This Weeks News

Female cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Court Allows Claim of Sexual Hostility at Military Academy

Mark Hamblett | April 20, 2015

A woman who says she was forced to resign as a cadet from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point because of rampant sexual hostility and policies that strongly discourage the reporting of sexual assault can pursue her lawsuit against two former top officers at the academy, a federal judge has ruled.

Tardy Foreclosure Answer Should Be Accepted, Panel Says

By Andrew Keshner |

Saying it was best to decide cases on the merits, a divided Manhattan appellate court ruled that a judge should have compelled a bank to accept a homeowner's late answer in a foreclosure action.

Cherie Blair speaks at the New York International Arbitration Center. At right is John Pierce, a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr.

Challenge Critics, Arbitration Lawyer Urges Conference

By Ben Bedell |

Leading international arbitration lawyer Cherie Blair, as part of a panel that discussed developments in dispute resolution between corporations, as well as "investor-state dispute settlement" at the New York International Arbitration Center Thursday, said that "in this globally connected world, no nation has complete sovereignty anymore."

Judge to Review Mental Health Records in Lawsuit

By Joel Stashenko |

The New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. must turn over for in camera review the mental health records of a woman who was found unfit to stand trial for killing a 2-year-old in 2010 by throwing him off the seventh-floor balcony of his Queens apartment building, a judge decided.

Court-Appointed Monitor Faults Apple

By Larry Neumeister |

Apple Inc.'s cooperation with efforts to improve its compliance with antitrust laws after a federal judge concluded it colluded with electronic book publishers to raise prices five years ago has taken on an "adversarial tone" recently, a court-appointed monitor said.

NYCLA Law Day Luncheon Presentation

The Supreme Court Committee of the New York County Lawyers' Association presented the 2015 Justice Louis J. Capozzoli Gavel Award Friday at the association's Law Day luncheon to New York State Court of Appeals Associate Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam.

Tech Offers New Look Inside Rare Books

Ellyssa Kroski, director of Information Systems at the New York Law Institute, demonstrated an augmented reality tour of a rare book at the NYLI's Treasures and Technology event on Friday.

Loretta Lynch during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to replace Eric Holder Jr. as the next U.S. Attorney General.  January 28, 2015.

Delay in Lynch Vote Is Embarrassing, Obama Says

By Mike Sacks |

"There are times where the dysfunction in the Senate just goes too far. This is an example of it," President Barack Obama said Friday. "Call Loretta Lynch for a vote, get her confirmed, put her in place, let her do her job."

Judge Orders Facebook Data Disclosed in Liability Suit

By Andrew Keshner |

A woman suing her former school district in connection to the sexual contact she had with a teacher must disclose certain information on her Facebook account.

Baruch College

Hazing Death Claim Can Proceed, Judge Says

By Joel Stashenko |

The family of a dead college student may file a late notice of intent to sue Baruch College over its alleged failure to prevent his apparent fraternity hazing death in 2013, a state Court of Claims judge has determined.

Firefighters' Pensions Are Public Record, Judge Rules

By Joel Stashenko |

The names of former New York City firefighters and the public pensions they are receiving must be released under the state Freedom of Information Law to a group that is building a database of public employee pensioners, a judge ruled.

Alan Newton outside the federal courthouse at 500 Pearl St. in Manhattan

City Asks Full Circuit to Reject 'Novelty' of $18M Ruling

By Mark Hamblett |

New York City is fighting the reinstatement of an $18 million verdict against police for the mishandling of a rape kit that delayed the exoneration of a man for 12 years.

Maurice Greenberg

State’s Case Against Greenberg Clears Another Barrier to Trial

By Joel Stashenko |

New York state's civil fraud case may go forward against AIG former chairman and CEO Maurice "Hank" Greenberg and the insurance giant's former chief financial officer, the First Department said Thursday in the latest ruling in the labyrinthine legal battle.

