Law Firm Mourns Loss of Legal Assistant Killed in Charlottesville Protest | Law.com

BY LEIGH JONES

Heather Heyer, killed Saturday while protesting against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., was an “empathetic” worker with a dry sense of humor, according to an attorney for whom she worked.

Heyer, 32, died after a man whom police identified as James Alex Fields Jr., 20, drove his car into a group of counter-protesters following the “Unite the Right” event. Fields faces a second degree murder charge and other charges.

Heyer had worked as a legal assistant since July 2012 at Miller Law Group, a three-attorney firm in Charlottesville focused on consumer bankruptcy, real estate and estate planning.

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When Email Exchanges Become Binding Contracts | New York Law Journal

Adam Leitman Bailey and John M. Desiderio

In Stonehill Capital Management v. Bank of the West , 28 NY3d 439 (2016), the New York Court of Appeals held that an agreement to sell a distressed loan, in the auction loan trading market, was enforceable without the execution of a formal written contract. While Stonehill may simply reflect the court’s pragmatic acknowledgement of the trading practices that prevail in fast-paced loan trading, there has been concern expressed by some real estate attorneys that the decision may adversely impact longstanding practices in the negotiation of real estate contracts. The authors of this article do not share that concern, but we do believe that the decision does highlight points that real estate attorneys should consider when advising their clients. This article discusses when emails will be deemed a real estate contract and how to prevent or create such a binding contract.

Transgender Service Members Sue Trump Over Military Ban Tweets – CourtSide

Today five transgender members of the U.S. military sued Trump, claiming the tweets violate the due process and equal protection rights of transgender service members, and asking for an injunction against the ban. You can read the full lawsuit below.

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Jane Does v Donald Trump by FindLaw on Scribd

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Read entire article…

Related articles

Stephen Colbert compares Trump’s military history with transgender soldiers who serve (mashable.com)

NYSBA | Ethics Opinions 1131 & 1132

Two new ethics opinions
Sharon Stern Gerstman

Today, our Professional Ethics Committee issued two opinions concerning whether lawyers may ethically participate in electronic marketing services.
The first one is in response to an inquiry from a lawyer on whether he could participate in Avvo Legal Services, which would require the payment of a “marketing fee.”  The opinion finds that a lawyer who pays Avvo a marketing fee is making an improper payment for a recommendation in violation of Rule 7.2(a) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.  Having made this conclusion, the Committee did not address other bases for finding the payment improper or any ethical issues related to Avvo beyond the scope of the inquiry. It noted that “The questions we have addressed have generated vigorous debate both within and outside the legal profession.” It said that “at this point we conclude that, under Avvo’s current structure, lawyers may not pay Avvo’s marketing fee for participating in Avvo Legal Services.”  Thus, the opinion clarifies a question that has previously been unanswered in New York. The opinion is Number 1132, and can accessed atNYSBA.org/EthicsOpinion1132.
The second opinion outlines how a service like Avvo’s could be in compliance with New York’s Rules of Professional Conduct. It is intended to guide lawyers who wish to use these types of services in the future. The Committee, noting the variation in the structure of many web based services, says in the opinion that it “does not attempt to address every factual permutation that may exist.” Rather, it explains how such a service can operate within the Rules and examines the issues that a lawyer using a service needs to consider. The opinion is Number 1131, and can be accessed at NYSBA.org/EthicsOpinion1131.
Sincerely,
Sharon Stern Gerstman
Sharon Stern Gerstman
President, New York State Bar Association

Defendants Kept in the Dark About Evidence, Until It’s Too Late – The New York Times

By BETH SCHWARTZAPFEL–NYTIMES

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For decades, legislation to require prosecutors to turn over evidence earlier has run into stiff opposition from New York’s district attorneys, who present a powerful counterargument: the safety of witnesses. More than a dozen such bills have failed in the past quarter-century.

Now, the politics show signs of shifting, and a renewed effort is underway to push the Legislature to overhaul state discovery rules, following the example of traditionally more conservative states such as North Carolina and Texas.

This year, the New York State Bar Association for the first time is throwing its weight behind a new Assembly bill requiring prosecutors to automatically turn over police reports, witness names and statements, and grand jury testimony early in a case. Their endeavor is backed by the Legal Aid Society and the Innocence Project, a nonprofit that helps exonerate people who have been wrongly convicted, although it faces a difficult road. There is no companion bill in the Senate, and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has not embraced the idea.

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Security Summit Alert: Tax Pros Warned of New Scam to Steal Their Passwords

The Internal Revenue Service, state tax agencies and the tax industry today warned tax professionals to be alert to a new phishing email scam impersonating tax software providers and attempting to steal usernames and passwords.

Learn more about the latest scam…

Lawyers must take reasonable steps to protect client info in US border searches, ethics opinion says

BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS–ABA Journal
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Lawyers should take reasonable measures to avoid disclosure of client data in the event U.S. border agents search electronic devices, according to an ethics opinion by the New York City Bar. And if confidential or privileged material is disclosed, lawyers will have to notify affected clients.

The reasonable precautions that should be taken in advance will vary based on factors such as the sensitivity of the information, the likelihood of disclosure, and the cost and difficulty of implementing safeguards, the July 25 opinion says. At the border, lawyers should take reasonable measures when an agent seeks to search a device with confidential information, including making an attempt to dissuade the agent, the opinion says.

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