This Weeks News

Ford Motors HQ

Scheindlin Dismisses Claims Ford and IBM Aided Apartheid

Mark Hamblett | September 2, 2014

"That these plaintiffs are left without relief in an American court is regrettable," Judge Shira Scheindlin said, but she was "bound to follow" recent interpretations of the Alien Tort Statute by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Second Circuit "no matter what my personal view of the law may be."

'Very Nervous' Driver Agreed to Search, Panel Finds

By Joel Stashenko |

The consent that a visibly nervous and agitated motorist gave police to search the trunk of his car during a traffic stop was voluntary and legally valid, a divided state appeals court ruled.

Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm and his wife Sue Ann Hamm attend the TIME 100 gala in New York on Apr. 24, 2012. She filed for divorce on May 19.

NY Shield Law Protects Author From Divorce Case Subpoena

By Joel Stashenko |

A New York-based writer is protected from revealing, as part of an Oklahoma divorce action, the confidential information he gathered while writing his 2013 book on "wildcat" natural gas entrepreneurs, a Manhattan judge has ruled.

Proskauer, Greenberg Removed From Lawsuit

By Christine Simmons |

A judge has dismissed Proskauer Rose and Greenberg Traurig from a lawsuit that accused the firms, respectively, of aiding a fraudulent scheme involving Facebook shares and a sham real estate transaction.

Maurice Greenberg

Greenberg's $25 Billion Case Against U.S. Set for Trial

By Ross Todd |

Maurice "Hank" Greenberg's $25 billion lawsuit against the U.S. government over the bailout of American International Group Inc. moved a step closer to trial last week, as a federal judge denied the government's motion for summary judgment.

Panel Reiterates Rules for Answering Jury Notes

By John Caher |

Trial judges must apprise counsel of the contents of jury notes and give them a chance to discuss the intended response, the Appellate Division, Second Department, reiterated in two unrelated Queens cases.

The Court of Appeals in Albany

Meeting Set to Encourage High Court Applications

By Joel Stashenko |

Former chief judge Judith Kaye will host an informational meeting on Monday, Sept. 8 to encourage applicants for the state Court of Appeals' vacancy occurring at the end of this year with the retirement of Judge Robert Smith.

Hal R. Lieberman

Attorney Ethics Expert Joins Litigation Boutique

By John Caher |

Richard Emery and his colleagues at Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady rely on Hal Lieberman so much for advice that it made sense to have the ethics expert down the hall rather than four blocks away.

$1 Billion Lawsuit Stands Against Accounting Firm

By Ross Todd |

Southern District Judge Victor Marrero denied PricewaterhouseCoopers' motion to dismiss a $1 billion malpractice lawsuit brought by the administrator liquidating the estate of MF Global Holdings Ltd., the defunct brokerage firm headed by former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine.

Personal Notes on Lawyers

McDermott Will & Emery has added Alysse McLoughlin as a partner, rejoining the firm from Barclays; P.J. Forcino has joined Meyer Suozzi as executive director; and Wilson Sonsini has added Benjamin Hoch; among other moves.

Yeshiva University High School for Boys

Circuit Judges Challenge Timing of Sexual Abuse Claims

By Mark Hamblett |

Lawyers for both sides in the litigation over sexual abuse at Yeshiva University High School for Boys came under intense questioning by a federal appeals panel Thursday.

Miriam Moskowitz and her attorney, Guy Eddon, an associate at Baker Botts

98-Year-Old Fights to Clear McCarthy-Era Felony Stigma

By Jeff Storey |

The 98-year-old retired math teacher who walked into the Manhattan federal courthouse on Monday says she has never forgotten that she is a convicted felon.

Part of Whistleblower Suit Survives Late Notice of Claim

By John Caher |

An appellate panel has reinstated part of a whistleblower claim with a first-time holding that such an action, to the extent that it seeks to vindicate a public right, trumps the usual notice of claim requirements.

Mary Jo White.

New SEC Rules Crack Down on Credit-Rating Agencies

By Jenna Greene |

A divided SEC on Wednesday adopted new rules for credit-rating agencies, stepping up review and disclosure requirements and adding safeguards to prevent sales and marketing considerations from influencing the ratings.

Anthony J. Annucci

Q&A: Anthony J. Annucci

By John Caher |

To insiders in the arena of New York corrections, Anthony Annucci is the go-to guy. His appointment by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as acting commissioner was widely viewed as a no-brainer since in his decades in the field, Annucci has been at the forefront (or in the cross-hairs) of emerging issues in corrections.

Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara

Convicted City Councilman Is First to Lose State Pension

By Mark Hamblett |

Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's plan to strip government officials of their pensions if they're convicted on corruption charges has claimed its first target in former New York City councilman Miguel Martinez.

