This Weeks News

ABA president Hilarie Bass addresses the House of Delegates at the ABA annual meeting in New York on Aug. 14.

ABA Grapples With Political Voice in Trump Era

By Christine Simmons |

President Donald Trump's rhetoric and actions continue to test the American Bar Association as it pursues its core goals, which include upholding the rule of law, enhancing diversity and eliminating bias.

Second Circuit Upholds DEC Decision to Reject Gas Pipeline

By Josefa Velasquez |

A federal appeals court on Friday rejected a lawsuit by owners of the natural-gas Constitution Pipeline challenging the state's decision last year not to grant water permits needed to build the pipeline.

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

NY Court Defines When LLCs Can Use Special Litigation Committees

By Jason Grant |

A special litigation committee cannot be used to determine the fate or direction of derivative claims brought on behalf of a New York limited liability company, unless its use is expressly written into the operating agreement, a Manhattan appeals court has ruled in an important decision of first impression.

As New Season Approaches, NFL, Media Dealmakers Building Up a Head of Stream

By Todd Cunningham |

Steven Smith, managing partner of Bryan Cave's Colorado Springs office, talks about the streaming boom currently collapsing the NFL-media pocket.

John Nevius

John Nevius, Anderson Kill Shareholder, Dies at 56

By Shibani Gokhale |

John Nevius, who was also a shareholder in Anderson Kill's insurance recovery group, was committed to education and was a popular teacher and mentor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University, his firm colleagues said.

SEC Follows DOJ's Lead, Drops London Whale Case

By B. Colby Hamilton |

Prosecutors said they were dismissing all charges, with prejudice, after reaching an agreement with counsel for the two defendants, Javier Martin-Artajo and Julien Grout.

Time-Share Unit Owners' Lawyer Praises $6.5 Million AG Settlement

By Josefa Velasquez |

A lawyer for a group of shareowners in the Midtown hotel the Manhattan Club said clients are awaiting news of restitution from the settlement after a yearslong investigation.

Lithuanian Man Brought to US to Face $100M Fraud Case

A Lithuanian businessman extradited to the United States to face charges that he duped Google and Facebook into sending him over $100 million was held without bail Thursday, hours after he was brought to the country.

After a Long In-House Career, Tennis Enthusiast Takes Act to DLA Piper

By Meghan Tribe |

Four decades after taking the court at what would eventually become the U.S. Open Tennis Championships, a longtime in-house lawyer at American International Group Inc. is headed to DLA Piper in New York, although he won’t be in attendance for the first serve festivities that start in the city later this month.

New Antitrust Suit Filed Over Alleged Stock Loan Collusion

By B. Colby Hamilton |

Calling the $1.72 trillion international stock loan market good for the banks that do the lending but "bad for virtually everyone else," a trio of pension funds filed a class action suit against six of the world's largest financial firms Thursday.

Failure to Supervise Thieving Bookkeeper Gets 6-Month Suspension

By Jason Grant |

Two veteran lawyers who ran a boutique practice in the Bronx have had their licenses suspended for failing to supervising a bookkeeper—and personal friend of one of the lawyers—who stole more than $2.5 million from firm bank accounts, including escrow accounts.

Appeals Court Finds for Uber, Says App Made Service Terms Clear

By B. Colby Hamilton |

Uber made it clear that users were agreeing to terms and conditions, including the waiving of a jury trial in favor of arbitration, when they downloaded and used the app, the Second Circuit ruled Thursday.

Calorie count on display at a Whole Foods store in Manhattan

Clash With Feds Leads to Delay in NYC's Enforcement of Calorie Labeling on Menus

By Andrew Denney |

Facing pushback from the federal government, New York City officials have decided to postpone the planned enforcement date for a law requiring some establishments to post calorie counts on their menus.

President Donald Trump speaks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower, Tuesday, Aug. 15, 2017 in New York.

