This Weeks News

New York City Police Officer Peter Liang, center, exits a Brooklyn courtroom Tuesday.

Closings Debate Whether Officer's Shot Was Reckless

By Andrew Keshner |

In their final appeal to the jury Tuesday, Brooklyn prosecutors clashed with the defense on whether rookie police officer Peter Liang's single fatal shot in a dark public housing stairwell veered into criminal recklessness.

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

Malpractice Suit Over Lawyer's Newspaper Comments Proceeds

By Ben Bedell |

A client's assertion that his attorney's "eagerness to get his name in the papers" caused him to lose a $1.3 million case states a claim for legal malpractice, a Manhattan appeals court ruled Thursday.

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Foley Square

Circuit Passes on En Banc Hearing Over Speedy Trial

By Mark Hamblett |

Second Circuit Judges Rosemary Pooler and Peter Hall sent the case of Raheem Bert back to a lower court judge who acknowledged that an 11-month delay in bringing Bert to trial on gun charges, without excluding time under the act, was her fault.

Hedge Funds Win Judgment Against Deutsche

By Christine Simmons |

Two related hedge funds won a $22.1 million judgment against Deutsche Bank AG in a dispute tied to contract rights in credit default swap agreements.

Full House at Court of Appeals

For the first time since last summer, the Court of Appeals has a full complement of seven judges.

Divided ABA Adopts Framework to Allow Nonlawyer Legal Services

By Susan Beck |

Over the objections of the New York State Bar Association and other groups, the ABA's House of Delegates on Monday adopted a resolution giving states a regulatory framework for allowing nonlawyers to provide simple legal services.

Firm Tapped to Assist Pro Se Litigant in HSBC Dispute

By Andrew Keshner |

A prominent media law firm has been appointed to represent a man trying to unseal a confidential bank monitor report on HSBC Bank's compliance in a money laundering deferred prosecution.

The downtown Buffalo campus of Erie Community College

Panel Sees No Injury to Politicians From Review

By Joel Stashenko |

An appeals court has ruled that two western New York officeholders cannot invoke environmental review laws to defeat a planned community college expansion that they opposed politically.

Judge Rules Lawful Police Detention of Fifth Grader

By Andrew Denney |

A Manhattan judge ruled that two New York City police officers lawfully detained a non-English speaking public school student who left school and went home without permission after his teacher told him that he could not take part in a class field trip.

Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

Visiting Albany, Bharara Blasts 'Rancid Culture'

Speaking in Albany on Monday, Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said corruption has degraded the state's democracy, laying some blame at the feet of otherwise innocent lawmakers who allowed that culture to fester. "You think no one knew Sheldon Silver was corrupt before he was put in handcuffs? Not a chance," he said.

On the Move

Dechert, Cadwalader, Phillips Nizer and Hughes Hubbard & Reed each announce a new addition.

Born Delivers Ginsburg Lecture

Brooksley Born, a retired partner at Arnold & Porter and former chairwoman of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, delivered the New York City Bar Association's Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law Monday evening.


Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, right, is applauded by Judges Eugene Pigott, center, and Sheila Abdus-Salaam after her ceremonial installation Monday.

DiFiore Pledges 'Self-Critical' Analysis of OCA Operations

By Joel Stashenko |

After Janet DiFiore was ceremonially installed Monday as chief judge of New York, she said reducing case backlogs in the court system will be her first priority.

NYPD officer Peter Liang arrives at Brooklyn Criminal Court for an arraignment hearing on Feb. 11, 2015.

'Gun Just Went Off,' Says Officer on Trial for Fatal Shooting

By Andrew Keshner |

A police officer on trial for recklessly disregarding his training and risk of death in an East New York public housing patrol that left an innocent man dead testified emotionally Monday but said officers could pull out their guns when feeling unsafe.

Michael Garcia stands in the Senate gallery with his children, Michael Garcia Jr., left, and Sofia Garcia, right, after his confirmation on Monday.

Senate Confirms Garcia to Court of Appeals

By Ben Bedell |

Michael Garcia was confirmed to the Court of Appeals Monday by the New York state Senate in a unanimous voice vote, becoming the first Hispanic man to sit on the state's highest court.

New York Law School at 185 West Broadway

Legal Operations Resume in Area of Crane Collapse

By Andrew Denney |

New York Law School and other segments of the legal community were back in business Monday after they were displaced by a plummeting construction crane Friday in the TriBeCa section of Manhattan.

Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum

Colleagues Recall Cedarbaum's Devotion, Integrity

By Mark Hamblett |

Tributes poured in Monday from friends and colleagues of Southern District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, who died Friday at age 86. She was remembered as a woman who carved a unique path in the law and on the bench.


Court Takes On 'Tri-Parenting' Model for Same-Sex Couple in NJ

In a novel and lengthy opinion, a New Jersey family court judge has awarded joint custody of a child to three people—the biological father, his same-sex spouse, and the mother.

Evan Greebel is led from the federal building in New York in December.

Gibson Dunn Hired to Help Defend Kaye Scholer Partner

By Christine Simmons |

Evan Greebel, the Kaye Scholer partner who was arrested alongside former pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli, has added Gibson Dunn & Crutcher to his defense team.

Unarmed Court Officers Apprehend Slaying Suspect

By Andrew Denney |

Two off-duty, unarmed court officers who had just finished their shifts at the Bronx Criminal Court tackled a murder suspect Friday night near Yankee Stadium and held him until police arrived, a court official confirmed.

The Appellate Division, Fourth Department, M. Dolores Denman courthouse in Rochester

Panel Finds Man Convicted of Uncharged Crimes

By Joel Stashenko |

The Fourth Department has vacated a man's convictions on 20 counts related to the repeated sexual abuse of two girls, ruling unanimously that he may have been convicted on theories different from those set forth in the indictment, as limited by the bill of particulars.

Devlin D'Zmura, a tending news manager at DraftKings, works on his laptop at the company's offices in Boston, on September 9, 2015.

Boston US Judge to Hear Fantasy Sports Lawsuits

In an order on Thursday, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation found that the more than 80 class actions against online daily fantasy sports sites DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc., which included claims of consumer fraud and insider trading, should be coordinated for pretrial purposes before U.S. District Judge George O’Toole in Boston, where DraftKings is based.

Discipline for Prisoner's Note to Guard Upheld

By Joel Stashenko |

The disciplining of a state prison inmate for harassment for sending a note to a female guard warning her of the dangers of smoking has been upheld by the Third Department.

On the Move

Among other announcements, Quinn Emanuel has added as a partner Chad Johnson, most recently chief of investor protection in the New York Attorney General's Office, and Simpson Thacher has appointed partner Jonathan Youngwood as co-head of its litigation practice.

The crane collapse Friday morning damaged a portion of New York Law School.

Crane Collapse Impacts Legal Community

By Andrew Denney |

The construction crane that fell in Manhattan's TriBeCa neighborhood Friday morning, killing one and injuring three, damaged a portion of New York Law School and shuttered two Legal Aid NYC offices, the Innocence Project office and the New York County Supreme Court building.

Prince's Point in Staten Island

Panel Declines to Order Return of $4M in Rescinded Deal

By Ben Bedell |

A real estate buyer cannot recoup a $4 million deposit because the sellers were relieved of any obligation to show they were ready to close when the buyer filed a rescission action before the closing date, an appellate court held.

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Foley Square

Court Can Hear Bias Claim by Former State Lawyer

By Joel Stashenko |

A former state lawyer's disability discrimination claim against the New York Attorney General's Office should be heard in a courtroom rather than in an administrative proceeding, the Second Circuit has ruled.

Justice Asher

Judge Dismisses Two Defenses to Attorney's Mortgage Claim

By Andrew Keshner |

Justice W. Gerard Asher rejected some of suspended matrimonial attorney Dominic Barbara's defenses in an action to establish a bank's mortgage rights to his multimillion-dollar Long Island house.

Bid to Coordinate Claims by Uber Drivers Is Rejected

By Amanda Bronstad |

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation last week appeared persuaded by Uber's arguments that classifications of independent contractors varied too much state-to-state to make coordination of lawsuits brought by its drivers over their employment status feasible.

Prosecutors Group Updates, Distributes Ethics Handbook

By Joel Stashenko |

The state District Attorneys Association has revised its handbook on the ethical obligations of DAs and distributed it to each of the approximately 2,800 prosecutors in New York state.

