Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Doctor who operated a Pill Mill for persons addicted to opioids convicted of Manslaughter for overdose deaths

The New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division First Department, has determined that a doctor accused of operation of a "pill mill" for persons addicted to opioids and Xanax, was properly convicted of manslaughter in the overdose deaths of two persons to whom he had supplied drugs:
At bottom, all that was needed for the manslaughter charge to be sustained was for the People to satisfy its elements. That is, that defendant was 'aware of and consciously disregard[ed] a substantial and unjustifiable risk that [death] [would] occur . . . The risk [being] of such nature and degree that disregard thereof constitute[d] a gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe in the situation' ... . The question then becomes whether the People presented sufficient evidence to establish that defendant consciously disregarded the risk that [the addicts] would die as a result of his prescribing practices. ...
People v. Stan XuHui Li, 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 08438, First Dept 11-30-17

Monday, December 18, 2017

If Buying Gift Cards, Read the Fine Print

New York State officials are urging consumers to read the fine print on gift cards this holiday season for details about fees and expiration dates.

The cards may have terms and conditions that can decrease their value. These may include charging:

• Service fees when the card is purchased;
• Dormancy fees if the gift card is not used within a certain period of time;
• Fees to call and check the balance remaining on the card; and
• Replacement fees for lost or stolen gift cards.
For more on how to protect gift card recipients click here.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

New York State Court of Appeals holds that juries must be charged on cross-racial indentification

Finding a "near consensus among cognitive and social psychologists that people have significantly greater difficulty in accurately identifying members of a different race than in accurately identifying members of their own race," the New York State Court of Appeals ruled Thursday (December 14) that "when identification is an issue in a criminal case and the identifying witness and defendant appear to be of different races, upon request, a party is entitled to a charge on cross-racial identification."

The ruling comes in the case of People v Otis Boone.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Seneca County, Towns of Covert and Ovid: Notice of Public Hearing

The Town of Covert will hold a public hearing on December 11, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Covert Town Hall, Interlaken, New York.

The purpose of the public hearing is to hear commons on the 2018 Fire/Ambulance agreement between the Town of Covert, Town of Ulysses and Town of Ovid.

All interested person will be given an opportunity to be heard.

For more information, click the image.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Seneca County Sheriff warns of scams

Seneca County Sheriff Tim Luce is alerting people about recent scams.
Holiday season is also scam season. Scammers will call, email or mail communications that are false in order to steal from the recipients.

They often pose as sweepstakes officials, police, IRS agents and even representatives of

utility companies like cable, internet and power.

Recently a call was received in Waterloo from a scammer posing as a cable T.V. and internet provider.

The callers ultimately try to obtain personal information such as dates of birth, social security numbers, account numbers, etc. They may also try and get you to send money and offer “to good to be true” deals.

The sheriff warns all citizens to be wary of these scams and to report any suspicious calls to law enforcement as soon as possible. Scammers can be very persistent; if you give them even partial information it can trigger more calls.

Monday, December 4, 2017

New York Court System Releases Report on Status, Reforms

The New York State Unified Court System recently released its annual report.

It provides an update on the "Excellence Initiative," to streamline caseloads in the New York court system.

The also includes a summary of

the "standards and goals," including benchmarks of 90 days for misdemeanors and 180 days from indictment for felonies. In addition, the report highlights the state's Access to Justice Program and volunteer attorney activities, the Pro Bono Scholars Program, and efforts to support specialty courts.

Finally, the document contains a section on caseload activity of the entire court system.

The complete report can be found here.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Supreme Court cellphone tracking case to redefine privacy in the digital age

Washington Post:
The Supreme Court will hear arguments this Wednesday in Carpenter v. United States, a criminal case testing the scope of the Fourth Amendment's right to privacy in the digital age....

The defendant was convicted of leading a gang of robbers. The prosecution produced cellphone-tower data that tracked the whereabouts of Carpenter's cellphone for more than four months and placed him at or near the sites of a string of armed robberies. The police acquired the data from Carpenter's wireless carriers without a warrant showing probable cause.

A majority of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit held that ...Carpenter had voluntarily conveyed data revealing his location to wireless carriers -- the third-party operators of the cell towers. He knew, or should have known, that the wireless carriers were free to track his locations and furnish the information to the police.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Veterans Law Clinic Announced at Hofstra Law

The Robert W. Entenmann Veterans Law Clinic will become a clearinghouse for veterans services, providing legal assistance and connecting them to vital medical, social service and mental health resources. It is being supported by a $500,000 gift through the Entenmann family, and is named in memory of Robert W. Entenmann.

The Veterans Law Clinic assists veterans with legal services related to physical and psychological challenges, including traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other injuries incurred during military service. The clinic helps veterans obtain health care benefits, including cases to obtain Veterans Administration benefits, appeal denials of disability compensation claims, and request increased compensation.

The clinic will also use web-based software to create a virtual clinic to increase its capacity to provide services to those veterans whose mobility may be limited. In addition, the clinic will develop a number of legal resources for veterans, such as “Know Your Legal Rights” guides, will form relationships with other community stakeholders to collaborate and integrate services, and will organize outreach events to expand the veterans’ support network.

