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U.S. Supreme Court Rules Criminal Defendants Who are Acquitted are Entitled to Refund of Court Costs and Restitution

Posted on 5 February, 2019 at 10:45

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that when criminal convictions are overturned on appeal, court fees and restitution should be refunded to the defendant. According to the ABA Journal, the U.S. Supreme Court examined a Colorado case in which criminal defendants were acquitted after an appeal and tackled the issue of whether the State was required to refund the defendants for monies paid as part of their convictions.


The State argued that the reversal of the convictions did not require the State to refund monies paid to them in the amount of court costs and restitution unless the defendants proved in a civil suit by clear and convincing evidence that they were innocent.  The Supreme Court agreed with the defendants position that they should not have to prove their innocence in a civil suit in order to be refunded their money. The court reasoned that defendants should not be saddled with a burden of proof to get their money back. 


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Appellate Court Addresses Bad Faith Claims in New York Insurance Law

Posted on 31 January, 2019 at 14:45

An appellate court in New York has set forth the minimum pleading requirements for bad faith claims against insurers. According to Insurance Business America, the appeals court has established that there are no heightened pleading requirements consequential damages in bad faith claims. In the underlying case, the insurer argued that when pleading the foreseeability of consequential damages, the plaintiff should be required to explain in some detail how the damages were reasonably foreseeable. The court rejected this heightened pleading requirement.


Additionally, the insurer was attempting to argue that the bad faith claim was duplicative of the breach of contract claim and this argument was also rejected by the appellate court. The court again set forth that New York recognizes both claims and if the breach of contract claim and bad faith claim are pled properly, they are not necessarily duplicative. 


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Appellate Attorneys Argue Over Legality of Habitual Drunkard Law

Posted on 30 January, 2019 at 17:35

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear en banc arguments over the legality of Virginia's "habitual drunkard" law. According to The Daily Progress, the law "allows a circuit court to civilly find someone to be a 'habitual drunkard' and thereafter be prosecuted for possessing or consuming alcohol, or attempting to do so." Four homeless alcoholics challenged the law arguing that it criminalizes a person's status (being a homeless alcoholic) rather than a crime. The four individuals have been prosecuted between 11 to more than 30 times. Their attorneys argue that the law unconstitutionally targets the homeless population because non-homeless alcoholics can often avoid being prosecuted because they can simply get drunk and remain drunk in their home. A lower court and a three judge appellate panel have already found the law valid, but the entire appellate bench will convene to decide the issue once again. 


The appellate attorneys for the state have argued previously that the law is designed to protect the both the alcoholic and the public. They argued that alcoholics present a public safety issue because they pass out on the streets, create disturbances while drunk which put them at risk for being harmed, and that they can present a dangerous situation for people coming into contact with them when they are acting irrationally while drunk. The attorneys further argued that the state provides numerous other means of dealing with alcoholism including treatment and rehabilitation, but incarceration is also a legitimate means to address the public safety concern that alcoholics create. 


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Appeals Court Rules Age Discrimination Act Does Not Apply to Job Applicants

Posted on 28 January, 2019 at 11:15

According to Forbes, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) only protects current employees and does not cover external applicants. The case stems from a lawsuit wherein a 58 year old attorney was seeking a job with a medical supply company's legal department. The company was seeking to hire an individual with three to seven years of relevant legal experience but no more than seven years. Despite having more than seven years experience, the individual applied and was not hired. Instead, the company hired a 29 year old with much less experience.


The individual argued that the seven year experience cap was discriminatory by nature and in violation of federal law. The appeals court disagreed and in "an 8-4 decision, the majority contended that the statute was meant to protect employees within the company from being denied employment opportunities due to age, not applicants seeking employment."


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Federal Appeals Court Rules Undocumented Immigrants Do Not Have Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms

Posted on 9 January, 2019 at 10:30

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that "a law barring immigrants who are in the country without authorization from owning guns does not violate the 2nd Amendment." The appeal stems from an action brought by a San Jose resident who was convicted of violating the federal law. He appealed arguing that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of the people to bear arms and that the law is unconstitutional because he should be afforded that right even though he is not in the country legally.


The Ninth Circuit disagreed with this argument finding that the government's interest in controlling crime and ensuring public safety are promoted by the law stating that undocumented immigrants “have already shown they are unable or unwilling to conform their conduct to the laws of this country” and “are difficult to monitor due to an inherent incentive to falsify information and evade law enforcement.”


