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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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Prearraignment Lineup Procedures: Are Multiple Lineups Unduly Suggestive or Sufficiently Reliable?

By   /  January 27, 2014  /  Constitutional Law, Criminal Procedure, Featured 

Scales & Gavel

Pretrial identification procedures are critical stages of the criminal prosecution process. In some cases, a defendant’s guilt or innocence may rest entirely on an eyewitness’s identification. Therefore, it is imperative that criminal defendants are afforded constitutional safeguards, such as the right to counsel and due process of law—to ensure that identification procedures are conducted fairly. This case note will explore concerns raised in the context of suggestive pretrial lineup procedures.

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It’s Reasonable to Expect Privacy when Watching Adult Videos

By   /  January 21, 2014  /  4th Amendment, Constitutional Law, Featured 

Gavel 3

The New York City Police Department organized and conducted a buy-and-bust operation in New York City, resulting in a positive identification of the defendant, subsequent arrest, and simultaneous seizure of certain illegal contraband found on his person. At trial, the defendant sought to suppress both the evidence recovered by law enforcement as well as the identification by the primary undercover officer, alleging that “the police did not act lawfully because he had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the booth.”

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Fourth Amendment Right to Privacy with Respect to Bank Records in Criminal Cases

By   /  January 16, 2014  /  4th Amendment, Constitutional Law, Featured 

Gavel on Lawbook

In People v. Lomma, the court held that the defendant had no standing to move to quash the People’s subpoena for his personal banking records in a criminal proceeding. The Supreme Court of New York County based its decision on state precedent and the United States Supreme Court’s seminal decision of United States v. Miller. In Miller, the Court held that a criminal defendant did not have a Fourth Amendment interest in his banking records. The court in Lomma followed a similar rationale as this issue is slowly evolving and New York has not yet given a criminal defendant a Fourth Amendment interest in his or her personal bank records.

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Privacy in Social Media: To Tweet or Not to Tweet?

By   /  January 13, 2014  /  4th Amendment, Constitutional Law, Featured 

Gavel

During the Occupy Wall Street movement, Malcolm Harris participated in a protest march on the Brooklyn Bridge. During this protest march, Harris, along with others, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for marching on the roadway of the bridge, as opposed to the pedestrian walkway. As part of the investigation, the District Attorney’s office sought to acquire Harris’s Twitter records through a subpoena. The District Attorney’s office had reason to believe that the information contained in these Twitter records would contradict his anticipated defense at trial.

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