This Weeks News

Egyptian Adel Abdul Bary, 54, wipes away tears while facing Southern District Judge Lewis Kaplan Friday. Kaplan said he needed more information before accepting the terrorist's guilty plea.

Judge Wants More Information on Terrorist's Guilty Plea

Mark Hamblett | September 22, 2014

Al Qaida spokesman Adel Abdul Bary tearfully admitted Friday to a conspiracy that included the murder of 224 people at U.S. embassies in Africa in 1998, but the case is not over.

Former Bayview Correctional Facility in Chelsea

Court Finds State Negligent for Rape of Inmate by Guard

By Joel Stashenko |

The state was negligent for failing to prevent a corrections officer at the shuttered Bayview state prison in Manhattan from raping and impregnating an inmate after other prisoners made sexual abuse complaints against the guard, a state judge has determined.

Prince's Point in Staten Island

$1M Fees Ruling from Special Referee Spurs New Dispute

By Suevon Lee |

That the fee recommendation has prompted a new round of legal wrangling is emblematic of a case in which the plaintiff retained five separate firms, including Blank Rome and Quinn Emanuel, appealed every lower court ruling and moved several times to reargue appellate decisions.

Circuit Reverses Ruling Barring Evidence from Search

By Mark Hamblett |

Police were justified in continuing to search a home for cocaine even after they secured the premises under the exigent circumstances exception to the Fourth Amendment, a federal appeals court has ruled.

Steven Kolleeny

Obituary: Steven Kolleeny

By Christine Simmons |

Steven Kolleeny, a special counsel at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and a leader of the firm's pro bono asylum program, died Thursday of complications from cancer. He was 58.

Expert ribbon cutters lined up to help Fordham Law School celebrate its new building.

Officials Help Fordham Celebrate New Law School

By Tania Karas |

More than a decade after Fordham University began planning a new home for its law school, the $250 million building was dedicated at a ceremony Thursday at the Lincoln Center campus in Midtown.

Judge Dismisses Contract Lawyer's Suit Against Skadden

By MP McQueen |

A federal judge in Manhattan threw out a lawsuit by a former contract lawyer for Skadden Arps, who accused the firm and its legal staffing agency of violating federal overtime pay laws.

Bronx Bar Honors Federal Judge

Samuel M. Braverman, president of the Bronx County Bar Association, presented the President's Award to Southern District Judge Shira Scheindlin at the association's 112th installation dinner Thursday.

Valerie Jacob.

Fried Frank Capital Markets Attorneys Join Freshfields

By Brian Baxter |

Valerie Ford Jacob, the head of the capital markets group at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, is leaving with partners Michael Levitt and Paul Tropp to join Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in New York.

Brooklyn Surrogate's Court

Public Administrator Resigns in Brooklyn

By Andrew Keshner |

Brooklyn Public Administrator Bruce Stein has resigned, court spokesman David Bookstaver confirmed.

Zachary Carter

City Officials Set to Speak at Civil Legal Services Hearing

By Joel Stashenko |

New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Corporation Counsel Zachary Carter will be among those speaking Monday in the first of the state courts' annual public hearings on enhancing access to civil legal services for poor New Yorkers.

Settlement Makes Changes to NYPD's 'Lucky Bag' Sting

By Mark Hamblett |

The New York Police Department has agreed to revamp an eight-year-old sting program whereby officers plant purses and unattended valuables in plain sight to lure thieves.

Personal Notes on Lawyers

Four firms, including Thompson Hine and Edwards Wildman Palmer, have added new attorneys.

Iraq Loses Its Bid for Oil-for-Food Damages

By Mark Hamblett |

The Republic of Iraq cannot pursue damages against some 90 companies for allegedly conspiring with Saddam Hussein to corrupt and plunder the United Nations-administered oil-for-food program during the last years of the dictator's regime, the Second Circuit ruled Thursday.

Attorneys Allegra Glashausser, left, and Leila Hull urged the Court of Appeals Thursday to overturn a pre-arraignment interview program in Queens, while Donna Aldea argued the program should be preserved.

Queens DA's Suspect Interview Policy Gets Interrogated

By Joel Stashenko |

Members of the state's highest court expressed doubts in an oral argument Thursday about the Queens District Attorney's Office practice of offering suspects a last chance to volunteer information on crimes before being arraigned.