Motion to Amend Complaint Brings Sanction for Attorney

By Christine Simmons |

An attorney who brought a "predominantly frivolous motion" seeking to amend his client's lawsuit for the fourth time has been sanctioned and ordered to pay his adversary's legal fees.

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

Two Attorneys Disbarred for Felony Convictions

By Tania Karas |

Raghubir Gupta, who was convicted of immigration fraud, and Benjamin Turner, who was convicted of wire fraud, bank fraud and aggravated identity theft, were each disbarred by the Second Department on Wednesday.

Jones Day Recruits Partner From Shearman

By Brian Baxter |

Michael McGuinness, a corporate partner and former head of the Latin American M&A practice at Shearman & Sterling in New York, has left the firm for Jones Day, which over the past year has sought to attract south-of-the-border clients by opening an office in Miami and making key lateral hires.

Recognition for Lawyers

Kramer Levin partner Steven Goldman has been appointed by President Obama to the advisory committee on the arts for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, among other announcements.

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Foley Square

Circuit Upholds Ruling Admitting Murder Confessions

By Mark Hamblett |

A defendant's conviction of four murders during warfare between rival drug gangs in the Bronx will stand after a federal appeals court ruled his confessions were properly admitted at trial.

Barbara Moses, NYCLA's immediate past president

NYCLA Report Finds Schools Prepared for Pro Bono Rules

By Tania Karas |

Despite initial concerns throughout the legal profession over New York's new pro bono requirement for bar admission, law schools say they anticipate few challenges in helping students meet the goal, according to a new report.

Frank Sedita III, the Erie County district attorney and president of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York

Sedita Sets Agenda as New Leader of DA Association

By John Caher |

Frank Sedita III became a prosecutor because he wanted to "wear the white hat," and these days he's riding at the helm of the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York, preaching a message that DAs have just as much of an obligation to exonerate the innocent as they do to convict the guilty.

Manhattan Criminal Court at 100 Centre St.

Judge Denies Bid to Apply Harassment Ruling to Old Case

By Andrew Keshner |

Though a recent ruling from the state's high court deemed a harassment statute unconstitutionally vague, a defendant in a separate case could not convince a judge to apply the holding retroactively as a way to trim the charges against him.

Russian Vodka Trademark War Enters Its Second Decade

By Ross Todd |

With its plot twists and sheer length, the decade-old battle for the Stolichnaya vodka trademark is starting to resemble a Russian novel. In the latest installment, a state-chartered Russian company that claims to be the marks' rightful owner survived motions to dismiss filed by a group of international beverage companies.

Circuit Holds City Charges Don't Fall Under Debt Law

By Mark Hamblett |

Liens for mandatory water and sewer charges imposed on property owners by New York City are not "debt" requiring compliance with the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, the Second Circuit held Wednesday.

Challenge to Salary Funding Can Proceed, Judge Says

By Joel Stashenko |

A state judge has declined to dismiss a challenge to the Cuomo administration's 2013 regulations that prohibit state funds from underwriting salaries of executives at private healthcare providers who make more than $199,000 a year.

Older Records No Longer Accessible on PACER

By Todd Ruger |

The federal judiciary this month removed years of court records from its online archives, including cases from the Second Circuit, drawing concern from attorneys, journalists, researchers and open-record advocates who rely on remote access to files.

Zachary Carter

Corporation Counsel to Keynote NYCLA Awards

By Tania Karas |

The New York County Lawyers Association has announced its 2014 Public Service Award recipients, who will be honored at a Sept. 15 ceremony featuring a keynote speech by City Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter.

Personal Notes on Lawyers

Steptoe & Johnson, Hiscock & Barclay and Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center are among the firms and organizations announcing new hires.

Marion Mishkin

Liaison Counsel Given Second Chance to Get Attorney Fees

By Mark Hamblett |

Marion Mishkin, who served as liaison counsel for plaintiffs who suffered bodily injuries in the 9/11 response and cleanup, was denied attorney fees in 2013 for her work on the non-respiratory injury cases, a ruling the Second Circuit overturned yesterday, remanding the case for further discovery.

Yona Weissman

Judge Suppresses Images Found in Cellphone Search

By John Caher |

In an early application of a new U.S. Supreme Court precedent on cellphone records and the Fourth Amendment, a judge in Brooklyn has suppressed evidence that allegedly would have shown that a defendant photographed a child sex crime victim during a trial.

a classroom

Injunction Motion to Release School Aid Moves to Albany

By Joel Stashenko |

Thanks to a seldom-invoked provision of the CPLR with 19th century roots, a follow-up suit to the landmark 'Campaign for Fiscal Equity' school funding litigation will shift temporarily from Manhattan to Albany.

