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The Blueprint: Critiques of the Fingerprint and Abandonment Paradigms Utilized to Reject an Expectation of Privacy in DNA

By   /  April 22, 2014  /  Criminal Procedure, Featured 

Gavel with Book 2

The defendant, Vernon B., was charged with one count of criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree. On November 10, 2011, a police officer allegedly observed the defendant throwing a bag from the window of a residence, and upon inspection, he found the bag contained a loaded 9mm pistol, which subsequently tested positive for male DNA.

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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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Rape Shield Laws and the Social Media Revolution: Discoverability of Social Media—It’s Social Not Private

By   /  April 2, 2014  /  Evidence, Featured 

Law Books

Rape Shield laws serve a valuable purpose in our society. Before Rape Shield laws, rape victims were forced to prove that they were in fact victims, as opposed to willing participants. To demonstrate that the victim was a willing participant, a defendant was allowed to introduce evidence regarding the victim’s sexual predisposition or prior sexual behavior.

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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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The Eastside Exhibition Rule: The De Minimis Exception for Trifles and Trivialities in Partial Actual Eviction Cases in New York

By   /  March 24, 2014  /  Featured, Property Law 

Gavel 3

Since at least the early twentieth century, the law in New York has been that the landlord’s physical ouster of a tenant from all or a portion of the premises warranted full rent abatement. This is the case regardless, whether the expulsion is from just one inch or the entire premises.

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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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Are There Still Collateral Consequences in New York After Padilla?

By   /  March 18, 2014  /  Criminal Procedure, Featured 

Gavel

In Padilla v. Kentucky, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the failure of a criminal defense attorney to properly advise a defendant of the immigration consequences of a guilty plea was a violation of the defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel. Significantly, the Supreme Court stated: “We . . . have never applied a distinction between direct and collateral consequences to define the scope of constitutionally ‘reasonable professional assistance.’ ”

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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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The Influence of a Jewish Education and Jewish Values on a Jewish Judge

By   /  February 24, 2014  /  Featured, Jewish Law 

There is no religious test for office in the United States. Jew, Christian, Moslem, or atheist are equal before the law, and enjoy equal opportunity to gain public office. Consequently, how a judge decides a case should not depend on the judge’s religious upbringing, religious identification, or religious values.

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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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