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April 2012 Archives

#130 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 12, 2012, Part 2 of 14

April 22, 2012

130 Post 01-12-12, Part 2 Third Department January.pngWhile we have two (2) more affirmed cases, I'm nonetheless impressed with the statistics. Namely, the odds of having your case modified or reversed on appeal seem to be hovering right around 25%. So, at least in the Third Department, your odds are pretty decent. This is much better than the 10% that I have often quoted to my clients in the past.

Therefore, it would be quite foolish for any trial attorney NOT to draft and file a cursory notice of appeal, just to safeguard the rights of the client. You'll sleep better, I promise you.

There are forty-two (42) decisions for this week. This is an amazing week since, of those decisions, I found twenty-eight (28) - that's right: twenty-eight (28) - to be interesting enough to include here.

Continue reading "#130 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 12, 2012, Part 2 of 14" »

#129 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 12, 2012, Part 1 of 14

April 21, 2012

129 Post 01-12-12, Part 1 Third Department January.pngTwo cases: one matrimonial and the other criminal. The first tests your biases and the second your funny-bone.

There are forty-two (42) decisions for this week. This is an amazing week since, of those decisions, I found twenty-eight (28) - that's right: twenty-eight (28) - to be interesting enough to include here.

Continue reading "#129 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 12, 2012, Part 1 of 14" »

#128 What I Was Listening To ... 40 Years Ago: April 1972 Playlist, Part 2 of 2

April 20, 2012

128 Post-1 Depositphotos_2286999_XS.jpgIt's hard to remember a time when Joe's monstrously huge record collection was unknown to me. I vaguely remember becoming aware of it when I was in kindergarten, hanging out with my best friend, John. John idolized his much older brother and followed him around like a puppy. So, it wasn't long before I followed John up to Joe's second-floor bedroom. And, unlike most older brothers I would come to know, Joe was the coolest. He actually enjoyed our attention and took the time to teach us various cool things (many of which turned out to be illegal, much to our supreme satisfaction).

Joe was cool. You didn't need to be told this: you just knew. From the way he stood (in that classic late 60s/early 70s stance, one leg bent back at the knee, with the foot flat against the wall) to the way he spoke (everything ended in "man" and "dude"), you just knew that this guy was hard-wired into cool. Joe didn't give much of a damn about anything.

Continue reading "#128 What I Was Listening To ... 40 Years Ago: April 1972 Playlist, Part 2 of 2" »

#127 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 5, 2012, Part 4 of 4

April 19, 2012

127 Post 01-05-12, Part 4 Third Department January.pngI'm actually starting to get into these various criminal appeals as they are often as interesting as the family law and matrimonial law appeals (if not more so!). In fact, while the family law cases can be exceedingly dysfunctional and disturbing, nothing beats a good criminal appeal for lurid human behavior.

If you've wondered why I seem to have gone off the reservation with regard to criminal cases, I'd ask you to take note of the kinds of cases on which I am lavishing attention. These cases pertain to specific subjects, with many concerning children in one way or another. Sadly, many entail the sexual abuse of children. And that is precisely what we have with the two decisions analyzed today.

There are forty-one (41) decisions for this week - with ZERO decisions concerning family law cases. So, instead of moving on to the next week, I wanted to explore eight (8) interesting criminal cases that I've discovered.

Continue reading "#127 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 5, 2012, Part 4 of 4" »

#126 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 5, 2012, Part 3 of 4

April 18, 2012

126 Post 01-05-12, Part 3 Third Department January.pngThe first case concerns another Anders brief. It is amazing how often these things appear in the decisions.

The second case concerns a comedy of errors, with no one left laughing, least of all the young felon.

There are forty-one (41) decisions for this week - with ZERO decisions concerning family law cases. So, instead of moving on to the next week, I wanted to explore eight (8) interesting criminal cases that I've discovered.

Continue reading "#126 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 5, 2012, Part 3 of 4" »

#125 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 5, 2012, Part 2 of 4

April 17, 2012

125 Post 01-05-12, Part 2 Third Department January.pngThe next pair of cases are interesting insofar as they involve the same defendant. The first case pertains to the initial period of incarceration, while the second case deals with the defendant's re-incarceration on a subsequent violation of the terms and conditions of his probation.

