This Weeks News

Magistrate Judge Scott

Criminal Conviction Needed for Attorney Misconduct Finding, Magistrate Judge Says

By Joel Stashenko |

A client dissatisfied with her attorneys' work in a personal injury case cannot bring a legal misconduct claim under state Judiciary Law because the lawyers were not also convicted of a crime related to that representation, Western District Magistrate Judge Hugh Scott concluded.

Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey

Turkish Gold Trader Represented by Giuliani, Mukasey to Get Appointed Supplemental Counsel

By Andrew Denney |

The judge in the case against a Turkish gold trader represented by former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said he will appoint independent counsel in the hearing to make sure the defendant understands the possible conflicts involved with his choice of counsel.

Tenant Advocates Hail Court's Rare Do-Over in Eviction Ruling

By Jeff Storey |

A Manhattan appellate court has taken the unusual step of vacating and replacing a decision it had issued five months ago that advocates for tenants feared would hobble safeguards against eviction.

L-R Bill O'Reilly, Chris Christie and Ken Starr.

From Bridgegate to Bill O'Reilly, Probes Put Law Firms in the Hot Seat

By Miriam Rozen |

For American media audiences, the Bill O'Reilly saga had pretty much everything, from sex and celebrity to money and politics. For law firms and their clients, it was also a reminder: In the biggest scandals, there's nothing internal about internal investigations.

Disbarred SI Lawyer Sentenced Up to 22 Years for Theft

By Andrew Denney |

A disbarred Staten Island attorney who previously served time for larceny is going back to prison for up to 22 years for running real estate schemes in which he stole more than $1 million while posing as a practicing attorney.

Sol Greenberg

Long-Time Albany County DA Greenberg Is Dead

By Joel Stashenko |

Sol Greenberg, who became one of the longest-serving district attorneys in New York during his 25 years as chief prosecutor in Albany County, has died.

Judge Calabresi

Federal Judge Angrily Scolds Westchester in Housing Case

Judge Guido Calabresi accused the county of "consistent evasion" to delay fulfilling its obligations to build affordable housing that can be marketed to nonwhites at a hearing on Friday.

On the Move

Kwaku Andoh has joined Cohen & Gresser as a partner from JPMorgan Chase; Michael O'Brien has moved to Vedder Price from Sidley Austin; Her Justice has named Hamra Ahmad as its new director of legal services; and more moves and announcements.

Constitutional Conventions in New York

The Historical Society of the New York Courts hosted discussions on the history of the state Constitution and the process involved to amend it at the New York City Bar Association on Tuesday.

Mark Zauderer, court-appointed referee

Napoli Lashes Out at Referee After Critical Ruling in Firm Breakup

By Jason Grant |

One of the former partners embroiled in the combative breakup of Napoli Bern said court-appointed referee Mark Zauderer "has failed in his charge to resolve this dispute" and allowed the matter to turn "into a litigation upon itself." The comments were made one day after Zauderer issued a ruling that removed Napoli's counsel and criticized his behavior during proceedings.

Judges Lorna Schofield and Paul Engelmayer

New Group of US Judges, Including Two From NY, Start to Wrangle MDL Dockets

By Amanda Bronstad |

The Southern District has the most MDLs of any district in the country, three of which are now being handled by Judges Lorna Schofield and Paul Engelmayer.

Daniel Kramer of Paul Weiss

Battle Erupts Over High Compensation for Plaintiff in SAC Settlement

By B. Colby Hamilton |

A bitter battle is brewing over an unusually large compensation request from a class member in the SAC Capital civil case.

David Feuerstein

NYC Boutique Makes Bet on Big Weed

By Meghan Tribe |

Feuerstein Kulick, a five-lawyer boutique formed last year in Manhattan, has received a surge in interest from clients keen on opportunities in the legal cannabis market following legislation introduced in Canada last week that would legalize marijuana north of the border.

Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam

Memorial Service Set for Abdus-Salaam

By Rebecca Baker |

As the investigation into the death of Court of Appeals Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam continues, a public memorial service has been scheduled to honor her.

Lawyer Who Stole From Judge's Estate Is Sentenced

By Andrew Denney |

A Queens attorney convicted of stealing more than $587,000 from the estate of the late John Phillips Jr., a Brooklyn Civil Court judge who once held $10 million worth of properties in the borough, has been sentenced to one to three years in prison.

Woman Cannot Assert Custody Rights Over Child Adopted by Ex-Partner, Judge Rules

By Joel Stashenko |

While a woman discussed adopting a child and being parents jointly with her same-sex partner when they were together, the agreement did not survive their breakup, a judge ruled.

