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Author Archives: Nicole Black

Tiffany fights losing battle against inevitable change

“Ahh… Do I detect a look of disapproval in your eye≠ Tough beans buddy, ‘cause that’s the way it’s gonna be.” — Holly Golightly in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” Like many large, traditional companies, the jeweler Tiffany & Co. made the ...

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When private concerns become public domain

Federal judge Louis L. Stanton caused an uproar among privacy advocates last week when he issued an order in Viacom v. YouTube Inc., 07 Civ. 2103, a closely watched case pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District ...

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Social media latest networking tool for lawyers

“Social media is an umbrella term that defines the various activities that integrate technology, social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. … Social media or social networking (one example of social media) has a number of ...

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Is justice obtained if not consistently applied≠

The death penalty is one of the few issues with which I have difficulty reconciling my rather liberal criminal defense tendencies. While the concept of the state executing another human being is repugnant to me, I find that on rare ...

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Offensive criticism trumps First Amendment rights

I was disappointed to learn of the recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Doninger v. Niehoff, No. 07-3885-cv, a case I last discussed in March. At the time, I disagreed with the district ...

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Unlikely inferences do not a felony make

Last week the New York State Court of Appeals handed down its decision in People v. Finley, 2008 WL 2338613. At issue was whether small amounts of marijuana smuggled into New York correctional facilities by inmates constituted “dangerous contraband” pursuant ...

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Why not err on the side of caution≠

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Herring v. United States, 07-513. At issue in Herring is whether the exclusionary rule should apply when a suspect’s arrest was based on erroneous information from another law enforcement officer. The ...

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It all depends on how you define ‘marriage’

Last week, in Martinez v. County of Monroe, 2008 NY Slip Op. 00909, the Appellate Division, Fourth Department held that valid marriages of same-sex couples performed in other jurisdictions must be recognized in New York. In Martinez, the plaintiff sued ...

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Tempations of Utopia

“Those who made and endorsed our Constitution knew man’s nature, and it is to their ideas, rather than to the temptations of utopia, that we must ask that our judges adhere.” — Robert Bork A few weeks ago, my family ...

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The high price of partisan politics

Gideon v. Wainwright, 372 U.S. 335 (1963), states in part: “[R]eason and reflection require us to recognize that in our adversary system of criminal justice, any person haled into court, who is too poor to hire a lawyer, cannot be assured ...

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Beyond these four walls

“Resistance is futile. Your life as it has been is over.” — Locutus of Borg/Jean-Luc Picard, “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” “The Best of Both Worlds” episode (1990). Businesses exist to make money and, as we all know, time is ...

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Judge not, lest you be a judge

With the dawn of a new year, two leading jurists once again brought the issue of judicial pay raises to the forefront of legislative concerns. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and New York State Court of Appeals Chief ...

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