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Live Blogging at NY Court of Appeals Criminal Justice CLE-Pt. II

Checkmark Next up, Wendy Lehmann-points of interest on topic of "how to respond to an application for leave to appeal to the NY Court of Appeals:

  • Primary role of NY Court of Appeals is not to correct error, but to see it in larger policy perspective
  • If appeal from an order of affirmance of the intermediate appellate court, it must be adverse or at least partially adverse to the appellant.
  • When responding to application, ensure that applicant has met their burden of establishing preservation, reviewability etc.
  • If the law is settled,if there's a problem with the court's decision below, it it's a novel question of law--admit it.
  • If such a unique case in terms of factual scenario, or isn't ripe yet--lower courts need to look at it more, or isn't really a question of law, or court has refused leave on similar issues--raise these issues

Live Blogging at NY Court of Appeals Criminal Justice CLE

Checkmark I'm at a Monroe County Bar Association seminar "The Court of Appeals Comes to the 3rd Annual Criminal Justice Forum". 

The Guest Speakers are Hon. Theodore T. Jones and Hon. Eugene F. Pigott, Jr., Associate Judges of the NYS Court of Appeals.

The moderator is acclaimed local criminal defense attorney John F. Speranza.

Panelists are Wendy E. Lehman, Special Assistant District Attorney and the illustrious Brian Shiffrin, First Assistant Public Defender, and New York criminal defense appellate attorney extraordinaire.

Co-chairs are Hon. Thomas M. Van Strydonck, Supreme Court, Adminstrative Judge, 7th Judicial District and Hon. Joseph D. Valentino, Supreme Court Justice.

More to follow...

The New York Legal News Round Up

Latest_news It's Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday-and time for the round up of interesting New York law-related headlines from the past week:

Rochester Needs a Law School


This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Rochester Needs a Law School."

A pdf of the article can be found here and my past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.


Rochester Needs a Law School

Within the last year, officials at both SUNY Binghamton and St. John Fisher College announced their educational institutions were considering the possibility of establishing new law schools.

Lawyers across the state decried the addition of two new law schools in New York, many asserting there already are too many law schools, and too many lawyers. One can only assume that the primary reason for such ardent disapproval is based on the fear of increased competition in a state already populated by a large number of lawyers.

While those concerns certainly have some credence, a new law school in Rochester would benefit the region and the local legal community far more than it would hurt it.

St. John Fisher plans to locate a new law school  downtown, a move which will only serve to revive a once well-traveled area that is no longer the focal point of activity for Monroe County residents. Downtown Rochester has great potential and the addition of a new student population will only invigorate the ailing city.

A law school will be good for local businesses as well. A new community of students will provide landlords with tenants and local retailers with newfound customers.

A Rochester-based law school also will benefit local lawyers, in a number of ways. First and foremost, it will provide new jobs for lawyers seeking an alternative to traditional legal careers.

Both public and private legal employers could utilize the services of law school students, providing free or low-cost interns, while simultaneously allowing the students to gain a sense of the abilities and personalities of potential future employees.

A new law school also will enhance and strengthen the local legal community by providing opportunities for lawyers to participate in the educational process, enabling them to shape the minds of future lawyers. From judging moot court competitions to participating on career services panels, local lawyers will become more engaged and enthusiastic about the practice of law.

Rochester needs a law school. The absence of one is a noticeable and curious phenomenon, one which I have always questioned. Our area is home to a large number of colleges and universities and includes nationally renowned medical, engineering and business schools.

When I graduated from the University of Rochester in 1992, I would have preferred to stay right here in Rochester for law school and was somewhat annoyed and surprised to learn I didn’t have that option.

Fortunately for the declining Upstate population, I returned to Rochester and chose to raise a family here. Many young people don’t make that choice. A Rochesterbased law school could help to address increasing concern about the mass exodus of the younger generation from Upstate. A local law school could encourage graduates to remain in Upstate, rather than migrating Westward.

Rochester needs a law school. New York has the third largest population of all U.S. states, with California topping the list. Both states have similar numbers of practicing lawyers, yet California has more than twice as many accredited law schools as New York.

New York certainly has room for a few more law schools, and there is no reason why Downstate should be home to 11 of the state’s 15 law schools.

Rochester is an obvious choice for a new law school. Its addition will only add prestige and recognition to our city. The local economy will benefit, as will the local legal community.

