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Constitutional Law Criminal Law Litigation

Second Circuit Finally Allows Actual Innocence to Extend Habeas Corpus Statute of Limitation

For years, since Congress passed the draconian and rigid Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) in the wake of the first WTC bombing and the Oklahoma City attack, Federal appeals courts have not seen fit to extend the Act’s harsh one year statute of limitations on habeas corpus appeals, even in cases of actual […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law Litigation

Exclusion of Defendant’s Wife During Jury Selection Causes Reversal of Conviction

That pesky Constitution got in the way of a criminal conviction yet again in the case of People v. Torres a 2011 case out of Onandaga County in Upstate NY. Vincent Torres was convicted by a jury of burglary,sodomy and sexual abuse. Onondaga County Judge William Walsh barred the defendant’s wife from the courtroom for […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law Intellectual Property Litigation

Government Needs Only Subpoena Not Warrant To Get Twitter Feeds

Just this morning, a client asked me a question: Can his potential adversary use deleted, private Facebook messages between them as evidence in the breach of contract case he was thinking about bringing in court? (Of course if the adversary had not also deleted them, he could just introduce them that way, but the client […]

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Constitutional Law Criminal Law General Litigation

Nothing is Simple With This Supreme Court

As the nation waits for the Supreme Court to rule on the President’s Health Care Program, I expect the decision will be a greatly splintered and divided one which will most likely add to the run of 5-4 decisions that will be the Roberts Court’s legacy. Without a doubt, this is the most polarized and […]

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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 […]