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In O’Hara v. City of New York et al. (Summary Order dated June 18, 2014), the Second Circuit upheld a jury’s verdict that defendant police officer (McAvoy) used excessive force in arresting plaintiff (O’Hara) in violation of the Fourth Amendment (asserted through 42 USC 1983) and committed state-law battery. It held: [I]f we assume, as…

Read More Second Circuit Upholds Jury Verdict that Repeatedly Punching Unarmed, Non-Menacing Teenager is Excessive Force
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“‘You’re an asshole[]’ is not how an attorney should address her adversary.” That is the opening line of federal judge James C. Francis IV’s Order in Alexander Interactive v. Adorama, 12-6608, 2014 WL 2968528 (SDNY June 26, 2014). This decision serves as a reminder to attorneys to conduct themselves in a civil manner. This case arises…

Read More Don’t Call Your Adversary an Asshole, Federal Court Warns
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The U.S. Supreme Court recently held, in Riley v. California (decided together with U.S. v. Wurie) that the police may not conduct a warrantless search of the digital contents of a cell phone seized from an individual who has been arrested. Justice Roberts’ tour through the Court’s Fourth Amendment jurisprudence culminates with this terse observation:…

Read More Police Need Warrant to Search Cell Phones’ Digital Contents, U.S. Supreme Court Holds
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In Schwartz v. Marcantonatos et al. (Summary Order decided May 20, 2014), the Second Circuit affirmed the denial of summary judgment to defendants on the ground of qualified immunity. This false arrest case arises out of the NYPD’s botched attempt to arrest the plaintiff as part of its “lucky bag” program. Ironically, the arresting (plainclothes) officer’s own illegal…

Read More “Lucky Bag” Operation Backfires; False Arrest Lawsuit Continues
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Here’s a little Mother’s Day-themed law for you. In Pierre v. City of New York, the Southern District of New York recommended the dismissal of various claims asserted by plaintiff against the City of New York, including for false arrest, excessive force, deprivation of property, violation of First Amendment rights, under federal law (through 42 USC…

Read More Mother’s Day Cards Are Not Exempt From General Vendor’s License Requirement
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The New York Court of Appeals (New York’s highest court) recently clarified the standards applicable when a party to litigation seeks information, or discovery, from a non-party. The case, Matter of Kapon v. Koch, arises from billionaire William I. Koch’s lawsuit to recover damages for the alleged sale of counterfeit wine. (The court issued the decision on…

Read More NY Court of Appeals Clarifies Burdens Relating to Nonparty Subpoenas Under CPLR 3101(a)(4)
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In Oborski v. Marjam Supply Co., Inc., Supreme Court, Kings County Judge Francois Rivera offered what can fairly be characterized as motion practice “tips” (which are, really, a reminder to follow the court’s rules when engaging in motion practice): As a preliminary matter the court will discuss the motion papers and the deficiencies contained therein.…

Read More Motion Practice “Tips” From Brooklyn Judge
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The Appellate Division, First Department in Gural v. Fred Drasner recently addressed the following question: whether a part performance exception should be applied to contracts that are not capable of performance within one year of their making, which must be in writing pursuant to General Obligations Law § 5-701(a)(1). Noting its prior “inconsistent” decisions on…

Read More No Part-Performance Exception for Contracts Not Capable of Performance Within One Year of Their Making
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Ah, apartment living.  Efficiency, environmental friendliness, and – of course – loud neighbors.  (I came home today to find this note by my building’s entrance; since my apartment is on the 3rd floor and on the building’s west side, I’m fairly certain it isn’t referring to me.) In Brown v. Blennerhasset Corp., the Appellate Division,…

Read More Noises “Incidental to Normal Occupancy” Not a Private Nuisance
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