“Two Fordham University law school classmates who set up a law practice together a few years after graduating are now both facing nine-month suspensions for pursuing a fraudulent personal injury case.” Daniel Levy and Shane Rios represented a woman who claimed to have slipped in front of a Yonkers church; when they investigated the sidewalks, they found no problem with the church’s, but did find a trip hazard in front of a house across the street. They advised her that she would have a winning case only against the homeowner, not the church, and she changed her story accordingly. They proceeded to conceal the original stance of the case both from the court and from a third lawyer they brought in to help. To the New York courts, this misconduct merited a suspension only of nine months. [ABA Journal, New York Law Journal]
P.S. “Maryland would have disbarred these clowns.” [@BruceGodfrey]
“Young New Yorkers would not be able to buy cigarettes until they were 21, up from the current 18, under a proposal advanced [last month] by Dr. Thomas A. Farley, the city’s health commissioner, and Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker.” [New York Times via J.D. Tuccille] Or at least would not be able to buy them legally: according to estimates from the Mackinac Institute, New York state already has the nation’s highest rate of smuggled cigarette consumption, at more than 60 percent of its total market. [Catherine Rampell, NYT; Mackinac; Tax Foundation; Christopher Snowdon, "The Wages of Sin Taxes" (CEI, PDF)]
More: As the legal drinking age has been pushed upward in recent years, the average age of first use of alcohol has fallen markedly [Tuccille]
Sometimes, when food choices are not involved, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is actually on the right side of controversies. One instance of that is the series of battles he’s having with the New York City Council on various bills to regulate employers. The Council recently overrode his veto of a bill creating unemployment status as a new protected class, and has pressed a paid-sick-leave bill as well. A third proposal: forbidding employers to consider job applicants’ credit records in hiring. Eight liberal-leaning states have already enacted similar measures but as the Proskauer Rose law firm explains, the NYC proposal goes further:
Unlike the vast majority of laws in effect and in legislation pending across the nation, however, the Proposal does not explicitly enumerate exceptions for managerial positions, or positions with access to bank or credit card information, Social Security numbers, significant amounts of cash, or confidential or proprietary information. Although the Proposal exempts employers required by law to run credit checks on their applicants and employees, its silence as to these other standard exceptions should give New York City employers particular pause should the Proposal become law.
Suit charges Brooklyn woman covered up aunt’s death so as to live in rent-stabilized apartment [NYPost]
The cultural institution doesn’t make clear enough to visitors that its admission donation is only recommended, according to the lawyers [NY Daily News]
…try opening a wood-fired pizza restaurant just off the gritty Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Brooklyn [Ira Stoll]
“A Brooklyn attorney was disbarred Wednesday for a range of misconduct, from fabricating court orders to making misrepresentations to secure third-party litigation funding. … ‘The severe and gross violations committed by the respondent fully merit the special referee’s conclusion that the respondent is “morally corrupt and intellectually bankrupt,”‘ the appellate court wrote in a per curiam opinion.” [Reuters; Mr. Tanella's happier, award-winning days]
New York Post:
Wheelchair-riding Linda Slone, 64, is suing 39 shops in her neighborhood for not being handicapped-accessible.
The legal crusade is netting her thousands, but Slone, who cannot walk because of polio, insists she is simply championing the rights of the disabled.
“If you think this is a money-making scheme, you’re dead wrong,” said Slone, a speech pathologist.
The Florida-based Weitz Law Firm, which represents Slone, “also represents Zoltan Hirsch, a Brooklyn double amputee who The Post revealed last year filed 147 suits citing the Americans with Disabilities Act.”
Scott Greenfield wonders what the brownstones of Columbus Avenue will look like by the time the shopowners and landlords somehow manage to completely ADA-proof them.
To get your power turned back on in the Rockaways, according to a spokesman for the Long Island Power Authority, you’re going to need a pre-inspection for your house not just from a licensed electrician, but from one licensed in NYC — nearby Nassau County, or upstate, won’t do. If occupational licensure makes any sense at all — and Milton Friedman had a thing or two to say about that — it certainly needs to be reconsidered under conditions of public emergency and disaster recovery, or so I argue in my new post at Cato at Liberty.
For more background on the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) as a political football, by the way, check out Nicole Gelinas in the New York Post. Also on disaster recovery, why this might be a good time to rethink municipal ordinances barring property owners from removing old trees [Chris Fountain]. And: “Can customers sue power companies for outages? Yes, but it’s hard to win” [Alison Frankel, Reuters]
The opening target, in what is expected to become a series, is Rosa Mexicano. “The restaurant is the first ‘most popular’ Zagat pick to be sued for ADA non-compliance after the U.S. Attorney’s office launched an initiative targeting the guide’s 50 most beloved eateries last year.” [NY Observer]
Liability fears and environmental-review holdups would be sure to enter into the calculation. [Megan McArdle; see also NYT "Room for Debate"]
C-SPAN has the speech here. From Blog of Legal Times coverage:
Giuliani said at the Chamber’s Legal Reform Summit that almost every year he was mayor, the city’s tort bill for hospitals was $300 million because of all the malpractice lawsuits. “I would have to say without even worrying about being contradicted that half of that and more was just absolutely phony claims because we have a tort system in new York that is completely unfair, completely biased,” he said. …
As an example, Giuliani cited the case of a man who was fleeing from the police when he tripped on a pothole and became paralyzed. The man recovered a $70 million dollar settlement, he said. The number was reduced to $4 million–but it still made him the richest man his prison, he said.
Guess how big a soda is offered for sale by the concessionaire in Mayor Bloomberg’s own park system? I answer that question (with thanks to Ira Stoll) in my new Cato post.
New Yorkers can hire Lenore Skenazy of Free-Range Kids to not supervise their kids for them.
On July 12 New York Times columnist Jim Dwyer wrote an extensive story about the death of a 12-year-old boy who had been brought to an emergency room with fever and rapid pulse, sent home, and died of septic shock. Lab test results and other indicators of distress allegedly went unheeded, and the boy’s family is represented by Thomas Moore, perhaps the city’s premier medical malpractice lawyer. Some legal blogs had a field day citing Dwyer’s article as an example of flagrant medical malpractice, as they depicted it; other reactions, some gathered in a Dwyer follow-up column, were more mixed.
White Coat, the blog at Emergency Physicians Monthly, has been resistant to the Dwyer-Moore narrative of the case. Its blog posts can be found here,
here, here, and here.