Harlan Levy

Winner of Modern Courts' John McCloy Award Named

By Christine Simmons |

Harlan Levy, a partner in Boies, Schiller & Flexner and former chief deputy attorney general, has received the Fund for Modern Courts' 2016 John J. McCloy Memorial Award, which recognizes lawyers who have made outstanding contributions to improving the administration of justice in New York state.

Tiffany Moller, left, and Bonnie Jonas

New Firm Will Offer Claims Administration, Monitorships

By Christine Simmons |

Two former Southern District prosecutors are launching a firm that will provide monitorships and claims administration to government agencies and corporations.

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

Panel Sets Aside $2.1M Commission on Land Sale

By Andrew Denney |

An appeals court has set aside a jury verdict to award more than $2.1 million to a brokerage firm claiming to have an oral agreement to receive a commission for the sale of land to a home improvement chain and that it was left out of the final negotiations for the sale.

Women's Caucus Award

Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Marsha Steinhardt received the Lenore Kramer Award Thursday night from the Women's Caucus of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.


Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum

Southern District Judge Miriam Cedarbaum Dies

By Andrew Denney |

Southern District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum has died, her chambers confirmed on Friday afternoon. She was 86.

State Senate Judiciary Chairman John Bonacic makes a point to Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks at a budget hearing in Albany Thursday.

OCA Urges Lawmakers to Fund Both Raises, Civil Legal Services

By Joel Stashenko |

State Senate Republicans said Thursday they would rather fund pay raises for state judges than provide an extra $15 million for civil legal services in the next state budget. But Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks told legislators that they should fund both.

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Foley Square

RICO Conviction Supported by 'Affront' to Mob, Circuit Says

By Mark Hamblett |

A double murder as revenge for a spilled drink was enough to tie a Gambino crime family boss to a racketeering enterprise, the Second Circuit has ruled.

Victim's Grandson 'Sickened' by Parole in 1980 Murder

By Ben Bedell |

Over the vehement opposition of the victim's family, New York's parole board has decided to release Terry Losicco, who was convicted of the brutal 1980 murder of 67-year-old Eleanor Prouty and the beating of her bedridden husband, Norman.

Stephen DiCarmine, left, and Joel Sanders outside the courtroom during their 2015 trial

DA Fights Attempt to Avoid Retrial of Dewey Executives

By Christine Simmons |

Manhattan prosecutors are seeking to crush efforts by two former Dewey & LeBoeuf executives to avoid a second trial, arguing in new court papers that ample evidence shows the executives intended to deprive lenders and investors of millions of dollars.

Drinking Is a Problem for 1 in 3 Lawyers, Study Finds

By Karen Sloan |

More than a third of practicing attorneys in the United States are problem drinkers and 28 percent struggle with depression, according to a new study.

Martin Shkreli, left, former Chief Executive Officer of Turing Pharmaceuticals, appearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform during a hearing titled

Ex-Pharma CEO Takes Fifth in Congressional Appearance

Martin Shkreli, the former Turing Pharmaceuticals LLC chief executive, on Thursday repeatedly refused to answer questions from U.S. House members about his overnight triple-digit price hike of an AIDS drug his company bought last year.

A billboard on Jan. 27 displays a message about reporting public corruption along Interstate 90 in Albany.

Billboards Urge NY Commuters to 'Report Corruption'

By David Klepper |

Each workday, thousands of state workers commute from their suburban neighborhoods to the many state buildings scattered throughout New York's capital city. Based on Albany's remarkable penchant for corruption, odds are that a few of them have a story the federal government would like to hear.

Former Alaska senator Ted Stevens exits the federal courthouse in D.C. in April 2009.

D.C. Judges Weigh Rule to Curb Prosecutor Misconduct

Nearly seven years since the botched prosecution of the late Alaska senator Ted Stevens, federal judges in Washington are considering a rule that describes in detail for the first time the government's obligation to turn over evidence to defense lawyers.

Janet DiFiore

Installation of DiFiore as Chief Judge Is Scheduled

By Joel Stashenko |

Janet DiFiore, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Judge Eugene Pigott Jr., who is the senior associate judge on the court, will speak during Monday's ceremony at the Court of Appeals in Albany.

Jury Awards NYPD Officer $15M in Beating Lawsuit

By Andrew Keshner/Associated Press |

A New York City police officer who accused fellow officers of beating him has been awarded more than $15 million in damages by a federal court jury.

