NYLJ: Court Finds Judicial Immunity Extends to Judge’s Law Clerk

ALBANY – Judicial immunity extends to a family law clerk who issued an order of protection under the auspices of Family Court Judge John J. Brennan (See Profile) in Herkimer County, a Court of Claims judge has determined.

The actions of Bart M. Carrig, senior law clerk to Judge Brennan, in a domestic violence case were undertaken within the proper jurisdiction and legal protections of the Family Court in central New York, Court of Claims Judge Glen T. Bruening ruled from Albany in Gookins v. State of New York, 2011-048005 and 119903.

“Judicial immunity has been extended to those individuals who perform quasi-judicial functions–those functions that are ‘closely associated with the judicial process,'” Judge Bruening ruled, quoting Cleavinger v. Saxner, 474 U.S. 193 (1985), and Oliva v. Heller, 839 F2d 37 (1988). “As is relevant to this action, a law clerk for a judge, who ‘generally performs discretionary acts of a judicial nature’ has been described as an ‘extension of the judge at whose pleasure [he or she] serve[s].'”

Read entire article by Joel Stashenko. (May require free registration)

What the Costumes Reveal – NYTimes.com

In this New York Times op-ed entitled “What the Costumes Reveal,” Joe Nocera describes the conduct of employees of the New York law firm Steven J. Baum, P.C., at last year’s firm Halloween bash. Nocera writes that Baum employees wore costumes making fun of people who have lost their homes to foreclosure. In the image below, for instance, a dirty “foreclosure victim” is holding a wine bottle wrapped in a brown paper bag. 20111029_NOCERA-IMG-slide-N9Q1-articleLarge


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Windows Phone Is Back, Full of Great Tricks – State of the Art – NYTimes.com



Windows Phone 7.5 is gorgeous, classy, satisfying, fast and coherent. The design is intelligent, clean and uncluttered. Never in a million years would you guess that it came from the same company that cooked up the bloated spaghetti that is Windows and Office.

Most impressively, Windows Phone is not a feeble-minded copycat.Microsoft came up with completely fresh metaphors that generally steer clear of the iPhone/Android design (grid-spaced icons that scroll across home pages).

Read the entire review by David Pogue here.

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NYSERDA: Agriculture Disaster Program

PON 2422 Agriculture Disaster Program



The Agriculture Disaster Program is available to assist farms and on-farm producers in New York State damaged by Hurricane Irene and/or Tropical Storm Lee. Many New York State farms sustained significant damage by the recent storms and existing aid is primarily focused on crops and soil conservation. Under this program, $4,175,000 is available to provide financial assistance toward projects replacing and installing a farm’s electric and natural gas distribution and use equipment and systems damaged during the storms in non-residential facilities.

Covered equipment includes pumps, compressors, lighting, HVAC, chillers, refrigeration, commercial washers and some natural gas (limited to 10% of total). Farm residences are not covered.

The funds will be dispensed on a first come first served basis.  Limit is $100,000 per farm. The details are covered in the attached NYSERDA program description .




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NYSBA Webcast: Setting Up Your Home Office

Committee on Lawyers in Transition

Setting Up Your Home Office

Live Program and Webcast

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
(Eastern Time)

The program is free to all attorneys, but pre-registration is required.

Attend in person or view the live webcast online

Register online


A Panel with Jeffrey Calandra, Organizational Concepts Designed 4 Life
and Rona Brand, RTB Interiors

Setting up your home office can be a challenge, whether establishing a private environment to see clients, or organizing an existing (and sometimes small) space for use as both an office and a guest or other room in your home.  Our panelists will address issues regarding floor planning and furniture (such as creating a private entrance, using limited space, floor plans for functionality, furniture that works and dual purpose rooms), organization (such as storage, use of walls and shelves, filing systems and avoiding office clutter) and what to display (such as what to keep visible (and not) and avoiding visual clutter).

This program is part of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Lawyers in Transition series of free, live webcasts on Career Development to help lawyers better manage their careers during this tough economy.  The October program is co-sponsored by the Law Practice Management Committee.