For more information, click here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Statewide ban on e-cigarettes indoors in New York starts today

© 2017 Advance Media New York:
A statewide ban on using e-cigarettes indoors in New York takes effect today.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a new law last month adding e-cigarettes to the state's Clean Indoor Air Act... Vaping is now banned in the workplace, on public transportation, indoors at all public and private colleges and in other areas.

It is also now banned in outdoor areas where smoking is also forbidden.

More on the new law here and here.

Monday, November 20, 2017

New Measures to Enhance the Delivery of Justice in New York Criminal Cases

Implementation of New Measure Aimed at Enhancing the Delivery of Justice in Criminal Cases:
To help prevent wrongful convictions and enhance the delivery of justice in criminal matters, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore today announced the adoption of new rules that will
require judges presiding over criminal trials to issue an order notifying and reminding prosecutors and defense attorneys appearing before them of their professional responsibilities....

Trial court judges in applicable cases will issue an order to the prosecutor responsible for the case to timely disclose exculpatory evidence favorable to the accused − called Brady material (referring to the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Brady v. Maryland, that in criminal cases prosecutors must disclose all evidence that could be materially favorable to the defense) − as required by the federal and state constitutions, statutory and ethical rules....

Additionally, trial judges in criminal cases will be required to issue a directive focusing on the defense counsel’s obligations to provide constitutionally effective representation in the case, such as keeping the client informed about the case, providing reasonable advice regarding any plea offers, and performing a reasonable investigation of both the facts and law pertinent to the case.

Read more here.

Monday, November 13, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Moves to e-filing.

The United States Supreme Court’s new electronic filing system begins operation on Monday, November 13, 2017.

The filing system will not be part of PACER, and attorneys will need to pre-register.

Additional information about the system is available here.

Monday, November 6, 2017

New York Courts Seek Comment on Proposal to Amend Non-discrimination Rules

The New York State Administrative Board of the Courts is seeking public comment on a proposal to amend various rules of the Unified Court System to prohibit discrimination based on "gender identity" and "gender expression."

The proposal seeks to amend the following rules:

• Attorney Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR Part 1200);
• Rules of Judicial Conduct (22 NYCRR Part 100);
• UCS Code of Ethics for Nonjudicial Employees (22 NYCRR Part 50);
• Rules of the Chief Judge, Career Service (22 NYCRR Part 25).

The Request for Public Comment includes the relevant rules, as well as a memorandum by the Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Courts, Hon. Lawrence Marks, which claims that the current non-discrimination policies are "not inclusive of all the members of the LGBTQ communities," and "[e]xtending these provisions to include 'gender identity' and 'gender expression' will aid in the public efforts to institutionalize the Judiciary's commitment to eradicating discrimination and bias against all persons regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression."

Persons wishing to comment on the proposed amendments should e-mail their submissions here or write to:

John W. McConnell, Esq., Counsel
Office of Court Administration
25 Beaver Street, 11th Fl.
New York, New York 10004.

Comments must be received no later than Feb. 2, 2018.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Schuyler County Real Property Tax Foreclosure: Notice of Petition and Petition

In The Matter Of Foreclosure Of Tax Liens By Proceeding In Rem Pursuant To Article Eleven Of The Real Property Tax Law by the County of Schuyler.


Index No. 16-195
Date of Filing Notice and Petition: 

Please take notice that on the 1st day of November 2017, the Treasurer of the County of Schuyler, pursuant to law, filed with the Clerk of Schuyler County a petition of foreclosure against various parcels of real property for unpaid taxes. Such petition pertains to the following parcels: [see exhibits A, B, C and D, annexed hereto].

1. Effect of Filing: All persons having or claiming to have an interest in the real property described in such petition are hereby notified that the filing of such petition constitutes the commencement by the Tax District of a proceeding in the court specified in the caption above to foreclose each of the tax liens therein described by a foreclosure proceeding in rem.

2. Nature of Proceeding: Such proceeding is brought against the real property only and is to foreclose the tax liens described in such petition. No personal judgment will be entered herein for such taxes or other legal charges or any part thereof.

3. Persons Affected: This notice is directed to all persons owning or having or claiming to have an interest in the real property described in such petition. Such persons are hereby notified further that a duplicate of such petition has been filed in the office of the Enforcing Officer of the Tax District and will remain open for public inspection up to and including the date specified below as the last day for redemption.

4. Right of Redemption: Any person having or claiming to have an interest in any such real property and the legal right thereto may on or before said date redeem the same by paying the amount of all such unpaid tax liens thereon, including all interest and penalties and other legal charges which are included in the lien against such real property, computed to and including the date of redemption. Such payments shall be made to: Harriett E. Vickio, Treasurer, County of Schuyler, 105 Ninth St, Unit 17, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.  In the event that such taxes are paid by a person other than the record owner of such real property, the person so paying shall be entitled to have the tax liens affected thereby satisfied of record.

