This Weeks News

Some groups went to court in an unsuccessful bid to halt the use of antibiotics in animal feed. They are concerned the practice might increase the resistance of humans who consume the meat to the drugs..

Panel: FDA Not Required to Hold Hearings on Animal Feed

Mark Hamblett | July 25, 2014

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration was not required to conduct hearings on whether to withdraw approval for the use of penicillin and tetracyclines in animal feed, a divided federal appellate panel ruled Thursday.

Samuel Hamilton will remain behind bars .after a deeply divided upstate appellate panel embraced a hands-off approach to parole reviews.

Split Panel Upholds Parole Denial for Exemplary Inmate

By John Caher |

A State prison inmate with an extraordinary record of institutional achievement and a network of supporters ranging from top corrections officials to the prosecutor who put him away in the early 1980s will remain behind bars after a deeply divided upstate appellate panel embraced a hands-off approach to parole reviews.

Judge Finds Mother "Cannot Be Trusted" With Custody

By John Caher |

A Westchester County woman who shepherded her young son to forensic psychologists in what a court said was a concerted effort to undermine his relationship with his father, and paid a former soap opera actress $57,000 to prep her for a "role" as a witness, has been stripped of custody.

Street food vendors similar to those who filed a successful claim against the food cart owners for whom they worked.

Food Cart Workers Awarded $60,000 in Unpaid Overtime Wages

By Brendan Pierson |

A Manhattan judge has awarded more than $60,000 to two food cart workers, ruling that they were owed unpaid overtime and illegally forced to pay tickets that should have gone to the carts' owners.

Junior Accountants Found Exempt From Overtime Rule

By Mark Hamblett |

Entry-level accountants are learned professionals who are exempt from the requirement that companies pay overtime under the Fair Labor Standards Act, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Barclays Moves to Dismiss AG's Suit Over 'Dark Pools'

By Suevon Lee |

Barclays is challenging the authority of New York's top lawyer to sue the bank for fraud over allegedly deceptive statements it made to investors concerning high frequency trading in its "dark pool," or private stock exchange.

Q&A: Robert Pigott

By Jeff Storey |

Want to know where Judge Joseph Force Crater had his last meal before disappearing forever? Robert Piggott can tell you. His just-completed book, "New York's Legal Landmarks: A Guide to Legal Edifices, Institutions, Lore, History and Curiosities on the City's Streets," is stuffed with such trivia and more momentous events besides.

Eric T. Schneiderman

AG Defends Disclosure Rule Against Citizens United

By Joel Stashenko |

New York's attorney general is urging a federal judge to reject a motion for a preliminary injunction that would prevent enforcement of a requirement that the conservative advocacy group Citizens United file a list of its confidential donors with the state.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr

Attorney Faces Indictment Charging Immigration Scam

By Andrew Keshner |

An immigration attorney has been indicted for allegedly defrauding clients by misrepresenting legal requirements, filing defective applications and taking their money.

The US attorney provided a mountain of evidence that includes dozens of bottles of fake wine and photos of hundreds of wine labels, corks and other items associated with the fraud along with photos of the his kitchen sink window being covered so he could allegedly soak wine labels he printed to make them look vintage.

Sentencing Delayed Over Amount of Bogus Wine Sold

By Mark Hamblett |

A dispute over how much bogus wine was actually sold by a man convicted of defrauding wealthy wine buyers caused a federal judge Thursday to postpone sentencing.

Panel Tosses Courier's Suit Over Lifting Bag of Coins

By Andrew Keshner |

An armored car courier who injured himself lifting a bag of coins had his personal injury suit dismissed by a Brooklyn appellate court.

Addiction Poses Threat, Panel Says in Disbarment

By Andrew Keshner |

A Brooklyn appellate panel has disbarred an already-suspended attorney battling a prescription painkiller addiction.

Personal Notes on Lawyers

Jones Day and Troutman Sanders have added partners and Dr. James Tacci has rejoined Hiscock & Barclay.

Governor Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo Signs Bills Aimed at Domestic Violence Prosecution

By Joel Stashenko |

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law Wednesday bills that he said would aid efforts to combat domestic violence by refining New York's stalking and aggravated harassment laws.

