Court of Appeals Holds One Attempt at Personal Service Enough to Permit Nail and Mail Under NYC Charter

Service of papers saying that you violated a local municipal law implicates important due process concerns. If a property owner doesn't get notice that something at his or her property violates local zoning regulations, he or she won't have an opportunity to contest the violation or try to work out a deal to fix it. …

Court of Appeals Holds Standard for Punitive Damages Under NYCHRL is Willful or Wanton Negligence, Recklessness, or Conscious Disregard

The New York City Human Rights Law provides strong protections against discrimination in all of its forms.  To strengthen those protections, the NYCHRL makes punitive damages available to a prevailing plaintiff.  Its text, however, doesn't provide the standard that the courts should apply when determining whether the plaintiff should be awarded punitives.  That's a problem. …

Court of Appeals OKs Retroactive Impact of Closure of Workers Compensation Law’s Special Fund for Reopened Cases

In American Economy Insurance Company v State of New York (No. 96), previewed here, two titans of the appellate world faced off in a dispute over the phase out of a special workers’ compensation fund that pays benefits to injured workers whose cases were closed and later reopened. The plaintiffs, represented by WilmerHale's Seth Waxman, former Solicitor General …

Judge Rowan Wilson, in Strong Dissent, Would Scrap Civil Commitment for Sex Offenders

Judge Rowan Wilson isn't afraid to step out on a limb when he sees inequity or incongruity. He reminds me of another independent commercial litigator that once sat on the Court of Appeals—former Judge Robert Smith. Judge Smith was well known not only for his voracious questioning at oral argument, but also for pointing out …

Court of Appeals Holds Plaintiffs Can’t Base Discrimination Claim Under the NYC Human Rights Law on Untreated Alcoholism

Under Title VII and the New York State Human Rights Law, individuals are protected from discrimination on the basis of a perceived disability, even if they don't have one. The New York City Human Rights Law is generally interpreted to be even more protective than Title VII and the State Human Rights Law. In fact, …

Fourth Department Affirms Class Certification for Buffalo Jills in Case Against NFL, Bills

In Ferrari v The National Football League, four former members of the Buffalo Jills, the Bills' cheerleading squad, brought a proposed class action against the NFL, the Bills, and their employer alleging that they weren't paid for hundreds of hours of work because they were "deliberately misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees." The Jills' …

Court of Appeals Sends Kazahk Billionaire’s Suit Over Bad Financial Advice to Arbitration in London

In Garthon Business Inc. v Stein (No. 99), which I previewed here, the Court of Appeals was asked whether Kazakh billionaire Patokh Chodiev's suit alleging breach of contract, fraud, and negligence for bad financial advice could be litigated in New York, or had to proceed to arbitration in London.  The dispute involved multiple different investment advisement agreements with …

En Banc Second Circuit Hears Arguments Whether Sexual Orientation Discrimination is Discrimination Because of Sex Under Title VII

The full Second Circuit yesterday heard arguments in Zarda v Altitude Express, which involves the hot button legal question whether Title VII offers protection for sexual orientation discrimination under the clause prohibiting discrimination "because . . . of sex." In a nearly two-hour argument, with three attorneys arguing on each side, the Court was fairly active …

Court of Appeals Deals Blow to Right to Die Movement in New York

Four states have legalized the right to aid-in-dying, which is generally defined as the right of a mentally competent and terminally ill person to obtain a prescription for a lethal dosage of drugs from a physician, to be taken at some point to cause death—Oregon, Washington, Vermont, and California.  New York, on the other hand, …

New York Judge Denies State’s Motion to Dismiss Suit Challenging Constitutionality of New York’s DFS Law

Last year, a wave of uncertainty surrounded the legality of daily fantasy sports. In New York, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman brought a high profile suit to enjoin the operation of Draft Kings and FanDuel, arguing that their DFS games violated New York's constitutional ban on gambling. Specifically, Article I, § 9 of the New York …

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