Jewish Lawyers in Trump Orbit Stay (Mostly) Silent After Charlottesville

By Miriam Rozen |

Do the prominent lawyers representing President Donald Trump, his family and his administration—many of them Jewish—have a duty to object publicly to his comments about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia?

School Directors Indicted In $3M School Meal Scheme

By B. Colby Hamilton |

Two former directors of an Orthodox religious school in Brooklyn are accused of executing a $3 million school meal reimbursement scheme in a five-count indictment unsealed in Brooklyn federal court Thursday.

Long Island Sound

NY Sues EPA Over Long Island Sound Dumping Site

By Josefa Velasquez |

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed suit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in federal district court in Brooklyn Thursday, challenging the EPA's decision to allow dredging sediments to be dumped in the Long Island Sound.

NYS Warns Health Insurers They Must Cover Transgender Individuals

By Josefa Velasquez |

According to a letter sent to health insurers Wednesday, it had "come to the attention" of the Department of Financial Services that some insurers may be denying claims of transgender individuals "because the gender with which the individual identifies does not match the gender of someone to whom those services are typically provided."

State Approves 14.5 Percent Rate Hike for Health Plans in 2018

By Josefa Velasquez |

Health insurance rates for individuals and group plans in New York will increase next year by 14.5 and 9.3 percent respectively, less than the increases approved last year.

David Bookstaver

Spokesman's Ouster Follows Disclosure of Inadvertent Phone Message

By Andrew Denney |

David Bookstaver, a longtime spokesman for New York's Office of Court Administration, has been fired after reportedly inadvertently dialing a New York Post reporter and leaving a voicemail in which he could be heard laughing about how he "barely" showed up to work.

Eric T. Schneiderman

Timeshare Company Ordered to Pay $6.5M in Settlement

By Josefa Velasquez |

Owners and operators of the Manhattan Club reached a settlement with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman for misleading timeshare participants after a probe launched in 2014.

Consumer Financial Protection Bureau building in Washington, D.C.

Nothing 'Inappropriate' to See Here. CFPB Defends Going to State Regulators As Court Stalls Subpoena

By C. Ryan Barber |

In a court filing earlier this month, pension advance provider Future Income Payments said the CFPB was demanding information from state authorities that the company provided “generally under confidentiality restrictions.”

John Dowd.

Trump Lawyer John Dowd Forwards Email Equating Confederate Leader With George Washington

By David Bario |

After President Donald Trump said there were “very fine people on both sides” of the violent clashes in Charlottesville, one of his top lawyers circulated an email equating Confederate general Robert E. Lee with George Washington and saying Black Lives Matter had been “totally infiltrated” by terrorists, The New York Times reported.

A photo of Heather Heyer, who was killed during a white nationalist rally, sits on the ground at a memorial the day her life was celebrated at the Paramount Theater, Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, in Charlottesville, Va. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Little Legal Recourse for Supremacists Booted Off Tech Platforms, Experts Say

By David Ruiz |

A small group of tech companies are legally protected, for the most part, in their decisions to kick users off their platforms for privately and publicly espousing white supremacy.

Hogan Lovells offices at 555 13th Street, NW in Washington, D.C. October 25, 2016.

Hogan Lovells Hollers at HayBoo for Latest Lateral Hire

By Meghan Tribe |

Ricardo “Rick” Martinez, co-leader of the trade and export finance practice at Haynes and Boone, has joined Hogan Lovells as a partner in New York.

Robert Tembeckjian, Administrator of the Commission on Judicial Conduct

Judge Quits Bench Amid Alleged 'Duct Tape' Threat, Ex Parte Talks

By Jason Grant |

A Livingston County town and village justice under investigation for judicial misconduct—including charges he engaged in ex parte contact and threatened to tape shut a defendant's mouth—has resigned from both positions and agreed to never seek judicial office again.

David Friedman, left, and Robert Durst

Accused Killer Robert Durst Among Israel Ambassador's Clients at Kasowitz Firm

By Christine Simmons |

Before he became U.S. ambassador to Israel, former Kasowitz Benson Torres bankruptcy partner David Friedman represented real estate heir Robert Durst, who is listed in Friedman's U.S. government ethics disclosure. The disclosure form also shows Friedman made about $2.7 million from his partnership share in 2016.

