U.S. Second Circuit - The FindLaw 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

November 2012 Archives

New York Can Demand 'Proper Cause' for Concealed Carry Permit

If you -- or one of your clients -- want to carry a concealed handgun in public, you'll need a good reason and a little bit of luck.

This week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a New York law requiring concealed-handgun license applicants to show a special need for self-protection in order to carry handguns, The Associated Press reports.

The plaintiffs in this case all want to carry handguns outside their homes for self-defense. Each applied for and was denied a full-carry concealed-handgun license by the County of Westchester for failing to establish "proper cause" -- a special need for self protection -- under New York law.

Can Law Firms Get By with a Little Help from (Non-Lawyer) Friends?

Why should law firm ownership be restricted to lawyers?

Jacoby & Meyers, a multi-state law firm, says that New York's only-lawyers-can-own-law-firms rule infringes on fundamental rights like equal protection and due process. Maybe the firm has a point. Now, it's up to a federal district court to figure that out.

Will NYC Schools Lose Their Religion?

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has considered a New York City ban on churches holding worship services in public schools 5 times over the last 17 years.

A three-judge panel heard the latest round of arguments on Monday, and it seems that the appellate court will once again side with the city, The Associated Press reports.

No Reasonable Accommodation When Disability Results in Harassment

James McElwee is in his mid-30s with a neurodevelopmental disorder formally classified as Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) and informally called an autism spectrum disorder.

In 1996, McElwee began participating in a volunteer program at Valley View Center for Nursing Care and Rehabilitation, where he performed janitorial and housekeeping duties and transported nursing home residents to religious and social events. McElwee competently performed his assigned tasks, and the volunteer program improved his self-esteem.

In 2009, McElwee was dismissed from the volunteer program after engaging in erratic and harassing behavior toward female staff members.

2nd Cir: Trial Court Didn't Err in Letting Aafia Siddiqui Testify

This week, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui's conviction and sentence for shooting at FBI agents and soldiers after her arrest in Afghanistan, Reuters reports.

The court, in a decision issued Monday, concluded that a trial court judge had not erred in allowing Siddiqui to take the stand in her own defense at trial.

Where Should the Second Circuit Draw the Entrapment Line?

James Cromitie, David Williams, Onta Williams and Laguerre Payan were convicted in 2010 of planting (what they thought) were bombs outside synagogues in the Bronx and plotting to fire missiles at military planes. They were each sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Prosecutors claim that an FBI informer — posing as a Pakistani terrorist — presented the men with an opportunity to commit violence to which they were predisposed. Defense lawyers claim that the informer used money to lure impoverished defendants with no ties to international terrorism into a plot they wouldn't have devised on their own, The New York Times reports.

Monday, their lawyers argued that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals should overturn the convictions because the men were the victims of government entrapment.

Second Circuit Extends Filing Deadlines in Sandy's Wake

Many people in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals' tri-state reach are still coping with the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. While Vermont escaped the storm with relatively little damage -- only 7,000 people were without power as of Thursday -- President Obama has declared Connecticut and New York federal disaster areas, the Hartford Courant reports.

While the flood waters are receding, and some people are trying to return to work, many federal offices -- including the Second Circuit -- are still closed.