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Let’s face it:  jury service can be a major inconvenience. But, like paying taxes, it’s not voluntary.  The recent words of a federal judge, however, may be just inspirational enough to make performing one’s civic duty more bearable. In Clark v. Castro, the Southern District of New York explained why it refused to vacate a…

Read More Citing Importance of Jury Service, Court Denies Motion to Vacate Judgment Following Jury Verdict
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Soon-to-be-former attorney Scott Alan Stern was recently disciplined for engaging in shocking conduct, even by attorney standards. Most attorney discipline cases involve misappropriation (i.e., “stealing”) of client funds and engaging in some kind of fraud on the court. This one, however, is a bit different.  The facts, according to the opinion in Matter of Scott…

Read More Attorney Suspended Indefinitely For Threatening Judge
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Last week in Millbrook v. United States (March 27, 2013), the U.S. Supreme Court (per Justice Thomas, writing for a unanimous Court) issued a decision broadly interpreting the Federal Tort Claims Act’s so-called “law enforcement proviso” codified at 28 U.S.C. § 2680(h). Petitioner Kim Millbrook, a prisoner in the custody of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, alleged that…

Read More SCOTUS Broadly Interprets the Federal Tort Claims Act’s “Law Enforcement Proviso”
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In Carroll v. County of Monroe (2d Cir. 12-975-cv, March 12, 2013), the Second Circuit affirmed the denial of plaintiff’s motion to set aside a jury verdict (or alternatively, for a new trial) after a jury found that plaintiff failed to prove her claim (brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983) that the shooting of her…

Read More 2nd Circuit: Police Not Liable For Killing of Dog During Execution of No-Knock Warrant
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Winfield v. Trottier, 11-4404 (2nd Cir. March 6, 2013) (JACOBS, Pooler, Hall): Plaintiffs sued a Vermont state trooper under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, alleging that he violated their Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights by reading an item of mail uncovered during a search of plaintiff’s car during a traffic stop. The Second Circuit held that,…

Read More Second Circuit: Police Officer Entitled to Qualified Immunity For Reading Stopped Driver’s Mail
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Caroline Stern and her boyfriend George Hess recently settled their lawsuit against New York City (and others) for $75,000. Hess and Stern were arrested by NYPD officers in 2011 after being observed dancing on a nearly-empty subway platform.  You can read more about their case here; the initial complaint is below. [scribd id=121523924 key=key-17jxctmv9wrx4jnj403j mode=scroll]

Read More NYC Pays $75,000 To Settle Dancing Arrest Case
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Yesterday the Appellate Division, in Cuentas v. Sephora USA, affirmed a lower court ruling granting summary judgment to a construction worker plaintiff on his Labor Law § 240(1) claim.  While working on a 6-foot tall, A-frame ladder (example pictured), plaintiff lost his balance and fell, sustaining injuries. The standards for evaluating a Labor Law §…

Read More Summary Judgment For Plaintiff, Who Fell From Ladder, Under Labor Law § 240(1)
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The Second Circuit yesterday, in Swartz v. Insogna, vacated a summary judgment dismissing the plaintiff’s claims allegedly arising from giving police the middle finger.  (This is not the first time we have chronicled middle finger-inspired litigation.)  In its first footnote, the court briefly summarized the history of “giving the finger”, citing a case and a law review article discussing…

Read More Middle Finger Plaintiff Can Continue Suit Against Arresting Officers
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Condominium or co-op?  This distinction, familiar to purchasers of New York City real estate, was recently the basis for a notable decision in New York Labor Law jurisprudence. This week the New York Court of Appeals clarified the meaning of the term “owner” in Labor Law § 241(6).  In Guryev v. Tomchinsky, it held that…

Read More Condominium & Related Entities Were Not Labor Law § 241(6) “Owners”
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