If you are in the NYC area, attend the program in person at

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP
375 Park Avenue (at 52nd Street)
New York City

Please note that your name must be added to a security list to enter the building, pre-registration is required. Register online at www.nysba.org/November9thWebcast

The weblink to view the program along with any program materials will be forwarded to all registrants.  If you are unable to attend in person or participate in the LIVE webcast, the recorded archive will be available online and posted at the Committee’s website www.nysba.org/LawyersinTransition.


Did you miss the October Attorney Websites and Marketing program?

Visit www.nysba.org/LITarchivedWebcasts to view archived webcast.

NYSBA – LifeCounselor & eLAP

LifeCounselor is an online e-Lawyer Assistance Program designed to offer you the tools and support you need to prevent or address concerns related to addiction, mental health issues, and stress. Informational articles, resources for making healthy life changes, and confidential email communication with a lawyer assistance professional are all available to you at this website. 

Lawyers and judges are held to a very high standard and this resource will help you meet and exceed the standard; while also helping you balance a demanding career and an active personal life. Getting started is as simple as completing our quick registration form. We are glad you’re here.
You are also invited to visit the Lawyer Assistance Program website at www.nysba.org/lap or call at 1.800.255.0569.
Please NOTE: LifeCounselor does not provide treatment but, if needed, can help you find a treatment provider appropriate to your needs.
eLAP, a new website, is available to assist you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The site features more than 2,000 articles on mental health issues, assessments, self-help modules and access to direct email communication with a lawyer assistance professional.  After a brief registration process, you will be able to use eLAP’s resources to learn more about issues related to stress management, mental health and substance abuse, or to seek answers to any questions you may have.  Most importantly, it is completely private and confidential.

Visit eLAP at www.nysba.org/elap and enter the access code NYLAP to explore all of the useful resources and information the site has to offer.

Adobe Reader for iOS

Adobe Reader is the free global standard for reliably viewing and sharing PDF documents across platfoms and devices. Easily and efficiently access the widest range of PDF file types–including PDF Portfolios, password-protected PDF documents and Adobe LiveCycle rights-managed PDF files. Now available for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.

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Cameras in Court Pilot Project Now Has 70 Videos Online

Cameras in Courts Video Player.

From US Court News:
The federal judiciary’s digital video pilot, which started in July, now
has posted some 70 videos of various courtroom proceedings in eight
separate cases.
In all, 14 federal trial courts are participating in the three-year
The pilot is limited to civil, not criminal, cases. No proceedings may
be recorded without the approval of the presiding judge and the consent
of the parties. The recordings are posted on this website and also may
be posted on the participating court’s website.
You can read more about the pilot project, and view the videos already
on the Cameras in Courts page.


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NYSBA Ethics Opinion 882 (10/14/2011)

Topic: Lawyer’s participation in residential real estate transaction that includes both a “seller’s concession” and an equivalent “gross-up” in the sales



Digest: If the sales price in a residential real estate transaction has been “grossed-up” in exchange for a “seller’s concession,” all transaction documents containing the grossed- up sales price must disclose that the sales price has been increased by a sum equal to the seller’s concession. Rules: 8.4(c).

“…in a residential real estate transaction where the sales contract, the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, the transfer tax return and any other documents that contain the sales price [shall] each contain the following statement (or a substantially similar statement): “The sales price has been increased by a sum equal to the seller’s concession.”


Read the entire opinion here.

FEMA Federal Disaster Assistance Registration Deadline for Hurricane Irene–October 31, 2011

Federal Emergency Management AgencyImage via Wikipedia

New York State and federal officials remind those who were affected byHurricane Irene that they have only two weeks left to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for possible federal disaster assistance. It’s important that those who may need to register for aid do so as soon as possible. Registrations cannot be accepted after the October 31, 2011 deadline.

“Registration keeps open the possibility of awide range of assistance,” said Philip E. Parr, FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer. “If your insurance coverage comes up short, or other damageappears later, you need to be registered with FEMA to be considered for disaster assistance.”

To register, call the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362. Phone lines are open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET, seven days a week untilfurther notice. People with hearing disabilities can use the TTY number, 800-462-7585.Applicants can also register online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov orwith any web-enabled mobile device or smartphone at m.fema.gov. Follow the link to “apply online for federal assistance.”