A blue logo of Goldman Sachs on a metallic convex surface.

Employee Slams Goldman Sachs Diversity Practices in Discrimination Suit

By Erin Mulvaney |

The suit filed Wednesday says that the investment bank's leadership is "devoid of color" and claims racial and religious discrimination.

Sarah Louise Palin is an American politician, commentator, and author who served as the 11th Governor of Alaska from 2006 until her resignation in 2009.

Editorial Not Meant to Directly Link Palin to 2011 Arizona Shooting, Times Writer Says

By Andrew Denney |

A New York Times editorial that Sarah Palin said linked her to a 2011 mass shooting was intended to communicate that the incident was a product of a charged political atmosphere, not that it was caused directly by the former Alaska governor's rhetoric, the editor of the Times' editorial page said on Wednesday.

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

Former Bank IT Employee at Center of Alleged $5M Insider Scheme

By B. Colby Hamilton |

A former IT employee of an unnamed multinational bank is accused by federal authorities of running a $5 million insider trading scheme with six other defendants, according to parallel suits filed in Manhattan federal court Wednesday.

UK Litigation Funder Woodsford Puts $20M Toward Lewis Baach

By Scott Flaherty |

London-based Woodsford Litigation Funding Ltd. on Wednesday announced a $20 million investment deal with litigation boutique Lewis Baach Kaufmann Middlemiss—a move that comes less than a month after Woodsford opened its first U.S. outpost in Philadelphia.

On the Move

Former senior vice president and deputy general counsel for AIG Nicholas Kourides has joined DLA Piper, Kathryn von Matthiessen has rejoined Katten Muchin Rosenman as a partner in its trusts and estates practice, and other announcements of hires and promotions.

Kobre & Kim partners Steven Kobre, left, and Michael Kim, right.

Is Change Now Unstoppable for Law Firm Billing?

By Miriam Rozen |

New billing models are about to sweep the industry, according to one law firm leader who says alternative fees helped catapult his firm onto The Am Law 200 just 14 years after he founded it.

Allen & Overy’s Washington, D.C. offices.

Allen & Overy Adds Ashurst Finance Partner in NYC

By Rose Walker |

Less than a month after six partners left London-based legal giant Ashurst's New York office, one of those defectors, Lawrence Berkovich, has reemerged at Allen & Overy.

Augustus Invictus

Alt-Right Lawyer Who Organized Charlottesville Rally Launches Senate Bid

By Scott Flaherty |

Augustus Sol Invictus, a retired Florida lawyer, was one of the organizers of the "Unite the Right" rally that erupted in violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

A platinum Tiffany .70ct VS2.1 round diamond ring

Costco's Touting of 'Tiffany' Rings Infringed Trademark, Court Rules, Posting $19M Judgment

By Andrew Denney |

A federal judge in Manhattan ruled that Costco must cough up more than $19 million for selling rings under the luxury jewelry maker Tiffany's trademark, which is more than $5 million over the jury award—in profits and punitive damages—in the case handed up last year.

From left, Katherine Bolger, Rachel Strom and Nathan Siegel

Davis Wright Beefs Up First Amendment Group Amid 'Fake News' Attacks

By Christine Simmons |

In the midst of what some see as an uptick in libel cases, five attorneys involved in major defamation and First Amendment matters moved their practice this month from Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz to Davis Wright Tremaine, including New York partners Katherine Bolger and Rachel Strom and Washington, D.C., partner Nathan Siegel.

Milton Mollen.

Milton Mollen, 24-Year Judge and Head of NYPD Commission, Dead at 97

By Jason Grant and Andrew Denney |

Milton Mollen, a World War II veteran, a former presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, and chair of a historic committee that uncovered vast corruption within the New York City Police Department, has died.

