FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals – 6/30/09

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Gomez, No. 119
Defendant’s drug conviction is reversed where the state did not sustain its initial burden of establishing that its search of Defendant’s vehicle constituted a valid inventory search, and thus Defendant’s motion to suppress should have been granted.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Buchanan, No. 101
Defendant’s murder conviction is reversed where the trial court required Defendant to wear a stun belt during trial, and a stun belt may not be used to restrain a defendant in a criminal case without a finding of specific facts justifying the use of such a restraint.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION & ARBITRATION, INJURY AND TORT LAW, INSURANCE LAW

People v. Coventry First LLC, No. 115
In an enforcement action by the state claiming that Defendant life settlement providers concealed commissions to brokers, who persuaded their clients to accept Defendants’ offers, the denial of Defendants’ motion to dismiss or compel arbitration is affirmed where: 1) the state was not bound by arbitration agreements signed by Defendants’ clients; and 2) the complaint stated a claim that Defendants knew that the life settlement brokers’ conduct constituted a breach of fiduciary duty.

INJURY AND TORT LAW

Butler v. Gloversville, No. 116
In a personal injury action claiming that Defendants failed to use a recommended ground cover at a playground they operated, summary judgment for Defendants is reversed where Defendants presented insufficient scientific evidence to show that Plaintiff’s injury would have occurred even with the recommended equipment.

PROPERTY LAW & REAL ESTATE

Buffalo Crushed Stone Inc. v. Cheektowaga, No. 118
In an action seeking a declaration that town zoning ordinances did not apply to Plaintiff’s quarry due to prior nonconforming use, the trial court’s order exempting portions of Plaintiff’s property from the ordinances is modified where Plaintiff had manifested its intent to mine certain parcels long before the ordinances at issue.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court – 6/29/09

BANKING LAW, GOVERNMENT LAW

Cuomo v. Clearing House Ass’n., L.L.C., No. 08–453
In an action claiming that certain state fair-lending laws were preempted by the National Bank Act (NBA) and accompanying regulations, an injunction in favor of Plaintiffs is affirmed in part, where the state’s threatened issuance of executive subpoenas was an improper exercise of “supervisory power”. However, the judgment is reversed in part where a federal regulation purporting to pre-empt state law enforcement is not a reasonable interpretation of the NBA.

CIVIL RIGHTS, CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, GOVERNMENT LAW, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

Ricci v. DeStefano, No. 07–1428
In a Title VII action claiming that a city discriminated against white firefighter candidates for a promotion by discarding their test results based on a statistical racial disparity, summary judgment for Defendants is reversed where the city’s action in discarding the tests violated Title VII, because a threshold showing of a significant statistical disparity is far from a strong basis in evidence that the city would have been liable under Title VII had it certified the test results.

task.fm

task.fm – a personal digital assistant

Create reminders using natural language e.g “meeting with bob at 3pm” email, sms and voice calls
Reminders can be sent out via email (free), sms (pay), voice calls (pay) or all three

task.fm is also a simple to-do list manager. Create reminders for individual tasks works right from email. Never leave your inbox! Just send an email to reminder@task.fm and they will process it

Stonewall Riot Police Reports, June 28, 1969 – OutHistory

Stonewall Riot Police Reports, June 28, 1969 – OutHistory

Seven pages of NYPD records reproduced on OutHistory.org were obtained in May 2009 by Jonathan Ned Katz, Director of the website, in consultation with historian David Carter, and two additional pages reproduced were obtained in 1988 by the late Michael Scherker, under the New York State Freedom of Information Law.

For the first time, in the seven documents obtained by Katz, the names of those arrested are not blacked out, providing the public and historians with important new evidence about the rebellion’s participants. None of the nine NYPD reports made available on OutHistory.org have earlier been published.

***

I was surprised to find the arrest report of the late, great Dave Van Ronk aka “Mayor of MacDougal Street” , one of my all-time favorite folk singers.

Rental Car Magic

Rental Car Magic

Rental Car Magic is a rental car rate search service. They do not rent cars and have no affiliations with any rental car agency.

They use a customized search process to maximize the use of special promotions and discounts in combination with standard rates to produce savings. These special rates are often hard to find and restricted to specific groups,certain days, dates, locations or vehicle types. However, when properly applied, these discounts can result in very significant rate reductions.

You tell them where, when and what type of rental car you’re looking for. They’ll search special discounts and promotion to find you the lowest rate which matches your needs. You make the rental reservation with the details that they provide to you.

The site, which charges $14.95 to $49.95, sends back a quote in a day or two.

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Hat Tip to NYTIMES Practical Traveler.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals – 6/25/09

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, GOVERNMENT LAW

Parkhouse v. Stringer, No. 111
In a motion to quash a government subpoena seeking information regarding false statements allegedly made by Petitioner at a public hearing, the denial of the motion is affirmed, where the First Amendment did not protect Petitioner’s misstatement of the content of letters written by public officials.

EDUCATION LAW, GOVERNMENT LAW

New York Charter Schs. Ass’n. v. DiNapoli, No. 108
In an action challenging the State Comptroller’s authority to conduct academic performance audits of charter schools, judgment for Defendants is reversed, where the legislature violated Article V, Section 1 of the state constitution when it assigned and directed the comptroller to audit charter schools.

