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.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Law enforcement officials lobby for parole reforms

Fingerlakes1.com reports that "a new proposal would allow police officers to detain parolees who are violating the terms of their release and turn them over to parole officers...The proposal would do three things specifically:
• Create a database accessible to police in their cars that includes information about restrictions, which would include curfews. Release conditions are currently not included in what police officers have available to them.
• It would allow police officers to detain a parolee and turn that individual over to parole.
• It would give parole officials the choice as to what to do with the parolee who has violated the terms.
According to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, "the push for parole changes was spurred by a number of violent crimes committed by parolees, including the 2014 murder of Rochester Police Officer Daryl Pierson. His killer, Thomas Johnson III, was a parole absconder."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Seneca County, Airbnb, strike tax collection deal

An agreement between Seneca County and Airbnb is expected to grow the tax base and allow the Airbnb to contribute “its fair share” of taxes.

That’s the word that came down from officials from both organizations on Wednesday, as the deal, which will go into effect on May 1st — becomes reality.

Seneca Airbnb hosts cater to a range of travelers, from visitors to the Wesleyan Chapel – the location of the Seneca Falls Convention in 1848 – to families looking for a comfortable place to vacation in the Finger Lakes.

Seneca County joins a number of counties, including Schuyler County, in contracting with Airbnb for room tax collection assistance. Schuyler County's deal with Airbnb came after a challenge to its room tax was rejected by the New York State Court of Appeals.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Schuyler County Municipalities Fight Wal-Mart’s Tax Reduction Claim

A preliminary conference has been scheduled for June 23 in the case of Wal-Mart Real Estate Business Trust (“Wal-Mart”) against the Town of Dix Board of Assessment Review and other affected Schuyler County municipalities.

In the meantime, attorneys for the affected municipalities, Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman and Town of Dix Attorney Robert Halpin have served a demand to audit Wal-Mart’s books and records to substantiate the retail giant’s statement of income and expenses.

In July 2016, Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, filed suit alleging that their store in the Village of Watkins Glen was over-assessed. The current assessment values the property at $11,700,000.00 (Eleven Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Dollars). Wal-Mart has claimed their property is only worth $7,500,000.00 (Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars). In 2012, Wal-Mart agreed that their property was valued at $11,400,000.00 (Eleven Million, Four Hundred Thousand, Dollars)

Because any such assessment reduction would adversely affect all real property tax jurisdictions in the county deriving taxes from the Wal-Mart property, the affected municipalities—the Town of Dix, the Village of Watkins Glen, the Watkins Glen School District and Schuyler County--joined forces to fight Wal-Mart’s claims.

According to Getman, the June 23 preliminary conference will likely result in the court fixing a date for trial, as well as directing the parties to obtain appraisals and sales reports, and to exchange and file appraisal reports and sales reports.

In anticipation of that trial, the defendants have already served a demand upon Wal-Mart to make their relevant books and records available for audit. That audit should be completed in approximately 120 days, Getman noted.

Nationally, some reports have previously criticized Wal-Mart for what has been called a “systemic” attempt by the company to lower its taxes while benefitting from billions of dollars in public subsidies to build its stores and site infrastructure. In 2007, the Huffington Post called the company “America’s tax deadbeat” for such attempts. That article cited efforts by the company in other parts of upstate New York, including Geneva and Wilton, to lower its taxes.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Schuyler County 2017 Life Planning Seminar

Schuyler County officials are sponsoring the 2017 Life Planning Seminar.

The seminar addresses advance care decisions for your quality of life. Topics include:

• Power of Attorney,
• Last Will & Testament,
• Health Care Proxy,
• Living Will,
• Elder Abuse and Scams,
• Nursing Home Medicaid Rules and Asset Protection

The event will be held May 18, 2017 from 5:30- 9:00 pm at the Silver Spoon Café, Schuyler County Human Services Complex and is being conducted by the County Office for the Aging.

Seating is limited. Reservations are required. To make reservations, call the Office for the Aging at 607-535-7108 prior to Tuesday, May 16, 2017.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Seneca County Town of Ovid Launches Planning Survey

Steering Committee Launches Survey on May 1
Following a series of meetings with focus groups, the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee is now preparing to ask the Ovid community for its input. A survey is in its final stages of development, and will be distributed the first week of May.

In accordance with the committee’s plans for a “reasonable” length, the survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete. One copy will be mailed to each of the households in the Town of Ovid. A postage-paid envelope will be included in the mailing. If additional copies are needed, they will be made available at locations throughout the Town, soon to be announced. An online version will also be made available at this website.

Questions on the survey will cover a range of topics and,...will focus on the most frequently discussed issues.

The committee has established a deadline of May 22 for the return of surveys. They hope the finite time period generates a stronger response rate.

The consulting team will compile the results of the survey and present the information to the committee in a subsequent meeting, to be scheduled later in June.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

High Conflict Divorce: the Impact on Children

Are you in the process of a Divorce or Custody proceeding? Do you know how it affects your children?

The New York State Courts Access to Justice Program and the Gender Fairness Committee of the Supreme Court, New York County, Civil Branch are co-sponsoring “High Conflict Divorce: Part 2 of the Series The Impact on Children - Case by Case Analysis.”

The event will be held Wednesday, May 10, 2017 from 12:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Supreme Court, 60 Centre Street, Room 300, New York City.

The event is open to the public and includes the film “SPLIT,” a movie “about divorce for (and by) kids of divorce and (their parents).”

For more information, click here.