Ahmad Khan Rahimi in December

Feds Can't Use NJ Flight Evidence Against Chelsea Bombing Defendant

By Andrew Denney |

In the impending trial for a man accused of planting bombs in New York City and New Jersey, prosecutors will not be able to submit evidence related to the defendant's alleged shootout with and flight from Linden, New Jersey police.

Governor Cuomo

In Response to Charlottesville, Cuomo Proposes Adding to Hate Crime Statute

By Josefa Velasquez |

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is proposing that New York's hate crimes law be amended to add inciting to riot and rioting to the list of offenses that are punishable as a hate crime when rioting is directed at a protected class—such as a racial or ethnic group—following the protests in Charlottesville this weekend that left three dead and a score injured.

Left to right: Shawnna Hoffman, IBM Global Cognitive Co-Leader; Brian Kuhn, Global Leader of IBM Watson Legal.

At ILTA, IBM Posits AI Is Necessity for Future Business of Law

By Ian Lopez |

IBM Watson Legal leaders put AI into context and discussed how it is being used in the legal industry.

Appellate Division, Third Department, courthouse in Albany

Challengers of Bona Fide Office Rule Sent Packing

By Jason Grant |

A Third Department panel has denied requests by a Massachusetts assistant attorney general and a private lawyer to waive the in-state office requirement of Judiciary Law §470 that would have allowed them to appear in a civil action brought against Massachusetts-based police departments.

KPMG Settles SEC Auditing Charges for $6.2M

By B. Colby Hamilton |

International accounting firm KPMG agreed to a $6.2 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, regulators announced Tuesday.

Cuomo Signs Bill Requiring Animal Rescue Groups to Register

By Josefa Velasquez |

Nonprofit animal shelters and rescue organizations in New York will now have to be licensed and inspected by the Department of Agriculture and Markets. Previously, the requirement applied only to pet stores and home-based sellers of cat and dogs.

Suspended FOX Host Suing Reporter Over Lewd Texting Allegations

Suspended Fox News host Eric Bolling last week filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against the Huffington Post contributing writer who broke a story that Bolling had allegedly sent lewd text messages to colleagues.

Lawmakers Seek Probe After Group Home Found Infested With Maggots

Two New York lawmakers are saying they want answers after a story from The Associated Press revealed a disabled man was infested with maggots at a state-run group home.

Sheldon Silver

Former Assembly Speaker Silver Gets New Trial Date

By B. Colby Hamilton |

Former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has his date in court—again.

Andrew Parnas.

A Mere Teen, This Young Man Is Heading to Law School

By Karen Sloan |

Thousands of new students are flocking to law campuses across the country this month to kick off their legal careers. It's safe to say that most all of them can legally order a beer at the bar. Not Boca Raton's Aaron Parnas.

Derek Jeter.

Half-Dozen Firms Help Jeter's Group Reel in MLB's Marlins

By Brian Baxter |

Wachtell, Skadden, Proskauer Rose, Foley & Lardner and Akerman are among a handful of large law firms advising on the proposed $1.2 billion sale of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins to an ownership group led by former New York Yankees star Derek Jeter and venture capitalist Bruce Sherman.

Donald Trump at a campaign rally in 2016.

'Uncharted Waters' for First Amendment in Trump Twitter Suit?

By B. Colby Hamilton |

Attorneys for the U.S. Department of Justice said a preliminary injunction to force President Donald Trump to unblock a group of plaintiffs on Twitter would "send the First Amendment deep into uncharted waters," according to a letter filed Aug. 11 .

New York State Capitol in Albany

Uber Spent $1.8M in 2017 to Legalize Ride-Hailing

By Josefa Velasquez |

As legislators in Albany considered expanding ride-hailing outside of New York City, Uber Technologies Inc. spent nearly $1.8 million on lobbyists and lobbying expenses for the first six months of the year, lobbying disclosures show.