5. Last Day for Redemption: The last day for redemption is hereby fixed as February 20, 2018

 6. Service of Answer: Every person having any right, title or interest in or lien upon any parcel of real property described in such petition may serve a duly verified answer upon the attorney for the Tax District setting forth in detail the nature and amount of his or her interest and any defense or objection to the foreclosure. Such answer must be filed in the office of the County Clerk and served upon the attorney for the Tax District on or before the date above mentioned as the last day for redemption.

7. Failure to Redeem or Answer: In the event of failure to redeem or answer by any person having the right to redeem or answer, such person shall be forever barred and foreclosed of all his or her right, title and interest and equity of redemption in and to the parcel described in such petition and a judgment in foreclosure may be taken by default.


The above-captioned proceeding is hereby commenced to enforce the payment of delinquent taxes or other lawful charges which have accumulated and become liens against certain property.

Annexed hereto is a true copy of the list of delinquent taxes recorded pursuant to section eleven hundred twenty-two of this title, as the same shall have been annotated from time to time by the county clerk pursuant to law, as of the date this petition was executed.  The parcels to which this proceeding applies are those set forth in such list, excluding only those parcels which have been marked “redeemed,” “withdrawn” or “canceled” on such list by the county clerk pursuant to law. In the case of parcels marked “partially redeemed” but not marked “redeemed,” the proceeding applies only to the unredeemed portion of the parcel. All parcels on the list which are unmarked or which are marked with any other notation are subject to this proceeding. Such petition pertains to the following parcels: [see exhibits A, B, C and D, annexed hereto and made a part hereof].

This document serves as both a Petition of Foreclosure and Notice of Foreclosure for purposes of this proceeding.

The above is true under the penalties of perjury.

DATED: November 1, 2017
Treasurer, County of Schuyler
105 Ninth St, Unit 17
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Tel: 607.535.8181
Enforcing Officer

Attorney for the tax district:
Schuyler County Attorney
105 Ninth Street, Unit 5
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
Tel: 607.535.8121

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Seneca County to Participate in STOP-DWI Halloween Crackdown

Seneca County Sheriff W. Timothy Luce:
Halloween is meant to be scary, but not when it comes to driving. When it comes to impaired driving Halloween can turn the roads into a horror fest. While we spend time trick or treating and hosting parties with our loved ones, law enforcement officers across New York State will take to the roads in an effort to stop impaired driving, prevent injuries and save lives. The statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown efforts start on October 27th and will end on November 1st. New York State Police, County Sheriff and municipal law enforcement agencies across the state will be out in force.

Research shows that high-visibility enforcement can reduce impaired driving fatalities by as much as 20 percent. Sobriety checkpoints play a key part in raising awareness about the problem. Tragically, Halloween impaired-driving fatalities are on the rise. There were 55 deaths on Halloween night in 2015, up from 17 in 2011—and steadily increasing each year in between. If you plan to go out with the ghouls and goblins to enjoy an adult beverage, make sure you plan a safe ride home before you leave the house. Even if you “only have a couple,” you are in no shape to drive.
The STOP-DWI Halloween Weekend Crackdown is one of many statewide enforcement initiatives promoted by the New York State STOP-DWI Association with additional funding from the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee and implemented by the STOP-DWI Foundation. Throughout the remainder of the year the Statewide STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign will also target Thanksgiving and the national Holiday Season in December.
While STOP-DWI efforts across New York have led to significant reductions in the numbers of alcohol and drug related fatalities, still too many lives are being lost because of crashes caused by drunk or impaired drivers. Highly visible, highly publicized efforts like the STOP-DWI Crackdown Campaign aim to further reduce the incidence of drunk and impaired driving.
Let’s make memories, not nightmares! Have a safe and happy Halloween Weekend!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Schuyler County Prescription drug take back day Saturday

Schuyler County law enforcement agencies will take part in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s national prescription drug take back day Saturday.

Collections will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Drugs can be taken to the Tyrone Fire Station, 3600 State Route 226, or the Odessa Fire Station, 300 E. Main St.

Residents are encouraged to turn in expired and unused prescription medications for proper disposal.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Seneca County SCOPE grades candidates

Finger Lakes Times:
The Seneca County Chapter of the Shooters Committee On Political Education (SCOPE) has issued its ratings of incumbents and challengers for seats on the 14-member board in November.

Given an “A” grade were Republican incumbents Lee Davidson of Lodi, Paul Kronenwetter of Seneca Falls, Ronald McGreevy of Tyre and Michael Reynolds of Covert.

Given a “B” grade were incumbents Walt Prouty of Ovid and Don Trout of Waterloo. Both are Republicans, but only Trout is on the ballot this fall.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Weinstein-DA funding controversy helps inspire reform measures

New York Daily News:
As Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance's campaign contributions have come under scrutiny, a state assemblyman said he’s introducing a bill to reign in how much New York prosecutors can accept in donations from defense attorneys.