Justice Sunshine

Judge, With Reservations, Grants Father Appointed Counsel

By Andrew Denney |

While expressing "very serious concerns" that a father who holds an advanced business degree and reportedly once had a six-figure salary can't find a job or afford a lawyer for child custody proceedings, a judge nevertheless granted his request for publicly funded counsel.

A 2005 Chevy Cobalt

GM Shielded From Ignition Suits, Bankruptcy Court Rules

By By Amanda Bronstad |

Southern District Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber has barred many of the claims brought against General Motors Co. prior to its 2009 exit from bankruptcy over its ignition-switch defect, which could shield it from as much as $10 billion in claims.

Jeffrey Friedlander

Friedlander to Retire as 2nd in NYC Law Department

By Jeff Storey |

Jeffrey Friedlander, the longest-serving second-in-command in the history of the New York City Law Department, is leaving the office.

Jeffrey Friedlander

Q&A: Jeffrey Friedlander

By Jeff Storey |

As a student, Jeffrey Friedlander said he was only "vaguely aware" of the New York City Law Department. But one of his professors at NYU Law School recruited him, and he ended up spending his entire professional career there—a 44 year run that will end in a few months, he announced Wednesday.

Pennsylvania Station in 1962, two years before demolition

Exhibit Marks 50th Anniversary of City Landmarks Law

By Ula Ilnytzky |

To mark the 50th anniversary of New York City's Landmarks Law, a new exhibition looks at the architectural losses that led up to the law and how it has helped shape neighborhoods today that blend both the old and new.

NYPD officer

Warrant Offers No Shield for False Arrest, Panel Says

By Ben Bedell |

The fact that a bench warrant for littering was outstanding when police arrested a Bronx man on unrelated charges does not shield them from liability for false arrest, an appellate panel ruled Thursday.

Auditors to Pay $10 Million to Settle State Lawsuit

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has settled a lawsuit against Ernst & Young over auditing at the now-defunct investment bank Lehman Brothers for $10 million.

James T. Foley Courthouse, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York

Judge Tosses Imprisonment Case of 'Good Samaritan'

By Joel Stashenko |

A federal judge has thrown out a civil rights suit filed by a man who said his year-long imprisonment violated the state's law precluding drug possession prosecutions of "good Samaritans" who report overdoses by their companions.

Southern District Judge Richard Berman

Judge Rebuffs Challenge to SEC Administrative Case

By Mark Hamblett |

A federal court has subject matter jurisdiction over a person's pre-enforcement challenge that administrative proceedings by the SEC violate the U.S. Constitution, Southern District Judge Richard Berman held Wednesday, although he refused to grant a preliminary injunction to Standard & Poor's managing director Barbara Duka.

A sign at the entrance to state Supreme Court at 60 Centre St. in Manhattan

OCA Bill Seeks to Accelerate Mandatory E-Filing Statewide

By Joel Stashenko |

Passage of the measure would make unnecessary the nearly annual ritual of the courts going to the Legislature for authorization to expand e-filing on a county-by-county or court-by-court basis.

Protesters outside the Staten Island Supreme Court on Feb. 5.

Appellate Court Asked to Hear Garner Jury Records Case

By Andrew Keshner |

The petitioners who could not convince a trial judge to open up the Eric Garner grand jury records last month now want a state appeals court to hear arguments on their case by late June.

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

Default Judgment Canceled by Lack of Notice

By Andrew Keshner |

Defendants who appear in a case but then default in the course of litigation are entitled to at least a five-day notice of the time and place of a motion to enter a default judgment, a Brooklyn appellate court has ruled.

Court Rejects Challenge to Ban on Gay 'Conversion Therapy'

By Charles Toutant |

For the second time in less than a year, the Third Circuit has turned back a challenge to New Jersey's ban on so-called gay "conversion therapy" for minors.

