DOJ Threatens Immigration Rights Lawyers, Demands They Drop Their Clients | Above the Law

The Trump administration tries a scary new tactic to keep lawyers from aiding immigrants.

By JOE PATRICE

If you can’t beat ’em, bully them with “cease and desist” letters and trumped-up disciplinary accusations. That’s apparently the new motto down at the Department of Justice, where the government is lashing out at the immigration rights attorneys who stymied the administration’s efforts to implement their travel ban. And it’s not just non-profit groups (though those are the first lawyers getting hit); the clever, if diabolical, argument the DOJ has cooked up could be launched to shut down Biglaw attorneys working pro bono matters next. They may have stumbled out of the gate, but this Justice Department came to play hardball, folks.

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Judge sanctions New York City after lawyer makes 600 objections in one deposition

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS–ABA Journal

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U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak of Brooklyn ordered the city to pay the deposition costs as a result of the lawyer’s conduct, report the New York Law Journal(sub. req.), the New York Daily News and the New York Post.

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Formal Opinion 477–ABA

May 11, 2017

Securing Communication of Protected

Client Information

A  lawyer  generally  may  transmit  information  relating  to  the  representation  of  a  client  over  the internet  without  violating  the  Model  Rules  of  Professional  Conduct  where  the  lawyer  has   undertaken reasonable efforts to prevent inadvertent or unauthorized access. However, a lawyer may  be  required  to  take  special  security  precautions  to  protect  against  the  inadvertent  or unauthorized disclosure ofclient information when required by an agreement with the client or by law, or when the nature of the information requires a higher degree of security.

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June 9: Senior Lawyers Section Meet, Greet & Learn

Senior Lawyers Section members in the 6th, 7th and 8th Judicial Districts are invited to a free CLE program and Networking Lunch.

Topic: Ethical issues for senior lawyers including considerations when winding down a practice and when starting a solo practice.

June 9, 2017

11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Nixon Peabody LLP

1300 Clinton Square, 14th Floor

Rochester, NY

MCLE: 1.5 credits in Ethics and Professionalism

Agenda

10:30 – 11:00 am  – CLE Registration

11:00 am – 12:15pm – CLE Program

12:15 – 2:00 pm – Buffet Lunch

REGISTER ONLINE or RSVP to seniorlawyers@nysba.org  

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Kathleen Plog

New York State Bar Association

kplog@nysba.org (518) 487-5681

Albany, NY

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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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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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.”

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