A body camera worn by an NYPD officer

Appeals Granted in NYPD Body Camera Footage Case

By Joel Stashenko |

A trial judge has given permission to both sides in a dispute over public release of footage from body cameras worn by New York City Police Department officers to appeal questions about the case to the Appellate Division.

Albany Law School

Albany Law to Honor Former Agriculture Secretary Vilsack

By Joel Stashenko |

Albany Law School will honor Thomas Vilsack, the former Iowa governor and U.S. agriculture secretary, with the top award it gives annually to an alumnus.

The site of the 2011 robbery

Assailant's Doctor Had No Duty to Victim, Panel Rules

By Andrew Denney |

The widow of one of the four victims killed in 2011 in an infamous Suffolk County pharmacy robbery by a painkiller addict cannot hold one of the doctors who prescribed pills to the assailant liable for her husband's death, a state appeals court ruled.

Left to right: Mary Pat Gallagher, Ola Nunez, Steven Gerber and David Ganz.

Ex-Gonzalez Saggio Lawyers in NJ Join NY's Schoeman Updike

By Lizzy McLellan |

Lawyers from the former New Jersey office of defunct Milwaukee-based firm Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan have found a new home at a New York firm, after a year of running their own shop.

Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam appears at a New York state Senate Judiciary committee meeting at the Capitol in Albany, N.Y., on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.   (Photo by Tim Roske)

Abdus-Salaam Family Rejects Suicide Theory in Judge's Death

By Andrew Denney |

Members of the family of the late Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, whose body was found floating in the Hudson River last week, said Wednesday reports she committed suicide have "no basis in reality" and called on any persons with knowledge of what happened in her final hours to step forward.

Evan Greebel and Martin Shkreli

Shkreli, Ex-Counsel to Get Separate Trials, US Judge Decides

By Andrew Denney |

A joint trial of ex-pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli and Evan Greebel, his co-defendant in a fraud case and his former lawyer, would present a "serious risk" that Shkreli would not receive a fair trial, a federal judge ruled on Wednesday.

NY Fines Health Insurer $1 Million for Improper Denials of Contraception Coverage

By Joel Stashenko |

New York regulators have fined Excellus Health Plan $1 million for improperly denying state-mandated contraceptive coverage to some consumers between January 2008 and June 2014.

Artist's Use of Photo Transformed Work, Lawyer Stresses

By Andrew Denney |

An enlarged print of an Instagram post containing a copyrighted photo counts as a transformative use, argued an attorney for the "appropriation artist" whose use of other artists' material in his own works has made him no stranger to the courts before a federal judge late Tuesday afternoon.

A branch office of Wells Fargo bank

Bank Regulator's Report Slams Its Own Supervision of Wells Fargo

By B. Colby Hamilton |

An internal evaluation released Wednesday by the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency found that regulators were “untimely and ineffective” in supervising Wells Fargo’s banking practices that led to a $190 million settlement with the OCC and other regulators earlier this year.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut

Law Profs Say Gun Makers Should Be Liable for Sandy Hook Shooting

By ROBERT STORACE |

Professors from some of the nation’s top law schools filed an amicus brief with the Connecticut Supreme Court saying case law clearly shows negligent entrustment applies, even in cases involving guns.

Bill O'Reilly.

Lawyers Take Aim at Each Other as O'Reilly Exits Fox

By Miriam Rozen |

In a slugfest between two prominent New York litigators, plaintiffs lawyer Douglas Wigdor on Wednesday cited his appreciation for Fox News and his financial backing for Donald Trump's presidential campaign to refute the suggestion that he's part of a left-wing conspiracy against newly-ousted Fox commentator Bill O'Reilly.

Panel Allows Stolen Artwork Claims to Move Forward

By Jason Grant |

A lawsuit brought by the heirs of a Jewish entertainer and art collector executed in the Holocaust that aims to recover artwork allegedly stolen by Nazis can proceed, a Manhattan appeals court has ruled.

Wachtell Lawyer Jumps to Litigation Funder

By Ben Hancock |

Garrett Ordower is joining Lake Whillans in New York, where he'll help vet cases for potential investment.

Organ Donor Network Records Not Protected by HIPAA, Judge Rules

By Joel Stashenko |

The New York Organ Donor Network may not shield records it holds about four patients a former network official contends may not have been dead when their organs were harvested, a state judge ruled.