The bill by Assemblyman Dan Quart (D-Manhattan) would create a statewide database of lawyers and law firms who have criminal defense practices. Those on the list would be barred from giving more than $320 an election cycle to district attorney candidates.

It also would prohibit lawyers and firms from bundling donations on behalf of district attorney candidates...

Vance has been criticized for taking contributions from defense lawyers whose clients -- [including] disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein -- were targets of criminal probes that did not yield prosecutions.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

New York State Appeals Court decides Schuyler County child abuse case.

Albany, NY- The New York State Supreme Court’s Appellate Division issued a decision on Thursday (October 19, 2017) largely upholding a Schuyler County Family Court order that found two local children to be neglected, abused, derivatively neglected and/or derivatively abused.

The Appellate Division further held that that the Family Court should have granted the County Attorney’s application to adjudicate one child to be severely abused at the hands of her father.

The Family Court case was prosecuted by the Office of Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman. The appeal was argued for that office by Assistant County Attorney Kristin Hazlitt.

The decision, “In the Matter of Logan C. and another, alleged to be Neglected, Abused and/or Severely Abused Children” is available on the court’s website here. (The names have been changed to protect the innocent)

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

New York State’s Limited Sealing Law Takes Effect.

New York State Criminal Procedure Law Section 160.59, entitled "Sealing of certain convictions," took effect Oct. 7, 2017.

Individuals who have been convicted of up to two eligible offenses, but not more than one eligible felony offense, may apply to have those convictions sealed. Eligible offenses may be sealed only after at least 10 years have passed since the sentence was imposed on the latest conviction or, if the sentence included a period of incarceration, at least 10 years since release from incarceration. Offenses that are not eligible for sealing include sex offenses and certain other felony offenses.

Sealing is discretionary with the court and applicants are required to serve notice on the District Attorney in the county of conviction.

Sealing does not equal expungement. Any such sealed records would remain available to the defendant, the defendant’s agent and certain various law enforcement agencies, as well as criminal background checks for firearm purchases.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Notice of Public Hearing: Town of Ovid, Seneca County, New York

Please take Notice that that the Town Board of the Town of Ovid, County of Seneca, State of New York, shall hold a public hearing on the following proposed Local Law at the Ovid Firehouse, 2136 Brown St, Ovid, NY 14521, at 7:00 p.m. on the 11 day of October, 2017: “Proposed Local Law No. 1 of the Year 2017, Town of Ovid, County of Seneca, State of New York, A local law to override the tax levy limit established in General Municipal Law §3-c.”

Please take further notice, that at such time all persons interested in the subject matter of the proposed local law shall be heard concerning same.

Please take further notice, that the complete text of the proposed local law is available during normal business hours at the Office of the Town Clerk, Town of Ovid and at the Ovid Firehouse, 2136 Brown St, Ovid, NY 14521.

The full text of the proposed local law may be found here.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Learning Comic Book Law

Comics Experience is pleased to announce Comic Book Law for Creators,
a four-week online course beginning on October 2, 2017.

Comic Law for Creators exists to correct both the dearth of information and misinformation about what creators should do to give their comics career a strong legal foundation.

Comic Law for Creators will meet weekly in Comic Experience's online virtual classroom from October 2 through October 23, 2017 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., Eastern time. Students will also keep up the discussion about what they are learning through a dedicated online forum for the class.

For more information and to enroll click here.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Harmful Algal Blooms: What they are and how government agencies are addressing the threat

On September 30, the Community Science Institute will be hosting a public forum on harmful algal blooms in Ithaca, New York. The Forum is co-sponsored by the Cayuga Lake Watershed Network and the
Floating Classroom.

The forum is designed to address public concerns and provide community members with information about the ecology of harmful algal blooms, how public health officials respond to such blooms, and future monitoring initiatives.

The event is scheduled to run from 9:00 to 12:00 pm at The Space at Greenstar, 700 W Buffalo St, Ithaca, NY 14850.

Invited organizations include: Finger Lakes Institute, Tompkins County Department of Health, NYSDEC Finger Lakes Hub, Cayuga Lake Intermunicipal Organization, Southern Cayuga Lake Intermunicipal Water Commission, Finger Lakes PRISM, and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County.

For more on this event, click here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Innovation in Prosecution Summit November 2 - 3, 2017

The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys will be holding its 4th Innovations in Criminal Justice Summit on November 2-3, 2017 in Philadelphia, PA.

The summit brings together a multi-disciplinary audience of criminal justice leaders to discuss initiatives which are creating more efficiency and effectiveness in our system of justice.

The event highlights and describes innovative programs across the nation and allows for discussion on emerging issues facing prosecutor's offices across the country.

