NYLJ: Second Circuit Overturns State’s Persistent Felony Offender Sentencing Law

Second Circuit Overturns State’s Persistent Felony Offender Sentencing Law

Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal
April 01, 2010

A state statute that permits stiffer sentences for “persistent” felony offenders violates the constitutional rights of defendants to a jury trial, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled today.

Citing a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, especially Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004), a three-judge panel unanimously concluded the state scheme vested unconstitutionally broad discretion in judges to set sentences.

“We hold that the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial, applicable to the states as incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits the type of judicial fact-finding resulting in enhanced sentences under New York’s [Persistent Felony Offender statute,” Judge Ralph K. Winter wrote for the panel.

The circuit made its ruling today in five cases it heard arguments on at the same time on April 16, 2008: Besser v. Walsh, 05-4375-pr; Phillips v. Artus, 06-3550-pr; Portalatin v. Graham, 07-1599-pr; Morris v. Artus, 07-3588-pr; and Washington v. Poole, 07-3949-pr.

Read the entire NYLJ article here.

ZeuAPP-Some Good Things Are Free

ZeuAPP | Zeusoft

Pick software that you want, start download and install it.
One click download the application you want to install,

ZeuAPP in its list contains 82 applications.All applications are freeware or open source, and you are free to download them.

ZeuAPP has 12 categories: Archivers, Audio, Video, Chat-IM, Internet, CD Burners, P2P-File sharing, Games, Graphic, Office, Security, Utility.

Sorry…Windows only, so far.

Download here


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Findlaw: Va. Sues Over Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act


(U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D. Va., Mar. 23, 2010) – Virginia filed a federal lawsuit today, charging that if its citizens and residents decide not to buy health insurance, then they can’t be subject to the new federal health care and insurance law since they are not not engaging in interstate commerce. Learn why Virginia filed its own lawsuit, instead of joining the multi-state lawsuit filed by thirteen other states challenging the new law.

Va. Health Care suit

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court – 2/23/10

United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Espinosa, No. 08–1134

In an appeal from a bankruptcy court order in a Chapter 13 proceeding, enforcing the confirmation of a student loan debtor’s plan and directing creditors to cease any collection efforts, the Ninth Circuit’s judgment reversing a district court’s order in favor of student loan creditor is affirmed where: 1) creditor’s actual notice of the filing and contents of the debtor’s plan more than satisfied its due process rights, and thus debtor’s failure to make the required service did not entitle creditor to relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(4); 2) although the bankruptcy court’s failure to find undue hardship in this case was a legal error, the confirmation order was enforceable and binding on creditor because it had actual notice of the error and failed to object or timely appeal; but 3) the Ninth Circuit erred in holding that bankruptcy courts must confirm a plan proposing the discharge of a student loan debt without an undue hardship determination in an adversary proceeding unless the creditor timely raises a specific objection.

New York’s Family Health Care Decisions Act

New York Family Health Care Decisions Act

by David Goldfarb
Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin LLP
On March 16, 2010, New York’s Governor David Paterson signed the Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA) into law. The FHCDA allows family members to make health care decisions, including decisions about the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, on behalf of patients who lose their ability to make such decisions and have not prepared advance directives regarding their wishes.


Read David Goldfarb’s entire article here.

Paper Chase: New York appeals court rules state can annul same-sex civil unions

JURIST – Paper Chase: New York appeals court rules state can annul same-sex civil unions

New York appeals court rules state can annul same-sex civil unions
Daniel Makosky at 10:22 AM ET
[JURIST] A New York state appeals court ruled [text, PDF] Thursday that the state’s courts have jurisdiction to hear requests to annul civil unions performed in other states. The Third Judicial Department Appellate Division [official website] reversed a2008 Schenectady County Supreme Court [official website] decision, citing multiple protections New York affords to same-sex partnerships as sufficient to establish competency despite the state lacking its own civil union law:
Here, while New York has not created a specific mechanism for dissolution of a civil union validly entered into in another state, neither has it exercised its power, by statute or other legislative enactment, to prohibit an action for dissolution of a civil union. Since Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action has not been proscribed, and this matter involves a dispute for which “adequate relief by means of an existing form of action is [un]available to the plaintiff,” Supreme Court is competent to adjudicate the case.
The case involved a same-sex New York couple that that entered into a civil union in Vermont. Vermont, however, was unable to provide relief since it requires at least one party to be a resident of the state for at least one year.


