Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman is planning to require future New York attorneys to perform 50 hours of pro bono service before being admitted to practice law in New York. Pro bono is a Latin phrase generally used to describe professional work undertaken without payment or at a reduced fee, as a public service. Judge Lippman has said, the presiding justices of all four appellate divisions have endorsed the new pro bono plan and that the 50 hours could be performed during law school or any time before admission to the bar. The requirement is expected to help address the need for legal services for the poor, as well as, give law students practical experience before practicing in the profession.
Archive for May, 2012
The Manhattan DA is still pushing forward with its misdemeanor hate crime assault case against Detroit Tiger Delmon Young for his accused drunken anti-Semite tirade in which he is accused of yelling “F*cking Jews!” and attacking a male tourist in New York city. The DA’ office has apparently secured at least two eyewitnesses to sign sworn affidavits that support the allegations against Young. Young, who is in the midst of a 1-year deal worth more than $6.75 million, is facing a potential 1-year jail sentence if found guilty of the alleged charges.
Thomas Parkin was convicted of charges including grand larceny and mortgage fraud during a 6 year stint in which he wore a blond wig, dress and large sunglasses, in order to deceive others into believing that he was his dead mother. When Parkin’s mother, Irene Prusik, died in 2003, at the age of 73, Parkin stepped into her clothes, cashed her Social Security checks (totaling more than $44,000), and kept her 2.2 million Park Slope, Brooklyn brownstone. Unfortunately, Parkin could not make the mortgage payments and the brownstone was eventually sold at a foreclosure auction. That’s when Parkin and a co-defendant sued the new owner under his mother’s name, claiming the auction was invalid because his mother was still alive. To further the fraud, Parkin modified his mother’s death certificate and crossed-dressed to impersonate his mother in an attempt to renew a New York driver’s license in her name. For 6 years, Parkin cashed more than $44,000 in Social Security checks. The jury found Parkin guilty at trial, after being shown footage of Parkin dressing like his mother in public and viewing photographs of his dead mother’s tombstone. Parker has been sentenced to 13 2/3 to 41 years in prison.
The Massapequa High School Mock Trial Team edged past Roslyn High School to win the Marcus G. Christ Championship Trophy in the New York State High School Mock Trial Tournament (“NYSHSMTT”). The NYSHSMTT is the nation’s largest moot court competition for high schools and provides students with an opportunity to orally advocate their cases in the Nassau Supreme Court before New York judges and attorneys. The competition hosts45 high schools, 500 students and more than 120 attorneys and judges. New York trial attorney Erik M. Bashian credits the Nassau County Bar Association for doing a wonderful to coordinate the competition and create public awareness.
Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled “overwhelming evidence” exists that the NYPD is running a centralized “stop-and-frisk” program that has led to thousands of unlawful stops and arrests. As a result the federal judge certified a 2008 class action lawsuit that challenges the NYPD “stop and frisk” program. The class action plaintiffs’ allege the NYPD purposefully engages in the widespread practice of concentrating the “stop-and-frisk” program in minority neighborhoods based specifically on racial composition and quotas. Judge Scheindlin reasoned the “Defendants cavalier attitude towards the prospect of a widespread practice of suspicionless sops displays a deeply troubled apathy towards New Yorkers’ most fundamental constitutional rights.” The class action lawsuit challenges the Fourth Amendment’s right to be free from unlawful searches and seizures and the 14th Amendment right to be free from discrimination.
If you or a loved one has been the victim of an unlawful search and seizure or arrest, please contact the New York criminal attorneys of Bashian & Papantoniou to schedule a consultation.
On May 7, 2012, the Court in Matter of Victorino W., D-29783-11, dismissed two resisting arrest charges against two female students when it held there was insufficient evidence to show that neither of the two respondents knew they were being arrested. The first student Victoria W. allegedly pushed a safety agent during a cafeteria fight, climbed onto a table and refused to come down when ordered to do so. It is alleged the second student Karen B. bit a New York City police officer who was trying to escort her into an ambulance. The Court reasoned that “[b]ecause neither respondent was made aware that she was to be arrested, before she committed the acts alleged to constitute resisting arrest, and because the circumstances were not such as to give an inference the respondent knew she was to be arrested, the evidence in each case is insufficient as a matter of law to establish an intent to resist arrest.”
Pursuant to New York Penal Law § 205.30, “a person is guilty of resisting arrest when he intentionally prevents or attempts to prevent a police officer or peace officer from effecting an authorized arrest of himself or another person.” Resisting arrest is a class A misdemeanor.
Please contact Erik M. Bashian, a New York trial attorney and former juvenile prosecutor, if your child is the subject of an arrest and requires legal representation in the New York Family Court system.
A loan is usurious and unenforceable if it seeks recovery of annualized interest rate in excess of 16 % from individual borrowers
The New York General Obligations Law provides that the legal rate of interest charged on a loan is six (6) percent per annum unless a different rate of interest is fixed under section 14 (a) of the Banking Law. Section 14 (a) of the New York Banking Law holds that the maximum rate of interest shall be sixteen (16) percent per year. Therefore, it is black letter law that a loan agreement that charges an individual borrower with interest in excess of 16% is usurious, on its face, and may be unenforceable. Please contact the New York trial attorneys at Bashian & Papantoniou for a consultation, if you have been sued under a loan agreement that seeks annualized interest at a rate in excess of 16%.
Lenders that seek to recover compound monthly interest on loans for less than $250,000 are unenforceable and void
New York statutory law limits a lender’s ability to collect compound interest on any loan for $250,000 or less. Indeed, “compound interest” is commonly defined as interest on interest or interest that is paid on both the principal and the previously accumulated interest. “Compound interest” contrasts with “simple interest,” which is “paid on the principal only and not on accumulated interest” in that simple interest does not merge with principal and thus does not become part of the base for the computation of future interest. A promise to pay “interest upon interest” is void if made at a time before simple interest has accrued. In 1989, the legislature enacted the relevant statute, as a mean of public policy to prevent creditors from silently permitting debts to progressively mount at the expense of debtors who, often unaware of the consequences of such agreement, tend to confuse forbearance with indulgence. Please contact the New York trial attorneys at Bashian & Papantoniou for a consultation, if you have been sued under a loan agreement that seeks monthly compound interest on a loan for less than $250,000.
The New York Supreme Court in Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Adaby v. Rose, Index No. 103871/10, recently ruled that the “account stated rule” makes a client liable for the outstanding balance on a legal invoice. The court reasoned that when a client pays part of a bill, such client is generally deemed to have accepted the entire billing as valid. The court also noted that the invoices, which were challenged by the client detailed the outstanding bills and were not rebutted as to why or how they were excessive. In New York State, the Court
System has established a Statewide Fee Dispute Resolution Program (“FDRP”) to resolve attorney-client disputes over legal fees through arbitration and sometimes even mediation. Generally, an attorney may not sue a client in court over a fee dispute unless he or she first provided the client with notice of the right to utilize the FDRP. Once the client has received this notice, he or she has 30 days to decide whether to use the FDRP. If the client doesn’t choose to participate in the FDRP within 30 days, the attorney is free to pursue the matter in court. Read more to learn about your rights here: http://www.nycourts.gov/admin/feedispute/pdfs/FD_brochure.pdf and contact the attorneys at Bashian & Papantoniou, PC, to resolve your attorney fee disputes.