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Unrestricted Lawyer Advertising? Oh My!

The Second Circuit, which is the Federal appeals court that covers New York, issued a decision on Thursday that removed almost all restrictions on lawyer advertising. In Alexander v. Cahill, the court was faced with an incredibly tacky ad: the upstate firm Alexander & Catalano used a graphic depicting the two principals of the firm […]

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Justice Kennedy’s Speech on US Prison System – A Little Too Late

Time was when a US Supreme Court justice would rarely speak about law outside the courtroom. The feeling was that it would be imprudent for a member of the court to espouse on the law and reveal his inner leanings. But Justices Scalia and Thomas and more recently Justice Ginsburg have changed that by regularly […]

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Curious Case of Aafia Siddiqui Proves Terror Trials Can Be Done Here

Yesterday, a jury convicted an MIT and Brandeis educated Pakistani neuroscientist of trying to kill FBI agents and U.S. military personnel while she was detained in a police compound in Afghanistan in 2008. Authorities alleged that Aafia Siddiqui, 37, was an al-Qaida supporter who was detained at an Afghan police station on July 18, 2008, […]

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Court Bans Teachers From Wearing Political Pins? Free Speech Apparently Preserved Only For Companies

Earlier this week Federal Judge Lewis Kaplan upheld a NYC Dept of Ed regulation that banned teachers from wearing political pins in support of a candidate in the classroom. He cited the school’s need for an independent environment free of electioneering. But it is a curious decision in that just a few days earlier, his […]

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Supreme Court Overturns Precedent and Hangs “For Sale” Sign on Democracy

The recent Citizens United case (“CU”) has gotten a lot of attention of course as it will have a profound impact on the future of American politics.  To summarize this very complicated case is not easy, but I will try: Before CU campaign finance reform laws set limits on the amounts that corporations could spend […]

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Make your Business Litigation Proof (Well, Almost)

Many of my litigation clients are owners of small to mid-size businesses that find themselves thrust into court for the first time. These folks are often shocked to see how time consuming and expensive the litigation process can be. So after years of counseling them through the court system, I have observed that there a […]

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Prosecutorial Immunity Saved by the Bell – or the Dollar in this Case

One of the most frustrating aspects of working on wrongful convictions is the realization that prosecutors enjoy a wide immunity for actions that they take that led to the wrongful conviction. Many in the field were closely watching, therefore, the case of Pottawattamie County v. McGhee which had recently been argued before the US Supreme […]

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The Death of the Death Penalty?

Fifty years ago or so, the American Law Institute (ALI) was given the profound task of devising a method of making the death penalty constitutional in a country where the Eighth Amendment of its constitution prohibits “Cruel and Unusual Punishment.” The ALI (made up of about 4,000 judges lawyers and law professors) has now announced […]

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Freedom Won for Innocent Man but Maybe at the Cost of Truth

Emel McDowell was 16 years old in 1990 when he was arrested for the murder of Jonathan Powell. From the moment of his arrest, he has maintained his innocence. Yesterday, in Brooklyn Supreme Court, before Judge John Ingram, I secured his release during a hearing where we were trying to establish his innocence. The Kings […]