A kayaker on the Nissequogue River

Bid to Hold Canoe Renter Liable for Stranding Fails

By Andrew Keshner |

A couple who were treated for hypothermia after being marooned on a Long Island river mudflat in a rented canoe cannot hold the rental company liable for letting them launch four hours before low tide, a judge has ruled.

Fidel Castro

Judge Upholds Cuban Victims' Case Against Spanish Bank

By Jan Wolfe |

After winning about $3.5 billion in default judgments against the Republic of Cuba, Fidel Castro's persecuted political opponents and their families have cleared a hurdle in their bid to seize frozen Cuban assets at global banks including Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria.

D.C. Asks Scullin to Reconsider Gun Ban Ruling

By Mike Scarcella |

The District of Columbia on Monday asked U.S. District Senior Judge Frederick Scullin Jr. to reconsider his ruling that declared unconstitutional the city's ban on carrying firearms in public.

Airbnb's web site for rooms to rent in New York City.

AG to Learn Names of 124 Airbnb Hosts

By Joel Stashenko |

Airbnb is providing the New York Attorney General's office with the names of 124 of its hosts under the disclosure agreement that the Internet company reached with the office this spring.

The plaintiffs were removed from the Florida home of Judith Leekin in 2007.

Plaintiffs Settle Suit Against Adoption Placement Groups

By Andrew Keshner |

Special needs children who sued placement agencies after being abused for years by a fraudster who adopted them have reached a $17.5 million dollar settlement with the agencies.

Town Not Liable for Tossing Cop's Belongings, Panel Says

By Andrew Keshner |

When David Katz returned to his home after evacuating for Tropical Storm Irene, he put papers and memorabilia in the driveway to air out. A town official told him bulk garbage pick-up would start in about a week, but pick-ups started earlier and his items were carted off.

Investor Firm Executive Faces Insider Trading Counts

The director of market intelligence at an investor relations firm was arrested on insider trading charges Tuesday and accused of using drafts of press releases to illegally earn nearly $1 million.

Judge Approves Citibank Mortgage Settlement

By Joel Stashenko |

A federal judge has given final approval to a class action settlement brought by mortgage holders who contended that they were compelled by Citibank and its affiliates to buy excessive home insurance coverage.

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

Court Upholds City Regulations of Process Servers

By Mark Hamblett |

Claims by process servers that New York City violates their rights by enforcing license renewals and other record-keeping requirements without authority have been thrown out by a federal judge.

Judge Hears Arguments on Bankers' Challenge to City Law

By Joel Stashenko |

A federal judge plans to rule in the latter half of September on whether the city can enforce a local law intended to insure that banks holding city deposits are meeting community investment needs—a law that bankers say would create a "cloud" over their industry.

George Galgano is escorted into Putnam County Court.

Arrested Attorney Accuses Putnam DA of Cover-Up

By John Caher |

Westchester attorney George Galgano said in an interview Monday that the witness tampering and bribery charges lodged against him last week are false. He insists it was not him, but Putnam County District Attorney Adam Levy, who tampered with a witness.

Restriction on Cross Examination Leads to New Trial

By Tania Karas |

A trial judge violated a defendant's right of confrontation by curtailing cross-examination of his alleged accomplice, who had testified for the prosecution, a unanimous Manhattan appellate panel has ruled.

<b>VISIT:</b> AG Eric Holder Jr., left, meets Missouri State Highway Patrol capt. Ron Johnson.

The Nation's First Black AG Takes Shooting Investigation Personally

By Todd Ruger |

Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. made the fight against police misconduct a priority long before his visit last week to Ferguson, Mo., where violent clashes between law enforcement and protesters flared following the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager.

William Tendy

Obituary: William Tendy, Jr.

By Andrew Keshner |

A prominent Hudson Valley criminal defense attorney died Friday after a long fight with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known commonly as Lou Gehrig's disease. He was 60 years old.

Goldman to Pay $1.2 Billion to Settle Housing Litigation

By Susan Beck |

In the wake of two recent adverse rulings, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will pay $1.2 billion to settle litigation with the Federal Housing Finance Administration over Goldman's allegedly fraudulent sale of mortgage-backed securities to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from 2005 to 2007. This settlement is the largest penalty ever paid by Goldman, and brings the FHFA's recovery from major banks to more than $21 billion.

Suffolk Sex Offender Law Put on Hold Pending Appeal

By John Caher |

Suffolk County has been barred from enforcing its sex offender residency restriction law pending the outcome of a Nassau County case before the Court of Appeals.