For more information, click here.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Seneca County Police Departments offer child safety car seat check

Seneca Daily:
On Friday, September 22, 2017, from 2:30 pm-6:30 pm the Seneca Falls Police Department, in cooperation with the Waterloo Police Department, will be hosting an annual Child Safety Car Seat check at the Seneca Falls Police Department, 130 Ovid Street, Seneca Falls, NY.
Anyone with a car seat wishing to have the police check to ensure their seats are correctly installed or those who want to learn how to install a car seat properly can attend this free event. The police department will be able to distribute car seats for those that do not have them but will be limited to only one car seat per family.
No appointment is needed for this free event. Please bring the child with you when you come as it makes for a safer install.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Avoid Hurricane-related charity scams

The following tips have been offered by New York State officials for those contributing to the relief effort:
• Take Time To Research The Organization.
• Know Where Your Money Will Go.
• Give to Established Charities.
• Be Cautious With Telephone Solicitations.
• Check Before You Text A Contribution.
• Check Before Donating to an Online Giving Site.
• Don’t Respond to Unsolicited Spam Emails.
• Never Give Cash.
• Be Careful About Personal Information.
• Report Suspicious Organizations.
If you believe an organization is misrepresenting its work, or that a scam is taking place, click here.

For more information on how to avoid a scam, click here.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Law Day 2018 Theme Announced

The American Bar Association has announced the theme for Law Day 2018, "Separation of Powers: Framework for Freedom."

The U.S. Constitution designated a system of government with distinct, independent branches – legislative, executive, and judicial – and outlines how they interact. Congress, the Presidency, and the Supreme Court share power and serve as a check on the powers of the others, providing a framework for freedom.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Schuyler County Household Hazardous Waste, Electronics, and Tire Collection Day

Household Hazardous Waste, Electronics, and Tire Collection Day: Saturday, September 16th, 2017
REGISTRATION PERIOD: August 7 - September 13

WHERE: Schuyler County Highway Department, 901 S. Decatur Street, Watkins Glen

HOW TO REGISTER: Complete registration form and return to kvanhorn@co.schuyler.ny.us or mail to 105 Ninth Street, Unit 39, Watkins Glen, NY 14891.

CAN I REQUEST A DROP OFF TIME?: Yes! The drop-off times are assigned in 30 minutes increments starting at 9:00am. If you would like to come at a certain time please write that on your registration form and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Schuyler County and Yates County Residents Only (sorry, no businesses)

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Institute for Advancing Justice on October 26, 2017

In looking to the future of criminal justice reform and the achievements of the last few years, the Charles Koch Institute is hosting “Advancing Justice 2017,” a one-day conference to be held in Washington, DC on Thursday, October 26, 2017.

Advancing Justice will offer attendees the opportunity to learn more about issues critical to the reform agenda – including the opioid crisis, collateral consequences, mens rea, and the future of federal sentencing.

Additional information about the schedule of events and confirmed speakers is available here.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Seneca County Working on Shared Services Plan

© Copyright 2017 Ithaca Times:
The Board of Supervisors that make up Seneca County’s governing body met on July 25 to discuss the latest revisions to the plan that will be submitted Sept. 15.

The plan consists of three main efforts for the county and local municipalities to work together to share services. The first idea would be a snow removal agreement between the towns within Seneca County and the County itself....

The second effort is a similar, but covers mowing of County roads instead of plowing...

The final effort of the plan would be to create a rental agreement between the County and Towns for unique county highway department equipment. The cost of owning the equipment is “substantial” according to the draft, but by increasing their usage by renting them out to towns that can’t justify the expense of owning them, the County could save more money and possibly reduce property taxes. This has happened in the past, but by formalizing it the effort can be added to the plan.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Schuyler County Joins Growing List of New York Counties Against Opioids

Schuyler County has become the latest New York State county to take action against the manufacturers and distributors of opioid pain killers.

The County Legislature voted Monday (August 14) to retain the firm of Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC to file a lawsuit on their behalf. Schuyler County joins other New York Counties and numerous municipalities nationwide already represented by Napoli Shkolnik.

Napoli Shkolnik will work with Schuyler County Attorney Steven J. Getman, as special counsel, to bring an action against the manufacturers and distributers of prescription opiates for damages to the County arising out of the fraudulent and negligent marketing and distribution of opiates in and to the County

“Over the past few years, despite its small population, Schuyler County has seen an uptick in opioid and heroin use and overdose,” Getman said. “To date, County officials have expended significant resources to help its residents battle opioid addiction and prevent further deaths. The lawsuit will seek to reimburse the County for its expenses related to the opioid crisis as well as provide the County with financial assistance to continue this battle.”

According to County Administrator Tim O’Hearn, the lawsuit will be filed at no risk to the County, as Napoli Shkolnik will work on contingency basis that will cover all costs associated with the lawsuit.

“By voting to go forward with litigation, the County Legislature hopes to lessen the burden to taxpayers and seeks to hold manufacturers and distributors responsible for their role in the opioid epidemic,” O’Hearn said.

“For many years the manufacturers and distributors of opioid pain medications have earned billions of dollars in profits flooding this Country with opioids” says Napoli Shkolnik attorney Joseph L. Ciaccio, “these lawsuits seek to force those companies to help clean up the devastation caused by these pills.”

“These drug companies have poisoned our communities and polluted our children” says Paul Napoli, of counsel for Napoli Shkolnik. Paul Napoli leads the charge with Hunter Shkolnik against drug companies nationwide.

