This Weeks News

Peter Falk

'Falk's Law' to Strengthen Requirements for Guardians

By Joel Stashenko |

New obligations have been added to the responsibilities of people appointed in New York as the legal guardians of others due to their incapacitation.

Investment Bank's Malpractice Suit Against MoFo Dismissed

By Christine Simmons |

A judge has dismissed an investment bank’s malpractice suit against Morrison & Foerster claiming the law firm failed to conduct due diligence that would have uncovered fraud in a public offering.

New Foreclosure Law in NY Boosts Consumer Protection

By Joel Stashenko |

A new law in New York will require that foreclosed-on properties not be allowed to lie vacant for long and that more protections be built into the foreclosure process for consumers.

Worldview Entertainment at 1384 Broadway

Panel Upholds Claim for Breach in 'Birdman' Suit

By Jason Grant |

An investor and and former Worldview Entertainment executive can move forward with multimillion dollar claims for breach of contract and loss of an executive producer credit on the film "Birdman," a Manhattan appeals court has ruled.

New York City Bar Association, 42 W 44th St.7-22-2016

Bar Associations in New York Call for Diversity CLE

By Andrew Denney |

The New York City Bar Association and a coalition of bar groups for women and minorities are calling on the state court system to create new requirement for attorneys to take courses in diversity and inclusion as part of its biennial registration.

Big Law Firms Play Cameos in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Forfeiture Case

By By Zoe Tillman |

Several major law firms handled funds stolen in a billion-dollar global money laundering scheme, according to federal prosecutors—money that was used to finance the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street” and pay for real estate, art, a $35 million private jet, and other luxuries.

Taylor Swift, left, arriving at the 2016 Grammy Awards. Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, right, arriving at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards.

Kim Kardashian vs. Taylor Swift: The Legal Implications of the Snapchat Recording

On Sunday, Kim Kardashian West posted a recording of a conversation on Snapchat between her husband Kanye West and Taylor Swift that was allegedly recorded without Swift’s consent — a potential violation of California state law requiring both parties to consent to the recording of communications.

Jonathan Lippman

Lippman to Receive First Judicial Leadership Award

By Joel Stashenko |

Jonathan Lippman will be the first recipient of an award from a coalition of judicial groups in recognition of his work in New York while serving as chief judge and chief administrative judge.

Justice Moulton

Theft Can’t Block Hiring of Bus Attendant, Judge Says

By Jason Grant |

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge has ruled that a woman convicted of theft can be given security clearance to work as a city school bus attendant because there was not enough of a tie in between her criminal record and the job she would be performing.

Eric Schneiderman.

AG, Utica Schools Settle Dispute Over Immigrants

By Joel Stashenko |

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Utica public school officials have settled a suit in which the state claimed some immigrant children in the city were not given a fair opportunity to get diplomas.

<b>FILED:</b> Quinn Emanuel’s Sheila Birnbaum brought State Farm’s case to the high court.

Birnbaum Steps Down As 9/11 Fund Master

By Joel Stashenko |

Sheila Birnbaum, special master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, said Thursday she will step down by the end of the month.

Susan Estrich, of Quinn Emanuel, and Fox News chief Roger Ailes (Wikimedia).

Ailes Resigns From Fox News Amid Furor Over Carlson Suit

By Charles Toutant |

Roger Ailes, the Fox News chairman and CEO, has resigned from his post, effective immediately, the network's parent company announced Thursday.

The Under-the-Radar Work Of the Appellate Division

By David B. Saxe |

The work of the First Department includes many types of matters other than the disposition of appeals.

The Rikers Island complex consists of ten jails.

NYC to Move Teens Off Rikers Island Jail Complex

New York City officials say 16- and 17-year-old inmates will be moved off the troubled Rikers Island jail complex and into a Bronx youth facility.

Circuit: Robbery Under NY Law Not a 'Crime of Violence'

By Andrew Denney |

A conviction of first-degree robbery in New York is not necessarily a "crime of violence" as the term is defined by federal sentencing guidelines, an appeals court said in ordering resentencing for a man deemed a career offender after he bit a federal marshal's finger.

Claims Stick in N.Y. Man's Suit Alleging Sexual Degradation

By Joel Stashenko |

A federal judge on July 19 kept alive several claims brought by a bus mechanic who contends he was sexually degraded by his co-workers in an incident later posted online.

Richard Lerner, left, and Frederick Oberlander.

Lawyers Again Seek to Snare Firms and Trump With Claims

By Christine Simmons |

Several law firms are again being sued alongside real estate development firm Bayrock and its associates in a lawsuit alleging a series of state tax frauds, according to a newly unsealed lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Court Reopens 1989 'Batman' Murder to Probe Brady Issue

By Jason Grant |

A state appeals court has ordered a hearing in a decades-old murder case to determine whether a Bronx prosecutor wrongfully held back information that a witness had struck a deal with federal prosecutors before he testified.

