Happy Holidays from the Sienko Law Office


Click above to see our first Holiday Blog. I hope you enjoy it. The links on the left will play music in various formats. Don’t forget to click the “play” arrow. Keep trying until one works for you.

Please feel free to leave greetings by clicking on the “Comments” link.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals – 12/18/07


Amorosi v. South Colonie Indep. Cent. Sch. Dist., No. 167

Under Education Law section 3813(2-b), the statute of limitations applicable to a damages claim for illegal workplace discrimination brought under Executive Law section 296 against a school district is one year. Read more…


Data Tree, LLC v. Romaine, No. 173

Order denying disclosure of certain land records requested by appellant in an electronic format is reversed as questions of fact exist as to whether compliance with such request would require the clerk to disclose information excluded under the privacy exemption of the Freedom of Information Law and whether the clerk has the ability to comply with the request in the format sought by appellant. Read more…


People v. Cuadrado, No. 168

Reversal of grant of motion to vacate assault conviction, which motion was made 12 years after defendant waived the indictment and plead guilty to an information, is affirmed as defendant is barred from raising the issue of the waiver and plea being invalid in a motion to vacate his conviction under CPL 440.10 when he did not complain of such defect on appeal. Read more…


People v. Gajadhar, No. 166

In criminal jury trial where one juror became ill and court granted defendant’s request to continue with the 11 remaining jurors, defendant’s written waiver of his right to a jury of 12 citizens in open court was valid as article I, section 2 of the state constitution permits a defendant to consent to a deliberating jury of less than 12 individuals. Read more…


Basic Legal Citation (LII 2007)

Basic Legal Citation (LII 2007)

This work first appeared in 1993. It was most recently revised in May 2007 to reflect changes appearing in the third edition of the ALWD Citation Manual, published in 2006. It is also keyed to the most recent edition of The Bluebook, published in 2005.


From our old friends at the LII, specifically former Dean of the Law School at Cornell, Peter W. Martin. Dean Martin was instrumental in guiding the original NYLaw Net committee as it groped its way toward NYSBA’s first web site. His concept of “…adding value…” to publicly available legal materials and making both available on line is as valid today as it was back in the early 90’s.

Mitchell Report On Drugs in Major League Baseball




(New York, NY, Dec. 13, 2007) – Lawyer and former U.S. Senator George Mitchell released his independent report investigating the use of steroids and other performance enhancing drugs in professional baseball. The report states: “For more than a decade there has been widespread illegal use of anabolic steroids and other performance enhancing substances by players in Major League Baseball, in violation of federal law and baseball policy.” The report also includes a section of evidentiary exhibits relating to the purchase and delivery of drugs to MLB players and staff.

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FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals – 12/13/07


People v. Zimmerman, No. 131In a matter arising out an antitrust investigation as to whether Federated and May Department Stores conspired with Waterford Wedgwood USA and Lenox, Inc. to restrain the sale of products by competitor Bed, Bath and Beyond, dismissal of perjury indictment against former Chairman and C.E.O. of Federated Department Stores is affirmed as defendant is not subject to “particular effect” jurisdiction, or venue, as set forth in CPL art 20, in New York County.


ITC Ltd. v. Punchgini, Inc.,, No. 165Addressing questions certified by U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit regarding common law claims for unfair competition, the Court of Appeals holds that New York recognizes common law unfair competition claims, but not the “famous” or “well-known” marks doctrine. .


Fung v. Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., No. 172In consolidated negligence action brought by employee of defendant Port Authority for injuries suffered in slip on fall on a patch of ice in parking lot subleased to Port Authority by other defendant, Workers’ Compensation Law sections 11 and 29[6] do not bar plaintiffs’ action against other defendant that claimed to be putative managing agent for the Port Authority, and this entitled defendant to the exclusive remedy defense. Plaintiffs’ claim against defendant snow removal company fails as it owed no duty of care to the injured plaintiff.


People v. Danielson, No. 170, 171In two separate cases where defendants were convicted of depraved indifference murder, appellate division’s affirmance of conviction in first case is affirmed where the majority conducted a weight of the evidence review that included considering the credible evidence, conflicting testimony and inferences that could be drawn from the evidence. Appellate division’s affirmance of conviction in second case is reversed where the court limited its weight of the evidence review to credibility issues and failed to weigh the conflicting testimony and conflicting inferences in light of the elements as= charged at trial. 

Law.com – Sentencing Commission Votes to Allow Retroactive Easing of Crack Cocaine Sentences

Law.com – Sentencing Commission Votes to Allow Retroactive Easing of Crack Cocaine Sentences


Mark ShermanThe Associated Press (Read entire article)December 12, 2007

The U.S. Sentencing Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to allow some 19,500 federal prison inmates, most of them black, to seek reductions in their crack cocaine sentences.

The commission, which sets guidelines for federal prison sentences, decided to make retroactive its recent easing of recommended sentences for crack offenses.

Most of those eligible could receive no more than a two-year cut in their prison terms, but roughly 3,800 inmates could be released from prison within a year after the March 3 effective date of Tuesday’s decision. Federal judges will have the final say whether to reduce sentences.***U.S. District Judge William Sessions of Vermont, a commission member, said the vote on retroactivity will have the “most dramatic impact on African-American families.” A failure to act “may be taken by some as particularly unjust,” Sessions said before the vote.

Four of every five crack defendants is black. Most powder cocaine convictions involve whites.***

Tuesday’s vote follows two Supreme Court rulings Monday that upheld judges who rejected federal sentencing guidelines as too harsh and imposed more lenient prison terms, including one for crack offenses.

***Kimbrough v. United States

Gall v. United States

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court – 12/10/07

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCINGGall v. US, No. 06-7949In reviewing the reasonableness of sentences imposed by district judges, while the extent of the difference between a particular sentence and the recommended Sentencing Guidelines range is relevant, courts of appeals must review all sentences whether inside, just outside, or significantly outside the Guidelines range, under a deferential abuse-of-discretion standard. Related Resources• View the Docket for Gall v. US  CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCINGWatson v. US, No. 06–571In the context of criminal sentencing, a person who trades his drugs for a gun does not “use” a firearm “during and in relation to . . . [a] drug trafficking crime” within the meaning of 18 U.S.C. section 924(c)(1)(A).

Project Sunlight-NY

Project Sunlight

Currently, Project Sunlight allows you to search data related to a Elected Official, campaign finance, legislation, lobbying activity, registered corporations, recipients of state government contracts, corporations and charities. The website also offers educational videos on relevant laws, an educational glossary, and basic information on how state government works. In order to access these materials, go to the “information” option on the homepage. You can do so by clicking here or go directly to available educational videos by clicking here.

TaxProf Blog: Teaching Fellowships for Aspiring Law Professors

TaxProf Blog: Teaching Fellowships for Aspiring Law Professors

Teaching Fellowships for Aspiring Law Professors

For practitioners and others contemplating joining the law professor ranks, many law schools offer wonderful opportunities to transition into the legal academy with one- or two-year fellowships which allow you to enter the AALS Faculty Recruitment Conference (the “meat market”) armed with teaching experience and published scholarship under your belt:


Click here for the entire list.


Thanks to Carolyn Elefant of My Shingle.