Belize’s Supreme Court Just Struck Down A Law That Made Homosexuality Illegal – BuzzFeed News

Chief Justice Kenneth Benjamin ruled on August 10 that the law criminalizing “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” violates constitutional protections for human dignity, privacy, and equality before the law. The case had been brought by Caleb Orozco, director of United Belize Advocacy Movement (UNIBAM) more than six years ago. The Chief Justice ruled that the definition of “sex” in the country’s constitution, includes sexual orientation. BuzzFeed has the text of the ruling. Activists hope that the ruling will have an impact on other Caribbean countries; the attorney general of Antigua said that the government would be “looking at” the ruling. American Religious Right groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and C-Fam have provided support to Belize Action, a group that fought the decriminalization effort. (Religious Dispatches)

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Inside Track: My Struggle for Perfectionism: The Myths and Realities of Being a Young Lawyer:

Benjamin Scott Wright, U.W. 2014, is an attorney editor at the State Bar of Wisconsin. Before beginning his work with the State Bar, he was in private solo practice in Janesville. He writes, “I had been practicing solo for about one year – a year filled with ups and downs, triumph and defeat, stress and uncertainty. In late June the State Bar hired me as a new attorney editor – proof positive that you don’t have to be perfect to make an impression!”

Paula Davis-Laack wrote about perfectionism in the March 2016 issue of Wisconsin Lawyer, highlighting seven negative traits. Her article’s purpose is to convince us that perfectionism is a real problem, not a humble-brag. In my view, it is especially a problem for young lawyers.

In thinking about my own perfectionism, I realized it’s driven by fear. I’m afraid each day’s work might bring mistakes, criticism, misunderstanding, and failure. That fear, however, is irrational. It can be countered with the truth.

So here are four fears that drive my own perfectionism, along with four truths that counter them. I hope my introspection will encourage others to view each day’s work as a step forward (even if imperfect), instead of as another chance for failure.

New Phishing Scheme Mimics Software Providers; Targets Tax Professionals

  Tax Pros Are Target of New Phishing Scam

Tax professionals: Be aware of a new phishing scam that uses email purporting to be from tax software providers to trick unwitting practitioners into downloading malware to their systems and revealing passwords and other sensitive information.

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VW owners, get the facts! | Consumer Information

If you own one of these cars, visit VWCourtSettlement.com. At the site, you can enter your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN) and find out how much you can get. Or you can call 844-98-CLAIM and ask.

It’s particularly important for you to get this information if you’re considering selling your car. Potential buyers may offer what sounds like a good deal, but it’s still less than you can get for a buyback under the FTC’s settlement with VW. Whether it’s a private purchaser or an unscrupulous dealer, those buyers are just going to turn around and sell the car back to VW for more money through the court-approved buyback program.

Read complete FTC article here…

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NYSBA–Real Property Law Section Student Internship Program

The Real Property Law Section (RPLS) has partnered with law schools in New York State to create an RPLS Student Internship Program. The purpose of this clinical program is to give second and third year law students interested in transactional real estate (including environmental and sustainability issues) and real estate litigation a semester of work experience in a law firm or corporate law department. 

  

For a synopsis of the program goals and procedures click here. 

We are now actively soliciting firms to host law students who wish to participate in the internship program during the Fall 2016 semester. The host firm will have one or more law students working ten to fifteen hours per week assisting real estate practitioners in the firm. 

Student interns do not receive compensation from the host firm but, instead, receive course credit from their law schools. The host firms must not bill for the students’ work, as that would violate the law schools’ policy. The interns’ work product should be sufficient compensation to the host firm. 

  

Host firms are asked to assign at least one research and writing assignment to the intern during his/her semester of service, to critique the intern’s work product, and to interact with the law school’s internship program coordinator. 

  

Brooklyn Law School, St. John’s Law School, Hofstra Law School, New York Law School, Pace Law School, Touro Law School, Cardozo Law School and Albany Law School are participating this Fall.

Programs from previous years were extremely successful and we have had very positive feedback from our host firms, interns and participating law schools.

  

All firms that are interested in participating as a host firm this fall should complete and email the application form to David L. Berkey (dlb@gdblaw.com) as soon as possible.

EPA Issues Publication About Cleaning Up Brownfield Sites and Getting to No Further Action

Please see the New York State portions of the USEPA’s publication: “Cleaning Up Brownfields Under State Response Programs – Getting to ‘No Further Action'”:  http://www.dec.ny.gov/data/der/factsheet/epabfnfa.pdf

These pages provide information on aspects of New York State’s response programs available to owners and prospective purchasers of brownfields.  It is a guide for owners of brownfields properties on the general requirements for entering a brownfield into a state cleanup program and the process for attaining a state decision or certification of the need for “no further action”.

The full report may be found at: https://www.epa.gov/brownfields/cleaning-brownfields-under-state-response-programs-getting-no-further-action

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

——————————

Kristen Wagner Esq.

Director, Pro Bono Services

New York State Bar Association

Albany NY

(518) 487-5640

kwagner@nysba.org

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