NYLJ: New Contribution Rule Limits Assignments to Elected Judges

ALBANY – Nearly 1,000 elected state judges will no longer receive assignments to cases where lawyers, their firms or their clients have contributed $2,500 or more to the judge’s campaigns in the previous two years, or have collectively contributed $3,500 or more, under a new rule adopted by the court system.

Section 151.1 of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge, whose approval was announced yesterday, will take effect on July 15 and apply to any political contributions received after that date.

“This rule promotes public confidence in the independence, fairness and impartiality of the Judiciary,” said Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

He said the new rule establishes “simple” guidelines to alleviate public suspicion of big-money influence on the administration of justice. It replaces a subjective approach that has depended on individual judges to determine when they should recuse themselves from cases.

“It is not a recusal rule,” he said. “It is an assignment rule.”


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Special Report: A little house of secrets on the Great Plains – Yahoo! News

CHEYENNE/ATLANTA (Reuters) – The secretive business havens of Cyprus and the Cayman Islands face a potent rival: Cheyenne, Wyoming.

At a single address in this sleepy city of 60,000 people, more than 2,000 companies are registered. The building, 2710 Thomes Avenue, isn’t a shimmering skyscraper filled with A-list corporations. It’s a 1,700-square-foot brick house with a manicured lawn, a few blocks from the State Capitol.

Neighbors say they see little activity there besides regular mail deliveries and a woman who steps outside for smoke breaks. Inside, however, the walls of the main room are covered floor to ceiling with numbered mailboxes labeled as corporate “suites.” A bulky copy machine sits in the kitchen. In the living room, a woman in a headset answers calls and sorts bushels of mail.

A Reuters investigation has found the house at 2710 Thomes Avenue serves as a little Cayman Island on the Great Plains. It is the headquarters for Wyoming Corporate Services, a business-incorporation specialist that establishes firms which can be used as “shell” companies, paper entities able to hide assets.

Wyoming Corporate Services will help clients create a company, and more: set up a bank account for it; add a lawyer as a corporate director to invoke attorney-client privilege; even appoint stand-in directors and officers as high as CEO. Among its offerings is a variety of shell known as a “shelf” company, which comes with years of regulatory filings behind it, lending a greater feeling of solidity.


Read entire, much longer, article here.



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NYLJ: Protections, Benefits Simplified Under Marriage Law, Lawyers Say

The new law will provide automatic state-sanctioned benefits and protections in a wide range of areas, including health care, hospital visitation, property ownership, taxation, insurance coverage, testimonial privileges, child custody and tort rights.

NYLJ: New York Lawyers Celebrate Historic Passage of Marriage Equality Act

News that a “marriage equality” measure was headed toward passage Friday night was greeted by cheers and shouts among members of the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates attending the organization’s summer meeting in Cooperstown.

After a week of nail-biting negotiations and appeals to conscience, the Senate voted, 33-29, to give final approval to a bill, A-08354,  that recognizes gay marriage in New York. The proposal passed with the support of every Democrat but one and four Republicans. Govenor Andrew M. Cuomo immediately signed a measure that he had made one of his top priorities.

“This is great news for all New Yorkers,” Stephen Younger, the immediate past president of the state bar, said in an interview after the vote was announced.

It was only two years ago that the state bar’s policymaking body, also in Cooperstown, voted to endorse state recognition of same-sex marriage.


Read entire NYLJ report with extensive quotes from bar associations and bar leaders here. (Requires free registration)


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A Claimant’s Needs in a Structured Settlement | Legal Talk Network

Read entire article at Legal Talk Network–Choose other Podcasts of interest to you. 

When an injured party has reached the settlement stage of litigation, their financial options can be overwhelming. On this edition of Ringler Radio, host Larry Cohen welcomes Bejan Shirvani, the Managing Sales Director of Structured Settlements for MetLife, to highlight how MetLife interfaces in the structured settlements industry and how to best handle a claimant’s needs.  Larry and Bejan talk about life care plans, age ratings and how to better educate consumers on the benefits of structured settlements and annuities.

Should I Change My Password?

ShouldIChangeMyPassword.com has been created to help the average person check if their password(s) may have been compromised and need to be changed.

This site uses a number of databases that have been released by hackers to the public. No passwords are stored in the ShouldIChangeMyPassword.com database.


LulzSec and other groups have been hacking an assortment of prominent organisations. For good or for bad, they have also been publishing their databases, which typically include emails and passwords. Given that most people re-use their passwords, this site allows the average person to check if their password(s) may have been compromised and need to be changed.



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Gizmodo: Can You Fall In Love with This Beautiful Girl?

Read entire article on Gizmodo.

 — This is Eguchi Aimi. She’s the latest member of Japanese pop band AKB48 and a very lovely girl. But Eguchi Aimi is not what she seems. This Sunday, she shocked all her fans revealing her dark secret. You must watch this.
 Eguchi Aimi is not a real person, she has been composed in a computer using parts from her fellow band members. Her fans, who are legion, just learned about it this week, when this shocking video demonstrating the process, was published in YouTube. The legal implications of this “creation” are going to be very interesting. I foresee a whole new area of law.

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JURIST – Paper Chase: Supreme Court rules indigent defendants do not have right to counsel in civil cases

Maureen Cosgrove at 11:48 AM ET

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[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Monday ruled[opinion, PDF] 5-4 in Turner v. Rogers [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that an indigent defendant does not have a constitutional right to counsel in civil contempt cases that might result in imprisonment. The court held, however, that this particular defendant’s due process rights were violated because he received neither counsel nor access to alternative procedures at his contempt hearing, even though the Due Process Clause of theFourteenth Amendment [text] does not necessarily confer the right to counsel in civil cases. 

Read entire article on Jurist.

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“LawyerUp” Promises People in Trouble a Lawyer in 15 Minutes – NYTimes.com

If I want a pizza, I can get a pizza in 15 minutes,” he says. “I can get a plumber in the middle of the night. Why can’t I get a lawyer?”

Miles co-founded the company in February, and started full operations this month in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, having built a roster of criminal lawyers who do not mind getting late-night calls.


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