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In honor of Halloween, I present to you Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 A.D.2d 254 (App. Div. 1st Dept. 1991), the so-called “haunted house case”. There, the court – “moved by the spirit of equity” (that’s a quote) – allowed the buyer of an allegedly haunted house to seek rescission of the contract and recover his down payment.…

Read More Court: Ghosts Are Real! (Sort Of)
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On September 30, 2012, in Dinler v. City of New York, the Southern District of New York issued an opinion that largely favors the protesters who filed suit for alleged police abuses during the 2004 Republican National Convention. Significantly, the Court rejected the Defendants’ theory of “group probable cause”, and affirmed the requirement of individualized…

Read More Court Issues Major Victory to Protesters in RNC Litigation
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In Roberta Campbell v. Mark Hotel Sponsor, 09-cv-9644 – a breach of contract case – Judge Pauley slashed the legal fees and costs sought by attorney-for-the-winner Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP from more than $3 million to a “mere” $475,000.  The relatively short opinion reinforces the need for counsel to exercise “billing judgment” and…

Read More SDNY Judge Awards Fraction of Fees Sought by Kramer Levin
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In Williams v. Holder, the Northern District of New York recently dismissed plaintiff’s claim, brought under Section 1983 and Bivens, that he was denied meaningful access to the courts because the prison’s law library did not contain sufficient legal materials and he was not provided with adequate legal assistance. The court summarized the law in…

Read More Court Denies Claim of Inadequate Access to Courts Based on Insufficient Law Library Materials and Assistance
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According to recent reports, nude body-paint model Zoe West has settled her false arrest claims against New York City for $15,000.  West was arrested (see picture) in August 2011 as artist Andy Golub applied paint to her naked body in Times Square.   Her complaint (below) alleged that her arrest was unlawful because public nudity is…

Read More Nude Model Zoe West Settles False Arrest Claims Against NYC
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Last week, federal Judge George B. Daniels upheld (in response to a Fourth Amendment challenge) NYPD “Interim Order 52”, which requires that a breathalyzer test be administered to any NYPD officer involved in a shooting that results in injury or death to a person in New York City.  The decision in Palladino et al. v. City…

Read More Court Upholds Requirement That NYPD Officers Undergo Breathalyzer Tests Following Shooting Incidents
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On June 8, 2009, I wrote the following words in a resignation letter to the managing partner of Moses & Singer LLP: By this letter, I notify you that I resign my position at the Firm, effective today.  Today will be my last day. This was the first step towards establishing and building a law…

Read More Three Years Ago Today
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In Matter of Fermin-Perea v. Swarts, a New York Appellate Division, First Department panel held that it was error to revoke a driver’s license on the basis of a refusal to submit to a chemical test, where a field sobriety test conducted 25 minutes after the stop indicated, contrary to the information contained in the…

Read More Videotaped Field Sobriety Test Trumps Officer’s Observations; License Reinstated
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In a decision issued on March 29, 2012, the Appellate Division, First Department, held in Ortega v. City of New York that, in a Labor Law § 240(1) case – here, arising from plaintiff’s use of a “tremie rack” (example pictured) – “a plaintiff is not required to demonstrate that the injury was foreseeable, except…

Read More Labor Law § 240(1) Does Not Require Plaintiff To Show That His Injury Was Foreseeable Except In Case Involving the Collapse of a Permanent Structure
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