INJURY AND TORT LAW, INSURANCE LAW, LANDLORD TENANT LAW

Kassis v. Ohio Cas. Ins. Co., No. 117
In an action seeking indemnification from an insurer regarding a slip and fall personal injury action, judgment for Defendant is reversed where a landlord is an additional insured under an insurance policy obtained by his tenant, such that the insurer is obligated to defend and indemnify the landlord in an underlying personal injury lawsuit.

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INJURY AND TORT LAW, INSURANCE LAW, TRANSPORTATION

Central Mut. Ins. Co. v. Bemiss, No. 113
In an action to stay an arbitration regarding Plaintiff-Insurer’s obligation to settle a personal injury claim, judgment for Defendant is affirmed where consent-to-settle and subrogation-protection provisions in the supplementary uninsured/underinsured endorsement in an automobile liability insurance policy remain in force when an insured has exhausted the available policy limits of a single tortfeasor in a multi-tortfeasor accident.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court – 06/25/09

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, ADMIRALTY, INJURY AND TORT LAW, REMEDIES

Atlantic Sounding Co., Inc. v. Townsend, No. 08–214
In an action based on Defendant’s alleged refusal to pay maintenance and cure to Plaintiff for injuries he suffered while working on Defendant’s tugboat, the District Court’s order holding that punitive damages were available is affirmed where punitive damages for the willful and wanton disregard of the maintenance and cure obligation remain available as a matter of general maritime law.

CIVIL PROCEDURE, EDUCATION LAW

Horne v. Flores, No. 08–289
In a motion by state legislators to purge the District Court’s contempt order holding that the state was providing inadequate English Language-Learner instruction in the school district at issue, the denial of the motion is reversed, where the lower courts did not engage in the proper analysis under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(5), because they did not analyze whether changed circumstances warranted reexamination of the original judgment.

CIVIL RIGHTS, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EDUCATION LAW

Safford Unified Sch. Dist. No. 1. v. Redding, No. 08-479
In a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 action alleging an unlawful search of a student, the denial of summary judgment based on qualified immunity is affirmed where the search of Plaintiff’s underwear violated the Fourth Amendment because the facts did not give school officials reasonable suspicion to search her underwear.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, EVIDENCE

Melendez-Diaz v. Mass., No. 07–591
Defendant’s drug conviction is reversed, where the trial court’s admission of the prosecution’s certificates by laboratory analysts, stating that material seized by police and connected to Defendant was cocaine of a certain quantity, violated petitioner’s Sixth Amendment right to confront the witnesses against him.

Top 20 iPhone Apps for Busy Attorneys

Top 20 iPhone Apps for Busy Attorneys : The Mac Lawyer

POSTED ON JUNE 24, 2009 BY J. BENJAMIN STEVENS

There are many good iPhone Apps out there and€“ maybe so many that you’re overwhelmed and unsure where to start looking at them.  If that applies to you, consider this list of “Top 20 iPhone Apps for Busy Attorneys” as a starting point and see if any of these will be helpful to you:

***

Hat tip to The MAClawyer-Using Macs in the Practice of Law.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals – 06/24/09

BANKRUPTCY LAW, COMMERCIAL LAW, TRANSPORTATION

Reiber v. GMAC, LLC, No. 109
The Court of Appeals answered a certified question from the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as follows: The portion of an automobile retail installment sale attributable to a trade-in vehicle’s ‘negative equity’ is a part of the ‘purchase money obligation’ arising from the purchase of a new car, as defined under New York’s Uniform Commercial Code.

BANKRUPTCY LAW, CONTRACTS

MHR Capital Ptnrs. LP v. Presstek, Inc., No. 114
In a breach of contract action, judgment for Defendant is affirmed where Defendant’s obligation to perform under the stock purchase agreement at issue did not arise because an express condition precedent was not fulfilled.

CIVIL PROCEDURE, HEALTH LAW, INJURY AND TORT LAW

Bazakos v. Lewis, No. 112
In a medical negligence action, the dismissal of the complaint is reversed, where the applicable statute of limitations was two and one-half years, because a claim for negligently performing an independent medical examination is a claim for malpractice and thus governed by CPLR section 214-a.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE

People v. Almeter, No. 84
Defendant’s trespass conviction is reversed where Defendant was unaware that each of his charged offenses was being tried to a separate fact finder until the trial was nearly over, and a defendant should not be required to guess who the fact finder is at his or her trial.

The New York Law Journal – State Bar ‘Refines’ Position on Same-Sex Couples, Says Marriage Is the Only Possible Path to Equality

The New York Law Journal – State Bar ‘Refines’ Position on Same-Sex Couples, Says Marriage Is the Only Possible Path to Equality

By Jeff Storey
June 23, 2009

Legalizing same-sex marriage is the only way to achieve full equality for gay and lesbian couples, the New York State Bar Association’s policy-making body has concluded, abandoning a menu of legislative options it offered only four years ago.

The bar group’s House of Delegates, meeting in Cooperstown on Saturday, overwhelmingly endorsed an amendment to the Domestic Relations Law “to allow same-sex couples to marry and to recognize their marriages if contracted elsewhere.” The LGBT Committee’s report is posted at nylj.com

Read the State Bar’s proposed resolution, and Report and Recommendationon Marriage Rights for Same-Sex Couples
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Read full article with historical background..

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