According to the article, the appellant was brought to the U.S. at the age of four when his mother brought him into the country without permission. He was expelled from high school for being a member of a gang after which his parents sent him to Mexico. He then tried to re-enter the country three times illegally and succeeded in 2005. He works for his father's landscaping business and married a U.S. citizen, but never applied for citizenship. In 2014, "police arrested him after discovering he had a stolen bicycle, a loaded revolver, what appeared to be homemade silencers for the gun and bolt cutters." His attorney believes that the decision is unfair stating that “[t]he Constitution applies to undocumented people in all other regards.”


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Appeals Court Rules Politicians Cannot Block Social Media Posts

Posted on 8 January, 2019 at 13:10

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that politicians cannot block dissenters from commenting on their social media accounts. According to Reuters, a "federal appeals court said on Monday a Virginia politician violated the Constitution by temporarily blocking a critic from her Facebook page."


The appeal stems from a case in which a politician, Phyllis Randall, who is chair of a county board of supervisors, banned a critic from her Facebook page for twelve hours after he accused her and others on the board of corruption and conflicts of interest. The critic sued claiming his First Amendment right to freedom of speech was violated. Randall argued that her Facebook page was a private website and that when she deleted her post along with all the comments, including her critic's, she was well within her rights.


The federal appellate court found that Randall's Facebook page had an "interactive component" making it a public forum and when she deleted the post she violated the First Amendment.


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg to Miss Oral Arguments

Posted on 7 January, 2019 at 11:20

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg will not hear oral arguments before the Supreme Court. According to MSN, this is the first time the justice will not attend arguments.


Justice Ginsburg underwent surgury last month to remove two cancerous nodules from her lungs. The justice had previously been treated for colon cancer and pancreatic cancer, yet never missed an argument. Justice Ginsburg will be working from home and will review the briefs and transcripts of the arguments.


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Appellate Attorneys for Fiat Chrysler Denied Review by U.S. Supreme Court Over Cyber Security Case

Posted on 7 January, 2019 at 11:05

Appellate attorneys for Fiat Chrysler will not have their appeal heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in cyber security case. According to the Insurance Journal, the attorneys for the car company were seeking the intervention of the U.S. Supreme Court to have the lawsuit dismissed. With the court's refusal to take the case, it appears the lawsuit will proceed to trial.


The suit stems from allegations that that the UConnect system in the company's cars had a known defect in which cyber criminals could easily hack the system and "take over safety-critical functions such as acceleration, braking, steering and ignition." Attorneys for Fiat Chrysler argue that the defect was fixed in a recall wherein the cars were given a software update remedying the situation. Moreover, the company is arguing that none of the plaintiffs had ever had their cars hacked and therefore have no standing to sue as none of them had actually been harmed. The plaintiffs argued that they would not have paid as much for their cars had they known about the defect and that the defect diminished the resale value of the car.


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Criminal Appeal Lawyers for Bill Cosby Allege Numerous Errors Committed by Trial Court on Appeal

Posted on 13 December, 2018 at 11:10

Bill Cosby's criminal appeal attorneys have outlined the trial errors they claim are the basis for Mr. Cosby's appeal. According to Fox News, the appellate attorneys have listed almost a dozen errors committed by the trial court.


According to the article, among these errors were the alleged impermissible use of 404(b) evidence. This type of evidence is only allowed to be used in limited circumstances and the attorneys argue that the evidence did not fit within the limited exception to show a signature crime pattern as the prior bad acts were too remote in time and too dissimilar to fit the exception. Another error alleged is that allegedly Cosby agreed to testify in the civil suit with the victim over a decade ago because he was promised by the prosecution's office that they would not prosecute. Cosby is alleging that he relied on that promise and potentially incriminated himself. The trial court apparently found that the prosecutor's promise not to prosecute was not binding on his successors. 


Written by:    Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:    (646) 942-1798

Email:           [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

Appellate Attorneys for Apple file Appeal Seeking to Overturn Ban of iPhone Sales in China

Posted on 10 December, 2018 at 14:55

Appellate attorneys for Apple have filed an appeal seeking to overturn a sales ban of their products in China. According to CNBC, Apple has been involved in a legal battle with a company called Qualcomm for years. Qualcomm is a chipmaker that is alleging patent violations by Apple arguing that Apple violated patents with regard to reformating the size of pictures and managing applications on a touchscreen. According to the article, "two preliminary injunctions were granted Monday by the Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court in China" resulting in a ban of certain Apple iPhones in China.


Apple has appealed arguing "Qualcomm's effort to ban our products is another desperate move by a company whose illegal practices are under investigation by regulators around the world." Apple also claims that the company is alleging three patent violations never raised before and the violations alleged are not part of any of the operating systems in Apple's new phones.


Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

Email:          [email protected]


Disclaimer: This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.