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Choose Your Own Path: A Defendant’s Constitutional Right to Legal Representation

By   /  June 9, 2014  /  Constitutional Law, Featured 

Scales & Gavel

Recently, the New York Court of Appeals reviewed two cases, People v. Crampe and People v. Wingate, which were consolidated for a determination on whether defendants properly waived their right to legal counsel.

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The Federal Retreat from Protecting Defendants from Tainted Show-Up Identifications and the Superiority of New York’s Approach

By   /  June 2, 2014  /  Constitutional Law, Featured 

Gavel 3

Manuel Chuyn, the defendant, was charged with two counts of third degree assault and one count of second degree burglary. The defendant moved to reopen a Wade hearing to determine whether three eye witnesses’ pretrial show-up identifications of the defendant should be suppressed. The defendant further moved to have each witness testify at the hearing, if reopened.

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One Less Juror: A Defendant’s Right to Juror Substitution

By   /  May 26, 2014  /  Constitutional Law, Featured 

Gavel on Lawbook

Recently, the Appellate Division, Second Department reviewed People v. McDuffie to determine whether defendant had properly submitted a jury substitution waiver, and thus, properly waived his right to a jury trial. n McDuffie, defendant was brought up on charges of second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon.

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The Doctor Will See You Now: An Argument for Amending the Licensing Process for Handguns in New York City

By   /  April 28, 2014  /  Constitutional Law, Featured 

Constitution with Gun

With events such as the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre, the 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, and the more recent shootings at the Empire State Building, in Aurora, Colorado, and at Sandy Hook Elementary, gun control is often thrust into the limelight. Much debate and discussion ensues, but until recently, very little action has ever taken place.

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Locked Glove Compartments: Searchable or Stash Spots?

By   /  April 8, 2014  /  4th Amendment, Constitutional Law, Featured 

Gavel with Book

It is imperative that law enforcement officers are cognizant of and act within the bounds of their authority when stopping a vehicle as a result of a minor traffic violation. Courts at both the federal and state levels are inundated with constitutional challenges related to searches and seizures occurring subsequent to lawful traffic stops.

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Qualified Immunity Developments: Not Much Hope Left For Plaintiffs

By   /  April 1, 2014  /  Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Featured 

Scales & Gavel

This Article highlights important developments in the qualified immunity defense to Section 1983 claims. The focus is on recent Supreme Court decisions and the fallout from such decisions in the lower courts.

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Are You Satisfied with Your Representation?—The Sixth Amendment Right to Effective Assistance of Counsel

By   /  March 18, 2014  /  6th Amendment, Constitutional Law, Featured 

Gavel on Lawbook

A criminal defendant’s right to counsel has been embedded in our nation’s history for centuries. The right is codified in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution and exists as the bedrock of our criminal justice system. Like many other transactions in our society, the assistance of counsel is a service that is provided by one individual to another. This service is essential due to the gravity of the penalties that a criminal defendant may face when accused of a crime.

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The Plight of Bi-National Same-Sex Couples in America

By   /  March 11, 2014  /  Constitutional Law, Featured 

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Independently, immigration and same-sex marriage are contentious issues in the United States. However, the effect these issues have on each other is seldom considered in mainstream debates over either issue. The Immigration and Nationality Act (“INA”) imposes numerical quotas on the number of aliens permitted to immigrate into the United States. Immigrant visas are allocated in accordance with a preference system, which limits eligibility to categories established by the INA.

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Evaluating Candidacy Restrictions: The Implications of New York’s Modified Approach

By   /  February 10, 2014  /  Constitutional Law, Featured 

Gavel with Book

Appellant Daniel Ross appealed from a decision of the Appellate Division, Second Department which upheld the constitutionality of a residency requirement mandating that the fifth member of the Southold town board, an elected position, reside on Fishers Island. In reaffirming the constitutionality of the statutory provision, the New York Court of Appeals held that the impact of the residency requirement on the Southold residents’ voting rights was incidental and minimal, and as such a rational basis standard of review, rather than a strict scrutiny standard, was appropriate.

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An Effective but Unreported Application of Lafler & Frye

By   /  February 3, 2014  /  6th Amendment, Constitutional Law, Featured 

Law Books

On November 22, 2009 Michael Verni was found wounded inside of his automobile with a firearm between his legs. He later admitted that he owned the firearm and had shot himself, which culminated in his conviction of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. Prior to sentencing, Verni motioned the court to set aside the verdict under New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 330.30.

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