Case Remanded for Hearing on Warrantless Entry

By Andrew Keshner |

A man's conviction and 12-year sentence for drug and weapon possession has been put on hold after a First Department panel said a judge erred by forgoing a suppression hearing.

Personal Notes on Lawyers

Six firms have brought on new attorneys.

Samuel Hamilton, left, has been released on parole with the support of former Brooklyn prosecutor Jonathan Fairbanks, who put him away in 1983.

Broad Support for 'Exemplary' Inmate Turns Tide on Parole

By John Caher |

Just weeks after enduring scathing criticism in an Appellate Division dissent, the state Board of Parole has voted unanimously to release a man it had denied on seven prior occasions.

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Foley Square

Error Leads Circuit to Order New Trial for Mob Informant

By John Caher |

A government-paid informant who long snitched on the Gambino and Bonanno crime families but reneged on a deal to tip off the FBI to an arson is entitled to a new trial because of errors by a trial judge.

Panel Declines Officer Enhanced Disability Benefits

By Andrew Keshner |

A police officer who tripped over suddenly-swelling fire hoses during a chaotic rescue effort is not entitled to accidental disability retirement benefits, a split Manhattan appellate court said.

Attorneys File Complaints Against Bankruptcy Trustee

By Christine Simmons |

The behavior of a long-serving bankruptcy trustee toward a Spanish-speaking debtor so upset two bankruptcy attorneys that they filed complaints with the U.S. Trustee Program.

With BoA Settlement Comes Shift in Work for Law Firms

By Julie Triedman |

Bank of America Corp.'s $16.65 billion settlement announcement, and the tailing off of the government's enforcement actions, promises to affect a swath of top-tier Wall Street firms. But lawyers at the banks' primary outside counsel said that work continues to flow.

Ice Bucket Challenge

Robert Steiner, managing partner of Kelley Drye & Warren's New York office, took the ice bucket challenge Thursday. The firm raised $4,400 for The ALS Association.

Mark David Chapman in July 2010

Chapman Denied Parole Again for Lennon Murder

By Joel Stashenko |

Mark David Chapman, who fatally shot former Beatle John Lennon in 1980, has been denied parole for an eighth time.

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

Non-Sex Crime May Trigger Management, Panel Says

By John Caher |

The state may initiate civil management proceedings against a sex offender who, while on supervised release, committed a non-sex crime, a state appeals panel has held.

Lawsuit Criticizes Ballot Question on Redistricting

By John Caher |

A ballot initiative to create an "independent" redistricting commission was "blatantly designed to perpetuate legislative and political control of the redistricting process," according to a lawsuit filed in Albany.

Personal Notes on Lawyers

Paul Weiss has added as partner Elizabeth Sacksteder from Citigroup; Arnold & Porter has added Alexander Shaknes, late of Winston & Strawn; and Bingham McCutchen has added former assistant U.S. attorney David Miller, among other moves and announcements.

Correction

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announces the state's share of Bank of America's $16.6 billion fraud settlement.

New York to Get $800M From Bank of America Accord

By Jenna Greene and Andrew Keshner |

In the largest-ever settlement between the U.S. government and a single company, Bank of America Corp. on Thursday agreed to pay $16.6 billion in penalties and consumer relief for selling toxic mortgage-backed securities—a sum that will include approximately $800 million in cash payments and relief for New York consumers.

Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested for attempting to march across the Brooklyn Bridge on Oct. 1, 2011.

Lawsuit Over 'Occupy' Bridge Arrests Proceeds

By John Caher |

Over a spirited dissent, the Second Circuit on Thursday refused to dismiss a class action by hundreds of Occupy Wall Street protestors who claim they were goaded by police into violating the law.

Kings County Supreme Court at 360 Adams St.

Media Outlets Shielded From Liability for Wrong Photo

By John Caher |

Media outlets that publicized a police photo of a suspected sexual predator—and then left the picture on their websites long after a misidentified man complained—cannot be held liable for defamation, a Bronx judge has held.

Richard Emery

Q&A: Richard D. Emery

By John Caher |

When Mayor Bill de Blasio decided the much-maligned Civilian Complaint Review Board needed a major makeover, he turned to an attorney with a career-long history of taking on the establishment—both as an outsider and an insider.

America's Cup Trustee Settles Lawsuit With Sailing Group

By Suevon Lee |

After three years of legal wrangling, a sailing group in North Carolina and the bearer of the prestigious America's Cup trophy reached a settlement late last month following court-ordered mediation in New York’s Commercial Division.

Bald Eagle drying out his feathers in Kodiak, Alaska.

