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New York City Legal Blog

The Supreme Court did not Condone the Conduct when it Vacated the Virginia Governor's Conviction for Bribery

"There is no doubt that this case is distasteful; it may be worse than that. But our concern is not with tawdry tales of Ferrari's, Rolex's and ball gowns. It is instead with the broader legal implications of the government's boundless interpretation of the federal bribery statute. A more limited interpretation of the term "official act" leaves ample room for prosecuting corruption, while comporting with the text of the statute and the precedent of this Court."

New York's Highest Court Limits Additional Insured Coverage

New York's Highest Court, the NY Court of Appeals, issued a decision holding that the phrase "caused by your acts or omissions" in the additional insured endorsement requires that the named insured wrongful actions be a proximate cause of the accident. The Court of Appeals reversed the Appellate Division which had held that it was the same as "arise out of" such that employee injuries always created additional insured coverage. The decision narrows the coverage an requires some affirmative fault on the part of the named insured for the coverage to apply.

The Empire Strikes Back - Nursing Homes Enjoin Government's Rule Barring Arbitration Clauses in Agreements with Residents

The way to stop a runaway train is to push the brake. The way to stop a runaway horse is to pull the reins. The way to stop a runaway jury is to demand arbitration.

After United States v McDonnell: Can It Still be a Crime for a Politician to Try to Improve the Economy?

The New York Times provides the background for this fascinating question in its September 23, 2016 article, Physicist in Albany Corruption Case Was a Geek With Big Goals, by Vivian Yee. As Ms. Yee tells it:

Home Grown Terrorism: The FBI and DEA Need to Drop "Sting Operations" and Focus on Americans Who Are Radicalized Here

A short while ago 49 people were killed in a club in Orlando Florida. Last week bombs exploded in NYC's Chelsea and Linden, New Jersey. These incidents reveal a very troubling issue for security in the United States. Each of the perpetrators of these crimes had been reported to the FBI as potential terrorists and each time the investigation ended with no arrest.

Dismissal of Charges Against Former Virgina Governor McDonnell is Another Lesson in Prosecutorial Discretion

On September 8, 2016, the United States moved to dismiss the charges against Robert F. McDonnell and his wife Maureen McDonnell. The reason given for the decision was short but thoughtful: "After carefully considering the Supreme Court's recent decision and the principles of federal prosecution, we have made the decision not to pursue the case further." The decision not to prosecute is a matter of prosecutorial discretion and cannot be reviewed by a court. The prosecutor's discretion is respected by the Courts, and has been seen lately in many high profile matters. For example, FBI Director James B. Comey, a prosecutor whose dignity some might say, in the words of Lionel Trilling, "is wholly manifest in word and deed...," was strongly criticized for not recommending the prosecution of Hillary Clinton over her e-mails. His reasoning was: "Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case."

The Backstory on the Second Circuit Dismissal of Sokolow v. The PLO for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction and the Plan to "Economically Destroy" the PA

On August 31, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals, ruling on an issue the PLO and PA had been making since Sokolow was commenced in 2004, dismissed the case for lack of personal jurisdiction. But there is more to the Sokolow case than what can be found in the Second Circuit opinion. First, there is nothing extraordinary about the dismissal for personal jurisdiction. There was always a compelling argument that the PLO and PA were not subject to jurisdiction. Knowing this, the PA and PLO have argued that there was no jurisdiction over them for more than 12 years. Their original attorney, Ramsey Clarke, a former Attorney General of the United States and the son of Supreme Court Justice Tom Clarke, felt so strongly about the issue that he refused to file an answer to the complaint based on his principled view that the PLO and PA were not subject to personal jurisdiction in the United States.