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

Circuit Vacates Sentence in Child Pornography Case

By Mark Hamblett |

A divided panel found an 18-year, nine-month sentence imposed on a man caught at the Canadian border with thousands of images of child pornography was substantively unreasonable.

Kerrie Campbell.

Chadbourne Ousts Partner Suing Firm for Gender Bias

By Brian Baxter |

Kerrie Campbell, a litigator at Chadbourne & Parke who brought a $100 million gender bias suit against the firm, was expelled from its partnership Thursday. In a memo to all Chadbourne partners, Campbell sought to avoid such a fate, which came after 70 partners voted in favor of her exit. She was the only dissenting vote.

Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam

Death of Sheila Abdus-Salaam

The Law Journal's collected coverage of the death of highly respected Court of Appeals Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, whose body was found by the Hudson River on April 12.

Harry Joe, member of Dallas' JMO Firm

Executive Order Targeting H-1B Could Hurt Schools and Universities, Immigration Attorney Says

By David Ruiz |

President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered a review of the temporary worker visa program heavily used by Silicon Valley companies but Dallas-based immigration attorney Harry Joe said changing the program could also hurt universities and schools.

Will Law Schools' LL.M Programs Suffer from Trump's 'America First' Stance?

By Karen Sloan |

Law school administrators say concerns are growing from foreign students about how the myriad immigration and travel policies emerging from Washington could impact their plans to obtain LL.M degrees in the United States.

Shea Stadium demolition in 2009

Court to Take Up Case Over Redevelopment of Former Shea Stadium Land

By Joel Stashenko |

A $3 billion redevelopment of the former home of the New York Mets will hinge on how the state's highest court will interpret New York's "public trust" doctrine.

NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

AG Nets Record $40 Million Tax Settlement Against Hedge Fund

By B. Colby Hamilton |

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office has reached a record $40 million settlement with the Alabama-based firm Harbert Management Corp. over whistleblower allegations that millions of dollars in taxes on performance income from a New York-based hedge fund sponsored by the firm were never paid.

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

Panel Calls Out Defense Attorney in Affirming Order for New Trial

By Jason Grant |

"Competent and diligent representation ... does not mean a lawyer should strive to 'win' a case at all costs, if that means harming adversaries and their clients unreasonably and unnecessarily in the process and undermining the authority and integrity of the court," Justice Dianne Renwick wrote for the unanimous First Department panel.

President Donald Trump speaks at tool manufacturer Snap-on Inc. in Kenosha, Wis., on April 18.

Trump Business Competitors Allege Unfair Impact in Emoluments Suit

By Andrew Denney |

Restaurants and hotels in which President Donald Trump has financial interests are unfairly siphoning business away from competitors in New York and Washington, D.C., the new plaintiffs in a watchdog group’s emoluments suit against Trump allege.

Not Everyone Is Happy About Latest Fintech Charter Proposal

By Stephanie Forshee |

Public comments are now available on a new set of draft guidelines dealing with special purpose bank charters for fintechs.

Tracy Lee Dayton

Levine Lee Snags Former EDNY, Conn. Prosecutor

By Scott Flaherty |

New York litigation boutique Levine Lee has hired Tracy Lee Dayton, a former federal prosecutor in Connecticut and Brooklyn, as the firm's sixth partner.

Pedro Hernandez, right, appears in Manhattan Supreme Court with his attorney, Harvey Fishbein, on Nov. 15, 2012.

Man Gets 25 Years in 1979 Case of Missing 6-Year-Old

A judge who presided over two trials in the case of long-missing 6-year-old New York boy Etan Patz said Tuesday that a former stock clerk convicted of killing him "kept a terrible secret for 33 years."

Justice Grossman

Judge Rejects Bid for More Time in Slip-and-Fall Case

By Amaris Elliott-Engel |

Dutchess County Supreme Court Justice Victor Grossman, saying defense attorneys neglected discovery in a slip-and-fall case for 18 months, has ordered the parties to proceed to trial in May. "Apparently, they believed they could try the case with limited discovery, and now they will be given the chance to do so," he wrote.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Lawyers Take on New Posts in Cuomo Administration

By Joel Stashenko |

Adam Zurofsky, a former partner at Cahill Gordon & Reindel, has been named deputy secretary for energy and financial services. Gov. Cuomo also said he hired Adam Silverman as assistant counsel to the governor for public safety and Tanisha Edwards as assistant counsel to the governor for taxation and finance.

On the Move

Kramer Levin and Foley & Lardner have named new practice chairs, while Tully Rinckey has named John C. Doherty as managing partner of the firm's new midtown Manhattan office, among other news of promotions and new hires.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building.

