Hamptons Legal – The Daily Detail

News, Service & Small Practice Management

Archive for November, 2006

New York’s Data Security Breach Law

Posted by pbsweeney on November 30, 2006

It seems that every time you turn around in the news these days, there has been a security breach in personal data stored electronically. Laptops go missing, systems get hacked, data literally falls off the back of a truck – you name it. There’s a data mining free for all going on out there. Little publicized though, have been the smaller sized heists of private data in the hands of accountants, attorneys and other professionals who lose laptops go missing as lost or stolen items.

An opportune follow up to the our post about client contact, a strong reason to reach out to all your business clients is to let them know about this important recent law. The statute mandates that anyone who holds private data must notify those individuals whose information has been compromised, and provides for serious consequences for noncompliance. For a detailed discussion on the law and its implications and consequences, click here…

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

Is the Constitution Dead in Southampton?

Posted by pbsweeney on November 25, 2006

Last week’s Southampton Press carried a front page story that proudly announced that the Village would adopt a resolution to permit groups involved as plaintiffs in a federal lawsuit against the Village, to march in future Fourth of July parades without issue. The suit came about because various local groups opposed to the war in Iraq had not been issued permits to march in the 2006 parade. The committee that runs the parade for the Village had decided that peace banners were inappropriate to the spirit of the day, a puzzling decision for a celebration of our independence and constitutionally provided freedoms.

The groups, with the help of attorney Jim Henry of Sag Harbor, rushed to the courthouse at the end of the day on the Friday before the parade and managed to get a federal judge to consider that the issue was serious enough to open the court for a special session on July third. After a hastily convened teleconference between the parties, the judge issued an order that basically reaffirmed the groups’ constitutional rights, permitting them to march with their banners in the parade. What a concept!

The lawsuit continues. In an end run move, the Village has adopted the above-mentioned resolution, but in doing so has once again attempted to define who may participate in the parade and with what kind of speech. The guarantee of free speech and participation only applies to the plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit, not to the rest of us, thus creating a special class of people with a pre-determined “privilege” to a constitutional right.

This writer does not get it. How is it that a municipality is able to imagine it may make such a determination? Village officials are concerned that anyone might then find a place in the parade, even neo-nazis for example. They claim that they are just trying to preserve the spirit of a family event. Again, this issue has been ruled upon in the courts ad nauseum. Here’s hoping that the lesson to our children on Independence Day will be one of true citizenship with constitutionally guaranteed rights for all, not just those whom the Village of Southampton deems appropriate and deserving.

Posted in Ethics, Federal Spotlight, Law, Local Cases of Interest, News, Outrage | 1 Comment »

Domestic Partnership in Suffolk County, NY

Posted by pbsweeney on November 15, 2006

If you have unmarried clients who live in a committed relationship, a good reason to touch base with them is the recently enacted Suffolk County legislation regarding domestic partnerships. It brings up a host of issues for discussion and their legal solutions.  The benefits of registering a domestic partnership In Suffolk County are indesputable, though limited. It’s particulary great for county employees, and is one more step in the process of eliminating descrimination. Note that:

“This Legislature hereby determines that the World Trade Center attack demonstrated the need to provide domestic partners in committed relationships with a means to legally establish that relationship because there are numerous situations in which one partner was injured or killed and the partner has been denied the ability to collect insurance, reside in the partnership’s residence, claim next of kin benefits, or even to visit their hospitalized partner.”

Once the clerk receives an Affidavit of Domestic Partnership, executed jointly by the partners, and two prescribed proofs that evidence financial interdependence, the county will issue a Certificate of Domestic Partnership Registration. To view the law in its entirety, click here. This law took effect September 16, 2006 and is a terrific gift to committed partners.

Posted in Law, Local Cases of Interest, News, Practice Management | 1 Comment »

“You want pot with that?”

Posted by pbsweeney on November 8, 2006

A little humor after election day:

ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico (AP) — Two police officers sued Burger King Corp., claiming they were served hamburgers that had been sprinkled with marijuana.

The lawsuit says Mark Landavazo and Henry Gabaldon, officers for the Isleta Pueblo tribal police, were in uniform and riding in a marked patrol car when they bought meals at the drive-through lane October 8 of a Burger King restaurant in Los Lunas, New Mexico.

The officers ate about half of their burgers before discovering marijuana on the meat, the lawsuit said. They used a field test kit to confirm the substance was pot, then went to a hospital for medical evaluations.

“It gives a whole new meaning to the word ‘Whopper,”‘ the officers’ attorney, Sam Bregman, said Monday. Read more…

Posted in Humor, Law, Life, News | Leave a Comment »

Why You Need to Vote Anyway

Posted by pbsweeney on November 6, 2006

There are a lot of good reasons not to vote tomorrow if you feel as disenfranchised as so many Americans do right now. And chances are, you’re not reading this blog if you feel that way. Chances are you stopped watching TV because the ads are so depressing, or you’re freaking out that your vote won’t count anyway with these damn new machines, or you can’t stand to watch another talking head because they insist on screaming non-headlines at you about some poor sap who mispoke or exposed himself as a human being, and not a sanitized, pre-programmed, “product” for a political consumer you just aren’t. Chances are you took a break this weekend and went shopping, or walked along the ocean, or got all existential in a bar.

Now that you feel a little more normal, it’s time to hit those polls tomorrow because underneath it all, you’re a true citizen, even if you feel royally screwed. Underneath it all you do give a damn about the sacred quality of your vote, of pulling that leaver or pushing that button and making who you are and how you feel known throughout the land, even if no one is speaking for you right now. Believe it or not, your vote gets attention. It’s an indisputable fact, that vote, and its such a precious commodity that people and organizations spend millions and millions of dollars to get it. So keep that in mind, get thee to the polls tomorrow, and do your best.

Posted in Ethics, Humor, Law, Life, News, Politics | 1 Comment »