Holland & Knight Hires Two Schulte Roth Lawyers

By Christine Simmons |

Lisa Prager and Lara Covington, two white-collars defense lawyers from Schulte Roth & Zabel, joined Holland & Knight as partners this week.

Georgetown University Law Center professor David Cole.

ACLU Names Georgetown Law Prof David Cole as New Legal Director

Cole's career move poses recusal issues for his wife, Judge Nina Pillard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Nominations Sought for Top Women in Law Awards

The New York Law Journal is seeking nominations for accomplished female attorneys in New York’s legal community who represent excellence in private practice, corporate counsel work, public interest law, legal education and the judiciary.

650 Fifth Ave.

Circuit Reverses Ruling Granting Forfeiture to Terror Victims

By Joel Stashenko |

The Second Circuit found unanswered legal questions about whether American properties, acquired with Iranian government funds, are subject to forfeiture to benefit victims of terrorist activities sponsored by Iran, reversing Southern District Judge Katherine Forrest's grant of summary judgment and remanding the two cases back to the district court.

Students taking a simulated multi-state bar examination in 2014 at the Jacob J. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

Countdown to New York's First Uniform Bar Exam

By Andrew Denney |

Nearly 11,000 lawyer-hopefuls are set to take next week's New York bar exam, which will include a new twist on the traditional rite of passage.

From left, Shearman & Sterling partners Heather Kafele and Beau Buffier, and Wigdor Law LLP partner Douglas Wigdor, senior associate Renan Varghese and associate Elizabeth Chen in Kenya.

Pro Bono NY Lawyers Train Kenyans to Better Prosecute Poaching

By Sarah Betancourt |

Two partners from Shearman & Sterling and a group from Wigdor LLP have joined a pro bono effort to help officials in Kenya prosecute poachers more effectively.

The Appellate Division, Second Department, at 45 Monroe Place, Brooklyn

Queens Prosecutors See Tactics Scrutinized by Second Department

By Jason Grant |

Court watchers say that the Second Department has been issuing more opinions that fault prosecutors, including this month's reversal of a murder conviction.

Senator Ted Stevens (R-AK) leaves the E. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse following deliberations in his corruption trial. October 27, 2008.

DOJ Prosecution Manual Ruled Exempt From Disclosure

An internal prosecution guide developed by the U.S. Department of Justice in the aftermath of the failed case against the late Sen. Ted Stevens is exempt from public records requests, a federal appeals court in Washington ruled on Tuesday.

Architectural rendering of Pier 55 project.

Panel Allows Work to Start on Pier 55 Project in NYC

By Joel Stashenko |

An appellate court has modified an injunction it issued in June by allowing the sponsors of a disputed park project to drive nine piles that would support a platform of land over the Hudson River.

60 Centre St.

Judge Denies Company's Bid to Change Defense

By Andrew Denney |

A defendant in a suit filed by a tenant who alleges her possessions were mistakenly cleared out of her apartment while she was away on vacation cannot add a statute of limitations defense more than four years after the action was filed, a Manhattan judge has ruled.

Pre-War Art Inc. in Beverly Hills

Art Gallery to Pay State $4.28M in Back Sales Taxes

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Gagosian Gallery's California affiliate, Pre-War Art, Inc., sold and shipped nearly $40 million of art to customers in New York without collecting or remitting state and local taxes between 2005 and 2015.

The Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation held a public hearing Monday at the New York City Bar Association. From left, commissioners Barry Cozier, senior counsel at LeClairRyan; James Lack, a former state senator and former Court of Claims judge; Shelia Birnbaum, a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan; Mitra Hormozi, Revlon's general counsel and chief compliance officer; Fran Reiter, a partner at the Reiter Giuliani Group; and Roman Hedges, former deputy secretary of the Assembly's Ways and Means Committee, heard testimony from New York State Bar Association President David Miranda, seated left.

Pay Board to Consider Raises For Lawmakers, Officials

By Joel Stashenko |

Now that it has set higher pay levels for state judges for the next three years, the New York Commission on Legislative, Judicial and Executive Compensation is working toward recommending raises for state legislators and executive branch officials.

On the Move

Brian Corrigan joined Farrell Fritz as a partner in the firm's estate litigation department, Kelley Drye & Warren named two new partners, John Dellaportas and Andrew Lee, and other announcements.

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore

Benefits of Overhauling NY Constitution Is Focus of Judicial Task Force

By Joel Stashenko |

Chief Judge Janet DiFiore has assembled a 15-member group that she says will study the Judiciary Article of the New York state constitution and determine whether staging a constitutional convention would benefit the courts.

Paul Spinelli, who took this Super Bowl 50 image in February, is one of several photographers suing the NFL and The Associated Press.

NFL, AP Can't Shake Photographers' Unfair Contract Suit, Judge Rules

By Jason Grant |

A group of freelance photographers have sufficiently alleged that they were pressured into unfair contracts, Southern District Judge Robert Sweet ruled on Friday.

Three children in silhouette

Faulting Counsel's Advocacy, Panel Reverses Neglect Finding

By Andrew Denney |

A divided upstate appeals court found that, while a lower court properly determined that a mother neglected her three children, the children's trial attorney failed to advocate for the wish of two of the children to remain with the mother and thus provided ineffective assistance of counsel.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman discusses a lawsuit against Volkswagen on Tuesday with Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, right.

Volkswagen Accused of Fraud by NY, Others

By David Klepper |

New York state, Massachusetts and Maryland are suing Volkswagen and its affiliates Audi and Porsche over diesel emissions cheating, alleging that the German automakers defrauded customers and violated state environmental laws by selling diesel vehicles equipped with software allowing them to cheat emissions testing.

Stephen Cozen.

Cozen O'Connor Founder Says Release of '28 Pages' Boosts 9/11 Suit

By Gina Passerella |

The release of 28 previously classified pages from the 9/11 Commission report, says Steven Cozen, is an affirmation of what he's been arguing in court for 13 years—and it may have come at just the right time for his law firm, Cozen O'Connor.

Matthew Biben

Debevoise Partner Named to Judicial Nomination Commission

By Joel Stashenko |

Matthew Biben has been named by state Chief Judge Janet DiFiore as a member of the state Commission on Judicial Nomination. The next scheduled vacancy for which the commission will propose candidates will occur when Judge Eugene Pigott Jr. steps down Dec. 31 due to mandatory retirement rules.

The high court split 4-4 in June on the Obama administration's immigration policies, leaving in place a nationwide injunction.

Justice Department Seeks Immigration Case Rehearing

The U.S. Justice Department on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rehear a challenge to the Obama administration's plan to delay the deportation of nearly five million undocumented immigrants.

Third Circuit Upholds Rule for NJ Federal Practice

An appeals court has refused to revive a case brought by universal bar admission advocates who wanted to make it easier for out-of-state lawyers to practice in New Jersey's federal courts.

Baker & McKenzie Counsels Facebook in Tax Dispute

By Ben Hancock |

Baker & McKenzie is representing Facebook Inc. in its dispute with the IRS over the value of assets the company transferred to its Irish holding company.


Obama Nominees Caught Between Judicial Dreams, Practice Realities

By Zoe Tillman |

If history is a guide, the Senate won't vote on most of the 49 federal district and appeals court nominees pending at the start of the summer recess on July 15. The uncertainty can be especially difficult to navigate for nominees in private practice.

Magistrate Judge Gary Brown and Kathleen Sweet

Two U.S. Court Candidates in New York Face Uncertainty

By Joel Stashenko |

Candidates for district court seats at opposite ends of New York state are caught up in the uncertainty whether the U.S. Senate will act on President Obama's nominations to district court judgeships.

Appellate Division, Third Department, courthouse in Albany

Panel Orders New Trial for Man Charged in Wife's Death

By Joel Stashenko |

Chief among the defense counsel's errors cited by the Third Department was the failure to challenge statements by the prosecution that testing had conclusively linked the blood stains found on the sweatshirt the defendant wore on the morning his wife disappeared with her DNA.

Brad Smith.

Chief Legal Officer Offers Insight Into Microsoft's Win

We'll never know exactly what arguments persuaded the Second Circuit to side with Microsoft Corp. in its closely watched privacy test case against the U.S. government. But some of the strategies devised by Microsoft's legal team, led by chief legal officer Brad Smith, such as simplifying the issues and attracting broad amicus support, probably didn't hurt.

Orrick Promises Direct Loan Help to Indebted First-Year Associates

By Nell Gluckman |

The race among Big Law firms to woo the best law school graduates continued Friday, with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe announcing that it will start helping its first-year associates pay down their student debt this year.

The Court of Appeals in Albany

Panel Seeks Applicants for Court of Appeals

The state Commission on Judicial Nomination is soliciting applicants for the vacancy on the Court of Appeals that will exist due to Judge Eugene Pigott Jr. reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70.