Supreme Court May Clip SEC's Enforcement Power

By Tony Mauro |

A case argued Tuesday considers whether the use of "disgorgement" by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission should be considered a penalty subject to a five-year statute of limitations.

Kerrie Campbell, partner with Chadbourne & Parke, in Washington, D.C. September 1, 2016.

Chadbourne Sex Bias Plaintiffs Lose Bid to Block Partnership Vote

By Scott Flaherty |

A federal judge in Manhattan on Monday declined to temporarily block Chadbourne & Parke’s partnership from voting to expel Kerrie Campbell, a partner in Washington, D.C., who is leading a $100 million gender discrimination action against the firm.

Study Shows Gender Diversity Varies Widely Across Practice Areas

By Meghan Tribe |

A study by ALM Intelligence found that women are better represented in niche legal fields such as immigration and family law, but underrepresented in top-tier Big Law practice areas like corporate and litigation. Female talent is also underrepresented in states with large law school talent pools, according to the analysis.

Ekaterina Schoenefeld

SCOTUS Rejects Challenge to NY Law Requiring In-State Office

By Marcia Coyle and Charles Toutant |

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday denied review to a New Jersey lawyer's constitutional challenge to New York's requirement that nonresident members of the New York bar maintain a physical office for business within the state.

Drake at Summer Sixteen Tour 2016 in Toronto

Legal Fight Over Drake Royalties Continues

By Jason Grant |

An ongoing dispute over the massive profits generated by Drake took another turn Monday, as a young talent scout credited with discovering the hip-hop star filed suit in New York against Drake's record label, Cash Money Records.

The U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in the aftermath of the August 7, 1998, al-Qaida suicide bombing.

Man Convicted in al-Qaida Embassy Bombing Plot Says Prosecutors Lacked Evidence

By Andrew Denney |

The man who was given a life sentence for working with Osama bin Laden to orchestrate the deadly 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in east Africa was ready to argue on appeal Monday that prosecutors have not produced clear evidence linking him to a terrorist plot.

Judge Garaufis

Finger-Pointing in Agreement on Housing for the Mentally Ill

By Joel Stashenko |

Enactment of a 2014 New York state agreement to move more mentally ill clients out of group homes and into individualized housing is bogged down in a court dispute over state compliance.

(L-R) David Sanford, Jeremy Heisler, and Kevin Sharp, of Sanford Heisler Sharp.

Sanford Heisler Firm Adds Name Partner, New Office With Judge's Hire

By Scott Flaherty |

Sanford Heisler said outgoing Tennessee federal Judge Kevin Sharp will expand the firm and help it trade blows with Chadbourne & Parke in a $100 million sex bias suit.

Judge John Curtin

Longtime Western District Judge and "True Icon" John Curtin Dies at 95

By Rebecca Baker |

Western District Judge John Curtin, who ordered the desegregation of Buffalo schools and presided over one of the largest toxic contamination cases in U.S. history, died Friday following a lengthy illness.

Bronx DA Darcel Clark

Bronx Judge Vacates Murder Conviction at DA's Request

By Rebecca Baker/Jason Grant |

A judge has vacated the murder conviction of a man accused of killing a 15-year-old after the Bronx District Attorney's Office's conviction integrity unit found "potentially exculpatory evidence" that was not given to the defense at trial.

Judge Scullin

Court Keeps Alive Union's Layoff Suit Against State

By Joel Stashenko |

A federal judge said a union and some of its members may have a First Amendment claim to bring against New York state for an alleged violation of the First Amendment right of free association.

Court OKs $2.6B Fine Agreed to by Feds, Brazilian Builder

By Andrew Denney |

A Brazilian construction conglomerate that pleaded guilty last year to running a vast bribery operation was sentenced on Monday to pay a landmark $2.6 billion, one of the largest settlements in the United States under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

St. Stephen

Injured Worker Settles for $3.8M After Fall From Church Ceiling

By Jason Grant |

The worker needed surgery on his back and ankles after falling 45 feet during renovations.

Raising Awareness of Male Breast Cancer

By David Handschuh, Photographer |

The Judges and Lawyers Breast Cancer Alert group presented a program Thursday entitled "Male Breast Cancer" at the offices of Simpson Thacher and Bartlett.

Court of Appeals Building, Albany, NY.

Applications Due May 19 for Abdus-Salaam Seat

By Joel Stashenko/Andrew Denney |

The state Commission on Judicial Nomination set May 19 as the date for submission of applications by those interested in filling the vacancy on the state Court of Appeals created by last week's death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam.