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Recent Blog Posts

Insurance Coverage in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Anyone living in the New York Metro Area will not soon forget hurricane Sandy. Sandy may go down as the worst Atlantic storm to ever hit the eastern United States. It may ultimately also prove to be one of the most expensive, considering the most heavily populated city was greatly affected by the storm. For… Read More »

Post-Conviction Relief: A Second Look at Conviction

According to The Innocence Project, nobody knows just how many innocent people are sitting in prison after being wrongly convicted. This organization works tirelessly with defendants who believe they were wrongly convicted to secure post-conviction relief. Post-conviction relief is a mechanism for the court to review the conviction under certain circumstances and, if appropriate, reduce… Read More »

The Effect of Mental Competency in Death Penalty Cases

Prosecutors and Jared Lee Loughner, who shot Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, killed six people and injured 13 others in a shooting rampage at an Arizona political gathering, reached a plea deal in August 2012. Under the plea arrangement, Loughner pled guilty and agreed to life in prison. While the plea spared the victims a lengthy,… Read More »

Bus Accidents – You Never Know

On Friday evening over the Labor Day weekend 2012, a 16-year-old boy from Queens boarded a bus with 65 friends to go to a sweet 16 party. The double-decker bus had just crossed over the George Washington Bridge to New Jersey. It was 6:30 pm. As the bus exited the upper level to enter I-95… Read More »

Joseph Tacopina – Drive and Desire

Joseph Tacopina knows firsthand how to work against the odds. He will take unpopular cases, especially those against police officers. When Richard Sanfilippo faced corruption charges in the famous 1994 “Morgue Boys” cases and Kenneth Moreno was accused of taking advantage of an intoxicated woman while he was on patrol, it was Tacopina who stepped… Read More »

What is the Difference Between Federal and State Criminal Prosecution?

Computer activist Aaron H. Swartz was indicted by a federal grand jury in July 2011 after allegedly downloading millions of academic journal archives via a laptop housed in a network closet in MIT. He was charged by Massachusetts state authorities with two counts of breaking and entering, one count of larceny over $250 and three… Read More »

Mitigation in Capital Punishment Cases

This past August, a jury in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, decided on a death penalty verdict for 22-year-old Melvin Knight, who pleaded guilty to murder in the torture killing of a mentally disabled woman he held captive in a dingy western Pennsylvania apartment. The prosecutor had argued Knight deserved the death penalty because his crimes were… Read More »

When Do Social Media Comments Become Defamation on the Internet?

It was reported that a 14-year-old Georgia middle school student is suing two of her classmates for libel after they created a phony Facebook page for her. The page had her name and information, with her profile picture doctored to make her face appear bloated. The page suggested she smoked marijuana and spoke a made-up… Read More »

How NOT to Plead in a Civil RICO Complaint

On October 12, 2012, two affiliated companies that operate nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Connecticut jointly filed a RICO lawsuitagainst two local union affiliates in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. They allege the defendants engaged in a long-term pattern of criminal sabotage, intimidation and other acts of extortion in a coordinated illegal… Read More »

Years in the Making, Brokers Charged for Securities Fraud

The financial meltdown in Wall Street and the subsequent bailout of major financial institutions by the U.S. government has placed undue pressure on white collar defendants, particularly those charged with securities fraud. Such is the case for three New York City brokers under the employ of Linkbrokers Derivatives Corporation, a subsidiary of London-based ICAP PLC… Read More »