NYSBA Annual Meeting Hits Hot Topics of Wrongful Convictions and Attorneys Use of Social Media

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) had its annual meeting in New York City this week. For the past number of years the meeting has featured a Presidential Summit at which the Bar President chooses hot topics of the day for a distinguished panel to discuss. This years topics were wrongful convictions and attorneys use of social media, which centered mostly upon issues of privacy and the internet.

I was fortunate this year to be able to attend the Presidential Summit for the first time, and it was well worth the time (I shouldnt say it was well worth … Read the rest

More Efforts Underway to Combat Distracted Driving

The stories are wrenching. A distracted driver on a cell phone runs a red light t-boning another vehicle where the driver’s son sits; fails to see a child on a bicycle there to be seen; a truck slamming into the rear of a stopped school bus. Years ago groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) successfully changed attitudes towards drunk driving by bringing to life the horrors experienced by real-life victims and families. Based upon that model, two weeks ago the creation of FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization devoted specifically to raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, … Read the rest

Use of Morphine Found to Prevent Development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common, important and well-documented mental health outcome among seriously injured civilian and military survivors of trauma such as those injured in car accidents, construction site accidents, or by electrocution. One risk factor for the later development of PTSD is physical injury from a traumatic event especially injury that is associated with severe pain.

A study published in this months New England Journal of Medicine found that giving morphine to troops injured in fighting in Iraq lowered their risk of post-traumatic stress disorder by half. These findings suggest a potential for prophylactic use of rapid … Read the rest

Will Woody Johnsons New York Jets Fare Better in Today’s Playoff Game Than His Pharmaceutical Company Did on Friday?

This afternoon the Jets face the San Diego Chargers for the chance to play the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game. The Jets and their fans go into the game brimming with confidence and excitement. Butin a complaint filed Friday by the U.S. Attorney in Boston, prosecutors alleged that health care giant Johnson & Johnson paid tens of millions of dollars in kickbacks so nursing homes would improperly medicate more patients on Risperdal, a powerful schizophrenia medicine, and other drugs – prescription pain relievers Duragesic and Ultram, and the antibiotic Levaquin. Although approved for treating schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder, … Read the rest

CDC Study Finds Characters in Children’s Movies are Setting a Better Example About Personal Safety

Characters in children’s movies are increasingly using seat belts, bike helmets and crosswalks, but there is still much room for improvement, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found. Approximately one half of scenes still depict unsafe practices, and the consequences of these behaviors are rarely shown.

The report says theentertainment industry should continue to improve how it depicts safety practices in children’s movies, and parents should highlight the depiction of unsafe behaviors and educate children in following safe practices. The study, published this past Monday in Pediatrics, analyzed 67 popular movies from 2003 to 2007 that were rated … Read the rest

Their Constitutional Rights Vindicated, Nursing Home Nurses and Their Attorney Continue to Fight the Good Fight

One of my favorite court decisions of 2009 was the Appellate Division, Second Department decision in Vinluan v. Doyle, 60 A.D.3d 237, 873 N.Y.S.2d 72. This is so because of the eloquent and impassioned defense of the constitutional right of an attorney to give, and a client to receive, advice of counsel.

The case involved the simultaneous resignation of ten nurses from positions at a Smithtown, Long Island nursing home, Avalon Gardens Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, over pay and other working conditions, including being required to work as clerks for about $12 per hour and being housed in a … Read the rest

New York City Regions Most Dangerous Roads – 2006 to 2008

The Tri-State Transportation Campaign yesterday released a report identifying the tri-state regions most dangerous roads for pedestrians. Topping the list is Hempstead Turnpike in Nassau County. Between 2006 and 2008, 13 pedestrians were killed along the 16-mile stretch of roadway, with most of those fatalities occurring as the road passes through Elmont, Franklin Square and Hempstead. You might want to make a comparison to the 2005-2007 statistics we wrote about previously.

The analysis found the regions most dangerous roads for walking over the three-year (2006-2008)period were: RankRoadwayPedestrian Fatalities 1Hempstead Turnpike (Route 24), Nassau County, NY13 2Sunrise Highway (Route 27/39), Suffolk … Read the rest

New Drunk Driving Punishment of Breathalyzer Ignition Devices Raises Implementation Issues

At least 30 states have statutes that went into effect on New Years Day. One of them in New York, The Child Passenger Protection Act,will require all drunken-driving offenders to blow into a breathalyzer ignition device before they can operate their cars. An article in The New York Law Journal last week (Dec. 28) discussed how the new law will create additional responsibilities for courts sentencing those defendants, according to state officials and court administrators. For example, although most drivers will be required to pay for the devices themselves, it has not been decided who will pay for the devices … Read the rest

No Legal Recourse for Injured Teacher Who Faced the Stark Choice Whether To Resign and Abandon Her Class or Continue to Teach in a Dangerous Situation

A New York City public school teacher has a student in her special education class that she believes poses a danger to the safety of her classroom. The student had been verbally and physically aggressive for several months. The students increasing behavioral problems included bringing a knife to school, which resulted in a week’s suspension. The student frequently punched, kicked and threw various items at his classmates. He also threatened to kill the teacher, another teacher, and his fellow classmates on numerous occasions.

Concerned about the student’s behavior and the classroom safety risks it presented,the teacher and her supervisor submitted … Read the rest

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