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#523 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for February 14, 2013

February 22, 2014

523 Post 02-14-13 Third Department February.pngThis is a relocation case. And, like all relocation cases, it is heavily fact-intensive. I have an interest in relocation cases because I've litigated several of them and I think I have a pretty good sense of what it takes to win them. After a while, you tend to get a sense of whether or not the case is a good one, a bad one, or too close to call. In fact, just this week, two relocation cases walked through my door, one good and one too close to call. One of these days I'm going to have to write a blog post as to what makes for a good to great relocation case. Also, an analysis of the seminal relocation case, Tropea v. Tropea, from 1996, is probably also in order. However, I've got a large backlog of cases to get to ...

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#522 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for February 14, 2013

February 21, 2014

522 Post 02-14-13 Third Department February.pngHere's another case of a determination as to custody and the concomitant need to weigh the pros and cons of each parent in making such a determination. Remember: whoever has more pros than cons usually wins primary physical custody of the children.

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#521 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for February 14, 2013

February 20, 2014

521 Post 02-14-13 Third Department February.pngI had to read this decision multiple times just to make sure that I was reading it correctly. Why? Because it doesn't make ANY sense. Here's an excellent example of the Third Department ignoring precedent and making BAD LAW. This doesn't happen often, but it happens often enough that it needs to be pointed out and ridiculed. Boneheaded decision.

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#520 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for February 14, 2013

February 19, 2014

520 Post 02-14-13 Third Department February.pngThis is a rarity: the winning of a reversal in a SORA appeal. This sort of thing occurs less than 1% of the time, so it's always worth noting when it happens. In this case, it seems that neither the defendant nor the court itself had complied with the substance of the applicable statute.

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#519 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for February 14, 2013

February 18, 2014

519 Post 02-14-13 Third Department February.pngHere's another termination of parental rights cases. As you can well expect, these cases are almost always pathetic illustrations of how NOT to be a parent to a child. Very often, these cases show a parent that is simply too overwhelmed with problems (usually a wide variety of them) to be able to properly parent a child. The parent is usually given some help from DSS but, almost inevitably, the parent fails to live up to expectations and reverts to form, a default position of chronic dysfunction. And then the children are lost to the system.

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#518 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for February 14, 2013

February 17, 2014

514 Post 02-14-13, Part 4 Third Department February.pngHere's a case that illustrates that smoking a little ganga won't necessarily disqualify you as a candidate for primary physical custody of your child, especially if you've been the child's primary caretaker for most of the child's life. Of course, as you can well imagine, there's just a bit more to the story than one or both of the parties getting stoned - and caring for a child.

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#517 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for February 14, 2013

February 16, 2014

513 Post 02-14-13, Part 3 Third Department February.pngOf all the various crimes that I am aware of, and given the hundreds (perhaps thousands) of people I have represented, and given the fact that committing any crime is an act of stupidity, I think I can usually wrap my head around why the person did what they did - except in the case of crimes against children and (domesticated or vulnerable) animals. For a person to want to harm children or animals, there has to be a whole section of the human brain that left for a permanent vacation. And then there are the monsters who are so sexually depraved that they see children and/or animals in a whole new and deeply disturbed light. And like traffic slowing down to a crawl to gawk at the wreckage from a bad accident, these are the sorts of cases that get my attention.

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#516 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for February 14, 2013

February 15, 2014

512 Post 02-14-13, Part 2 Third Department February.pngThis is one of those neat little cases you see from time to time if you're a caselaw junkie like me. This case solely concerns the issue of appellate counsel fees, something that very rarely comes up. This case is also a returnee to the Third Department, as other matters within it had been addressed by the Third Department in a prior decision. However, once again, a carefully-drafted separation agreement will often determine the outcome of a particular issue in a particular case. Of course, it's damned difficult to try to incorporate into an agreement even the most plausible things one might reasonably anticipate - which is why these sorts of cases will always appear from time to time.

