Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Is it time for no-fault divorce in New York ?

The New York Times reports on its front page today the looming issue of no-fault divorce reform in New York State. New York is one of the few states in the nation that requires one party to be at fault for the breakdown of the marriage before a divorce can be granted.

If you are planning a divorce, would you like one without a fight? How about collaborative law? more...>

Monday, November 29, 2004

Immigration News from the New York Times

The New York Times features 2 op-ed pieces (found here and here), one front page article, and four letters regarding immigration. The front page article reports on the clash between illegal immigrants and suburban residents on Long Island. One author of one op-ed piece argues that current immigration policy has been hurting the US economy by making it difficult for foreign students to study here. The other op-ed piece notes the difficulty of entering the US from Nigeria.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

A Child is left behind when a mother is deported

The New York Times reports on its front page the plight of a mother who was deported out of the U.S. to her native Hondorus leaving her American husband and daughter behind. One of the bedrocks of U.S. immigration policy has been to maintain family ties. However, the Department of Homeland Security has all but eliminated discretion on the part of immigration officers before ordering deportations. more...>

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Benihana Chef blamed for customer's death

A chef at a Long Island branch of Benihana has been sued for wrongful death due to his antics with a piece of grilled shrimp. The attorney for the plaintiff's estate maintains that the man's reflexive response, to duck away from the food, caused a neck injury. The injury then required surgery. Due to complications from the surgery, Jerry Colaitis, of Old Brookville died. more...>

Monday, November 22, 2004

Lawsuit questions safety of Dodgeball

The New York Appellate Division refused to dismiss a lawsuit that claims that a school was at fault for allowing a child to play dodgeball. Here, a seven year old girl fractured her elbow while playing the sport. more...>

Friday, November 19, 2004

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Beverly Hills 90210 Star Settles Car Accident Case

In Celebrity car accident news, Tori Spelling, (aka Donna) former star of Beverly Hills 90210 settled a personal injury case yesterday. Ms. Spelling was the defendant in the action. The terms of the settlement are undisclosed. more...>

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Why become Chief Justice?

The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, William Rehnquist is currently ill, and there has been much speculation regarding who will replace him. Why would anyone become Chief Justice? more...>

For a different take, buy this book.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The role of tort reformers on the election

Compared to the war in Iraq and "moral values," tort law may not have seemed to a large role in the election this year. Yet, from a historical perspective, it did: On a national level, voters were asked to think about civil liability to an uprecedented extent. more...>

Monday, November 15, 2004

Lethal accident in Bethpage, Long Island

Newsday reports that 1 teenager was killed and 3 others were injured when a car came into contact with a power pole. more...>

Friday, November 12, 2004

What is the magic word to avoid lawsuits?

It is a lesson that children learn at an early age. Can it help a doctor from being sued? more....>

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Is Judge LeVine at "war" against solo lawyers or is there too much pressure from above?

Personal Injury cases often take years before they are ready for trial. In the Supreme Court of Queens County, once the cases are finally ready for trial, they are sent to Judge LeVine's TAP part for trial.

Unfortunately, some sole practicioners have conflicts and are unable to be in two courthouses at once. For instance, yesterday, I covered a case, per diem, that was ready for trial in Queens County. The attorney was engaged in another trial at the same time in Westchester County. Obviously, he cannot be the trial attorney for both cases at once.

As I entered the judges chambers, I handed to the Judge an affidavit of engagement, that stated that the attorney that I was covering for needed an adjournment due to the aforementioned conflict. Opposing counsel did not oppose the application. Upon review of the affidavit, the judge stated that the contents were insufficient, however, he would contact the trial part in Westchester to ascertain its status.

The Judge ruled notwithstanding the conflict, jury selection was ordered to proceed the following day.

It is my view that the Judge's ruling is clearly prejudicial against sole practicioners. The Judge may not be at fault if the pressure to move cases in an expediated fashion comes from above. However, a sole practicioner, does not have the option of sending an associate to try the case.
What do you think?

Monday, November 08, 2004

Have jurors lost faith in corporations, leaders and lawyers?

A recent study by DecionQuest and Reuturs have found that 61 percent of Americans have lost faith in corporations, leaders and lawyers as compared to four years ago. (Is this a poll of likely voters?) It appears that the corporate scandals that have recently received so much press have been taking its toll on the way jurors view corporate cases. more...>

Friday, November 05, 2004

Who won the election: Lawyers or Doctors?

Lawyers and Doctors battled in four states over limiting damage awards and attorney's fees in malpractice cases. The verdict? A split. more...>

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Large increase in immigration appeals in NYC

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reports that 44 percent of its docket consist of immigration appeals, up from 9 percent in 2002. There is currently a huge backlog of immigration appeals that show no signs of letting up. more...>

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Is Elliot Spitzer overreaching in his suit against the insurance industry?

New York Attorney General Elliot Spitzer recent brought a civil suit against Marsh & McLennan and others for alleged statutory claims for fraud, securities fraud, anti-trust violations and common law fraud and unjust enrichment.

Is the civil suit brought against the insurance industry by Elliot Spitzer a situation where the Attorney General is just doing his job or is he trying to make new laws without the support of the legislature? more...>

Monday, November 01, 2004

Should the Atkin's diet carry a warning label?

In Florida, a judge heard preliminary arguments regaring the country's first Atkins related lawsuit. The plaintiff, Jody Gorran, claims that the anti-carbohydrate diet clogged his arteries. The lawsuit seeks little in terms of monetary damages. (Note... trial lawyers are not always after money.)

The purpose of the lawsuit is to force Atkins Nutritionals, the company behind the diet, to print warning labels. more..>

Perhaps Julia Child was right, the way to a healthy diet is to eat everything in moderation.