one wearing a red shirt, the Second Department held.

Bryant Park skating rink, with associated restaurant Celsius at left.

Ice Rink Eatery Employee's Overtime Case Is Dismissed

By Ben Bedell |

A federal judge dismissed an overtime pay case brought by an employee of a restaurant in Manhattan's Bryant Park on grounds that the employer, which also owned the adjacent ice rink, was entitled to an exemption for seasonal recreational establishments.

Powell Cove Estates, Queens

Judge Approves Settlement of Housing Accessibility Suit

By Christine Simmons |

Southern District Judge Kimba Wood approved Thursday a $1.3 million settlement agreement in a disability discrimination suit that was based on the design and construction of two residential developments.

Correction

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Foley Square

Split Circuit Panel Affirms Convictions in Sex Trafficking

By Ben Bedell |

The convictions of three Long Island sex traffickers were affirmed Tuesday by a divided Second Circuit, which disagreed over whether some of the victims' history as prostitutes before becoming involved with the traffickers should have been admitted at trial.

 Dewey & LeBoeuf sign

Witness Covers Accounting Issues at Dewey Fraud Trial

By Christine Simmons |

Reaching the home stretch and preparing to rest their case, Manhattan prosecutors in a trial against three former Dewey & LeBoeuf executives called to the stand Wednesday a forensic accounting consultant who testified that multiple accounting adjustments each year lifted net income by tens of millions of dollars.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan U.S. Courthouse, Southern District of New York, at 500 Pearl St.

Southern District Launches Program to Help Young Offenders

By Christine Simmons |

Inspired by the success of programs in the Eastern District and across the country, the Southern District has launched a pilot program to provide young adult defendants a chance to have their charges and sentences reduced or dismissed altogether.

Husband of Ex-Partner at NY Law Firms Admits to Role in Scam

By Charles Toutant |

Melvin Feliz admitted in court that he and his wife, Keila Ravelo, carried out a scheme involving phony litigation-support companies while she was with Hunton & Williams from 2005 to 2010, and continued when she worked at Willkie Farr & Gallagher from 2010 to 2014.

Michael Keaton in The Merry Gentleman.

Seventh Circuit Sides With Actor in Contract Breach Case

By Mike Sacks |

A federal appeals court Tuesday sided with Michael Keaton in a suit brought against him by the producers behind his box office flop "Merry Gentleman," who claimed Keaton sabotaged the film's success by pushing his director's cut to Sundance and theaters over the plaintiffs' preferred edit.

Firms Sound Alarm in Patent Case That Could Upset Conflict Rules

By Scott Graham |

A handful of large law firms are backing Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner in a Massachusetts case that could upset the conflict of interest rules that cover patent prosecution.

Manhattan Surrogate's Court at 31 Chambers St.

Hospital Overcomes Claims to Recover Heiress' Gifts

By Andrew Denney |

A Manhattan judge has ruled that the estate of a copper heiress seeking to recover more than $4 million in donations to the hospital where she spent her final years is time-barred from claiming that the hospital manipulated her into making the gifts.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Landlords Warned to Comply With Rent Protections

Nearly 200 New York City landlords violated state law by accepting lucrative tax breaks but then failing to extend required rental protections to tenants, authorities said Wednesday.

Fordham Law School

Competition Law Institute Gets New Head at Fordham

Fordham University School of Law has named James Keyte, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, as director of its Competition Law Institute. He replaces Barry Hawk, who has served as director since the institute launched in 1974.

Calvin Harris, left, is scheduled to be tried for the fourth time for the murder of his estranged wife Michele, right.

Fourth Trial Scheduled in Upstate Murder Case

An upstate New York businessman tried for murder three times after the disappearance of his estranged wife is scheduled to face a fourth trial in March. His first two convictions were overturned, and a third case ended in a mistrial when a jury failed to reach a verdict after 11 days.

Man Arrested for Tampering With Red Light Cameras

A Long Island man who is facing criminal charges for tampering with several red light cameras said that he knew he would be arrested after posting video of his actions online but that it was done in protest of government abuse.

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

Tax Lawyer's Claim of Fraudulent Inducement Proceeds

By Ben Bedell |

Steven Laduzinski alleged he was lured by a promise of a managerial post overseeing a high workload at consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal, but that the company was actually suffering from a sharp downturn and his supervisors were more interested in exploiting his business contacts with wealthy Latin Americans.

Attorneys Spar Over Cause of Dewey & LeBoeuf's Demise

By Nell Gluckman |

Lawyers on opposing sides of the case against Dewey & LeBoeuf's top executives used the last day of testimony from the former general counsel, Janis Meyer, to present the jury with their disparate versions of the events that drove the firm into bankruptcy in 2012.

Legal Aid attorney Victor Castelli, right, and Angel Rodriguez, executive director of the Andrew Glover Youth Program

Young Man's Felony Indictment Tossed in Interest of Justice

By Jasmine Grays |

With the prosecution refusing to offer a misdemeanor plea to a young man who has completed therapeutic programs, enrolled in college and gotten a full-time job since his arrest for selling drugs, Justice Thomas Farber said, "I cannot see any point in rewarding the defendant [for his success] with a felony conviction."

Judge Finds 1977 Egyptian Pact Is Not Valid for 2015 US Divorce

By Joel Stashenko |

While Justice Lawrence Ecker said New York courts have recognized that a "mahr," an Islamic marriage contract, can be enforceable, the document must be accompanied by proof of authentication in order to be valid.

