On July 7, 2015, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the City Bar Justice Center cut the ribbon on their Federal Pro Se Legal Assistance Project (FedPro), to provide information, advice, and limited-scope legal assistance to people proceeding pro se in a variety of federal civil cases. Schlam Stone & Dolan partner Bennette Deacy Kramer is member of the Eastern District Civil Litigation Fund which is providing half of the first-year funding for the FedPro.
Schlam Stone & Dolan partner Jonathan Mazer assisted a Florida trial team as local counsel in the high profile trial against entertainment personality 50 Cent a/k/a Curtis James Jackson III over the unauthorized publication of a private sex tape depicting the plaintiff. Following a lengthy trial, the jury awarded compensatory damages totaling $5 million on plaintiff's claims for emotional distress and violation of her civil rights. Mr. Jackson filed for personal bankruptcy the day the he was to be required to testify about his net worth in connection with plaintiff's punitive damages claim, but the bankruptcy court refused to stay the punitive damages hearing and the jury awarded an additional $2 million in punitive damages against him.
The New York Law Journal reported today on the firm's June 30, 2015, motion to vacate the conviction of its client Harold Turner, in light of the United States Supreme Court's decision in Elonis v. United States, No. 13-983, 575 U.S. ___, 2015 WL 2464051 (June 1, 2015). Turner was an internet shock jock who was convicted of threatening three Seventh Circuit judges by posting on his website a commentary sharply criticizing the judges' decision upholding two local gun ordinances. The defendant in Elonis was convicted under a similar threat statute for a series of Facebook postings found to constitute threats to his ex-wife, co-workers, and law enforcement personnel. The Supreme Court reversed Elonis's conviction because the jury had been erroneously instructed that the postings could be threats if a "reasonable person" would find them to be threatening, without regard to whether the defendant subjectively intended them to threatening. The district court in Turner's case gave essentially the same instruction. The motion to vacate argues that the conviction should be set aside for the same reason the Supreme Court reversed Elonis's conviction, namely, because in omitting an essential element of the crime—the requirement of the defendant's criminal intent—the jury instruction allowed Turner to be convicted for conduct that was not criminal. Partners Harvey Stone, Richard Dolan, and Elizabeth Wolstein are handling the case.
On May 8, 2015, the California Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles reinstated an action brought by Schlam Stone & Dolan against the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS). The plaintiff, Cesar Baez, alleges that CalPERS forced him out of private equity firm Centinela Capital Partners, where he was a partner, by threatening to withhold promised investments, and that CalPERS was motivated by Baez's friendship with Latino businessmen who were being investigated by CalPERS in an unrelated matter. Schlam Stone partner Jeffrey Eilender was quoted by the Sacramento Bee, saying CalPERS harmed Baez’s reputation, and that Baez has struggled to find work since leaving Centinela. Eilender and Schlam Stone & Dolan partner Michael Battle are representing Mr. Baez in the action.
On March 31, 2015, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Kimble v. Marvel Enterprises, a patent case in which Schlam Stone & Dolan represents a group of nine amici curaie, including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, The Rockefeller University, and the Association of American Medical Colleges, supporting the petitioner, an inventor who patented a toy that allows users to mimic Spiderman's web-spinning abilities by shooting foam from their hands using a can strapped to the waist or wrist.
On March 31, 2015, The Guardian reported on an amicus brief filed by Schlam Stone & Dolan on behalf of Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, among others. In Stephen Kimble v Marvel Enterprises, a toy inventor asked the Supreme Court to reverse a 1964 decision that preventing inventors from receiving royalties after their patents expire. The firm's clients filed an amicus brief in support, arguing that allowing post-expiration royalty payments could promote “the transformation of scientific research into potentially life-changing therapies and inventions that benefit the public.” The amici were represented by Schlam Stone & Dolan partner Elizabeth Wolstein, along with Richard Dolan and Harvey Stone.
On December 12, 2014, the United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in a patent case in which Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP represented four leading biomedical research institutions as amici curiae supporting the petitioner. Those institutions are: Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, the Research Foundation for the State University of New York, and the Rockefeller University. The petition urged the court to take the case in order to reconsider its decision in Brulotte v. Thys Co., 379 U.S. 29 (1964), which held that a contract providing for payment of patent royalties after the patent's expiration is per se illegal. On behalf of these amici, Schlam Stone's brief sought to bring to the Court's attention the negative impact of this per se bar on the ability of academic research institutions and the companies to which they license technology to structure license agreement in a way that optimizes the licensee's ability to transform academic research conducted by amici into pharmaceutical products that benefit the public. Schlam Stone partners Harvey Stone, Jeffrey Eilender, and Elizabeth Wolstein handled the case.