Arab Bank headquarters in Amman, Jordan

Closing Statements Debate Bank's Links to Terrorist Attacks

By Andrew Keshner |

During closing arguments in a five-week trial over Arab Bank's alleged material support for Hamas, the bank insisted that terror victims failed to offer evidence linking the bank's financial services to terrorist violence, stressing the bank has abided by existing government rules and blacklists. But the attorneys for some 300 victims or their estates swung back.

Court of Appeals Candidates: Daniel Alter, Preeta Bansal, Eugene Fahey, Victoria Graffeo, Leslie Stein, Maria Vullo and Rowan Wilson

All Court of Appeals Candidates Deemed 'Qualified'

By Joel Stashenko |

Leading bar groups have declared all seven candidates whose names are before Gov. Andrew Cuomo for consideration for the state Court of Appeals to be qualified for the job. But some, the groups decided, are slightly more qualified than others.

After 9 Years, Attorneys Told to Wait Longer for Fees

By Andrew Keshner |

After nine years of litigating a discrimination zoning case against a Long Island village, plaintiffs' attorneys will have to wait for a federal appeals court to rule on the village's actions before any decision is made on their estimated $5.6 million legal tab.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan.

'Daimler' Hangs Over Chinese Counterfeiting Case

By Jan Wolfe |

The U.S. Supreme Court's January ruling in 'Daimler AG v. Bauman' arose from claims of torture, kidnapping and murder in Argentina. But the decision holds promise for foreign defendants in all kinds of cases, as the Second Circuit illustrated Wednesday in a battle over funds held by alleged Chinese counterfeiters at Bank of China Ltd.

The arrival this summer of thousands of Central American immigrant children, like these housed at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Nogales Placement Center in Arizona, exacerbated an existing shortage of lawyers to help process immigration cases for unaccompanied minors. Now the Department of Justice has come up with money to help.

Grant to Fund Children's Lawyers in Immigration Court

By Karen Sloan |

For unaccompanied children seeking asylum in the United States, having a lawyer can make the difference between winning permission to stay and deportation.

A Welcome for New Citizens

Second Circuit Chief Judge Robert Katzmann recalled his own family's immigrant heritage, including a father persecuted by Nazi Germany, in his address to new citizens at a naturalization ceremony Wednesday, one of 30 held across the country to mark the judiciary's celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

Real Estate Lawyer Charged With $1 Million in Thefts

By Tania Karas |

According to a complaint filed by the attorney general's office, Timothy Griffin of Westchester transferred funds from client escrow accounts to cover his country club membership, payments on his BMW and Lexus, jewelry and other personal expenses.

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

Panel Upholds Dismissal of Lawsuit Against Willkie

By Christine Simmons |

An appellate panel has affirmed the dismissal of a malpractice suit against Willkie Farr & Gallagher, holding that the real estate investor plaintiff would not have been insulated from liability by the so-called business judgment rule had he declined to have his hotel company file for bankruptcy as the firm recommended.

Eric Holder Jr.

Holder Backs Increased Financial Crime Bounties

By Jenna Greene |

In a speech at New York University School of Law on Wednesday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called on the government to increase rewards for those who blow the whistle on financial crimes, arguing that greater incentives are needed to induce people to come forward with information.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.

New York District Attorneys Join Anti-Gun Initiative

By Tania Karas |

Twenty-three top prosecutors in cities across the United States, including those from all five New York boroughs, have formed a coalition aimed at curbing gun violence headed by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. and Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer.

Personal Notes on Lawyers

Four firms announce new additions, including Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, which has added the former general counsel and commercial director of Skanska Infrastructure Development North America as a partner in its energy and infrastructure group.

Reginald Connor, left, and Everton Wagstaffe

Second Department Overturns Two 1993 Kidnap Convictions

By Andrew Keshner |

More than 20 years after two men were convicted of kidnapping a teenage girl found strangled, stabbed and sexually assaulted, a Brooklyn appellate court has dismissed the pair's indictments, faulting prosecutors for "burying" key documents in disclosures made just before trial.

Donna Lieberman, NYCLU executive director, left, and Corey Stoughton, who is leading the organization's challenge to the state's system for defending the indigent in criminal cases.

NYCLU Report on Public Defense Provides Fuel for Trial

By Joel Stashenko |

The New York Civil Liberties Union said in a report Wednesday that the inadequacies that prompted it in 2007 to challenge the constitutionality of New York state's public defense system have improved little in the past seven years.

