Hamptons Legal – The Daily Detail

News, Service & Small Practice Management

Archive for October, 2006

Lawmakers Contemplate Paper Trail

Posted by pbsweeney on October 30, 2006

Catching up on our reading:

The Washington Post reports that “a computer glitch that alters the names of some candidates on electronic ballots in three Virginia cities helps prove the need to create a paper record of each vote cast, two state lawmakers said yesterday.” Read the whole story here… Applause to Virgina for waking up to smell the coffee about the voting debacle that is about to descend upon us. Applause too for our own County Executive Steve Levy on this issue, wherein Suffolk County is suing the State of New York, claiming that Suff. Co. residents are being forced to pay millions for electronic voting machines that we neither need nor want, all because of the way the State Legislature interpreted the new federal voting law. On this one, we gotta say – Go Steve!


Posted in Federal Spotlight, Law, Local Cases of Interest, News | Leave a Comment »

Update on Surveillance of Local Peace Groups

Posted by pbsweeney on October 28, 2006

The ACLU in Maine has retrieved documents using the Freedom of Information Act that detail how local Maine peace groups are under surveillance by the FBI. Read that story in its entirety here….

When I talk to friends about this story, there’s a bit of chuckling about “the good old days” of campus unrest over the Vietnam War and comments like “Feds will be Feds,” and then an odd gloom settles over the conversation. Somehow, Feds these days have a more sinister quality. I’m waiting for the first peace activist to be locked up and held incommunicado under some new, untested classification. But they wouldn’t do that, right? Well maybe not in the old days, but its a new day now. When I look at the peace demonstrators in our towns, mostly 60 plus with kindly faces, it’s hard to imagine new FBI or Pentagon files being opened as we speak, but hey, it’s happening. These are not like the extended campus network of demonstrators who occupied buildings, stopped traffic and chained themselves to federal sites in the late sixties and early seventies. We’re talking quiet, peaceful gatherings on village greens now. So what gives?

Has anyone out there made a FOIA request on behalf of our local groups?

Posted in Ethics, Federal Spotlight, Law, Local Cases of Interest, News, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Ginsburg Comes to Gotham

Posted by pbsweeney on October 21, 2006

ginsburg450.jpgNew York City: Next Thursday, Oct. 26, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will deliver the closing remarks at “Justice Brennan and the Living Constitution,” an NYU Law School symposium co-hosted by Brennan Center for Justice. The conference will have symposiums on freedom of religion and national security. The symposium begins at 10:00 a.m. — it’s free and open to the public.

Posted in Ethics, Federal Spotlight, Law, News | Leave a Comment »

It Could Work, Right?

Posted by pbsweeney on October 20, 2006

Reuters has reported that Jens Lorek, a Dresden lawyer (that’s Germany kids), has a unique practice development idea and we just had to share. Mr. Lorek plans to help clients who have been abducted by aliens to receive compensation from the State, reasoning that just like other kidnapping victims, they are entitled to it. He hasn’t brought a case yet but he’s excited about the propects for his practice because UFO watchdogs maintain that the number of alien abductions increases substantially every year and there are literally thousands of potential plaintifs. “These people could also appeal for therapies and cures,” he was quoted as saying to the press. He was shocked to hear his interviewer suppress a giggle. “No one has laughed until now.”

We hear you Jens, our legal economy is in the twilight zone too.

Posted in Business, Humor, Law, News, Practice Management | Leave a Comment »

East End CLE Dinner Nov. 9th

Posted by pbsweeney on October 19, 2006



NOVEMBER 9, 2006
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
(Formerly The Tuscan House)
67 Osborne Avenue, Riverhead, New York

Cost: $25.00 Per Person for SCWBA Members
(Non-Members $35.00)
Includes Full Dinner and *Two CLE Credits (Non-Transitional)

RSVP by November 1, 2005
Jennifer Maloney (631) 208-1063

Part of the cost of dinner is generously underwritten by Findlaw.

*Pending approval. Full and partial scholarships for the program based upon financial need are available. All request are confidential. For guidelines call SCWBA President Robin Abramowitz Esq.: 631-761-0870

Posted in Practice Management | Leave a Comment »

H-2B Visa Relief Extended

Posted by pbsweeney on October 19, 2006

AILA InfoNet Doc. No. 06100265

On 10/17/06, President Bush signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007 (H.R. 5122) into law. Section 1074 of the bill includes a one year extension of the returning worker exemption to the H-2B visa cap. H.R. 5122 provides for the extension to take effect beginning October 1, 2006.

Section 1074 reads as follows:


(a) In General- Section 214(g)(9) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1184(g)(9)) is amended–

(1) by amending the first sentence of subparagraph (A) to read as follows: `Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), an alien who has already been counted toward the numerical limitation of paragraph (1)(B) during fiscal year 2004, 2005, or 2006 shall not again be counted toward such limitation during fiscal year 2007.’; and

(2) in subparagraph (B), by striking `referred to in subparagraph (A)’ and inserting `to admit or otherwise provide status under section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii)(b)’. (b) Deletion of Prior Sunset Provision- Section 402(b)(1) of the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act of 2005 (title IV of division B of Public Law 109-13; 119 Stat. 318; 8 U.S.C. 1184 note) is amended by striking `2004,’ and all that follows through the period at the end and inserting `2004.’.

