BLJ: New Yorkers duped in wire scam have recourse, AG says

New Yorkers deceived by scammers using Western Union’s wire transfer services are able to apply for compensation from a $586 million national fund, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said last week.   The fund was created as the result of a multi-state settlement with Western Union in January. It’s administered by the Victim Asset Recovery Program of the Department of Justice. Residents may be eligible for compensation if they were victimized by scammers using Western Union…

Suspicious package mailed to Main Place Tower

A suspicious envelope was mailed to the office of Cellino and Barnes on the 25th floor of the Main Place Tower Friday afternoon, leading to the entire floor being quarantined while an investigation was conducted.  The powder in the envelope could be talcum powder, said Deputy Buffalo Fire Commissioner Jonathan Eaton.  “There was no positive test on the substance,” he said, noting that it was a “miniscule” amount.  In a statement, a spokesman for Cellino and Barnes law firm said business…

Kennedy appointed U.S. attorney for Western New York

Acting U.S. attorney for the Western District James Kennedy Jr. has been appointed to the job as of Friday, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced this week. According to the U.S. attorney’s office, Kennedy will hold the position for a “period of 120 days or until a Presidential appointee” is approved by the Senate. After 120 days, the appointment can be renewed, if a presidential appointment is not made.   Kennedy has been the acting U.S. attorney since October 2016. Former U.S.…

BLJ: UB Law clinic to offer hurricane relief

The University at Buffalo School of Law has a new law clinic to train students to provide legal assistance to residents of Puerto Rico affected by Hurricane Maria.  Through the Puerto Rico Recovery Assistance Legal Clinic, law students involved in the program will learn any pertinent law in Buffalo before traveling to Puerto Rico to assist on the ground there in January.  “Puerto Rico is facing not just a natural disaster but a legal disaster,” said Kim Diana Connolly, professor and vice…

BLJ: Buffalo attorneys win big in NYC

In a case that could have wide-ranging implications in commercial real estate law, Woods Oviatt Gilman attorneys William Savino and Robert Carbone scored a recent victory over U.S. retail giant Urban Outfitters in state Supreme Court in Manhattan.  They defended New York City developer Michael Shah and his company, Delshah 60 Ninth LLC, vs. Free People of PA LLC, part of Urban Outfitters Inc. The case stems from a provision in a lease for a building Delshah owns at 58-60 Ninth Ave. in New York.…

BLJ: Schneiderman rolls out bill aimed at protecting NYers

In an effort to protect New Yorkers from data breaches, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman introduced legislation this month to protect personal information. The legislation, called the Stop Hacks and Improve Electronic Data Security Act, would close gaps in data security laws “without putting an undue burden on businesses,” he said.  “It’s clear that New York’s data security laws are weak and outdated,” he said. “The SHIELD Act would help ensure these hacks never happen in the first…

Aside from ‘Con Con,’ two other measures on the New York election ballot

While the Constitutional Convention proposal (Proposal 1), has garnered a lot of the attention on this year’s New York State ballot, two other proposals will be decided by New Yorkers.  If approved, Proposal 2 would allow judges to reduce or revoke the pensions of public officials convicted of a felony related to their duties, following a federal court hearing. According to the latest Siena College Research Institute survey, the proposal has overwhelming support, with 82 percent of likely voters…

The pros and cons of ‘Con Con’

For New York State Bar Association President Sharon Stern Gerstman, Election Day offers an opportunity to make fundemental changes to the state Constitution.  Assuming the voters who come out Tuesday want it to happen.  She and the Bar are strongly in favor of holding a Constitutional Convention. “The convention we’re operating under was written in 1894 and it was last amended in any significant way in 1938,” Stern Gerstman said. “Unlike the U.S. Constitution, which is a pretty lean…

Pre-trial aspects key to mounting a defense

After the Buffalo School Board voted to remove developer Carl Paladino from the board earlier this year, he turned to attorneys Jennifer Persico and Dennis Vacco for assistance.  Paladino landed in hot water with the board after an article in a December 2016 issue of Artvoice laid out what he’d like to see happen in 2017. His response included disparaging remarks about former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. In regard to the latter, Paladino said he would like to see Michelle…

Syracuse-based law firm acquired by Barclay Damon

Barclay Damon LLP has acquired Syracuse-based energy-environmental firm Gilberti Stinziano Heintz & Smith, P.C., the firm announced Wednesday.  Eleven attorneys from the Gilberti Firm and its paralegals and staff have joined Barclay Damon. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Over its 45-year history, Gilberti has developed boutique expertise in numerous practice areas, including energy law, large-project development and siting; environmental law; state regulation; real property tax and condemnation;…