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Constitutional Law Criminal Law General Litigation

Extortion Letter of a Different Kind – This One’s from Uncle Sam!!

So I have openly railed against copyright and trademark trolls using extortionate letters to extract unreasonable settlement amounts from folks accused of infringing on their intellectual property. In fact, I have a whole website devoted to the topic: www.extortionletterinfo.com. But Wednesday’s Newsday had a cover story about Long Island Railroad disability pension fraud that revealed […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law General Intellectual Property Litigation

NY Court Rules Calling Someone “Extortionist” Is Not Defamatory

The then Mayor of the Village of Freeport was vindicated by the Second Department (a NY Appeals court covering Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, Nassau, Suffolk, and parts of Upstate NY), for remarks he made in a public election debate during which he called the plaintiff, a commercial real estate developer, “an extortionist” who was “trying […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law General Litigation

Court Faults Prosecutor For Serious Misconduct But Allows Case To Proceed

A long time ago, I wrote an article entitled “The Constitution is Overrated” and friends and colleagues of mine who knew the admiration and passion that I have for this country’s grand document were surprised at the piece which faulted, not the document itself, but how courts have applied it; rarely, do courts give those […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law General

Lack of Arrest Not Self-Defense Is The Issue in Trayvon Martin Case

OK, I know there is no need to tell you who Trayvon Martin is or why his case is getting all this attention, so let me jump right in to the issue as I see it. Yes, Florida has an absurd self-defense law when it states that you can use deadly physical force without having […]

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Constitutional Law General

Supreme Court Highlights Importance of Effective Lawyer During Plea Bargaining

In yet another 5-4 decision today, the US Supreme Court woke up to the realization that the plea negotiation process is a central part of the criminal justice system and that the Sixth Amendment therefore requires effective lawyering during this phase of a case. Perennial swing man Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the decision in which […]

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Constitutional Law Litigation

Atheist Teen Forces School to Remove Prayer From Wall After 49 Years

Give 16 year old Jessica Ahlquist an “A” for “chutzpa” for being the successful lead plaintiff in a lawsuit brought by the ACLU against a Cranston Rhode Island school district that forced the district to cover up an eight foot high prayer in the school auditorium. The prayer had been there for 49 years and […]

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Constitutional Law Litigation

Supreme Court Rules Police Attachment of GPS to Car Requires Warrant

Today the Supreme Court in United States v. Jones decided that the District of Columbia’s Police Department’s attachment of GPS device to a suspected drug dealer’s car without a proper warrant violated the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizures. In overturning the conviction of Antoine Jones, who had received a life sentence for […]

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Constitutional Law General Litigation

Prosecutorial Misconduct Causes US Supreme Court to Overturn Murder Conviction -But Justice Thomas Just Doesn’t Get It.

In another blow to New Orleans DA Harry Connick (Father of the singer Harry Connick Jr) the US Supreme Court once again found that his office withheld exculpatory evidence from a defendant in a capital murder trial. There is a long history of problems in Connick’s office. In 1995, Esquire photographed him, for a piece […]