Gravity Knife

Using Bill's Arguments, Judge Tosses Knife Conviction

By John Caher |

A Bronx judge has dismissed criminal charges against a man accused of carrying a "gravity knife," despite the fact that a court system reform bill seeking to lighten penalties for carrying such a device never made it through the state Legislature.

Judge Upholds Corporate Veil in Home Construction Case

By Brendan Pierson |

A Suffolk judge has refused to pierce the corporate veil against the principal of a construction company to enforce a $2.2 million judgment over a failed project, ruling that the plaintiffs failed to show that the principal misused the corporate form and deliberately dissipated the company's assets.

Judge Cites Inequity in Law in Same-Sex Custody Suit

By Andrew Keshner |

Lamenting what he called an "imbalance of remedies," Nassau County Family Court judge has denied joint custody to a woman now separated from her same-sex partner, even though current law might make custody available to a man under similar circumstances.

Judge Probes Possible Attorney Conflict in Terror Case

By Mark Hamblett |

Southern District Judge Lewis Kaplan will hold a hearing into whether the lawyer for a man accused in the al Qaeda African embassy bombing plot is conflicted because his client's defense is being funded by the Libyan government.

Coalition Wants More Openness From U.S. Supreme Court

By Tony Mauro |

A coalition formed to urge the U.S. Supreme Court to increase transparency criticized the justices on Tuesday for not doing more to boost public access to court proceedings in the term just ended.

Correction

David Boies of Boies Schiller & Flexner and David Ellenhorn, senior trial counsel for the Attorney General's Office

JCOPE Finds State Attorney Violated Travel Rules

By John Caher |

The Joint Commission on Public Ethics said Assistant Attorney General David Ellenhorn improperly accepted a plane ride from an adversary without first obtaining permission from his boss. But the panel declined to impose a fine or sanction.

William Rapfogel

Former Charity CEO Gets Minimum Term of 40 Months

The politically connected former CEO of a prominent New York City charity was sentenced to prison Wednesday for helping to steal more than $9 million from the anti-poverty organization.

divorce decree

Queens Opens Help Center for Uncontested Divorces

By Tania Karas |

The Queens County Supreme Court has opened a help center to assist people with online forms available through the state court system's DIY Uncontested Divorce program.

The Eastern District Courthouse in Cadman Plaza, Brooklyn

Bankrupt Company Sues Two Firms for Malpractice

By Christine Simmons |

A biotechnology company in bankruptcy has brought malpractice claims against Nixon Peabody and Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents process unaccompanied children in Brownsville, Tx. Officials say that the impact of the situation along the border will ripple through the entire nation's Immigration Courts, including an already overburdened facility in New York.

NYSBA Advocates Counsel for Child Immigrants

By Tania Karas |

Unaccompanied immigrant children who entered the country illegally and face deportation need legal representation at their immigration hearings, New York State Bar Association president Glenn Lau-Kee wrote in a letter to state congressional representatives Tuesday, urging them to make it a "top priority."

Inmate Faced Burden to Religion, Court Says

By Mark Hamblett |

A Muslim inmate who was placed in solitary confinement conditions for more than two months after refusing to drink water during the Ramadan fast to provide a urine sample has had his First Amendment claim reinstated.

A $7 million fake Max Ernst painting by German artist Wolfgang Beltracchi. A New York dealer sold another of Beltracchi’s forged Ernst paintings for $2.5 million.

Art Dealer Denied Tax Refund for Forged Painting

By Joel Stashenko |

While not responsible in any way for the fake Max Ernst painting called "La Forêt," Manhattan art dealer Richard Feigen was deemed ineligible for a $215,625 sales tax refund because he filed too late to qualify.

A worker is seen force-feeding a duck recently at the Hudson Valley Foie Gras farm in Ferndale, N.Y.

Panel Rebuffs Challenge to Foie Gras Production

By Joel Stashenko |

The Third Department said that the petitioners, a California-based animal rights group and a New York resident it represents, could not demonstrate an injury in fact based on more than "conjecture or speculation."