Nelson Canter

McLaughlin & Stern to Pick Up Ex-Clausen Miller Partner

By Meghan Tribe |

Nelson Canter, who 14 years ago walked away from his post as an office managing partner at Clausen Miller to start his own firm, is now taking that practice to McLaughlin & Stern. In October, the former town justice in Westchester County, New York, will become head of his new firm's insurance subrogation practice.

 From left, Alexander Aleinikoff, director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility at The New School in New York City; Bree Bernwanger of the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco, Calif.; and Jojo Annobil, executive director of the Immigrant Justice Corps in New York, participate in a panel discussion on Deportation and Due Process on Friday.

The ABA Weekend Round-Up

By Shibani Gokhale |

Discussion of how lawyers can help solve workplace issues for immigrants and religious minorities was the focus of two panels at the ABA Annual Meeting on Friday, while Sunday saw experts connect the dots between state restrictions on women's rights and lack of access to programs benefiting low-income women and children.

Mary Kuczkir, the novelist better known as Fern Michaels

Faulting Both Sides, Judge Orders Novelist to Pay Lawyer $700K

By Christine Simmons |

A prolific, best-selling author who writes under the pen name Fern Michaels must pay more than $700,000 to her ex-attorney and onetime business partner, a federal judge in Manhattan has ruled.

Mirena IUD

IUD Users' Lawyer Says Bayer Admissions Should Revive Products Suit

By Andrew Denney |

An attorney for more than 1,200 women who say they were injured by the Mirena intrauterine device argued before a federal appeals court on Monday that their dismissed suit should be revived based on Bayer’s own admissions that its device can perforate the uterus.

ABA Report Promotes Changes to Treat Addiction, Depression

By Roy Strom |

A report released Monday by the American Bar Association hopes to help the legal profession address addiction and depression by detailing sweeping changes that bar regulators, judges, law firms, law schools and others can make to address what the report says amounts to a crisis in lawyers’ well-being.

Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other alt-right factions during a

Can an Employer Fire a White Supremacist?

By Erin Mulvaney |

The naming and shaming of a number of participants in the weekend's "Unite the Right" rally has underscored some tricky questions about how discriminatory views should be treated in the workplace.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

District Judge 'Erred Doubly,' Leading to Cuba Terror Reversal

By B. Colby Hamilton |

A district court order holding the Cuban government liable for a $45 million judgment under a federal terrorism law was reversed and remanded by the Second Circuit Monday.

El Chapo in U.S. custody after his extradition from Mexico.

Questions About Fees Put El Chapo Defense in Limbo

Private lawyers seeking to represent Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman in his U.S. drug-trafficking case failed to get assurances Monday that they'll get paid, leaving the Mexican drug lord's defense in limbo.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

NY Law Gets Tougher on Community Center Bomb Threats

Citing a string of bomb threats called into Jewish Community Centers and recent violence by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Gov. Cuomo said it was vital "now, more than ever" for New York to stand against "bias and hate."

Man Who Killed Dog in Toss From Balcony Pleads Guilty

A man who hurled his dog to its death has pleaded guilty to felony animal cruelty.

The House of Delegates votes on resolutions on Monday at the Hilton Hotel Midtown.

ABA Annual Meeting

By David Handschuh, Photographer |

The American Bar Association's annual meeting, August 10-15, was held in New York for the first time in 10 years. The event was primarily conducted at the midtown Hilton hotel, but the ABA partnered with over 20 bar associations in the city to host various events and ceremonies.

ABA pic

ABA Calls for Bar Admission of Undocumented Law Grads

By Karen Sloan |

Undocumented law graduates should not be denied the opportunity to join the bar and practice law based solely on their immigration status, according to the American Bar Association.

IBM Watson

Computational Compliance: IBM To Leverage AI-Engine Watson for RegTech Market

By Rhys Dipshan |

The growing market for regulation technology (regtech)—tools that help attorneys better understand and comply with various industry-specific laws—just got a new major player. Technology company IBM has entered the fold, aiming to leverage its artificial intelligence (AI) engine Watson in regulatory technology designed specifically for the financial industry.