“The painkiller overdose epidemic is a classic case of putting profits before people,” he said. “Many opioid manufacturers were so intent on selling as much product as possible that they either turned a blind eye towards, or intentionally buried, reports that these drugs were highly addictive and potentially deadly.”

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Resources for Representation of Individuals with Disabilities.

Various resources are available for attorneys representing clients with disabilities from both Disability Rights New York (DRNY) and the Arc's National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability. They include:
• communication strategies and strategies for clients and witnesses;
• advocacy in securing services from state agencies and providers;
• referrals for evaluators and experts;
• amicus curiae briefs for systemic issues directly impacting people with disabilities; and
• webinars on subjects such as competency of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the criminal justice system.
In addition, for persons with disabilities who need accommodations to assure accessibility to the courts, the New York State Unified Court System's Accessibility page offers information about making accommodation requests and a list of Americans with Disabilities Act liaisons for each county.

For more information, click on the links above.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Wal-Mart ordered to show cause in Schuyler County tax dispute

Order to Show Cause, Schuyler County Index No. 16-134:
Upon the Notice of Petition and Petition dated July 5, 2016, the Affirmation of Steven J. Getman, dated August 11, 2017, the Exhibits annexed thereto and all proceedings had herein, let the petitioner, Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust, show cause at the Schuyler County Courthouse, Watkins Glen, New York, on September 22, 2017 at 3:00 pm or as soon thereafter as the parties can be heard why an order should not be granted, pursuant to 22 NYCRR 202.59 (c), CPLR 408 and other applicable authority:
1. compelling disclosure of material and necessary information;
2. granting an extension of time to complete an audit of the petitioner’s books and records for the tax years under review, for the purpose of substantiating petitioner’s statement of income and expenses;
3. extending the time to complete and exchange the appraisals in this matter;
4. together with such other and further relief as the court may deem just and proper.

Order to Show Cause. Wal-Mart v Town of Dix, County of Schuyler, et al by Steven Getman on Scribd

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Report: The opioid crisis "a fresh hell" for America’s employers

From Work in Progress, a new series exploring what it means to earn a living today:
The misuse of prescription painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl is, by now, painfully well known. The U.S. tops the world in drug deaths; in 2015, more people died from overdoses — with two thirds involving an opioid — than from car accidents or gun violence.

The epidemic is also having a devastating effect on companies — large and small — and their ability to stay competitive. Managers and owners across the country are at a loss in how to deal with addicted workers and potential workers, calling the issue one of the biggest problems they face. Applicants are increasingly unwilling or unable to pass drug tests; then there are those who pass only to show signs of addiction once employed. Even more confounding: how to respond to employees who have a legitimate prescription for opioids but whose performance slips...

The issue is amplifying labor shortages in industries like trucking, which has had difficulty for the last six years finding qualified workers. It’s also pushing employers to broaden their job searches, recruiting people from greater distances when roles can’t be filled with local workers. At stake is not only safety and productivity within companies — but the need for humans altogether, with some manufacturers claiming opioids force them to automate work faster.

One nonprofit called the misuse of prescription drugs a hidden workplace epidemic.

As the result of the opioid crisis, a number of New York counties, including Seneca, Ononadaga, Broome, Nassau and Erie counties have announced they will sue major pharmaceutical companies, alleging that deceptive and aggressive marketing have fueled the national surge in opioid abuse and harmed the state's residents.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Court rules: New York attorneys must be trained on "Diversity, Inclusion, and Elimination of Bias."

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the categories of continuing legal education (CLE) for all attorneys required by the New York Courts will expand to include "Diversity, Inclusion and Elimination of Bias."
At least one credit hour of the minimum 24 credit hours experienced attorneys are required to complete each biennial reporting cycle will have to be in this new category.
Courses "must relate to the practice of law" and may include "implicit and explicit bias, equal access to justice, serving a diverse population, diversity and inclusion initiatives in the legal profession, and sensitivity to cultural and other differences when interacting with members of the public, judges, jurors, litigants, attorneys and court personnel."
For more on the new initiative, click here.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Schuyler County Blood Drive: Blood shortage prompts call for donations

American Red Cross Blood Drive
Conference Room #120
Thursday, July 27, 2017
9:30am – 2:30pm
Schuyler County Human Services Complex
Schuyler County employees are provided 1 hour paid leave to participate in the County sponsored blood drive, during normal work hours, without charging any accumulated leave credits.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

New York Appeals Court: Holding a GPS Device While Driving Violates Vehicle and Traffic Law

Matter of Clark v. New York State Dept. of Motor Vehs., 2017 N.Y. Slip Op. 05133, 3rd Dept 6-22-17:
Petitioner was issued a summons for operating a motor vehicle while using a portable electronic device in violation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1225-d after a police officer observed him driving while holding a global positioning system (hereinafter GPS) device in his right hand. Petitioner pleaded not guilty to the charge and, following a hearing before the Administrative Adjudication Bureau of respondent Department of Motor Vehicles, an Administrative Law Judge found petitioner guilty....