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Lawyers Helping Lawyers: In Good Times and Bad

Thursday, March 25, 2010
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (registration at 5:30 p.m.)

LaTourelle Resort and Spa
1150 Danby Road, Ithaca, NY

The program is FREE to all attorneys, but pre-registration is required. Dinner is included.

This program has been approved for 2.0 MCLE credits in Ethics for all attorneys, including both newly admitted and experienced attorneys.

Co-sponsored by
The Tompkins County and Broome County Bar Associations; Lawyers Helping Lawyers Committees of Broome, Tompkins, Cortland, Chemung and Tioga Counties; and the New York State Bar Association Lawyer Assistance Program. This program is funded through a grant from the New York State Lawyer Assistance Trust.

Program Description
Presenters will share their perspectives on practicing law in a manner that enhances and integrates mental, emotional and spiritual health and development of community.

5:30 – 6:00 p.m. Registration
6:00 – 6:15 p.m. Introduction
Mariette Geldenhuys, Esq., Mariette Geldenhuys Attorney at Law
6:15 – 6:40 p.m. A Lawyer’s Family Story of Depression
Hon. Michael J. Miller (Ret.)
Hinda Miller
6:40 – 7:05 p.m. A Lawyer’s Story of Alcoholism
Lenore Le Fevre, Esq.
7:05 – 7:30 p.m. Lawyers Helping Lawyers (panel discussion)
Hon. John C. Rowley, Tompkins County Court Judge
Charles Oliver Wolff, Esq., Law Office of Charles Oliver Wolff
Richard M. Wallace, Esq., Guttman & Wallace
7:30 – 7:55 p.m.
Lawyers Assistance Program
Paul Curtin, Outreach Coordinator, 4th Department New York State Bar Association’s Lawyer Assistance Program

7:55 – 8:00 p.m. Questions and Answers
For registration or additional Information please contact Sindy Garey, Director of the Broome County Bar Association bcbaexdir@stny.rr.com.

*** The meeting location includes a Spa and is offering a 15% discount on Spa services for attendees and a special $99.00/night room rate as well. For information on Spa services and reservations, go to www.augustmoonspa.com.

Kindle for PC (and Mac)

Kindle for PC

Read Kindle Books on Your Computer. No Kindle required
Access your Kindle books even if you don’t have your Kindle with you, Automatically synchronizes your last page read and annotations between devices with Whispersync. Create bookmarks and view the annotations you created on your Kindle

View larger image. Shop for Books in the Kindle Store
Search and browse more than 450,000 books, including 101 of 112 New York Timesョ Best Sellers. If you are a non-U.S. customer, book availability may vary. Find New York Times Best Sellers and new releases for $9.99, unless marked otherwise. Get free book samples – read the first chapter for free before you decide to buy. Books you purchase can also be read on a Kindle.

NOTE: Kindle newspapers, magazines, and blogs are not currently available for Kindle for PC.

MAC NOTE: There is a Beta edition for your Mac. When you click on the page and link, the automatic download of the PC version will begin; but the page recognizes your Mac and offers you the Mac Beta. Just discard the .exe file.

Download Kindle for PC Beta.

Cell phone radiation levels – CNET Reviews

Cell phone radiation levels – CNET Reviews

If you’re concerned about limiting your SAR exposure, you can take a few easy steps beyond purchasing a handset with a low SAR. You can text instead placing a voice call, use a wired headset or speakerphone whenever possible, and carry your phone at least one inch from your body. Some researchers also caution against using your phone in areas with poor coverage since phones emit more radiation when searching for a signal. Children, which have smaller and thinner skulls, should limit cell phone use, and all users, children and adults, should not sleep with an active phone next to their bedside or under their pillow.

Read the entire article and check your phone.