Jury Awards $1.5 Million for Death at Nursing Home

By John Caher |

A jury in Clinton County has awarded $1.5 million, including $800,000 in punitive damages, on behalf of a 94-year-old nursing home resident who died after he was mistakenly administered morphine intended for another patient.

Judith Levy, introducing her family during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to be United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Obama Names Record Number of Gay Federal Judges

By Todd Ruger, John Council and John Pacenti |

Robert Pitman's uncontroversial nomination last month—Sen. John Cornyn called Pitman's sexuality "irrelevant"—was Obama's 11th nomination of an openly gay or lesbian lawyer to a federal district judgeship. His record on the issue reflects both the president's stated mission to diversify the courts and the widespread cultural shift in acceptance of gays and lesbians in public life.

 Dewey & LeBoeuf sign

Two Ex-Dewey Leaders Settle Clawback Suit

By Christine Simmons |

Joel Sanders, the firm's former CFO, and Stephen DiCarmine, former executive director, have settled a trustee's clawback suit, clearing another piece of civil litigation as they prepare for a criminal trial.

Judge Denies Standing to Empire State Investors

By Associated Press/Joel Stashenko |

Disgruntled investors in the Empire State Building cannot sue over the 2013 initial public offering that they said intentionally undervalued their shares in the iconic Manhattan skyscraper, a Supreme Court justice ruled.

Suspended Attorney Charged with Bank Fraud

By Andrew Keshner |

A suspended Long Island attorney is one of four people accused of conspiring to bilk Bank of America out of more than $500,000 in a real estate scheme.

Circuit Upholds Judge's Deliberation Order to Jury

By Mark Hamblett |

A federal appeals court has affirmed a trial judge's decision to tell a jury to keep deliberating after a poll showed its verdict was not unanimous.

Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, Southern District of New York

MBIA Wins Fees Coverage in Restructuring Litigation

By David Bario |

After toiling through four years of litigation over MBIA Inc.'s controversial 2009 restructuring—and finally putting the case to rest last year—the bond insurer's lawyers at Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman won a ruling that makes Lloyd's of London and other underwriters responsible for a hefty portion of MBIA's defense tab.

View of the main entrance to the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn

Defense Protests Prosecution Plan to Monitor Emails

By Andrew Keshner |

Defense attorneys are challenging a policy at the Eastern District U.S. Attorney's Office that considers inmate-attorney emails sent through a government-operated system as not privileged and fair game for government review.

Faulting Jury Instructions, Split Panel Vacates Verdict

By Mark Hamblett |

Substantial jury confusion in an entrapment case led a federal appeals court Monday to order a new trial for a man convicted of shipping child pornography.

Clinic students, from left: Heather Davis, Julia Patane, Michael Bates and Nick Dorando.

Albany Collaboration to Help Domestic Violence Victims

By John Caher |

A new initiative named for a pioneering Albany Law School professor is striving to build a pipeline connecting the legal community to so-called "silenced victims" of domestic violence in the Capital Region.

2950 Grand Concourse, Bronx

Grandson Can Live With Tenant, Judge Rules

By Brendan Pierson |

A supported housing provider cannot refuse to accept rent for the 8-year-old grandson of one of its clients, a Bronx judge has ruled, finding that the rent stabilization law gives the boy the right to live with his grandmother.

Queens Criminal Court Judge Toko Serita speaks at a press conference Thursday to introduce the Queens Human Trafficking Intervention Pro Bono Project.

New Court Program Seeks to Aid Sex Trafficking Victims

By Tania Karas |

Often, human trafficking victims have legal representation in their criminal cases, but no help with any potential immigration issues, leaving them with nowhere to turn but to their traffickers. A new project in Queens is recruiting volunteer attorneys to help.

Eric Schneiderman, left, and John Cahill

Despite Rising Ratings, GOP Challenger Lags in AG Race

By John Caher |

Favorability and electability ratings are at record levels for New York Attorney General hopeful John Cahill, but unless things turn around significantly in the next 15 weeks, he likely will be trounced by incumbent Eric Schneiderman.

