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In honor of Halloween, I present to you Stambovsky v. Ackley, 169 A.D.2d 254 (App. Div. 1st Dept. 1991), the so-called “haunted house case”. There, the court – “moved by the spirit of equity” (that’s a quote) – allowed the buyer of an allegedly haunted house to seek rescission of the contract and recover his down payment.…

Read More Court: Ghosts Are Real! (Sort Of)

Last week the Second Circuit, in Payne v. Jones, held that a jury’s $300,000 punitive damages award to a police beating victim was excessive.  It thus remanded for a new trial on punitive damages, unless plaintiff agreed to remit $200,000 and accept a punitive damages award totaling $100,000. After plaintiff was brought to the hospital,…

Read More A $200,000 Kick To The Groin

On September 30, 2012, in Dinler v. City of New York, the Southern District of New York issued an opinion that largely favors the protesters who filed suit for alleged police abuses during the 2004 Republican National Convention. Significantly, the Court rejected the Defendants’ theory of “group probable cause”, and affirmed the requirement of individualized…

Read More Court Issues Major Victory to Protesters in RNC Litigation

In Roberta Campbell v. Mark Hotel Sponsor, 09-cv-9644 – a breach of contract case – Judge Pauley slashed the legal fees and costs sought by attorney-for-the-winner Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP from more than $3 million to a “mere” $475,000.  The relatively short opinion reinforces the need for counsel to exercise “billing judgment” and…

Read More SDNY Judge Awards Fraction of Fees Sought by Kramer Levin

In a recent release, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission highlights the increase in employment discrimination claims brought by members of the Muslim, Sikh, Arab, Middle Eastern and South Asian communities in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  Especially in these difficult times, it is important to ensure that everyone is protected by the…

Read More EEOC Weighs in on Discrimination and Harassment of Muslim, Sikh, Arab, Middle Eastern and South Asian Employees

In Noel v. New York State Off. of Mental Health Cent. New York Psychiatric Ctr., 10-3483-CV, 2012 WL 3764527 [2d Cir. Aug. 31, 2012], the Second Circuit held that back pay and front pay awards under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are “wages” subject to mandatory tax withholding. From the Court’s…

Read More Second Circuit Holds That Title VII Back and Front Pay Awards Are “Wages” Subject to Tax Withholding

Yesterday, in Ross v. Lichtenfeld et al., the Second Circuit (WALKER, Leval, Pooler) held that a government clerk’s claim of First Amendment retaliation should have been dismissed, because she was speaking pursuant to her official duties.  The Court applied the rule of Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410 (2006), that “when public employees make statements…

Read More Second Circuit Dismisses First Amendment Retaliation Claim