Search and recruitment firm IDW Group is seeking recovery of damages is suffered as a consequence of an insurance premium check given to and subsequently misplaced by insurers
Schlam Stone & Dolan LLP partners Jeffrey M. Eilender and Thomas A. Kissane represent James Otis, whose interests as a collector of artworks and memorabilia and as a peace activist overlapped as he gathered and subsequently offered for sale a group of items that had belonged to Mohandas Gandhi, father of today's India. When James Otis decided to auction off his Gandhi memorabilia he expected excitement but not so much controversy. The items he put on offer included a rare watch, which is the house specialty at Antiquorum Auctioneers on New York's Madison Avenue, which conducted the auction, as well as eyeglasses, leather sandals, a brass bowl and a brass dish. According to the New York Times, Mr. Otis had hoped the auction would bring in funds to support peace movements the Mahatma might well have approved. But then developments took some surprising turns. Mr. Otis soon realized events were unfolding in a manner that made him uncomfortable. After the Indian government expressed, through diplomatic channels, strong objections to the sale and an Indian court issued an injunction against it, Mr. Otis wrote the auction house stating that he wanted to withdraw the items from sale. The auction house proceeded, however, and in the end Vijay Mallya, whose business interests include Kingfisher beer and an airline, agreed to buy the items for a reported $1.8 million. Press accounts differ but in general the media seem to agree that Mr. Mallya said he would bring the Gandhi relics back to India and also make some arrangements that would provide public access if not public ownership. By the time the auction had been completed (whether valid or not) the story had drawn attention worldwide.
Not long ago this newsletter [44th Street Notes, A Publication of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York] wrote about attorneys who left the law for more creative passions. But in many cases the opposite occurs, as people who start out in other careers find a law degree is exactly what they need to fulfill life's goals. All night study sessions, the Socratic method, and financial depletion; all daunting enough for a student right out of college. So why would someone already successful and settled want to take on the challenge of law school later in life? Here is the story of one City Bar member revealing why he left stability and employment behind for study groups, outlines and blue books. Cold Warrior To Litigator An attorney who has spent 20 years around cannons, rockets, missiles and nuclear warheads does not get easily rattled when taking a deposition. Ask John Lundin, an artilleryman who rose through the ranks in the U.S. Army from enlisted man to major. A civil litigator for Schlam Stone & Dolan, he marches into court armed with the self-discipline, focus and attention to detail that he acquired in the military. He noted that he decided to make the Army a career after visiting the border between what was then East Germany and West Germany. "I was deeply moved at seeing the fences, guards, minefields and dogs focused on keeping their own people in," he remembers. "I became committed to seeing that we were protected from that." After almost five years as an enlisted man, he attended Officer Candidate School, serving in, a month other places, Germany, Hawaii and Korea. During a spate of urban terrorist threats in Europe, he was responsible for the security of nuclear warheads. In the first Gulf War, he spent six months in the desert in Saudi Arabia and Iraq, helping run the command post responsible for all artillery in the 101st Airborne Division. Describing his decision to retire and go to law school, he noted, "At 38, I was already one of the old guys," he says. "It was time to move on, I wanted to find another job as rewarding, interesting and fun for me, and that provided for my family." In 1997, he graduated from Columbia Law School, where he was a Kent Scholar for two of his three years. After law school, he clerked for the U.S. Court of Appeals in San Francisco and then spent four years as a litigation associate at Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York. In 2002, he left Cravath to join Schlam Stone & Dolan. He believes that, above all, the military gave him perspective: "Our cases are extremely important to our clients and us, and we take them very seriously, but if I lose a motion, it's not like I compromised the fate of Western democracy. At the end of a day, as an attorney, win or lose, we all walk out of the courtroom basically okay. If course, it would be different if I were defending capital cases." While his military years may be behind him, his army experiences undoubtedly shaped his opinions of the current problems regarding the treatment of detainees in Guantanamo. In January his team from the Federal Bar Council Inn of Court made a presentation on the legality of the use of torture, based in part on the City Bar Association's reports on detention and deportation of suspected terrorists. [Reproduced with permission from 44th Street Notes, A Publication of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, June 2005. Copyright © 2005 Association of the Bar of the City of New York.]