2nd Circuit Court Rules News - U.S. Second Circuit
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More than 22 years ago, environmental advocates accused Texaco, later acquired by Chevron, of polluting the Amazonian rainforest homeland of 30,000 Ecuadorians. Since then, the controversy has produced reams of media coverage, a well-received documentary, and a judgment of nearly $9 billion against Chevron.

It also produced a three hundred page court opinion finding that the billion dollar judgment to be based on fraudulent evidence, bribery and deceit -- and preventing enforcement of the judgment under an anti-racketeering statute often used for mobsters, not environmental lawyers.

Must nonresident attorneys keep a physical office in the State of New York in order to practice there? Ekaterina Schoenefeld, a lawyer licensed in both New York and New Jersey, was surprised to find out that was the case after attending a CLE class in New York City.

She was so outraged (for some reason) that she filed a federal lawsuit against the State of New York, alleging a violation of the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the U.S. Constitution. After winning in district court, the State appealed to the Second Circuit, which asked the New York Court of Appeals to interpret the statute. Indeed, said the state's highest court, nonresident attorneys do have to maintain a "physical office" in the state.

Richard Guertin was Corporation Counsel for the City of Middletown, New York (presumably centrally located), in 2004. From 1997 to 2004, Middletown received federal funds from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development to "promote the 'development of viable urban communities.'"

As a result of eight questionable loans, Guertin, along with Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano and Middletown Community Development Director Neil Novesky, were indicted on charges that the three conspired in an illegal scheme to benefit from loans stemming from federal funds.

The Roman Catholic Church has been embroiled in controversies surrounding allegations of sexual abuse at the hands of priests for years. In a recent Second Circuit opinion, the Arch Diocese of Albany won a small victory, though on purely procedural grounds, reports the Times Union.

The Claim

Michael Shovah initiated an action in Vermont federal court, against the Arch Diocese of Albany, and a former priest, alleging that he was transported from New York to Vermont and was sexually abused. Under the New York statute of limitation, he would have had to file his claim by 2008, yet he did not do so until 2011. However, his claim was timely under the Vermont statute of limitations, hence the choice of venue.

Second Circuit Slams Lawyer for Failure to Update Email Address

Lawyers: Keep your email address current with the courts' electronic filing systems.

Seriously. It could make or break your case. And you could be publicly shamed. By the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, no less.

Jacoby & Meyers Will Get Merits Ruling on Non-Lawyer Firm Ownership

Jacoby & Meyers LLP won a Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling Wednesday, reinstating its legal attack on a New York rule barring non-lawyers from owning an interest in law firms, Bloomberg reports.

The order modifies a previous ruling from the court, which permitted the firm to amend its complaint to include additional state defendants, and challenges to New York Judiciary Law §495 and LLC Law § 201.

What Hack-ens in Connecticut Stays in Connecticut's Jurisdiction

Right now, the data from this blog is coming from a server in New York City. The only reason any of us know this is because our servers were temporarily offline after Hurricane Sandy. In fact, you almost never know where the data you are accessing, legally or illegally, is coming from.

Except when you are allegedly stealing that data from your employer.

Court Finds Pretrial Detention 'Troubling,' But Constitutional

Antonio Briggs was indicted for substantive and conspiratorial drug crimes. He was arraigned on August 17, 2010. On September 1, 2010, Magistrate Judge Hugh Scott ordered Briggs held without bail pending trial. The district court affirmed that decision, finding that Briggs poses a flight risk and danger to the community.

Briggs has been sitting in jail for two years, and is understandably antsy. He claims that his continued detention violates due process.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that Briggs' detention doesn't violate due process quite yet, but it might early next year.

Nobody Puts the Second Circuit in the Debarment Appeals Corner

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals highlighted the occasional absurdity of the federal appellate process this week when it dismissed an administrative appeal because the appeal wasn't originally filed with the appellate court.

The short version of the ruling: If you get hit with Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) debarment, appeal directly to a federal appellate court.

The long version, of course, is more interesting because it covers allegations of attorney misconduct.

Comments on New Second Circuit Rules Due April 11

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has proposed two new Second Circuit rules, and you have until April 11, 2012 to tell the court what you think of them.

The new rules require disclosure of attorney assistance with court filings, and detail the procedure for appeals of district court attorney discipline orders.