Blake Keng, right, reads from Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's opinion on same-sex marriage during the wedding of Jillian Levine Smith, left, and Emily Smith, center, in Provincetown, Massachusetts.

Couples Say 'I Do' to Justice Kennedy's Words

By Jessica Gresko |

The concluding paragraph of Justice Anthony Kennedy's majority opinion in 'Obergefell et al v. Hodges' is now making its way into wedding ceremonies for both gay and straight couples, who say they want both to acknowledge the historic decision and to use language they described as "beautiful," "eloquent" and "powerful."

Practical-Skills Plan Divides Law Schools Association

By Karen Sloan |

Whether the State Bar of California’s plan to require new attorneys to complete at least 15 credit hours of practical skills in law school is unduly restrictive or a needed step to ensure they have real-world competencies depends on whom you ask—even within the same organization.

Judge Orders Facebook Data Be Produced in Custody Case

By Ben Bedell |

A Westchester matrimonial judge ordered a wife in a custody dispute to turn over four years worth of Facebook postings to determine how much time she had spent with her child.

Atlanta and New York City

Georgia-Based Case Should Be Heard in NY, Panel Finds

By Ben Bedell |

The First Department noted that the guarantee at issue secured rent payments on a property in Georgia and specified Georgia law would control its interpretation, but said that hearing the case "does not create any undue burden on New York courts."

Kevin Ward Jr.

Auto Racer's Lawyer Moves Lawsuit to Federal Court

The wrongful death lawsuit filed by the family of a driver killed by NASCAR star Tony Stewart's car on a western New York dirt track has been moved from state court into the federal Northern District.

Workers, CEO at Male Escort Site Face Prostitution Counts

The Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office accused Jeffrey Hurant of selling advertisements to high-priced male prostitutes for several hundred dollars, then charging Rentboy.com customers up to $299 a month to access the ads.

Man Sentenced for $10M Mortgage Fraud Scheme

A Florida man has been sentenced in a New York federal court to more than seven years in prison for a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme that targeted a Buffalo-based bank and other financial institutions, according to federal prosecutors in Buffalo.

On the Move

Six firms announce new hires, while Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney has named Philip Hirschhorn as head of its New York office.

Suffolk County Supreme Court in Riverhead

Court Finds Renter of Vacation Home Can Seek $150,000

By Ben Bedell |

While her pro se action demanding the refund of one year's prepaid rent after Hurricane Sandy allegedly rendered her cottage uninhabitable was pending, tenant Deborah Schwartz discovered her landlord did not have a permit to rent the cottage, and amended her pleadings to include all previously paid rent.

 Dewey & LeBoeuf sign

Defense Grills Ex-Dewey GC on Knowledge of Firm's Finances

By Julie Triedman |

Defense attorneys representing the three former executives of the failed Dewey & LeBoeuf had their first chance to question a former Dewey general counsel who was copied on numerous emails put into evidence by the prosecution.

HANGZHOU, CHINA - AUGUST 24:  (CHINA OUT) An investor watches the electronic board at a stock exchange hall on August 24, 2015 in Hangzhou, China. Chinese shares plunged on Monday with the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index down 297.84 points, or 8.49 percent, to close at 3,209.91. The Shenzhen Component Index fell 931.76 points, or 7.83 percent, to close at 10,970.29.

Law Firms Monitor Turmoil as Chinese Markets Plunge

By Susan Beck |

A plunge in stock prices in China, with its nerve-rattling aftershocks in the U.S., will likely cause many law firms to further scrutinize their strategy in China.

Injunction Denied to Halt Gun-Seizing Policy by Police

By Andrew Keshner |

A gun owner complaining about the Nassau County Police Department's policy of confiscating firearms when responding to domestic incidents could not convince a judge to halt the practice while his case proceeded.

LSAT Disability Accommodation Plans Underway

By Karen Sloan |

The Law School Admission Council has until late October, when registration closes for the December Law School Admission Test, to revise its disability accommodation policies.

Palestinians Ordered to Pay $10M to Secure Verdict

Palestinian authorities found liable in a high-profile lawsuit over Americans killed in terrorist attacks must pay $10 million in cash, and an additional $1 million monthly payment while the case is on appeal, to secure the hundreds of millions awarded by a jury, a Manhattan federal judge ruled Monday.

Settlement Resolves Suit Against Duane Morris

By Christine Simmons |

According to court records, a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge last week signed off on the dismissal of a malpractice suit brought by a shoe company founder against Duane Morris and two corporate partners who resigned just weeks after the suit was filed.

New York Reaches $8M Settlement in Medicaid Case

Three New York hospitals and a health care management company have agreed to an $8 million settlement with state and federal authorities to resolve allegations they illegally billed Medicaid.

On the Move

Among other announcements, commercial banking attorney Christopher Palmer has been named managing partner of Garden City-based Cullen and Dykman.

Rachel Moran.

Bar Foundation Names First Diversity Research Fellow

By Karen Sloan |

The American Bar Foundation has launched a research initiative focused on diversity in the legal profession and tapped former University of California at Los Angeles dean Rachel Moran as its first fellow.

Corrections

Canadian Class Action Seeks $578 Million in Ashley Madison Hack

By Chris DiMarco |

Suit seeks damages on behalf of "all Canadian citizens," as many as 250,000 of which had accounts with the dating site.