The addition of a law school in Rochester, quite frankly, is a no- brainer.

The New York Legal Blog Round Up

Blawgs It's Monday and time for the weekly round up of posts from my fellow New York blawgers:

Coverage Counsel:

New York Attorney Malpractice:

New York Federal Criminal Practice:

New York Law Blog:

New York Personal Injury Law Blog:

New York Public Personnel Blog:

Rochester Family Lawyer:

Second Opinions:

Simple Justice:

CPLR Blog:

Online Will Websites, Part II

Erandisi_2_2 Thanks to all for some great comments.  Over the weekend, I saw a commercial on TV for a legal document drafting website and software, that was endorsed by a well-known attorney, but one who is not licensed in New York (according to the attorney directory at 

How does this affect the online will debate - i.e., a prominent attorney advertising an online product, where there is no attorney-client relationship created?  Is this going to lead customers to believe they are purchasing legal counsel?

-Authored by Elizabeth Randisi, a Rochester, New York attorney associated with the law firm WeinsteinMurphy.  Her practice focuses on Trusts and Estates and elder law.

The New York Legal News Round Up

Latest_news It's the day after an historic day for this country, and time for the weekly round up of interesting New York law-related news headlines:

Twitter 101 for Lawyers


This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Twitter 101 for Lawyers."

A pdf of the article can be found here and my past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.


Twitter 101 for Lawyers

While I’ve often repeated my recommendation that lawyers ought to take advantage of the networking and micro-blogging service, Twitter, I’ve yet to explain how to do so.

Not surprisingly, it is the “how” that matters because, at first glance, Twitter seems like anything but the wonderful tool that it is.

First things first —what is Twitter? Twitter is a free, Web-based communications platform that allows users to share information with others who have similar personal and professional interests. Users communicate using text-based posts (“tweets”) of up to 140 characters in length.

Twitter currently has more than 3.2 million accounts registered, and its user base is expanding quickly. Companies and individuals use Twitter in a variety of unique ways, which are constantly evolving.

For example, large businesses, including Jet Blue and Wegmans, use Twitter to provide information and, occasionally, personalized customer service. Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign uses Twitter to connect with and update supporters. News outlets such as the BBC use Twitter to rapidly disseminate breaking news.

In some cases, news breaks on Twitter before the major news outlets report on it, which happened during the recent earthquake in California. California-based Twitter users were the first to “tweet” about the earthquake as they experienced it.

Of course, you’re probably wondering whether Twitter has any value to you as a lawyer. It does. With Twitter you can network with other lawyers across the country and the world; promote your practice and its Web site or other online presence; receive news updates relevant to your area of practice and connect with potential clients or referral sources.

Twitter is an invaluable resource, as long as you know how to use it. The first step is to create an account at Make sure to choose a user name that is easily recognizable and promotes your practice.

The next step is to locate people and organizations you’d like to follow, including people you already know, those who practice in the same area of law, potential clients and users with similar personal interests. There are a number of ways to do this.

Locate people you already know by running your Web-hosted e-mail address through Twitter’s system. (You’ll be prompted to do so when you first sign up.) Once you’ve connected with people you know, check their follower lists and “follow” anyone who interests you.

Online directories, such as Twellow, conveniently categorize Twitter users for you. Review the directory to locate people with whom you’d like to connect.

Recently, two really useful lists were published by JD Supra (an online platform that allows lawyers, law firms and legal professionals to publish and distribute work online to a wide audience) at their blog, JD Scoop.

Both lists were created by Adrian Lurssen. The first is a list of “145 Lawyers (and Legal Professionals) to Follow on Twitter."

The second is a list of “Legal News Feeds on Twitter."

You also can search Twitter using Summize to locate people who are discussing topics that interest you. For example, if you’re interested in wine, you can run a search for “wine” and other wine-related terms to locate other oenophiles.

After you’ve located people and companies, consider using a Web application such as Tweetdeck or Twhirl, which make the interface far more user-friendly by allowing you to organize and keep track of your conversations on Twitter.

Once you’ve set up an account and connected with a few people, start Tweeting about your day-to-day law practice, your firm’s blog or other online presence, news of interest to you and your followers and any other topics that interests you.

Engage in conversations with other users by responding to their Tweets. Simply type “@username,” then add your comment.

It only takes a short amount of time to set up an account and familiarize yourself with Twitter. Once you do, you may wonder how you ever practiced law without this amazing resource.