Don’t click! Lawyers get fake emails about a complaint; hyperlink installs malicious software

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS for ABA Journal

Lawyers who receive emails about a complaint filed against their business may have a problem–but it’s not because of an angry client.

Officials in multiple states are warning that the emails invite the lawyers to click on a hyperlink to view the complaint. Clicking on the link will open a website that installs malicious software or ransomware on the lawyer’s computer. Ransomware blocks computer access until the computer user pays money to get it unlocked.

Officials in New YorkTexasPennsylvaniaMarylandand Florida are among those warning about the scam. Lawyers who received such an email should delete it immediately and should not click on the link, according to a press release by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

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Above the Law reports on other email scams in this article. Ransomware victims can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Read more about scams directed at lawyers….

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Several law profs land on watch list of academics who advance ‘leftist propaganda’–ABA Journal

Harvard law professor Mark Tushnet says he isn’t bothered by his inclusion on a conservative group’s new watch list of leftist professors.

“It’s not a big deal,” Tushnet tells the Harvard Crimson. “It comes with the territory.”

Tushnet is among nearly 200 professors on the “Professor Watchlist” created by the group Turning Point USA. The list aims to “expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students, promote anti-American values, and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom.” The New York TimesNew York Magazine and the Chronicle of Higher Education have stories.

The watch list targets Tushnet for a May 2015 blog post saying conservatives lost the culture wars, and it’s time to take a hard line with the losers.

Critics told the Times that lists like the one created by Turning Point USA are intended to intimidate professors from speaking out.

Read more…

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Jones Day and ABA develop VetLex legal referral network to provide pro bono help to veterans–ABA Journal

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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Jones Day is hosting programs at 18 of its offices on Friday to introduce lawyers and executives to a referral program being developed with the ABA that will link veterans to pro bono and low-cost lawyers.

The program, expected to launch in the spring, is called VetLex, report Bloomberg Big Law Business, the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Daily Business Review (sub. req.). Working with the ABA, local bar associations and law schools, the firm hopes to recruit, train and certify lawyers to participate.

Legal advice offered through the network will extend beyond benefits disputes, according to a Jones Day press release. Help will be provided in areas such as landlord-tenant relations, family law, employment matters and business start-ups. The program will also link veterans to needed social services.

Read more…

Forgiving Fines: The NYC Amnesty Program

The City of New York is reducing penalties and interest for many violations* issued by the Department of Sanitation, Department of Buildings, and other city agencies.

 

Take advantage of the amnesty program before it expires! Amnesty will run from September 12, 2016 – December 12, 2016. Stay informed.

Violations must be in judgment. This means the City of New York has taken the legal step of filing a public record of your liability in court for the entire amount due, plus additional interest. Criminal violations and violations over $25,000 are excluded. Other limitations, exclusions and eligibility requirements apply. 

Click here for more information and to search for violations…

Northern District Pro Bono Opportunities

Dear Northern District Bar Members, 

The Court currently has three opportunities for attorneys to volunteer as pro bono counsel for trial ready cases. Please refer to L.R. 83.3 regarding the establishment of the Pro Bono Panel of the Northern District of New York. The following cases are currently awaiting pro bono counsel:

1. 9:15-cv-771 (GTS/TWD) Lewis v. Cowan et al (Syracuse Trial) 

2. 9:15-cv-317 (GTS/TWD) Peele v. Donah et al (Syracuse Trial)

3. 9:06-cv-1308 (FJS/DEP) Kotler v. Jubert et al (Syracuse Trial) 

*Stand-by Counsel only. Trial is set for 10/19/2016

Please remember that pursuant to Local Rule 83.3 (g) attorneys who accept a pro bono appointment may seek reimbursement for expenses incident to representation of indigent clients by application to the Court. Reimbursement or advances shall be permitted to the extent possible in light of available resources and, absent extraordinary circumstances, shall not exceed $2,000.

If any firms or counsel are interested in one of the above opportunities, please contact Nicole Eallonardo in the Clerk’s Office, at Nicole_Eallonardo@nynd.uscourts.gov for further information. Accepting one of the above assignments will fulfill the requirement under Local Rule 83.3. Thank you for your attention to this matter. 

Thank you,

Lawrence K. Baerman, Clerk of Court

Sidebar_160719-NYSBA

NOTICE

We received a report of a member getting an unauthorized phone solicitation offering six months’ free New York State Bar Association membership. Please be advised that the Association is not engaged in telephone solicitations at this time. Although this is likely an isolated incident, if you receive such a call, do not share any personal information, and please let us know immediately by calling our Member Resource Center at 800.582.2452.

Email scam targets lawyers with fake disciplinary warnings, bar announcements–ABA Journal

Lawyers across the country should be on the lookout for phishing emails, which purport to be about new discipline investigations.More than 50 attorneys have received the emails, which have links to malicious software, says Molly Flood, research and information manager with the ABA’s Division for Bar Services. She suspects that senders get email addresses through the websites of state bars that also handle attorney regulation.

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“They also dummied up a webpage, that looked like it was our website,” says Francine Walker, the Florida Bar’s director of public information. Besides using unpaid bar dues and discipline complaints as a ruse, some of the emails claimed that the bar changed its fee schedule.

Read entire report from ABA Journal here.

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