In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in one case, Judge David G. Trager precluded a defendant from heading off a class action by offering to pay the named plaintiff in full before the class could be certified. In another, Judge I. Leo Glasser rejected plaintiff's assertion that his claim challenging his demotion did not accrue until he later applied for pension benefits. Judge Arthur D. Spatt, on still another case, saw no constitutional problem regarding a state judge's imposition of consecutive sentences for murder, robbery and assault committed during an intrusion into a Long Island home. Finally, Judge Trager also held that plaintiff was estopped from asserting Rehabilitation Act claims for a period when he had received Social Security disability benefits.
In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Judge Frederic Block affirmed an INS order turning down naturalization to a wartime veteran who failed to show "good moral character," and Judge Raymond Dearie granted a writ of habeas corpus to a petitioner who had been held too long in INS detention following an order of removal.
The issue of how much process is due in connection with habeas corpus petitions brought by detainees labeled "enemy combatants" following 9/l1 was addressed recently by Judge Michael Mukasey in the Southern District of New York and by the Fourth Circuit. Although the two courts appear to have reached opposite decisions, the two decisions are based on different facts and their similarities are greater than their differences.
In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Judge Jack B. Weinstein granted collateral relief to a defendant whose trial lawyer, by neglecting to investigate the crime scene, missed opportunities to rebut the District Attorney's case. Judge I. Leo Glasser held that equal protection and § 1983 claims against the parks commissioner for converting a cemetery into a recreation area were some 64 years out of time. And Judge David G. Trager applied recently relaxed pleading standards to a Title VII complaint.
In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Judge Edward R. Korman allowed plaintiff to use a pseudonym in suing a blood-testing center after she contracted hepatitis B. In a civil forfeiture action, Judge I. Leo Glasser rejected the "innocent owner" defense of a woman whose building was apparently used by her son to facilitate drug trafficking. And Judge Raymond J. Dearie found no basis to conclude that MetLife had engaged in gender discrimination or retaliation.
In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Judge I. Leo Glasser discussed the factors that might cause the court to reconsider a forfeiture of bail. In another case, Judge Glasser awarded attorney's fees to an insurance company as stakeholder of life insurance proceeds. And Judge Raymond J. Dearie remanded a case involving Supplemental Security Income benefits for reconsideration under recently effective Final Rules applicable to disabled children.
In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis removed to federal court a Kings County homicide prosecution of a DEA Special Agent. Judge David G. Trager held that a defendant vessel owner was not liable for a longshoreman's injuries in unloading cargo. Judge I. Leo Glasser dealt with the timeliness of claims against two defendants in the same case where the EEOC issued right-to-sue letters on different dates as to each defendant. And Judge Arthur D. Spatt held that a 7-Eleven store's destruction of a surveillance video after authorities responded to a robbery report did not amount to a Brady violation.
In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. Judge Arthur D. Spatt held that an application for appellate attorney's fees in a Title VII case did not have to be made within 14 days of final judgment, but could be made within a "reasonable" period. Judge Jack B. Weinstein denied defendant's motion to invalidate part of a proffer agreement which would allow the government to use, for rebuttal purposes at a criminal trial, defendant's statements at a proffer session. In addition, Judge I. Leo Glasser, expressing a measure of regret, declined to expunge the records of a misdemeanor conviction, which posed a bar to defendant's employment. And Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak denied pretrial release to the acting boss of the Gambino family, even though he was not charged with direct participation in a crime of violence.
In the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Judge David G. Trager granted injunctive relief to a resident of a public housing development who challenged the New York City Housing Authority's blanket denial of her request to conduct post-Sept. 11 "Bible studies/grief counseling" sessions at the development's community center. Judge Thomas C. Platt dealt with res judicata and collateral estoppel issues in the context of a claim that the Town of Southampton, by freezing land-use applications, had "taken" private property without compensation. And Judge I. Leo Glasser found that, under the circumstances, defendants' 14-month delay in reporting a claim against them to their insurer did not violate the policy's "notice" provision.
Former Federal Bar Council President Alan J. Hruska has made the transition from the practice of law to career as writer and director of film. His first film – "Nola" – has reached the final post-production stage and will be ready for distribution soon. Hruska describes the film as a romantic comedy set in New York.