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#515 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for February 14, 2013

February 14, 2014

511 Post 02-14-13, Part 1 Third Department February.pngThis case is one with two interesting issues, both of which I have recently reviewed for purposes of legal arguments in two separate cases, one of which is still pending. Unfortunately, for both clients, this case only served to assist the other side. Nonetheless, this is an excellent review of two issues that seem to keep cropping up on a regular basis in family law litigation.

Also, one of the reasons I am getting so far behind in blog posts is because I try to analyze, on average, two cases per post. I realize now that that is probably a mistake. So, from now on, regardless of its length, each case will be reported and analyzed in its very own blog post. This way, there will be more regular posts and (hopefully) I can get more quickly caught up on this backlog of cases. Shorter posts mean more posts.

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#514 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for February 7, 2013, Part 1 of 1

February 13, 2014

510 Post 02-07-13 Third Department February.pngAnd yet again, the Third Department did not entertain any cases for this particular week, so there are no new cases to report or analyze.

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#513 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 31, 2013, Part 1 of 1

February 12, 2014

509 Post 01-31-13 Third Department January.pngOnce more, the Third Department did not entertain any cases for this particular week, so there are no new cases to report or analyze.

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#512 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 24, 2013, Part 1 of 1

February 11, 2014

508 Post 01-24-13 Third Department January.pngThe Third Department did not entertain any cases for this particular week, so there are no new cases to report or analyze.

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#511 Third Department Caselaw Round-Up for January 17, 2013, Part 1 of 1

February 11, 2014

507 Post 01-17-13 Third Department January.pngHey, hey, whaddaya say!?

Happy (very belated) New Year! Time to get back to the caselaw round-ups once again. There are quite a few cases to plow through to get to the point where we are completely up-to-date, so let's go ...

The only case for this particular week is quite interesting insofar as it involves a rarity: a dissenting opinion. Yes, believe it or not, the justices of the Third Department do not decide cases in a lock-step fashion, and actually have minds of their own. And, sometimes - though very rarely - these individual minds will differ enough to actually dissent. Yes, I know, amazing, right? So, without further ado ...

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#510 What I Was Listening to ... 40 Years Ago: December 1973 Playlist, Part 2 of 2

December 31, 2013

510 Post-1 Depositphotos_2286999_XS.jpgSo, when my best friend's father took early retirement, I (naturally?) expected that his father would just be around the house more. I was right, but in a way I could never imagine. Oh, he'd be around the house more, alright. It's just that it would be in a different house, a thousand miles away, by the ocean. Early retirement meant pulling up the family's roots and getting the hell outta Dodge. Oh.

There were no words. I was in shock. In a matter of months, the best friend in my whole life would be gone and there would be this gaping hole where my life had once been. The house would sell early and the moving truck would pull out a week before Christmas. Lucky me! I would have my entire Christmas vacation to mope around the house, trying to piece my life back together again. Yay!

I'll never forget it. The Christmas of '79. Boy, did it suck! But, at least, I had all that wonderful music. And I still do. Some things you never outgrow. Plus, with the music cranked up to eleven, some days it feels like old times, and I'm back in the 70s, and the music will never end.

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#509 In Memoriam: November 2013 Deaths

December 30, 2013

509 Post-1 Depositphotos_5480853_XS.jpg118. Doris Lessing, 94, October 22, 1919 - November 17, 2013:
Writer; British novelist, poet, and short story writer; natural causes

Some writers you are force-fed in grade school. Others you stumble upon, quite by accident. Lessing is the latter, probably because The Powers That Be weren't about to allow into the classroom a woman who had an early flirtation with communism and who openly and vehemently condemned nuclear arms and apartheid. In short, she was a rebel. And, as a general rule, one doesn't learn about rebels in school.

I credit discovering this writer to a feminist professor in college, who simply adored Lessing. She pressed a copy into my hands saying "You must read this!" That was back in the mid-80s. After many attempts on her masterpiece, "The Golden Notebook", I ultimately gave up. Of course, she later won the 2007 Nobel Prize in Literature. As I've gotten older, I seem to bump into more and more people who hold her (and particularly this novel) in high regard. Maybe I'll have to make another attempt.

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