State Settles Suit Over Death of Disabled Resident

New York state on Wednesday settled for $2.25 million a lawsuit filed by a family who claimed the staff at an upstate residential center beat their severely disabled 22-year-old son with a stick, neglected him and left him malnourished before he died of pneumonia.

City Hall

Council Proposes Bail Fund for Low-Level Offenders

By Andrew Denney |

The New York City Council has proposed establishing a bail fund to help low-income, low-level offenders who have bail amounts of $2,000 or less be released from jail. It would be replenished as offenders show up for court dates and pay fines.

Douglas Wigdor in front of a SoulCycle studio on 18th St. in Manhattan.

Claims Trimmed in Lawyer's Suit Against Fitness Chain

By Ben Bedell |

A Manhattan Supreme Court judge refused to completely dismiss a lawsuit against SoulCycle, the New York-based fitness chain, filed by a lawyer who had brought a Labor Law case against the company and was then banned from using its facilities.

'Tina's Wish' Honors Clinton

By Rick Kopstein, Photographer |

Former President Bill Clinton received the Tina's Wish Global Women's Health Award from Southern District Bankruptcy Chief Judge Cecelia Morris Tuesday at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in Manhattan.

On the Move

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, O'Melveny & Myers, Schiff Hardin and Pavia & Harcourt have each added a new partner.

The Rikers Island complex consists of ten jails.

Collaboration Seeks to Trim Backlog, City Jail Population

By Andrew Keshner |

A coordinated effort to reduce court backlogs was announced Tuesday by New York City and state courts. The city said moving offenders more quickly through the system could lead to a reduction in the population of its troubled jails, including Rikers Island, which currently has about 11,000 detainees.

Judicial Hearing Officer Eugene Schwartzwald presides over Summons Court this month.

New York City, Courts Making Summonses Harder to Ignore

By Jake Pearson and Andrew Keshner |

Every year, about 40 percent of the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers receiving familiar pink tickets for low-level offenses ignore, forget or otherwise miss their appointed court dates, resulting in arrest warrants and even jail time.

Rolando T. Acosta

'Long Arm' of NY Courts Can Reach Brazil, Panel Rules

By Ben Bedell |

The allegation that a Brazilian citizen and resident and his two Brazil-focused investment funds negotiated and signed a shareholder agreement with the plaintiff in New York was sufficient to support New York jurisdiction, a split First Department panel ruled Tuesday.

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

No Privilege for Defunct Companies, Judge Concludes

By Mark Hamblett |

The attorney-client privilege does not apply to documents belonging to corporation that is now dissolved, according to a federal magistrate judge in a civil enforcement action over a stock pump-and-dump scheme.

Two More Former Dewey Leaders Sued Over Firm's Sale of Notes

By Nell Gluckman |

An insurance company that had its case against three former Dewey & LeBoeuf leaders stayed pending the outcome of a criminal case is now shifting its attention to two other executives, alleging they disseminated information that was "materially false and misleading" when the now-defunct law firm sold the insurance company $35 million in secured notes in 2010.

Brooklyn Supreme and Family Court at 320/330 Jay St.

Citing Scarcella Concerns, Judge Vacates Conviction

By Joel Stashenko |

The "false and misleading" investigatory practices of former New York City Police Department detective Louis Scarcella were cited Tuesday by a judge who vacated a 1992 murder conviction in the slaying of an off-duty correction officer and ordered a new trial.

Attorney, 80, to Serve 30 Days for Theft From Firm

By Andrew Denney |

A Long Island attorney convicted of stealing more than $950,000 from a firm where he was a named partner received a 30-day jail sentence and five years of probation Tuesday.

Panel Overturns Denial of Victim's Late Claim Notice

By Joel Stashenko |

An appeals court unanimously reversed a state Supreme Court decision denying an severely injured accident victim's attempt to file a late notice of claim against New York City for a fall she suffered iwhile walking past a construction site in the Bronx.