(c) Effective Date- The amendments made by this section shall take effect on October 1, 2006. If this section is enacted after October 1, 2006, the amendments made by this section shall take effect as if enacted on such date.

Posted in Federal Spotlight, Immigration, Law, Practice Management | Leave a Comment »

Pentagon Surveillance of Local Peace Groups

Posted by pbsweeney on October 15, 2006

This came in from the ACLU news feed. Smile, you’re in a Pentagon anti-terrorism database:

Defense Department Tracked Quakers, Student Groups

NEW YORK — “Documents released today by the American Civil Liberties Union reveal new details of Pentagon surveillance of Americans opposed to the Iraq war, including Quakers and student groups. The documents show that the Pentagon was keeping tabs on non-violent protesters by collecting information and storing it in a military anti-terrorism database.

“There is simply no reason why the United States military should be monitoring the peaceful activities of American citizens who oppose U.S. war policies,” said ACLU attorney Ben Wizner. “When information about non-violent protest activity is included in a military anti-terrorism database, all Americans should be concerned about the unchecked authority this administration has seized in the name of fighting terrorism.”

The documents come in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the ACLU earlier this year after evidence surfaced that the Pentagon was secretly conducting surveillance of protest activities, anti-war organizations and groups opposed to military recruitment policies. The Pentagon shared the information with other government agencies through the Threat and Local Observation Notice (TALON) database.”

Click here for the balance of the article. The actual details of various surveillance activities as presented in these retrieved documents are really fascinating. AND, you can download copies of the documents that the ACLU obtained on three local investigations. There seems to be no doubt in the government’s mind that anyone who carries a sign that says “Stop the War” is a potential terrorist. Thank you, Mr. Rumsfeld, for devoting our tax dollars to protecting us from Quakers, Unitarians, and college kids. Just don’t forget to strip search these people before they get on a plane.

Posted in Federal Spotlight, Law, Local Cases of Interest, News, Outrage, Politics | Leave a Comment »

Bank for Trial Lawyers in Brooklyn

Posted by pbsweeney on October 10, 2006

Court Street gets a legit money man. This story caught our eye in The Brooklyn Papers:

Last week, Esquire Bank, the first bank in the country to specialize in serving trial lawyers, opened on Court Street, between Livingston and Joralemon streets, in the center of Brooklyn’s legal district.

“Trial lawyers have unique needs,” explained Richard Bieder, an investor in the bank and a former governor of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, as he stood in a crowd of pinstriped suits, bald spots, and gray ponytails at the bank’s opening on Sept. 28.

“We need loans to keep moving a case forward, to hire experts, to help us through the ups and downs of law firms. That’s what titillates me about this idea.”

To read more about the opening, click here. To read the bank’s charter as approved by the Office of Thrift Supervision, click here.

Posted in Business, Law, News, Practice Management | Leave a Comment »

Why Clients Leave – Part I – The Thrill of the Hunt

Posted by pbsweeney on October 10, 2006

It’s true, sometimes we like it when a client leaves. A collective sigh of relief permeates the firm. The high maintenance, time sucking, energy draining, irrational nightmare is over.

But sometimes, it’s not all them. Sometimes a relationship deteriorates into an adversarial quagmire, and there is little hope of satisfaction for the client no matter what the outcome of the matter.

How did that happen when everything started out so well.

The Thrill of the Hunt – Unfortunately, bagging a client doesn’t mean we get to put up a trophy (like on our web site list of impressive clients) and leave it at that. It’s only the begining. In the arena of this mentality, the feel good enthusiasm of the client lasts as long as the immeditate pain that brought the client to us in the first place is alleviated. Sometimes this happens very quickly because, after all, we’re good at what we do. At this point, some of us who are really skilled at selling legal services and can make a client connection just by going out for the paper, begin to lose interest. The adrenelin rush of the begining of the matter noticeably dissipates and so does our spot on attitude. Things can deteriorate quickly. Interim steps in the matter are easily postponed, client contact is left to a subordinate associate or for when we get around to it, and as the pure dogged drugery required to follow through and win the ultimate objective looms, we get annoyed, bored, or exasperated. See where I’m going here? If any of this sounds familiar, a little self examination is in order. If we’re a hunter by nature, we need to partner up with a farmer or develop a system of support that allows us to function like one throughout the life of the client relationship. It’s not really that hard to fix this once we identify the pattern and start implementing solutions.

Posted in Business, Law, Practice Management | Leave a Comment »

The Rules Have Changed

Posted by pbsweeney on October 4, 2006

Four amendments to the NYUCS Rule take effect on October 1, 2006. Of special interest to matrimonial attorneys and process servers is the change in Sec. 202.7 (f) that states “Upon an application for an order to show cause or motion for a preliminary injunction seeking a temporary restraining order, the application shall contain, in addition to the other information required by this section, an affirmation demonstrating there will be significant prejudice to the party seeking the restraining order by the giving of notice…” To view all the October 1st amendments in their entirety, click here.

Posted in Law, Practice Management, Service for Process, Suffolk Courts | Leave a Comment »