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Thank you for visiting the Pospis Law Blog (the “Blog”), maintained by Pospis Law, PLLC (the “Firm”). The Blog primarily provides general information regarding developments in the law of New York in our primary practice areas of employment discrimination, sexual harassment, and personal injury. The website’s general disclaimer (which is incorporated by reference) likewise applies to the…

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If you’re thinking about celebrating this Thanksgiving by dressing up as a turkey and protesting the commercialism of holidays, you should first read People v. Pettigrew, 69 Misc. 2d 985, 332 N.Y.S.2d 33 (Dist. Ct. Suffolk Cty. 1972). In that case, defendant was arrested and charged with committing the offense of disorderly conduct in violation…

Read More Happy Thanksgiving!

In Uzoukwu v. City of New York, No. 13-3483-CV, 2015 WL 6742739 (2d Cir. Nov. 5, 2015), a false arrest/excessive force case, the Second Circuit vacated a judgment entered following a jury verdict for defendants. The facts, briefly: Plaintiff was sitting on a park bench near a playground. Park rules prohibited adults unaccompanied by children…

Read More Second Circuit Revives False Arrest Case Following Improper Jury Instruction on “Obstruction of Governmental Administration”

In the movie “A Civil Action”, the protagonist says Lawsuits are war. And they begin the same way. With a declaration of war: the complaint. Examples of the litigation/war analogy are everywhere: war/fighting-related language and logo imagery are common features of attorney websites; law firms often have “war rooms”; tales of litigation exploits by experienced attorneys…

Read More Lawyer Demands “Trial by Combat”

In Obergefell v. Hodges, No. 14-556, 2015 WL 2473451 (U.S. June 26, 2015), the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that “a State has no constitutional obligation to license same-sex marriages or to recognize same-sex marriages performed out of State.” Justice Kennedy reversed that decision, holding that the…

Read More SCOTUS Legalizes Same-Sex Marriage

An upstate appellate court recently held – despite contrary suggestions in popular culture – that chimpanzees are not “persons” (at least not in the legal sense). In People ex rel. Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc. v. Lavery, the court affirmed the dismissal of a habeas corpus proceeding to secure the release of a chimpanzee named Tommy. Specifically, it addressed…

Read More Court Explains Why Chimpanzees Aren’t “Persons” For Purposes of New York’s Habeas Corpus Statute

As illustrated by a recent federal court decision, a plaintiff may be able to assert false arrest claims against a private individual who makes a false report to the police, resulting in plaintiff’s arrest. In Sanders-Peay v. NYC Dept. of Educ., decided Nov. 18, 2014, the Eastern District of New York held that plaintiff, a Department…

Read More False Arrest Claims, Based on False Statements to Police, Sufficiently Pled

In Pittman v. Incorporated Village of Hempstead, the Eastern District of New York held that plaintiff’s excessive force claim survived summary judgment. The “Fourth Amendment protects individuals from the government’s use of excessive force when detaining or arresting individuals. … A police officer’s use of force is excessive in violation of the Fourth Amendment[] if it…

Read More Injury to Arrestee’s Head and Ear Results in Denial of Summary Judgment to Officer on Excessive Force Claim