An elevator shaft

Panel Rejects Amendment as 'Patently Devoid of Merit'

By Andrew Denney |

A trial court erred in allowing the family of two brothers who died in a 2007 elevator accident to add an allegation of gross negligence and demand punitive damages in their lawsuit against the property owner and the elevator operator, an appellate court ruled.

Sheldon Silver Son-in-Law Charged in Ponzi Scheme

Marcello Trebitsch was charged with defrauding investors out of $7 million in a Ponzi scheme, according to a federal complaint. Silver's daughter, Michelle Trebitsch, who co-owns the investment firm Allese Capital with her husband, has not been charged.

On the Move

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel has added two partners to its intellectual property department.

Flags of the European Union, of which the European Community is a pillar. The European Community won the right to proceed with its racketeering suit against RJR Nabisco.

Circuit Declines En Banc Review of RJR Nabisco Ruling

By Mark Hamblett |

Second Circuit judges who argued against allowing the European Community to pursue civil racketeering claims against RJR Nabisco for an alleged global money laundering conspiracy have lost their bid to have the full court decide the issue.

Yasmin Pujols' flier offering her babysitting services to her Washington Heights neighbors.

Court Annuls Woman's $11,175 Fine for Posting Fliers

By Andrew Denney |

New York City violated the constitutional rights of a babysitter by fining her more than $11,000 for posting handbills advertising her business on city-owned property, a state trial court ruled.

Queens DA Seeks High Court Consideration of Interview Opinion

By Joel Stashenko |

The Court of Appeals' decision to invalidate a pre-arraignment interviewing technique by the Queens District Attorney's Office "fundamentally, dangerously and dramatically" misinterpreted the purpose of Miranda warnings, prosecutors have argued in papers before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Negligence Claim Against City Filed Too Late, Panel Says

By Andrew Denney |

A man whose computers were seized as evidence by the NYPD but destroyed before he could retrieve them waited too long to seek damages, an appellate court has ruled.

New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver speaks to the media as he leaves the Southern District federal court on Thursday after his arrest on public corruption charges. Silver is surrounded by his counsel, from left, Joel Cohen, a partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan; and Steven Molo and Justin Shur, partners at MoloLamken.

Judge Faults Bharara but Keeps Charges Against Silver

By Mark Hamblett |

Southern District Judge Valerie Caproni, in denying Former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's motion to dismiss, criticized Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara for venturing "close to the edge" in January with public comments about corruption in Albany on the day that Silver was charged and in the days that followed.

Dewey & Leboeuf's former office

Jury Selection Process Mapped for Dewey Trial

By Christine Simmons |

The former leaders of Dewey & LeBoeuf who are criminally charged with overseeing a massive fraud at the firm gathered Monday with their attorneys and Manhattan prosecutors to discuss the difficult process of finding jurors who could hear a trial lasting possibly six months.

Target Corp. is among the retailers that received letters from the New York attorney general's office requesting information on their on-call practices for employees.

Attorney General Questions Retailers' On-Call Practices

New York's attorney general has launched an inquiry into 13 major retailers, questioning the practice of keeping workers on call for shifts on short notice and possible violations of the state requirement to pay hourly staff for at least four hours when they report for work.

'Ruth Bader Ginger' Flavor Ice Cream Gains Support

By Marcia Coyle |

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been the subject of law review articles, books, editorials, T-shirts and now, possibly, ice cream activism.

The Stingray phone-tracking device by Harris Corporation

NYCLU Says Records Belie Claims of Judicial Review

By Joel Stashenko |

Records disclosed by a county sheriff's department under judicial order appear to show that the police agency obtained a court order only once out of 47 times it used a cellphone tracking device known as a "Stingray" between 2010 and 2014, the New York Civil Liberties Union said.

One World Trade Center

Prosecutors Probe Contract for WTC Observation Deck

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office has subpoenaed records pertaining to "the procurement process for the award of the lease" for the World Trade Center's observation deck, which was awarded to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones' company.