(A) hand-held GPS device meets the statutory definition of a "portable electronic device" inasmuch as it is a "hand-held device with mobile data access" (Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1225-d [2] [a]). In our view, it is mobile and receives data to

calculate a driver's geographical location and to communicate directions. Moreover, a review of the pertinent legislative history regarding Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1225-d [*2]demonstrates that the Legislature intended Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1225-d (2) (a) to encompass any portable electronic device that diverts a driver's attention away from the road and prevents the full use of a driver's hands (see Assembly Mem in Support, Bill Jacket, L 2009, ch 403 at 14; Letter from Dept of Motor Vehicles, Bill Jacket, L 2009, ch 403 at 20). Thus, we are satisfied that the Appeals Board's interpretation of Vehicle and Traffic Law § 1225-d (2) (a) as encompassing a hand-held GPS device was rational (see generally Matter of Fineway Supermarkets v State Liq. Auth., 48 NY2d 464, 468 [1979]; Matter of Bonhomme v New York State Liq. Auth., 221 AD2d 882, 883 [1995]).

We also agree that there is ample support for the Appeals Board's determination that petitioner was using the GPS device. Petitioner concedes that, while he was driving, he was holding the device in his hand and "view[ing] the GPS navigation system to read directions." Accordingly, we find that the determination was supported by substantial evidence (see generally Matter of Hollinger v New York State Dept. of Motor Vehs., 18 AD3d 1012, 1013 [2015]; Matter of Carota Enters. v Jackson, 241 AD2d 667, 668 [1997]). Petitioner's remaining contentions have been reviewed and found to be lacking in merit. 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

New York State Bar Association supports a Constitutional Convention

The New York State Bar Association supports a Constitutional Convention to restructure the NYS judiciary, enhance voter participation and modernize and streamline the New York State constitution:
The New York State Bar Association is calling for a state Constitutional Convention, because New York “should not forfeit this rare, generational opportunity to modernize and significantly improve the Constitution that forms the foundation of state government.”
On November 7, New Yorkers will vote on whether to authorize a Constitutional Convention which, if approved, would be the state's 10th Constitutional Convention since 1777.
At its June 17, 2017 meeting in Cooperstown, the Association's House of Delegates voted 111 to 28 (with one member abstaining) to endorse a Constitutional Convention, or “ConCon.” A day earlier, its Executive Committee voted unanimously to support a convention.
For more on the Constitutional Convention process, click here.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Trauma Information for Child Welfare Attorneys

In collaboration with the National Child Trauma Stress Network's Justice Consortium Attorney Work Group, the ABA Center on Children and the Law recently released Trauma: What Child Welfare Attorneys Should Know.

This resource is meant to "strengthen advocacy, improve attorney-client relationships, and promote appropriate screening, in-depth assessment, and evidence-based treatment" by advancing the policy of trauma-informed practice. Practice tips include suggestions for targeted advocacy in response to a client's exposure to traumatic events.

Additionally, information regarding secondary traumatic stress is provided to prevent or address this issue for those who work in the child welfare system.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Seneca County: Weapons, drugs seized in raid

LODI — In one of the biggest busts in Seneca County this year, police seized thousands of dollars worth of drugs and money, along with numerous weapons, while arresting three people Wednesday.
Seneca County Undersheriff John Cleere said the arrests followed an extensive drug investigation by the sheriff’s office narcotics unit and execution of a search warrant at a mobile home on Keady Road.
Police said they seized nearly $5,000 worth of cocaine in both powdered and crack form; nearly $3,500 in cash; drug paraphernalia; drug-packaging material; digital scales; imitation pistols; throwing knives; a dagger; metal knuckles; a kung fu star; and varying quantities of Suboxone, alprazolam, oxycodone, amphetamine and methylphenidate.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

New guide clarifies laws on service animals

The New York City Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association have released a guide intended to clarify the legal rights and obligations of individuals and institutions in connection with the use of service animals in the state:
The “Guide to the Use of Service Animals in New York State” recognizes that various federal, state and local laws address service animal use in differing manners.

The Guide is intended to clarify the existing laws for: individuals with disabilities who use service animals; those who train service animals; and those who must accommodate them, such as employers, landlords, merchants and places of public accommodation. It also offers guidance to lawmakers, government officials, attorneys and the courts. The Guide provides a review of rights and remedies under comparative federal, state and local human rights laws. Its extensive endnotes likely will be cited by attorneys and judges.
The City and State Bar Associations have posted the Guide on their respective websites and they encourage the downloading, copying and distribution of the Guide throughout the state. Both associations expect to hold programs on how to apply the information in the Guide to situations of particular interest.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

From the White House to your Home Town: legislative updates in Schuyler County

The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce:
(L)earn more about what’s happening across the state and the country on Thursday, June 29 at Seneca Lodge in Watkins Glen at an event called "From the White House to Your Home Town - legislative updates and a conversation with your elected officials.
Senator Tom O’Mara, Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, and Alison Hunt from Congressman Tom Reed’s Office will discuss the current state of affairs and 2017 priorities. They will also provide updates on action at the federal and state level impact our local communities.
For more information, click here.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Seneca County man who murdered son for money loses appeal

The Auburn Citizen reports that "The state's highest court has rejected an appeal from Karl Karlsen, a 56-year-old Seneca County man who admitted to killing his son so he could collect insurance money."
Karlsen pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in November 2013. At the time, Karlsen admitted to killing his 23-year-old son, Levi Karlsen, in 2008, when he intentionally caused a pick-up truck to fall off a jack and land on his son's chest.

