NY AG: To allow state prosecutions of pardoned Trump aides, change double jeopardy–ABA Journal

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New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman wants to change the state’s double jeopardy law to allow prosecutions if President Donald Trump issues “strategically timed” pardons to indicted aides or other individuals.

Schneiderman asked state lawmakers for a change to the “double jeopardy loophole” on Wednesday, report the New York Times, the New York Law Journal, the Atlantic and Politico. A press release is here, and the letter is here.

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Sharply Divided Court of Appeals Removes Hurdle for Tort Plaintiffs to Gain Summary Judgment | New York Law Journal

By Andrew Denney

Ruling on an issue that has divided New York judges and “perplexed courts for some time,” a split Court of Appeals ruled that plaintiffs in comparative negligence cases need not bear the “double burden” of disproving their own negligence to win on summary judgment.

The high court’s 4-3 ruling clears up an issue that has bedeviled New York courts for decades, which has resulting in inconsistent case law on the issue of whether plaintiffs have to show that they are free of negligence to succeed on a summary judgment motion when determining a defendant’s liability.

Writing for the majority, Judge Paul Feinman said placing the burden on the plaintiff, a New York City sanitation worker injured on the job who sued the city government, to show an absence of fault is inconsistent with a state statute, which since 1975 has directed courts to assess a plaintiff’s comparative negligence only at the damages stage.

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‘Testilying’ by Police: A Stubborn Problem – The New York Times

Police lying persists, even amid an explosion of video

evidence that has allowed the public to test officers’ credibility.

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“Behind closed doors, we call it testilying,” a New York City police officer, Pedro Serrano, said in a recent interview, echoing a word that officers coined at least 25 years ago. “You take the truth and stretch it out a little bit.”

An investigation by The New York Times has found that on more than 25 occasions since January 2015, judges or prosecutors determined that a key aspect of a New York City police officer’s testimony was probably untrue. The Times identified these cases — many of which are sealed — through interviews with lawyers, police officers and current and former judges.

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About LawHelpNY | New York

LawHelpNY.org, powered by Pro Bono Net, is an online tool for helping low-income New Yorkers solve their legal problems. Our mission is to provide and promote access to high-quality online information about:

  • Free legal services throughout New York State
  • Legal rights in a broad range of substantive areas
  • The New York State court system
  • Advocacy groups, government offices and social service organizations that help low-income New Yorkers

We are committed to helping low-income and other vulnerable New Yorkers achieve equal access to justice by providing information that is user-friendly in English, Spanish and other languages.

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LawHelpNY.org is New York’s only comprehensive source of legal referral information and includes:

  • More than 600 free legal service projects and organizations with their contact and intake information
  • More than 4,000 Know Your Rights and self-help resources covering 11 areas of law
  • Information about the Court system
  • AyudaLegalNY.org, a Spanish mirror website
  • Legal rights resources in more than 30 languages
  • LiveHelp, a real-time chat service that helps users find the legal help they need

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In Policy Shift, Lawyers Allowed to Use Electronic Devices During Arguments in 1st Dept. Courthouse | New York Law Journal

t’s a sign of the times. Starting next week, electronic devices will be permitted in New York’s 19th century Madison Avenue courtrooms during proceedings. It marks the first time that any of the departments of the Appellate Division have adopted a written policy allowing lawyers and litigants arguing pro se to use laptops, tablets and smartphones during oral arguments.

NYSBA Pro Bono Portal – Empowering New York attorneys to get matched with rewarding pro bono opportunities and to learn new skills.

Following several Executive Orders announcing travel bans and increased immigration enforcement, the legal community has increased its efforts to deliver vital immigration legal services to our communities and thousands of attorneys have volunteered to donate their time and services on a pro bono basis. The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) received many inquiries from its members about how they can help.  In order to best address the rise of attorneys seeking to do pro bono work, while supporting the non-profit and legal service organizations actively serving New York’s immigrant communities, NYSBA paired up with the New York Bar Foundation and Legal.io to create a web-based portal through which attorneys can be referred to volunteer opportunities in a tailored and timely fashion.

NYSBA’s Immigration Pro Bono Portal provides volunteer attorneys with tailored referrals to current and relevant volunteer opportunities at legal services organizations where the attorneys’ specific skills and experience are needed. As a result, attorneys are connected with appropriate volunteer opportunities in a timely manner while legal services organizations are able to provide more services and save valuable resources.

Since July, we have referred over fifty attorneys to more than twenty organizations across the state. In the long run, we seek to assist New York’s civil legal service community in achieving 100% legal immigration representation (currently the nationwide average is about 30%), where representation in deportation and detention contexts is the norm, not an exception.

We encourage attorneys who are interested in volunteering to visit www.nysbaprobono.org and register as a volunteer attorney so that we may provide them with tailored referrals to volunteer opportunities for which they may be well suited. We also encourage organizations across the state that both serve New York’s immigrant population, and have a need for pro bono volunteers, to visit the site and create a listing, indicating their volunteer needs, so we may refer suitable volunteers to them. If you have any questions about NYSBA’s Pro Bono Immigration Portal, please email me at probonoportal@nysba.org or call me at 518-487-5642.

Best Regards,

Yuriy Pereyaslavskiy,

Immigration Pro Bono Fellow

State comptroller pushes savings program for disabled–Poughkeepsie Journal

Amy Wu

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed NY ABLE into law at the end of 2015. Since its launch in New York, 163 accounts have been opened at an average of two or three a day. Many of those who signed up are 35 and under, although the oldest participants are in their 80s, said Anne Del Plato, who is overseeing the program.

On Tuesday, state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli was in Poughkeepsie to make a push for the program and spoke to a standing-room-only crowd at The Arc of Dutchess, a nonprofit that offers resources and support to the developmentally disabled. Attendees included parents of children with disabilities, caregivers, agencies and nonprofits that focus on the disabled, and a handful of disabled adults

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The program’s requirements include being a state resident and have been diagnosed with a disability before 26.

The program’s key features include:

  • It is tax-free when used with qualified expenses such as education, transportation and personal support services.
  • Accounts can for opened by an individual, parent or guardian with $25 or $15 with payroll deduction.
  • Participants can deposit up to $14,000 annually this year, and $15,000 starting in 2018.
  • The program has a cap of $100,000 for the accounts.

NY ABLE is structured similarly to the state’s 529 College Savings Program, which has more than $27 billion invested currently, DiNapoli said. In addition, the program offers several investment options.

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