New York State Senate Districts

Judge Edits 'Independent' From Ballot Proposition

By Joel Stashenko |

A judge Wednesday ordered state elections officials to delete the word "independent" from a proposition on November's general election ballot that would create a new commission to oversee the redrawing of congressional and state legislative lines every 10 years.

Court Rejects Motion to Name Coordinating Attorney

By Mark Hamblett |

A federal judge has shot down a request by defense counsel to appoint a single attorney to coordinate discovery in a multi-defendant narcotics case, saying it could lead to the possible abdication of responsibility by individual defense attorneys to manage discovery and the issues raised by multiple representation.

House damaged by Hurricane Sandy in Brooklyn

FEMA Seeks Repayment of Millions From Sandy Victims

By Michael Kunzelman and David B. Caruso |

After Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast nearly two years ago, the federal government quickly sent out $1.4 billion in emergency disaster aid to the hurricane's victims. Now, thousands of people might have to pay back their share.

Ray Rice's problems threaten the NFL's brand.

Decision to Divert Rice Assault Case Was Sound, Lawyers Say

By Charles Toutant |

Despite widespread criticism of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's admission to a pretrial intervention program for attacking his fiancée in an Atlantic City, N.J., casino elevator, lawyers said the decision appears to have been legally sound and expressed concern about any moves to take away the prosecutorial discretion built into the PTI law.

Former Judge's Portrait—and Other Art—Unveiled

Recently retired New York Supreme Court Justice Joseph Teresi showed off pictures colored by his 4-year-old granddaughter at the unveiling of his portrait at the Albany County Courthouse on Tuesday.

Pelosi at New York Law School

U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was the featured speaker at the Sidney Shainwald Public Interest Lecture at New York Law School on Tuesday.

 Dewey & LeBoeuf sign

SEC Settles With Controller in Dewey LeBoeuf Case

By Christine Simmons |

Southern District Judge Valerie Caproni has approved a partial settlement between the SEC and Dewey & LeBoeuf's former controller, Thomas Mullikin.

Judge OKs 'Historic' Deal for Accessible Taxis

By Mark Hamblett |

A federal judge has approved a settlement that will help increase the number of disabled-accessible taxis in New York City from just a few hundred at present to about 7,000, or half the fleet, by the end of 2020.

House fires burned in Webster, N.Y., after two firefighters were shot and killed when they responded. The shooter used guns that were supplied by Dawn Nguyen, who was sentenced yesterday.

Woman Who Bought Guns Used in Killings Gets 8 Years

A New York woman was sentenced to eight years in federal prison Wednesday for supplying guns to a neighbor who used them to kill his sister and two firefighters in a Christmas Eve ambush that caused seven homes to burn to the ground.

Peter Lyons.

Freshfields Lures Longtime Shearman M&A Attorney

By MP McQueen |

In another big move to boost its ranks in U.S. transactional work, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has picked up mergers and acquisitions partner Peter Lyons from Shearman & Sterling, where he worked for more than three decades.

stack of credit cards

State Court Adopts Tighter Rules for Debt Collection

By Joel Stashenko |

New York state court administrators said Tuesday they have finalized rules designed to ban the collection of debts that consumers did not incur, have already paid off or which have been extinguished by the passage of the six-year statute of limitations.

Robert Jones in state Supreme Court in Kew Gardens, Queens, in January 2014.

Judge Rebuffs Bid to Overturn Conviction in 1994 Murder

By Tania Karas |

A Harlem man who was convicted of a fatal 1994 shooting in Far Rockaway, Queens but always maintained his innocence received a fair trial that was free of eyewitness misidentification or misconduct by police and prosecutors, a Queens judge has ruled.

Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown

Top Court to Examine Queens Pre-arraignment Interviews

By Joel Stashenko |

The Court of Appeals will hear oral argument Thursday on a Second Department decision holding that such interviews undermined suspects' rights against self-incrimination, but the district attorney argues that hundreds of suspects have had charges and bail recommendations reduced as a result of the interviews.

Palo Alto headquarters of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Wilson Sonsini Tech Employee Charged With Insider Trading

By Christine Simmons |

A technology employee for Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has been charged by the Southern District U.S. Attorney's Office for a scheme that allowed him to net more than $300,000 trading on information about potential mergers and acquisitions on which the law firm was advising.