During his plea, Karl Karlsen said he had obtained a $700,000 life insurance policy on his son's life roughly two weeks before the murder.... He was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

In an appeal, attorney John Cirando argued that Karl Karlsen was improperly denied an attorney during police interrogations and that his statements to police were not voluntary. In addition, Cirando said his client's statements to his estranged wife should have been precluded under the spousal privilege law, that he did not waive his Miranda rights and that his guilty plea was not knowing or intelligent due to a lack of effective counsel.

On June 6, the state Court of Appeals denied the appeal, upholding the rulings of the lower courts.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Suspectology: Getting into the Child Sexual Offender’s Mind to Improve Interview Strategies

Getting into the mind of a child sexual offender can increase the success law enforcement may have when interviewing the offender and investigating the case.

This webinar, sponsored by the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, will explore the background of child sexual abuse, factors affecting child sexual offenders, and discuss and distinguish the terms “child molester” and “pedophile.”

The workshop will also identify common child sexual abuse se defenses and law enforcement strategies, and discuss how a deeper understanding of the child sexual abuser typologies and factors can improve offender interview strategies.

For more on this program, click here.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Fake ID and Underage Drinking Sweeps at Summer Concerts Across New York

New York State officials have launched "Operation Prevent," a 2017 summer concert crack down in conjunction with local law enforcement:
Investigators will continue to conduct sweeps at venues this summer including SPAC, Darien Lake, Jones Beach, Canalside in Buffalo, CMAC in Canandaigua and the Lakeview Amphitheater in Syracuse, as well as other events where underage concertgoers are likely to gather. DMV's Division of Field Investigation perform the investigations in partnership with the State Liquor Authority, New York State Park Police, New York State Police, and local law enforcement agencies.

During the concert season, DMV investigators work with the SLA and law enforcement entities to check identification documents. Patrons under the age of 21 found to be using fake IDs or false documents to purchase alcoholic beverages can be arrested and risk having their license revoked for a minimum of 90 days or up to one year. Investigators from DMV, the SLA, and other entities use portable document verification machines to conduct forensic examinations of suspect documents using white light, UV light, and infrared light sources.
Already, fraudulent licenses from New York, Rhode Island, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Connecticut and Florida have been recovered.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Seneca County's Woofstock grows into a must for dog lovers

The Ithaca Journal:
The fifth annual Woofstock, at Americana Vineyards Winery, 4367 East Covert Road in Interlaken, happens from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, rain or shine. This year, a crowd of 2,000 is anticipated, a throng more than six times greater than five years ago....

Woofstock will benefit the Beverly Animal Shelter in Waterloo; Browncoat Cat Rescue in Ithaca; Fetch a Friend Rescue in Seneca Falls; Pet the Pet Program in Trumansburg; and Meals for Mutts in Webster.

For more on this event, click here.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Schuyler County hosts Rabies Clinic June 3

Hector--Schuyler County officials will be hosting a rabies clinic on June 3 at the Hector Fire Department, 5736 Route 414, Hector, New York. The clinic will run from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Vaccination is free of charge, but donations are appreciated.

Rabies is a serious virus of all mammals with no known cure. It causes neurological degeneration that ultimately leads to the death of the infected person or animal. Luckily, Rabies can be prevented with vaccination, and New York State requires by law the compulsory vaccination of all domestic dogs, cats and ferrets for the safety of the public. Compliance with Rabies Vaccination Laws is monitored by the New York State Department Of Health.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Exploring the Ethical Implications of Social Media Use

New York State Bar Association:
Social media networks such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are indispensable tools used by legal professionals and those with whom they communicate. Particularly, in conjunction with the increased use of mobile technologies in the legal profession, social media platforms have transformed the ways in which lawyers communicate.

As use of social media by lawyers and clients continues to grow and as social media networks proliferate and become more sophisticated, so too do the ethical issues facing lawyers. Accordingly, the Commercial and Federal Litigation Section of the New York State Bar Association, which authored these social media ethics guidelines in 2014 to assist lawyers in understanding the ethical challenges of social media, is updating them to include new ethics opinions as well as additional guidelines where the Section believes ethical guidance is needed (the “Guidelines”).

Join leading social media legal experts for a moderated discussion on the 2017 updated Guidelines.

The event will be held Thursday, June 1, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at the New York Society of Security Analysts, 1540 Broadway, Suite 1010 | New York City and available on the web.