Court Cites 'Hobby Lobby' in Fight Over Eagle Feathers

By Tony Mauro |

A federal appeals court on Wednesday invoked the U.S. Supreme Court's June 'Hobby Lobby' decision in a long-running legal battle over the possession of bald eagle feathers by members of an Indian tribe that is not federally recognized.

Plaintiff Counsel Bid for Fees in 'Citi' Case Rejected

By David Bario |

Barely 24 hours after hearing oral arguments, the Second Circuit refused Wednesday to revive claims that plaintiffs lawyers deserve $6 million in fees for supposedly helping to oust former Citigroup Inc. CEO Vikram Pandit and another Citi executive two years ago.

Robbery Conviction Upset Over Prosecutor's Remark

By Andrew Keshner |

The Second Department ordered a new robbery trial in light of a prosecutor's suggestion that another person in the one-witness case had implicated the defendant.

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman

Hearings on Civil Legal Services to Start Sept. 22

By Joel Stashenko |

The state court system's annual hearings on the need for civil legal services funding will begin at 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 22 at the Appellate Division, First Department, 27 Madison Ave.

Trinity Lower East Side Lutheran Parish

Firm Starts Legal Clinic at City Food Pantry

By Tania Karas |

Borah, Goldstein, Altschuler, Nahins & Goidel will send volunteer lawyers to Trinity's Services and Food for the Homeless to provide pro bono legal consultations at a monthly legal clinic. The food pantry will also refer matters to the firm throughout the month.

Gov. Cuomo

Cuomo Supports Ban on Bias Against Transgender People

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling on the state to outlaw discrimination against transgender people, saying gender identity and expression should be included in the state's civil rights law alongside race, religion and disability.

Personal Notes on Lawyers

Eight firms announce new additions, including Steptoe & Johnson, Latham & Watkins and Hunton & Williams.

New York City has approved a development plan for Willets Point after the demolition of Shea Stadium.

Court Dismisses Claims Against Willets Point

By Joel Stashenko |

The doctrine that imposes restrictions on using public lands for private purposes does not apply to a shopping mall-anchored development planned for the site where Shea Stadium once sat in Flushing, Queens, a judge has decided.

Brandon Palladino

Panel Blocks Man's Effort to Benefit From Victim's Estate

By Andrew Kesher |

Citing the "clear causal link" between a man's unlawful killing of his mother-in-law and the benefits he stood to gain, a Brooklyn appellate court has ruled that wrongdoers cannot indirectly inherit a victim's assets.

A Second Circuit courtroom at the Thurgood Marshall Courthouse, 40 Foley Square

Deportation for Felony Lacking Federal Element Upheld

By John Caher |

Parting with one sister court but joining four others, the Second Circuit has found that a noncitizen's state felony need not include a federal jurisdictional element to qualify as a deportable offense.

U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan

Judge Castigates 'Frivolous' Reconsideration Motion

By Jan Wolfe |

In a sharply worded ruling, Southern District Judge Lewis Kaplan once again rejected a racketeering case brought against Ireland's National Asset Management Agency, berating the plaintiffs and their lawyers for filing a "frivolous" motion asking him to reconsider his prior ruling dismissing the case on forum non conveniens grounds.

Standardd & Poor's NY headquarters.

S&P Presses Demand for DOJ, Treasury Department Records

By Amanda Bronstad |

Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC is demanding that the Justice Department and former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner turn over more documents, including communications with President Barack Obama, in the U.S. government’s $5 billion lawsuit against the ratings agency.

Zephyr Teachout

Teachout Survives Second Residency Challenge

By John Caher |

Although Fordham Law Professor Zephyr Teachout's chances at the polls remain to be seen, she is winning the court battle against Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Michael Caplan

Goodwin Proctor Names New Chief Operating Officer

By Christine Simmons |

Michael Caplan, who led efforts to manage legal costs at Marsh & McLennan Companies, has landed at Goodwin Procter as the law firm's incoming chief operating officer.

DA Offices to Receive New Money for Financial Cases

By Joel Stashenko |

Twelve district attorneys' offices will receive new or enhanced state funds to improve tax evasion and welfare fraud prosecutions.

Macy's Herald Square

Macy's to Pay $650,000 in Shopper-Profiling Probe

Under the agreement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, the retailer will adopt new policies on police access to its security camera monitors and against profiling, further train employees, investigate customer complaints, keep better records of detentions and report for three years on compliance.

 scales of justice in an empty courtroom

Former Law Firm Partner Is Disbarred

By Andrew Keshner |

An attorney who had been a named partner at his firm has resigned in the face of a pending disciplinary probe on whether he misappropriated client funds.