FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for New York Court of Appeals – 9/09/08


Quattrocchi v. F.J. Sciame Constr. Co., No. 195 SSM 26
Denial of partial summary judgment on a claim under Labor Law section 240(1), the “Scaffold Law,” is affirmed where: 1) “falling object” liability under that section was not limited to cases in which the falling object is in the process of being hoisted or secured; and 2) triable questions of fact precluded summary judgment.

In the Matter of Ellis, No. 198 SSM 30
Petition for review of termination of petitioner from her position with the Department of Social Services is dismissed where: 1) petitioner’s dismissal for poor performance did not shock the judicial conscience; and 2) the Appellate Division had no discretionary authority or interest of justice jurisdiction to review the penalty imposed.


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Mesholam v Mesholam

No. 122: Mesholam v Mesholam

For similar reasons, we conclude that the value of marital property generally should not be determined by the commencement of an action for divorce that does not ultimately culminate in divorce. Equitable distribution is available “in an action wherein all or part of the relief granted is divorce” ( Domestic Relations Law ァ 236[B][5]). Where there is no divorce, there can be no equitable distribution. Consequently, permitting the commencement date of the prior, unsuccessful divorce action to govern the valuation date of marital property for the purposes of a later, successful action in which equitable distribution is available would be inconsistent with the statutory scheme.In short, we hold today that courts must use the commencement date of the later, successful action as the earliest valuation date for marital property. However, the circumstances surrounding the commencement of the earlier action can and should “be considered as a factor by [the trial court], among other relevant factors, as [it] attempt[s] to calibrate the ultimate equitable distribution of marital economic partnership property acquired after the start of such an action by either spouse” (see Anglin, 80 NY2d at 558).



Read full text of decision here.

Google News Archive Expanding

Official Google Blog: Bringing history online, one newspaper at a time

From Google:

Today, we’re launching an initiative to make more old newspapers accessible and searchable online by partnering with newspaper publishers to digitize millions of pages of news archives. Let’s say you want to learn more about the landing on the Moon. Try a search for [Americans walk on moon] on Google News Archive Search, and you’ll be able to find and read an original article from a 1969 edition of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.Not only will you be able to search these newspapers, you’ll also be able to browse through them exactly as they were printed — photographs, headlines, articles, advertisements and all.

This effort expands on the contributions of others who’ve already begun digitizing historical newspapers. In 2006, we started working with publications like the New York Times and the Washington Post to index existing digital archives and make them searchable via the Google News Archive. Now, this effort will enable us to help you find an even greater range of material from newspapers large and small…

News archive search provides an easy way to search and explore historical archives. In addition to helping you search, News archive search can automatically create timelines which show selected results from relevant time periods.