Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Forensics Conference at NY Law School

On February 28, the New York State Bar Association will host “Forensics and the Law VI: Shifting Paradigms” at New York Law School Auditorium, 185 West Broadway, New York, NY 10013. The event runs from 10:00 am to 2:45 pm.

The topics are:

• The Flaws in Microscopic Hair Comparison Evidence
• Challenging Science in the Criminal Justice System
• Forensic Pathology Perspectives on Questioned Diagnoses
• Panel Discussion: Flawed Forensics, Shifting Paradigms

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

New York may have your money, here’s how to get it back

The State of New York may have some of your unclaimed funds.

The New York State Comptroller's Outreach Program seeks to increase public awareness about the Office of Unclaimed Funds (OUF). To achieve this goal, the Comptroller’s Outreach Program participates in a variety of public events across the State.

In addition, people can search the OUF database to see if they have any unclaimed funds and learn how to file a claim.

For more information, visit this website.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Karlsen case: Seneca County murder conviction upheld on appeal

The People of the State of New York, respondent, v Karl Karlsen, Defendant-Appellant. Memorandum and Order:

An appeal from a judgment of the Seneca County Court, rendered December 16, 2013. The judgment convicted defendant, upon his plea of guilty, of murder in the second degree.

Karlsen’s conviction, for murdering his own son, was unanimously affirmed by the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Fourth Department.

The defendant was represented on appeal by D.J. & J.A. Cirando, Esqs., Syracuse (John A. Cirando Of Counsel). The People were represented by Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

February 28: Public Defense Lobby Day in New York State

New York State defense attorney groups are organizing a Tuesday, February 28, 2017 Lobby Day to advocate for increased funding for public defense, including the Justice Equality Act requiring a state fiscal takeover of public defense expenses.

On December 31, Governor Cuomo vetoed the Justice Equality Act. The bill has been reintroduced in the Assembly and groups are pressing the Senate to do the same.

Previously known as the Public Defense Mandate Relief Act, the bill requires the state to assume the cost of public defense in a 7 year phase in, while also requiring the state to fund significant quality improvements and caseload reduction.

To advocate for increased indigent defense funding, CDANY, NYSDA and NYSACDL are organizing a Lobby Day on Tuesday, February 28th to promote the:

* Justice Equality Act (A.1903);
* New York State Defenders Association's 2017-2018 budget request; and
* Indigent Legal Services Office's 2017-2018 budget request.

The groups plan to travel to Albany and meet with up to six legislators to advocate for increased public defense funding. The Lobby Day will be from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Monday, January 30, 2017

New York Appellate Court Now Live Broadcasting Oral Arguments.

Arguments at the Appellate Division, Fourth Department are now available to watch via a live feed.

Viewers can access the live feed by visiting here or by going to the Fourth Department's homepage.

Additionally, a digital archive will be available on the Fourth Department website for on-demand viewing, generally within three business days. Oral arguments will be screened for the disclosure of confidential information and may not be included in the digital archive.

The Fourth Department, which covers 22 counties located in Central and Western New York, hears oral arguments at the M. Dolores Denman Courthouse in Rochester, New York.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Seneca and Cayuga Indians lose federal cigarette tax case

From the New York Law Journal:
State laws that tax tobacco sales by Native American vendors to non-Native Americans do not infringe on tribal sovereignty or other constitutional rights, a federal judge ruled.

The Seneca and Cayuga tribes challenged amendments to state law that imposed taxes on wholesale purchases of tobacco products that were ultimately sold to non-Native Americans….

Western District Judge Michael Telesca ruled against the … tribes [holding] that the tax statute does not target tax-exempt Indian sales to other residents of tribal lands, only sales of tobacco "on an Indian reservation to non-members of the Indian nation or tribe."

Telesca rejected arguments from the Indian nations that the tax law amendments violate the Constitution's interstate commerce clause and the Internet Tax Freedom Act. On both counts, Telesca said state law sets up an alternative way for the Seneca and Cayuga vendors to report tax-exempt sales to Native Americans outside of New York.

Local governments have long been seeking to enforce the collection of sales taxes on non-Native Americans, citing lost revenue and unfair competition with other local businesses. In addition, as noted in the above article:

New York state estimated in 2010 it could capture about $110 million a year if sales of cigarettes and other tobacco products from Native American vendors to non-Native Americans were properly taxed. The tax does not apply to sales to qualified Native Americans for their own use on reservations.

The complete decision can be found here.