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Foley Square

Circuit: Defendant Entitled to Alleged Rape Victim's Psychiatric Report

By Andrew Denney and Joel Stashenko |

The state Court of Appeals erred when it decided a defendant was not entitled to use as Brady material the psychiatric report of a woman the defendant was accused of sexually assaulting, a federal appeals court held.

Roger Quillen

Georgia Firm Opens NYC Office With Ogletree Team

Fisher & Phillips, an Atlanta-based labor and employment firm, is opening a New York office with a five-lawyer team from Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart.

LeGaL to Screen Candidates for Civil Court in NYC

The LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York invites all candidates who will be on the ballot for Civil Court in New York City to appear before its screening panel.

Despite Error, Panel Upholds Ruling on Juror Removal

By Joel Stashenko |

The Third Department said that although the trial judge failed to perform the third and final step of the process of reviewing a Batson challenge, the defense did not object properly and the matter was unpreserved for review.

The Appellate Division, Second Department, at 45 Monroe Place, Brooklyn

Justices Cite Credibility in Tossing Conviction

By Sarah Betancourt |

An appeals court has thrown out a defendant's drug and gun convictions, saying the actions of the arresting officer "cast doubt" on his credibility.

NYC Municipal Attorneys Recognized

The New York City Bar Association presented its 2016 Municipal Affairs Awards for outstanding service by assistant corporation counsels.

Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse at 40 Foley Square

Court May Decertify Class Even After Jury Verdict, Circuit Rules

By Andrew Denney |

A federal district court presiding over a class action suit against a mortgage lender that allegedly overcharged borrowers on late fees had the power to decertify the class after a jury awarded it $32 million and prior to final judgment in the case, the Second Circuit has ruled.

Ted Olson of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson Dunn Off Circuit Case Where Ex-Partner Is on Panel

By Marcia Coyle |

Two members of the Second Circuit panel set to hear New York financier Lynn Tilton's challenge to the constitutionality of the SEC's in-house judges disqualified Theodore Olson and the team of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher attorneys Tilton hired after the panel was announced based on the third panel member's, Judge Robert Sack, former partnership at that firm.

Lawrence K. Marks

Cuomo Urged to Approve Broader Access to Counsel at Arraignments

By Joel Stashenko |

Proponents of creating new countywide arraignment courts outside of New York City say their approach would effectively address the state’s long-standing difficulties of providing legal representation to all indigent criminal defendants. A bill approved by the state Senate and Assembly in the final hours of lawmakers’ 2016 session makes practical sense for local magistrates, prosecutors, defense attorneys and defendants by consolidating the off-hours processing of many criminal suspects, supporters say.

Albany Law School

Two-Year J.D. Programs Catch On, With Some Missteps

By Karen Sloan |

Albany Law School is the latest to launch a two-year juris doctor program, and more than a dozen schools around the country now offer students the option to shave a year—and in some cases a year of tuition—off their legal educations.

MDL Panel's Increasing Denials Reflect Heightened Scrutiny

A federal judiciary panel last year rejected a record number of requests to coordinate multidistrict litigation, adding a new level of scrutiny for attorneys who petition to get large numbers of cases across the country combined under the pretrial procedure.

A Delta baggage carousel at Hartfield-Jackson International Airport.

Class Certified in Price-Fixing Case Over Delta, AirTran Baggage Fees

A federal judge in Atlanta has given class status to a sweeping price-fixing case that accuses two national airlines of conspiring to start charging baggage fees.

James McGuire

Former Appellate Justice Leaves Dechert for Boutique

By Christine Simmons |

James McGuire, a former justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, has left Dechert to join litigation boutique Holwell Shuster & Goldberg as a partner focusing on civil and criminal litigation and regulatory matters.

Bart Schwartz

Cuomo Hires Ex-Prosecutor to Review Economic Initiative

Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration is paying Bart Schwartz, who once led the U.S. attorney's criminal division in Manhattan, up to $450,000 for an internal review of Cuomo's Buffalo Billion, the economic development effort now under investigation by Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Queens Solo Practitioner Convicted on Sex Charges

By Andrew Denney |

A Queens solo attorney has been convicted of charges that he engaged in sexual acts with two 16-year-old girls in exchange for money.

Tom Brady

Brady to Drop Appeal, Serve 'Deflategate' Suspension

Tom Brady said he will not ask the U.S. Supreme Court to block his four-game "Deflategate" suspension, ending his fight in a scandal that tested the power of the NFL commissioner and tarnished the reputation of one of the sport's greatest players.

The Eastern District courthouse in Central Islip, Suffolk County

Eastern District Mounts Civics Lesson for Students

By Sarah Betancourt |

The Eastern District is sponsoring a week-long civics program in cooperation with the Federal Bar Association and Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center of Law staring Monday.