Lawyers Hit Rough Patch in Unpaid Intern Class Actions

By David Bario |

Over the last two years, a trickle of employment class actions brought on behalf of unpaid interns has become a flood. But thanks to a dustup with one erstwhile client and unfavorable rulings by two judges, the case against CBS is dead on arrival, and the Warner Music and Viacom cases are left without the threat of a jury trial hanging over the defendants.

Upstate Lawsuit Challenges Charter School Funding

By Christine Simmons |

Five families in Buffalo and Rochester and a charter school advocacy group are suing New York state, arguing its method for funding public charter schools is unconstitutional and has a disproportionate impact on minorities.

Facebook Service Allowed in Support Change Action

By Andrew Keshner |

A man who had no luck tracking down his son's mother to modify his child support can electronically serve her via her Facebook account.

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

Panel Upholds Decision Vacating Arbitration Award

By Joel Stashenko |

The Appellate Division, Second Department has upset an arbitration award because the arbitrator failed to reach a conclusion, as directed, about a county's liability for a bus mishap that caused a woman to fall from her seat.

AG Settles With Wal-Mart Over 'Sugar Tax' Charges

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has settled a false advertising investigation at Wal-Mart, saying some store personnel were citing a nonexistent "sugar tax" on soda.

Public Service Awards

The New York County Lawyers' Association presented its 2014 public service awards on Monday.

Mock Trial Contest Seeks Volunteer Judges

The Empire Mock Trial Association seeks lawyers to volunteer as judges for a high school mock trial tournament Oct. 25-27.

Brooklyn Central Booking is located at 120 Schermerhorn St.

Suit Proceeds Claiming 'Repulsive' City Booking Facility

By Andrew Keshner |

Individuals awaiting arraignment at Brooklyn Central Booking sufficiently pleaded that they endured overcrowding, unsanitary conditions, violence and other inhumane conditions, according to a judge who let the case proceed.

Zachary Warren, left, and Stephen DiCarmine are among the four Dewey defendants who appeared in court Monday.

Attacking Indictment, Dewey Defendants Urge Dismissal

By Christine Simmons |

Ex-leaders of defunct firm Dewey & LeBoeuf were back in court Monday arguing to dismiss the indictment against them and, in the alternative, to allow the defense to examine the grand jury minutes.

Firm Size a Driver in Higher Billing Rates, Report Finds

By Christine Simmons |

Law firm size is the most influential factor in determining attorney billing rates in New York and across the nation, followed by location, lawyer experience, lawyer position, practice area and client industry, according to a new survey.

Wu-Tang-Clan

Judges Schooled in Rap for First Amendment Dispute

By Tony Mauro |

The musical tastes of several U.S. Supreme Court justices run toward opera. But as the start of its fall term approaches, the court is getting an intense education in another genre: the rhythmic, slangy, sometimes violent, poetry of rap music.

Judge Weighs Admissibility of Confession in Patz Case

A man charged with killing a boy who disappeared in 1979 calmly told investigators that he strangled the child, according to a confession video played in court Monday for a judge who will decide whether the recording can be used as trial evidence.

Debo Adegbile, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee to be Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice.

Civil Rights Advocate Joins NY Office of Wilmer Hale

By Tony Mauro |

Debo Adegbile, who argued two voting rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and was a senior counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee, is joining Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.

U.S. Supreme Court.

IndyMac Settlement Leaves Tolling Question Unresolved

By Jan Wolfe |

Investors in mortgage-backed securities issued by IndyMac Bancorp Inc. have settled their claims against the bank's underwriters. But the IndyMac litigation will continue at the U.S. Supreme Court—with important implications for the time limits that govern securities class actions.

$550 Million HSBC Payment Joins Parade of Settlements

By Jan Wolfe |

Like more than a dozen bank defendants before it, HSBC Holdings plc Friday settled the securities litigation brought against it by the Federal Housing Finance Authority.

Stanley Parness

Stanley Parness Memorial to Be Held Wednesday

All are welcome to attend a memorial service for Stanley Parness, former presiding justice of the Appellate Term, First Department, on Wednesday at New York Supreme Court, Civil Branch, 60 Centre St.

E. Barrett Prettyman Court House.

D.C. Circuit Spurns Request to Broadcast NSA Argument

By Zoe Tillman |

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on Monday denied without comment a request to broadcast Nov. 4 oral arguments in a case challenging the scope of the National Security Agency's surveillance program.

State Bar Honors Legal Assistance Participants

The Committee on Legal Aid of the State Bar Association presented the Denison Ray Award last week.

Correction