Appeal of Conviction Delays Jail in Internet Forgery Case

By Associated Press/Joel Stashenko |

A judge said Monday a blogger can stay out of jail for the time being as his attorney appeals his conviction for criminally impersonating his father's academic rivals over the origins of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Assumption Not Enough to Evict Tenant, Judge Finds

By Brendan Pierson |

A Bronx man could not be assumed to have abandoned his apartment based on statements made by an employee of the Veterans Administration to his landlord, a housing court judge has ruled.

Groups Settle AG Lawsuit Alleging Immigrant Fraud

By John Caher |

Two organizations and a businessman accused of defrauding immigrants by falsely promising citizenship, charging exorbitant fees and engaging in unauthorized legal practice have reached a settlement with the state that will shut down the entities and provide $2.2 million in restitution.

Hall of Springs at Saratoga State Park

Panel Declines to Waive State Liability for Handrail

By Joel Stashenko |

An appeals court has rejected the state's argument that it is not liable for an allegedly dangerous handrail on an historic building because the railing's construction appeared to predate safety codes.

Patti Saris.

Commission Approves Lower Sentences in Some Drug Cases

By Jimmy Hoover |

The U.S. Sentencing Commission on Friday unanimously approved a measure to reduce sentences for certain federal drug offenders by an average of 25 months.

Correction

Warrant Permits Holding Entire Email Account, Judge Says

By Mark Hamblett |

In a holding at odds with at least two other courts, a Southern District magistrate judge has ruled that officials armed with a warrant to search for evidence of a crime contained in individual emails can seize and hold the entire email account without running afoul of the Fourth Amendment.

Cornell student Khalil King died when he fell 200 feet into the Fall Creek Gorge.

Jury to Determine Cornell's Role in Fatal Gorge Plunge

By Joel Stashenko |

A jury should decide whether Cornell University did enough to provide warnings that a potentially deadly drop-off awaited an intoxicated sophomore who strayed from a hiking path on the Ivy League school's campus, an upstate appellate court ruled July 17.

Judges and Lawyers Work to Understand Courtroom Science

By John Caher |

In an era when science is bombarding civil and criminal courts and judges are frequently asked to ponder theories posited by expert witnesses, more jurists are going back to school for crash courses in genetics and other sciences.

Narrowed Malpractice Claim Proceeds Against Brown Rudnick

By Christine Simmons |

"Brown Rudnick—a well-respected law firm that presumably knows how to draft a contract—has only itself to blame for not drafting its engagement letter to provide for the damages it now seeks," Judge Jesse Furman said, holding a former client should not have to pay for the firm's costs in the malpractice action.

Michael Millikin, executive vice president and general counsel of General Motors Company, testifying before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation’s Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Insurance during a hearing titled, “Examining Accountability and Corporate Culture in Wake of the GM Recalls.”

GM General Counsel Pledges to Implement Reforms

By Andrew Ramonas |

Michael Millikin, general counsel of General Motors Co., told skeptical senators on Thursday that he was "deeply sorry" for his legal department's handling of an ignition-switch defect and was working to make sure a similar scandal doesn't happen again.

Obituary: Herbert F. Schwartz

Herbert F. Schwartz, a prominent intellectual property litigator and former partner at Ropes & Gray, died July 15 at his Riverside, Conn., home after a battle with bladder cancer. He was 78.

Groups Granted Exemption to Disclosure of Backers

By John Caher |

A judicial hearing officer has reversed the Joint Commission on Public Ethics and held that the New York Civil Liberties Union and three other advocacy groups do not have to reveal their financial backers because doing so could put their supporters at risk.

L.I. Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Diverting Client Funds

By Andrew Keshner |

Matthew Kogan of Plainview has pleaded guilty to using client funds for personal and office expenses rather than putting the money in his escrow account.

Judge Rejects Lawsuit Over Caregiver Payments

By Andrew Keshner |

A judge has dismissed the lawsuit a foster parents' organization brought in an attempt to alter New York's payments to caretakers that are meant to cover a foster child's daily costs, concluding that federal law provisions did not offer a private right of action.

