Yale and Harvard Law Deans Pull No Punches in Op-Ed on Trump | Law.com

BY KAREN SLOAN

The deans of Yale Law School and Harvard Law School have joined the growing chorus of lawyers publicly condemning President Donald Trump’s attacks on the judiciary.

In a blistering op-ed in The Boston Globe on Friday, Harvard’s Martha Minow and Yale’s Robert Post wrote that Trump’s Twitter-delivered insults against the federal judges who stayed his controversial travel ban risk making the president “an enemy of the law and the Constitution.”

“By questioning the legitimacy and authority of judges, Trump seems perilously close to characterizing the law as simply one more enemy to be smashed into submission,” the deans wrote. “At risk are the legal practices and protections that guard our freedom and our safety from the mob violence that destroyed democracies in the 1930s.”

Trump called U.S. District Court Judge James Robart, who initially stayed the travel ban, a “so-called judge” on Twitter. He then went after the appellate panel for leaving Robart’s order in place, calling their ruling “disgraceful,” among other comments. Last year, Trump accused the judge hearing a lawsuit over his Trump University of bias due to the jurist’s Mexican heritage.

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Last week, American Bar Association president Linda Klein lambasted Trump’s attack on Robart in a fiery speech delivered during the organization’s midyear meeting in Miami. “There are no ‘so-called’ judges in America,” Klein said.

“There are simply judges, fair and impartial. And we must keep it that way.”

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Read more…

Foreclosure Litigation Strategy Takes Aim at Seniors, Attorneys Say | Law.com

BY SAMANTHA JOSEPH

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This, defense attorneys say, is a new strategy by lenders and plaintiffs lawyers: sue to foreclose on government-guaranteed home loans under various defaults, then fast-track these suits by filing motions for orders to show cause. These motions shift the burden of proof to the borrower, requiring them to appear in court and explain why a judge shouldn’t grant final judgment against them.

“All of a sudden, we saw a spate of foreclosures [on reverse mortgages] where the mortgage companies alleged the seniors no longer lived in the home,” said Gladys Gerson, supervising attorney for Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida’s senior unit. “This has been happening around the state.”

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Corona admits he didn’t expect a hard fight when he first reviewed El Hassan’s case, but court records show he was wrong. Over the last 10 months, the ongoing litigation yielded two hearings, 40 docket entries and attempts by both sides to collect attorney fees.

When he first met El Hassan, Corona expected the plaintiff would realize the error and dismiss the suit. Without charging her or entering a notice of appearance, he placed a phone call to plaintiffs lawyers at Robertson Anschutz & Schneid in Boca Raton to say El Hassan had never moved out of her home.

Robertson Anschutz & Schneid did not respond to requests for comment, but court records show they ratcheted up the litigation with a motion for an order to show cause weeks after Corona’s phone call.

“I looked at the document. I couldn’t believe it,” Corona said. “I was in shock (at) what the bank was trying to do.”

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Read more…

Group Turns To Big Law for Major Immigrant Rights Effort | New York Law Journal

Christine Simmons, New York Law Journal

Spurred on by President Trump’s deportation priorities, a group of big-firm lawyers and nonprofit attorneys has launched a project to represent immigrants nationwide who are at risk for deportation and already has distributed a mass letter to hundreds of large firms seeking donations and pro bono work.

The American Immigrant Representation Project, formed shortly after Trump’s election, on Friday wrote to more than 300 lawyers, mostly at Am Law 200 firms and plaintiff firms, spelling out the need for resources and volunteers. The letter asks firms to commit $10,000 and/or designate a partner and three associates who will develop an expertise in the field through the initiative’s training and represent those targeted for removal.

“The immigration defense community desperately needs the help of the private bar,” the letter said. “We expect thousands of people will need representation, most of whom will be unable to locate or afford counsel.

The letter noted immigrants with counsel are 14 times more likely to successfully challenge removal than those without. “Our vision is to stand ready to provide representation to all those in need.”

Read more (may require free subscription)…

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A.G. Schneiderman Issues Alert On Phishing Scam Targeting New York Attorneys | www.ag.ny.gov

Warning: Email Phishing Scam

The New York State Bar Association is aware of an email phishing scam that is targeted at attorneys. 

  

The current email subject line says:  “The Office of The State Attorney Complaint.”  No such office exists in New York. 

  

If you received the email, please delete it immediately. Do not follow any links or open any attachments. If you do, your computer or cell phone could be exposed to a virus. 

  

The Office of the New York State Attorney General has issued a press release about the scam.  Link: http://www.ag.ny.gov/press-release/ag-schneiderman-issues-alert-phishing-scam-targeting-new-york-attorneys

  

For more information about how the AG’s office handles complaints against businesses, go to: http://www.ag.ny.gov/consumer-frauds/Filing-a-Consumer-Complaint.

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore suspended for defiance over same-sex marriage – The Washington Post

By Mark Berman 

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Alabama’s top judge was suspended from the bench without pay for the remainder of his term, the state’s Court of the Judiciary said Friday.

This is the second time Roy S. Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, has been effectively pulled from office, following his ouster in 2003 over his refusal to obey judicial rulings ordering him to remove a Ten Commandments statue from the Alabama Judicial Building.

A complaint was filed by the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission charging Moore with violating judicial ethics in issuing an order in January stating that probate judges in the state “have a ministerial duty not to issue” marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

In a 50-page judgment Friday, two days after Moore appeared for a hearing in the case, Alabama’s Court of the Judiciary found him guilty of failing to comply with the law, uphold the integrity of the court and “perform the duties of his office impartially.”

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ABA Free Legal Answers

NY.freelegalanswers.org is a website where members of the public can go to post basic legal questions that attorneys can answer for free.  The client can create an account on the website after completing a short screening questionnaire to determine if they qualify (based on income), and agreeing to the limited scope of representation that the website offers.  Similarly, any attorney in New York can create an account on the website after completing a brief limited scope representation tutorial (developed by Judge Fern Fisher) and agreeing to the terms of the program.

Attorneys may, at their leisure, log on to the website and respond to questions posted by members of the public.  Attorneys may select which questions to answer by previewing questions, which can be sorted by practice area so they can easily see which questions fall within their areas expertise. 

This will allow attorneys of all types to do pro bono work from any location for any length of time.  This will provide attorneys who may have difficulty doing pro bono work (government attorneys, retired attorneys, rural attorneys, etc.) an opportunity to do pro bono work in a way that fits their lifestyles. 

NY.FreeLegalAnswers.org will be going live at the end of August.  In order to adequately test out the platform and respond to questions submitted by members of the public in its early stages, I am seeking out 100 volunteers who are interested in learning more about the project and using the site.  The target launch date is currently scheduled for August 23rd.  If you are interested in learning more about volunteering, please fill out this form and send it back to me.  You may also share the form with any trusted colleagues who may be interested in participating.

Please note that there is absolutely no obligation here.  I am simply seeking out people who are interested in learning more about the project so that I may provide them with more information about it closer to the launch date.  At that point, I can provide more guidance to those participating in the test panel so they know exactly how the site works and what to expect – most likely via a memo and conference call for those who are available for one.

To access a power point presentation and video demonstration of the national free legal answers platform, please go to: www.americanbar.org/groups/probono_public_service/….

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me.

Regards,

Kristen

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Kristen Wagner Esq.

Director, Pro Bono Services

New York State Bar Association

Albany NY

(518) 487-5640

kwagner@nysba.org

The Showman – The New Yorker

 Jeffrey Toobin‘s May 9 article in The New Yorker, appropriately called, “The Showman,” about United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara’s infatuation with and misuse of the media.

Read more…long article.

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