There are forty-one (41) decisions for this week - with ZERO decisions concerning family law cases. So, instead of moving on to the next week, I wanted to explore eight (8) interesting criminal cases that I've discovered.

Continue reading "#125 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 5, 2012, Part 2 of 4" »

#124 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up For January 5, 2012, Part 1 of 4

April 17, 2012

101 Post 01-05-12, Part 1 Third Department January.pngThere are forty-one (41) decisions for this week - with ZERO decisions concerning family law cases. So, instead of moving on to the next week, I wanted to explore eight (8) interesting criminal cases that I've discovered.

Continue reading "#124 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up For January 5, 2012, Part 1 of 4" »

#123 What I Was Listening To ... 40 Years Ago: April 1972 Playlist, Part 1 of 2

April 15, 2012

123 Post-1 Depositphotos_2286999_XS.jpgSpring is like the adolescence of nature: it's a long messy process before you get to the fullness of summer. It entails lots of cold, wind, clouds, and rain, with lots of crazy fluctuations in temperature. The spring weekends of my youth are probably most memorable for being stuck inside the house because it was too nasty to go outside for long. And even parents, who were normally yelling at us to "get outside and play!" were resigned to the fact that spring (way back then) was largely an indoors existence spent doing one of three things: watching television, playing board games, or listening to music. Luckily, we never tired of any of these three options (sure, sure, reading was always an option, but not one we would exercise (or admit to) until we were older).

As a result, I remember watching more than my fill of lame movies from the 50s. All sorts of monster flicks involving Godzilla and the latest contender, usually after humans screwed around with nature, doing something they damned well knew they shouldn't do. Or nuclear weapons. Lots of nuclear weapons. I probably didn't realize it at the time but living through the end of the Cold War as a kid meant taking everything concerning nuclear weapons for granted. From the hilarious idiocy of "duck and cover" in school (Yeah: hiding under my desk was going to keep me from being vaporized! Even us kids weren't THAT stupid.), to the heavy-handed cultural artifacts ("Bond, James Bond") of what passed for entertainment (those damned Russians were everywhere and they were always up to something - most especially calling themselves Soviets when everyone really knew they were Russians).

Continue reading "#123 What I Was Listening To ... 40 Years Ago: April 1972 Playlist, Part 1 of 2" »

#122 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up For December 29, 2011, Part 5 of 5

April 14, 2012

100 Post 12-29-11, Part 5 Third Department December.pngThe last case of the year for 2011 is an ugly one and goes to show you just how bizarre family court cases can get. Seriously: you can't make this stuff up. Furthermore, this case marvelously illustrates how the UCCJEA works. And for those of you reading these cases on your own, this case should sound familiar (as it has been before this court twice before, in 2010 and 2011). Also, as with all lengthy cases, it is probably best to go directly to the decision and read it yourself. In fact, you should read this case just for a better understanding of how the UCCJEA operates.

Also, musical accompaniment for this particular case shall be "Dueling Banjos", from the movie "Deliverance". Go directly to page 9 and you'll understand why.

There are twenty-six (26) decisions for this week with only three (3) of those decisions concerning family law cases. However, I've opted to include six (6) criminal cases this time around, because I found them to be interesting and/or instructive.

Continue reading "#122 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up For December 29, 2011, Part 5 of 5" »

#121 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up For December 29, Part 4 of 5

April 13, 2012

99 Post 12-29-11, Part 4 Third Department December.pngFirst up is another denial of resentencing case, with a similar result, though with a very short (1 1/2 pages) decision.

Next is a 9 page decision with regard to a family court appeal. And I suspect that this case may soon find itself before the Court of Appeals.

There are twenty-six (26) decisions for this week with only three (3) of those decisions concerning family law cases. However, I've opted to include six (6) criminal cases this time around, because I found them to be interesting and/or instructive.

Continue reading "#121 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up For December 29, Part 4 of 5" »

#120 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up For December 29, Part 3 of 5

April 12, 2012

98 Post 12-29-11, Part 3 Third Department December.pngHere are two more criminal cases. The first case is a good read if you like to see what the Third Department is like when they are angry. Even when angry, the court shows enormous restraint. But read between the lines. And wince accordingly.