Text Messages to Help Domestic Violence Victims

By John Caher |

A digital resource for people facing civil legal issues has launched a new text-messaging campaign to advise immigrant victims of domestic violence about their rights and services available to them.

Personal Notes on Lawyers

Rodger Citron has been appointed to serve as associate dean for academic affairs at Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center, Martin Clearwater & Bell has added Gregory Reilly as a partner and head of its employment and labor law practice group, and other moves.

Correction

Brian Sutter, the staff director of the subcommittee on health of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Congress Fights Subpoenas From SEC in Trading Probe

By Mark Hamblett |

In a collision between two branches of government, the SEC is urging a federal judge to enforce two administrative subpoenas for records from the subcommittee on health of the House Ways and Means Committee and the testimony of its staff director in an insider trading investigation.

Ruling Upholds Dismissal of Judge's Defamation Suit

By Brendan Pierson |

A state appeals panel has affirmed the dismissal of a defamation suit filed by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Larry Martin over articles in the New York Daily News that falsely accused him of unethical conduct.

In Granting New Trial, Panel Clarifies Use of Deadly Force

By John Caher |

A man serving 20 years to life for murder will get a new trial because the judge failed to tell jurors that a robbery victim is justified in using deadly force against an assailant who is not presenting a lethal threat.

For the Third Time, Court Declines to Block Extradition

By Andrew Keshner |

A Brooklyn appellate court has once again overruled a lower court and revived a warrant extraditing a Long Island man to South Carolina for a decades-old forgery conviction.

Section 27 of New York’s Transportation Corporations Law allows a telecommunications company to use eminent domain to go on private property and install the equipment it needs. Pictured is Verizon’s gray junction box, right, attached to an exterior wall of the Eastchester Heights housing complex in the Bronx.

Circuit Applies High Court Standard to Takings Claims

By Mark Hamblett |

The Second Circuit on Wednesday clarified the law on takings and whether challenges to them are ripe for federal review in a putative class action challenging Verizon's use of New York's eminent domain powers to install multi-unit terminal boxes on private property.

 Apple iPad with e-book reader software

Apple's E-book Settlement Hinges on Appeals Court Action

By Jan Wolfe |

The plaintiffs lawyers and 33 state attorneys general who have accused Apple Inc. of e-book price-fixing have finally revealed the details of their proposed settlement with the tech giant.

New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Benjamin Lawsky

New York Proposes Regulations for Bitcoin

By Michael Virtanen |

Benjamin Lawsky, head of the Department of Financial Services, said his agency is trying to protect consumers and prevent money laundering without stifling innovation in establishing "BitLicenses" for firms involved in receiving, transmitting and storing virtual currency.

The Court of Appeals in Albany

Nominations Open for Seat on State High Court

By Joel Stashenko |

The state Commission on Judicial Nomination is accepting applications and nominations for the opening on the state Court of Appeals that will occur Dec. 31 due to the mandatory retirement of Judge Robert Smith.

Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick

Ciparick, Cozier to Lead City Judicial Advisory Board

By John Caher |

The appointments will give former Court of Appeals Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick and former Second Department Justice Barry Cozier key roles in the selection of judges to the civil, criminal and family courts in New York City.

Spanking Was 'Reasonable Use of Force,' Panel Says

By Andrew Keshner |

A Family Court judge's neglect finding against a father who spanked his child has been overturned by a Brooklyn appellate court that said the discipline was not excessive.

Aqueduct Racetrack in South Ozone Park, Queens

Cut in State Track Salaries 'Not Negotiated,' Court Finds

By Joel Stashenko |

The state failed to properly negotiate with the Public Employees Federation union before cutting salaries for seasonal workers represented by the union at state-operated horse-racing tracks, a divided appeals court ruled Thursday.

Recognition for Lawyers

The Managing Attorneys and Clerks Association Inc. has elected Maura McLoughlin as the association's next president; JAMS neutral Ariel Belen has received the 2014 Kobak Award; the Westchester Women's Bar Association has installed as its 22nd president Lucia Chiocchio, and other news.

Correction