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Author Archives: Joseph Tacopina

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ACLU v. NYPD: Is It Legal to Single Out Muslims for Surveillance?

The American Civil Liberties Union, the New York Civil Liberties Union and the CLEAR Project of Main Street Legal Services at the CUNY School of Law recently filed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department. At issue is whether the NYPD’s Muslim Surveillance Program is legal. Under the program, the NYPD: Specifically identifies… Read More »

Let’s Make Kendra’s Law Permanent … and Enforce It

In 1999, Kendra Webdale was waiting for an N train at the 23rd Street subway station under Broadway. Suffering from schizophrenia and not taking his medications, Andrew Goldstein pushed Kendra onto the tracks into the path of the train as it arrived. In response to this fatal incident and other incidents of violence committed by… Read More »

If You Bring a Civil RICO Claim Against One of Our Clients, You’d Better Be Blameless

The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, otherwise known as RICO, is a federal law aimed at prosecuting leaders of organizations when they order or assist others in racketeering. A common example is a protection service in which those who offer the protection harm any ostensible beneficiary who declines the service. RICO was enacted in… Read More »

Where Does a Falsely Accused Rapist Go to Get His Reputation Back

In 1987, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Ray Donovan was found not guilty of alleged larceny and fraud. Upon his acquittal, Donovan asked, “Which office do I go to get my reputation back?” The same question can be applied to others who are wrongly accused. Consider the case of Kenneth King. In October 2011, he… Read More »

Can You Learn to Organize an Anti-Israel Boycott at Summer Camp in New York?

Apparently a Quaker group thinks so. According to its website, the American Friends Service Committee is “a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world.” Yet one program it runs is a summer camp for college students to train student leaders in organizing anti-Israel boycotts. According to the website, the service… Read More »

Why the George Zimmerman Jury Got It Right

A criminal jury trial is not a popularity contest. In the days following the jury’s decision that George Zimmerman was not guilty of the second-degree murder or manslaughter of Trayvon Martin, the press reported on many who protested the jury’s verdict. The U.S. Department of Justice, which had started an investigation following Martin’s death, promised… Read More »

New York City Appellate Division Upholds Dismissal of Soda Ban

Mayor Bloomberg’s crusade to ban the sale of large-sized sodas and other sugary beverages has come to an end since a New York Appellate Division recently ruled to uphold a lower court ruling blocking legislation proposed by the Board of Health. According to the NY Law Journal, the Appellate Division based its decision on the… Read More »

Are Facebook and Myspace Posts Really Private?

It may seem like an invasion of privacy, but your Facebook and MySpace comments can be admissible against you in a court of law in New York.  Your privacy settings are not particularly relevant to judges who rule on admissibility. Even if your account is password protected and you have adjusted your privacy settings to… Read More »

What Does It Take to Pierce the Corporate Veil?

New York has set a high bar for individuals seeking to “pierce the corporate veil,” which is by definition attempting to sue corporate officers or limited liability company owners directly for damages. Usually a corporation is treated as a separate legal person, but even a high bar cannot protect business owners from potential lawsuits. The… Read More »

Merrill Lynch Manager Tells Female Analysts to Seduce the Old Boys Club

Three female financial advisors at Merrill Lynch’s Manhattan-based flagship offices claim that they were subjected to gender discrimination at the hands of an overbearing boss, according to court documents filed in New York State Court this week. The employees allege that they were respectively told to “stick to knitting” rather than going after new clients,… Read More »