The second case concerns ... wait for it ... another Anders brief. Can you guess what happened on this case? Sure, I knew you could.

There are twenty-six (26) decisions for this week with only three (3) of those decisions concerning family law cases. However, I've opted to include six (6) criminal cases this time around, because I found them to be interesting and/or instructive.

Continue reading "#120 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up For December 29, Part 3 of 5" »

#119 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for December 29, 2011, Part 2 of 5

April 11, 2012

97 Post 12-29-11, Part 2 Third Department December.pngIn the first case, we have yet another Anders brief submitted which the Third Department does not like. Filing an Anders brief is like poking a wasps' nest with a stick: you just know you're going to regret doing it.

In the second case, we deal once again with extraordinary circumstances - and the consequences of an improperly drafted petition.

There are twenty-six (26) decisions for this week with only three (3) of those decisions concerning family law cases. However, I've opted to include six (6) criminal cases this time around, because I found them to be interesting and/or instructive.

Continue reading "#119 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for December 29, 2011, Part 2 of 5" »

#118 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for December 29, 2011, Part 1 of 5

April 10, 2012

88 Post 12-29-11, Part 1 Third Department December.pngThe first case, though a criminal matter, is interesting insofar as it is a small victory for due process.

The second case concerns our old friend, Anders briefs.

There are twenty-six (26) decisions for this week with only three (3) of those decisions concerning family law cases. However, I've opted to include six (6) criminal cases this time around, because I found them to be interesting and/or instructive.

Continue reading "#118 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for December 29, 2011, Part 1 of 5" »

#117 The 230 Municipal Entities of the Greater Capital Region

April 9, 2012

117 Post-1 Greater Capital Region.pngAnother question that I get a lot is this: "What sort of geographical area do you cover?" Well, the answer would probably amaze you. If you remember from a previous post, I stated that a standard work-year for me would entail an average of about 25,000 miles (or about once around the planet) being placed on my car or about 100 miles per work day, on average. Therefore, I cover a great deal of ground. Specifically, I cover eleven (11) counties, mostly in Family Court. Those 11 counties have 13 cities, 62 villages, and 144 towns. And all of those cities, most of those villages, and all of those towns have courts as well.

All in all, the area of those 11 counties is 6,709 square miles (greater than that of the State of Connecticut, at 5,543), with a population of 1,217,706 (almost double that of the State of Vermont's at 625,741), according to the 2010 census. And this is but a small part of all of Upstate New York. As I have repeatedly stated: Upstate New York is a very big place, at least by northeastern standards.

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#116 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for December 22, 2011, Part 3 of 3

April 8, 2012

87 Post 12-22-11, Part 3 Third Department December.pngOne more week of cases and we are done with both December and 2011. Just a few more to go. From there, we will move quickly into the many new cases decided in 2012.

The last case for this week examines equitable distribution and spousal support - especially when wasteful dissipation of marital assets has occurred.

There are forty-one (41) decisions for this week with only five (5) of those decisions concerning family law (or related) cases.

Continue reading "#116 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for December 22, 2011, Part 3 of 3" »

#115 What I'm Listening To: April 2012 Playlist, Part 2 of 2

April 7, 2012

115 Post-1 Depositphotos_2286999_XS - Copy.jpgAlright, so some of these songs might not be as popular (or as good) as those from previous months. However, I've always found that the mass-marketing of rock is such that some very interesting songs are almost always overlooked if only because they are deemed too long or too weird or too outside the accepted style of the artist. A perfect example of this is the seminal sound collage that is the Beatles' "Revolution 9", which I proudly call My Favorite Song Of All Time. The Beatles themselves had heated arguments over whether or not to include this "song" on the White Album ("The Beatles"). From what I've read, Paul McCartney was completely repulsed by the idea that this song could be in any way representative of The Beatles' oeuvre. And John Lennon felt just as strongly that The Beatles were, if anything, an ever-evolving, progressive force of nature in the music world and that they simply had to prove their bona fides with a song like this.

