MEDIA

Publications

Partners Harvey Stone and Richard Dolan write the monthly Eastern District Roundup column in the New York Law Journal. The column summarizes notable decisions issued by the judges of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The firm’s lawyers publish elsewhere in the New York Law Journal and for the Federal Bar Council.
June 13, 2014
Published in: New York Law Journal | volume 252

Interaction of Federal and State Forfeiture Actions

This column reports on several significant, representative decisions handed down recently in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis suppressed body armor permanently seized from defendant at the police precinct following his arrest for littering where there was no probable cause to keep the armor as evidence of a crime. Judge Arthur D. Spatt declined to dismiss a federal in rem civil forfeiture action despite a prior pending civil forfeiture action brought in state court under Article 13-A, CPLR. Judge Allyne R. Ross, on reconsideration, granted summary judgment to a plaintiff insurance company in light of newly discovered deposition testimony in a state case. And Judge Joseph F. Bianco denied defendant's untimely motion to withdraw a bankruptcy reference.

May 9, 2014
Published in: New York Law Journal | volume 251

Warrant, Privilege, Bankruptcy Case and Ponzi Scheme

This column reports on several significant, representative decisions handed down recently in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  Judge Jack B.  Weinstein suppressed evidence seized pursuant to an insufficiently particular search warrant.  Judge Sterling Johnson, Jr., upheld an order of Magistrate Judge Cheryl L.  Pollak finding waiver of attorney-client privilege and work-product protection by a party that failed to submit a timely privilege log as required by the local rules.  Judge Dora L.  Irizarry, affirming a decision of Bankruptcy Judge Elizabeth S.  Stong, granted a motion for sanctions against an attorney.  And Judge Joseph F.  Bianco affirmed the decision of Bankruptcy Judge Carla E.  Craig avoiding certain presumably fraudulent transfers relating to a Ponzi scheme.

March 14, 2014
Published in: New York Law Journal | volume 251

Age Discrimination Claim Dismissed, Section 1983 Action Moves Forward

This column reports on several significant, representative decisions handed down recently in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Judge Arthur D. Spatt remanded for further consideration a bankruptcy court decision disqualifying debtors' counsel. Judge Brian M. Cogan declined to let a lawyer appear pro hac vice at a retrial in light of his deficient performance in earlier proceedings. Judge Spatt ordered an interlocutory sale of forfeitable property to preserve the value of the property and protect defrauded investors. And Judge Denis R. Hurley gave pretrial guidance as to potential damages in an employment discrimination action.

February 14, 2014
Published in: New York Law Journal | volume 251

Age Discrimination Claim Dismissed, Section 1983 Action Moves Forward

This column reports on several significant, representative decisions handed down recently in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  Judge Edward R. Korman declined to invalidate directives relating to the search and detention of laptop computers at border crossings.  Judge Jack B. Weinstein dismissed a variety of claims against an "assisted living facility" that allegedly misrepresented the date of its licensing.  Judge Frederic Block imposed restitution and forfeiture as concurrent penalties in a criminal case.  And Judge Allyne R. Ross dealt with issues of collateral estoppel in a RICO case in light of a prior acquittal on related charges.

January 10, 2014
Published in: New York Law Journal | volume 251

Age Discrimination Claim Dismissed, Section 1983 Action Moves Forward

This column reports on several significant, representative decisions handed down recently in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  Judge Brian M. Cogan held that, by requiring certain employer-plaintiffs affiliated with the Catholic Church to file exemption forms regarding insurance for contraceptive services and to submit the forms to their insurers or third-party administrators, the Affordable Care Act violated plaintiffs' religious rights.  Judge Arthur D. Spatt rejected age discrimination claims by a long-time company employee terminated at age 64.  Judge Jack B. Weinstein held that the City of New York and three police offers could be liable under section 1983 for damages resulting from a federal prosecution based on the officers' allegedly false testimony.  And Judge Spatt, awarding attorney fees to defendants as sanctions where two plaintiffs in a class action case failed to appear for their depositions, reduced the amount requested by 40 percent.

December 13, 2013
Published in: New York Law Journal | volume 250

Mail Fraud, Visual Artists Act, Jury Tampering

This column reports on several significant, representative decisions handed down recently in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Judge I. Leo Glasser, dismissing mail fraud charges relating to a scheme to help applicants cheat in passing the written test for commercial drivers' licenses, found that the mailings of the licenses were not really the "mechanism of deceit." Judge Raymond J. Dearie decided that plaintiff's state law contract claims against British Airways were not preempted by the Airline Deregulation Act. Judge Frederic Block declined to grant an injunction prohibiting a landlord from demolishing a building that contained works of graffiti art. And Judge Denis R. Hurley granted defendant's motion for a new trial because of possible jury tampering.

November 8, 2013
Published in: New York Law Journal | volume 250

Taking a Stand Against Harsh Sentences; Habeas Relief Granted

This column reports on several significant, representative decisions handed down recently in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Judge Jack Weinstein discussed the "unconscionable" five-year statutory minimum sentence applicable to a defendant who, as an adolescent, accessed child pornography on his computer. Judge John Gleeson granted a habeas petition based on various improprieties relating to the use of certain prejudicial testimony after it was supposedly stricken. Judge Pamela K. Chen, affirming a Bankruptcy Court decision, imposed sanctions on the creditor, and Judge Joseph A. Bianco denied a motion to dismiss claims for overtime and vacation pay brought by an employee of a married couple convicted for harboring indentured servants.

September 13, 2013
Published in: New York Law Journal | volume 250

Attorney Ethics and Conduct Come Under Scrutiny

This column reports on several significant, representative decisions handed down recently in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Judge Jack B. Weinstein held that an improper contingency fee agreement in a state criminal case had no "adverse effect" warranting habeas relief. Judge Arthur D. Spatt granted a habeas petition based on trial counsel's failure to investigate and use important available evidence. Magistrate Judge E. Thomas Boyle declined to compel production of handwritten notes taken by a non-attorney employee of defendant to help defense counsel at a deposition. And Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis denied a pro se plaintiff's belated application for costs and fees relating to his successful challenge to a removal order.

August 9, 2013
Published in: New York Law Journal | volume 250

Challenges to Sealed Documents and Other Government Actions

This column reports on several significant, representative decisions handed down recently in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Jack B. Weinstein granted in part, and denied in part, an application by Bloomberg News to unseal sentencing materials. Judge Joanna Seybert granted a new trial to two of three plaintiffs seeking §1983 damages after their criminal convictions had been vacated based on DNA evidence. Judge Arthur D. Spatt remanded a case to a state criminal court in East Hampton where defendant, a Shinnecock Indian, could not show that he would be denied "racial equality" in the state court. And Judge Denis R. Hurley held that Centro de la Communidad Hispana de Locust Valley had standing to challenge a town ordinance prohibiting day laborers from soliciting work by trying to stop vehicles, and that defendants were not entitled to discover the identities of Centro's members.

July 12, 2013
Published in: New York Law Journal | volume 249

Judge Assesses Attorney Fees for Failing to Comply With Discovery

This column reports on several significant, representative decisions handed down recently in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Judge Nina Gershon assessed attorney fees and expenses against Arab Bank for failing to comply with its discovery obligations. Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis allowed the government to introduce in a death penalty proceeding certain evidence of defendant's courtroom behavior to show lack of remorse. Garaufis also affirmed an order of the Bankruptcy Court annulling an automatic stay of a foreclosure sale. And Magistrate Judge A. Kathleen Tomlinson allowed discovery, within defined limits, of records from plaintiff's social networking accounts relating to her claims of disability discrimination.