Pedro Hernandez's videotaped second confession to killing Etan Patz.

Parents of Etan Patz Shift View of Who Killed Their Son

By Ben Bedell |

The parents of the 6-year-old who disappeared 36 years ago while on his first solo walk to his school bus have petitioned a Manhattan court to vacate its 2004 default wrongful death judgment against a man they had believed killed their son. Stanley and Julia Patz said they now believe Pedro Hernandez, whose retrial for the murder is set for March 7, is the real killer.

Randal Jeffrey and Sara Meyers

Legal Services Organization Announces Reorganization

By Andrew Denney |

The New York Legal Assistance Group, a growing nonprofit that provides legal services to low-income New Yorkers, has created two new executive positions and reorganized its general legal services unit.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Bar Panel Seeks Changes to Cuomo's Ethics Proposal

By Joel Stashenko |

A New York City Bar Association committee is asking Gov. Andrew Cuomo to make changes it says would enhance his ethics-in-government proposal in the 2016-17 state budget.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett Award

Esmeralda Simmons, the founder and executive director of the Center for Law and Social Justice at Medgar Evers College-City University of New York, received the 2016 Ida B. Wells-Barnett Justice Award from the New York County Lawyers Association and the Metropolitan Black Bar Association.

Investors Can Sue Foreign Wealth Fund in US, Circuit Rules

By Mark Hamblett |

The Second Circuit has clarified the law on sovereign immunity for actions by a foreign nation's commercial entity that take place outside of the United States but harm investors within the United States.

Lawyer Wins Bid to View Part of Internal Nassau Police Report

By Andrew Keshner |

A portion of an internal police report on a fatal domestic violence incident which has been a source of litigation for years must be turned over to an attorney arguing in a separate matter that Nassau County police are deliberately indifferent to intimate partner violence.

Give Courts the Money They Request, Bar Groups Urge Lawmakers

By Andrew Keshner |

As court officials prepare to make their case Thursday to the state Legislature for a 2.4 percent spending increase—a plan Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called too high—the New York City Bar Association and New York State Bar Association are urging lawmakers to give the judiciary all the money it is seeking.

Panel Upholds Ruling on Nassau County Police Discipline

By Andrew Denney |

An appellate panel has upheld a 2012 decision by Nassau County to put the power to discipline police officers back solely in hands of the police commissioner.

Robin Cohen

Insurance Team Departs Kasowitz for McKool Smith

By Brian Baxter and Christine Simmons |

McKool Smith, a 175-lawyer firm, is bringing on a team of lawyers from Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman led by insurance recovery leader Robin Cohen.

Michael Garcia

Hearing Set on Nomination of Garcia to High Court

By Joel Stashenko |

The state Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a confirmation hearing on Michael Garcia's nomination to the Court of Appeals on Monday.

Martin Shkreli

Lawyer for Ex-Pharma CEO May Try to Block Emails

By Christine Simmons |

Benjamin Brafman, the newly retained attorney for indicted ex-pharmaceutical CEO Martin Shkreli, on Wednesday told a federal judge that he might seek to challenge prosecutors' use of some emails between Shkreli and a Kaye Scholer attorney.

Bank to Appeal Release of Compliance Report

By Andrew Keshner |

HSBC Bank plans to fight a judge's order to publicly file a redacted compliance monitor's report in a deferred prosecution case, according to court filings.

Messages on Mailed Checks Violated Order, Panel Finds

By Andrew Denney |

A Family Court judge in Orange County erred in dismissing a mother's allegations that the father of her child violated an order of protection by writing offensive comments on her support checks, a Brooklyn appeals court ruled Wednesday.

Man Who Posed as Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Theft, Fraud

By Andrew Keshner |

Howard Seidler's plea before Acting Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun makes his case the first conviction under the immigrant assistance services fraud law.

Village of Bloomingburg, NY

Monitor Accepted by County in Hasidim Voting Rights Suit

By Mark Hamblett |

A judge signed off Tuesday on a consent decree that resolves claims that the Sullivan County Board of Elections illegally challenged the registration or qualification of Hasidic voters.

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

Lawyer Disqualified From Bias Suit Against Ex-Employer

By Christine Simmons |

A federal judge has disqualified an attorney from representing a city worker in an employment discrimination suit because the attorney previously had worked as an administrator in the same department as her client.