It's just like thinking you're seeing the countryside by staying on the interstate: you couldn't be more wrong. Take the exit to nowhere and simply enjoy the ride. You will be extremely glad that you did.

Continue reading "#115 What I'm Listening To: April 2012 Playlist, Part 2 of 2" »

#114 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for December 22, 2011, Part 2 of 3

April 6, 2012

86 Post 12-22-11, Part 2 Third Department December.pngThere are forty-one (41) decisions for this week with only five (5) of those decisions concerning family law (or related) cases.

Continue reading "#114 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for December 22, 2011, Part 2 of 3" »

#113 "So, What Kinds Of Cases Do You Handle?"

April 6, 2012

113 Post Depositphotos_4556228_XS.jpgDespite my recent four-part post - or probably because of it - I've had several people ask me for some sort of exhaustive list of the various legal services that I provide. As luck would have it, this has also been the request of my webmaster, Justia.com, for some time now as well. And while my webmaster would like this information provided as an easy-to-locate web page (which is still not finished!), I decided, what the heck, why not just provide the list as a blog post and just get it out there to start with?

So, yesterday afternoon, I just sat down and tried to figure out all the things that I have been doing for the past ten (10) years for clients in Family Court, Supreme Court, County Court, the Appellate Division, and all of the lower City, Town, and Village courts.

I guess I surprised myself because I came up with quite a long list of services, though there is sometimes significant overlap among them, often with many services popping up within a single case - but such is the nature of what I do. Very rarely do I have a case where only one or even two issues are involved. The average case usually entails dealing with anywhere from a handful to a dozen of these issues. In rare cases, two dozen of more issues will arise. Because of this, my professional life is always kept interesting because it is truly rare to have any one case mirror the fact-pattern of any other case. No case, like no day, is ever quite like another. And that's the way I like it. Because it's hard to learn new things if you're stuck doing the same thing over and over and over again, day in, day out.

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#112 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up For December 22, 2011, Part 1 of 3

April 4, 2012

77 Post 12-22-11, Third Department December.pngAh, yes, here we are, back again, with another caselaw round-up. I'm sure you were getting restless. And I must confess that I have missed it over the past month. I know I have been remiss in not posting more of these a lot more often than I have, as I now find myself with well over sixty (60) of them to post. Here it is April and I haven't even wrapped up December! Well, I'll have to remedy that with several dozen caselaw round-up posts in the coming weeks.

There are a lot of very interesting cases coming up and I tend to go "off the reservation" much more often than I have in the past. There may even be a few prisoners' rights cases to review. So, in addition to the standard fare of family law and matrimonial law, and a sprinkling of criminal law, you may see some new areas of law, just because I find the cases weird, scandalous, novel, or in some way interesting.

There are forty-one (41) decisions for this week with only five (5) of those decisions concerning family law (or related) cases.

Continue reading "#112 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up For December 22, 2011, Part 1 of 3" »

#111 What I'm Listening To: April 2012 Playlist, Part 1 of 2

April 1, 2012

111 Post-1 Depositphotos_2286999_XS.jpgAs I was playing this month's selection of songs, I realize that while I consider it to be a wide variety, they are all firmly within the sphere of rock. Rarely will you find a song within these lists which cannot be considered a rock song. Cloyingly mellow or unlistenably hard, they are, to a fault, rock. And why not? This is the music I was raised on (other than the classical music I loved from church). And once you've been exposed to a lifetime's worth of music, in the form of rock, why the hell would you want to listen to anything else?

In fact, rock is so dynamic that I don't have to worry about leaving rock to listen to other kinds of music. Inevitably, these other forms of music will gravitate towards rock and rock will simply absorb them and rearrange them. As I have previously stated: like English is to language, rock is to music. Both are now global in their respective reaches. And I think the key to the dynamism of each medium is simple: it is the greatest marketing tool to reach the widest array of people on the globe. And you don't necessarily need to be proficient in either. You just have to know enough to be able to reference your ideas and your music.

We have reached the point where English and rock are global human operating systems.

Continue reading "#111 What I'm Listening To: April 2012 Playlist, Part 1 of 2" »