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RCBA Surrogates Court CLE.

posted Oct 30, 2014, 10:17 AM by Pete Weinman

Dear Members:

The RCBA Surrogate's Court Committee will be having a CLE on Thursday, November 20, 2014 from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. at Surrogate's Court, Room 202, 18 Richmond Terrace, Staten Island, NY 10301. 

The moderator will be John Peter Sipp, Esq. and the program will be on: "Uses and Abuses of the NY Power of Attorney" and "Inquisitorial and Discovery Aspects of Turnover Proceedings in the Surrogate's Court". The speakers will be: Kerri L. Bringslid, Esq., Paul S. Forster, Esq. and the Members of the Surrogate's Law Dept. and Clerk's Office.  This is a transitional course, valid for all attorneys including newly admitted attorneys.

The cost of the program is: $75 (pre-registered members); $90 (pay at door members) and $125 (non-members).

Please see the attached flyer by clicking HERE.

Please register early as space is limited within the courtroom.

New York State Judicial Candidate Voter Guide.

posted Oct 23, 2014, 7:53 AM by Pete Weinman   [ updated Oct 23, 2014, 7:54 AM ]

Dear all,

For the 2014 general election, the New York State Unified Court System has launched an upgraded non-partisan Judicial Voter Guide at www.nycourts.gov/vote allowing users to sort and filter the list of candidates in each county. The Voter Guide features information about judicial candidates on the ballot based on information provided by the state and county board of elections. I would appreciate it if you could include the information below on your bar association’s e-newsletters, websites and social media networks.

Visit the New York State Judicial Candidate Voter Guide and
Make an Informed Decision on Election Day.

Visit the non-partisan Judicial Candidate Voter Guide which is designed to help you make a more informed decision on Election Day. It includes descriptions of elective judicial offices throughout the state. The Guide also provides a list of judicial candidates on the ballot in each county based on information provided by the state and county boards of election.

Please visit the Voter Guide and share it with the public, so that more individuals can make an informed decision on Election Day.

Thank you.

Andrea Garcia

New York State Unified Court System

Office of Public Affairs

Judge Rienzi is Retiring... Help Celebrate 32 Years of Service...

posted Oct 22, 2014, 12:27 PM by Pete Weinman

Steven F. Zuntag has died.

posted Oct 22, 2014, 11:11 AM by Pete Weinman

It is with great sadness that I have to report that Steven F. Zuntag, Esq., a member of the RCBA, has passed away on October 21, 2014

The wake for Mr. Zuntag will be at Harmon Funeral Home on Forest Ave. on Thursday, October 23, 2014 and Friday, October 24, 2014 from 2 - 4 p.m. and from 7 - 9 p.m.
The Funeral Mass will be on Saturday, October 25, 2014 at St. Luke's on Decker Ave. at 10:30 a.m.

It's a boy! Congratulations to RCBA Member Salvatore Scibetta & wife Erika!

posted Oct 10, 2014, 7:07 AM by Pete Weinman

RCBA Member, Sal Scibetta & wife, Erika, welcome a new baby to their family!   

Alexander Gregory Scibetta, 8.6lbs 19.5 inches, was born October 7, 2014.  

Save the Date: RCBA 2nd Annual CLE in Las Vegas, Jan 15 - 19, 2015.

posted Oct 8, 2014, 8:46 AM by Pete Weinman

Please SAVE THE DATE as the RCBA will be having a CLE in Las Vegas from January 15 - 19, 2015.  The date of the CLE will be on Friday, January 15, 2015.

The venue of the CLE will be at the MGM Grand, Las Vegas.  The RCBA has blocked 15 rooms at the MGM Grand from January 15, 2015 (Thursday) and leaving on Monday, January 19, 2015.

The room rates are as folllows:
Thursday, January 15, 2015: Grand King/Queen $90.00
                                           Stay Well Rate: $130.00
Friday, January 16, 2015:   Grand King/Queen: $130.00
                                        Stay Well Rate: $170.00
Saturday, January 17, 2015: Grand King/Queen: $140.00
                                          Stay Well Rate: $180.00
Sunday, January 18, 2015: Grand King/Queen: $100.00
                                        Stay Well Rate: $140.00
Monday, January 19, 2015: Check Out

Rates are per room, per night, based on single or double occupancy, and subject to a 12% room tax (subject to change).  An additional per person fee of $35.00 per night applies up to a maximum of 4 adults in a room.
A daily resort fee of $25.00 plus the current Clark County room tax of !2% (subject to change) , will be charged in addition to the room rates set forth above (approx. $55 per day value).  This fee includes:
Complimentary high speed internet access property wide
Daily newspaper available for pickup
Complimentary printing of boarding passes, copies, and faxes up to 5 pages (excluding color), notary services at the Business Center
Unlimited local and toll free calls
Complimentary access to the Cardio Room


RCBA - Fee Dispute Resolution Arbitrators Needed!

posted Oct 7, 2014, 12:25 PM by Pete Weinman   [ updated Oct 7, 2014, 12:28 PM ]

Attorneys and non-attorneys are both needed, so even if you are not available, maybe you know someone who is!

Click HERE for a letter and some information forwarded to me by Richard LaRosa, Esq., the Fee Arbitration Chair.

Institutional Rules and Freedom of Choice: Who is the true architect of freedom?

posted Sep 24, 2014, 11:42 AM by Pete Weinman

The Legal Studies Institute (LSI) at the College of Staten Island (CSI) presents “Choosing Not to Choose: Autonomy, Paternalism, and Public Policy,” its inaugural annual lecture that covers Law, Philosophy, and Public Policy on Monday, September 29th at the College of Staten Island Center for the Arts, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Staten Island.

The presenter is Cass R. Sunstein, Professor at Harvard Law School and founder and director of the Program on Behavioral Economics and Public Policy. Previously Mr. Sunstein was Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He has testified before congressional committees on many subjects, and he has been involved in constitution-making and law reform activities in a number of nations.

The presentation will discuss how governments and private organizations sometimes make “default” choices for individuals—for example, when they select a health care or retirement plan for them unless they opt out of it. Alternatively, these organizations sometimes force individuals to make an active choice between two or more alternatives as a condition of employment or the receipt of some other benefit or service.

Professor Michael Paris, coordinator of the LSI at CSI, says the presentation attempts to answer some philosophical questions: When should organizations, sometime called “choice architects,” use defaults to make or encourage particular choices for individuals (which is a kind of paternalism), and when should they force individuals themselves to make their own active choices (arguably another kind of paternalism)?

“Drawing on his vast knowledge in law and behavioral economics,” Paris notes, “Professor Sunstein examines the puzzles and paradoxes of institutional rules and freedom of choice in many different contexts.”

“Choosing Not to Choose: Autonomy, Paternalism, and Public Policy” will be held at 4:45pm on Monday, September 29th at the College of Staten Island Center for the Arts, 2800 Victory Boulevard. The event is free, open to the public, and sponsored by the Office of the Provost, the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Student Government Association, and the Legal Studies Institute.

Mr. Sunstein has authored hundreds of journal articles and more than 20 books, including Worst-Case Scenarios (2001), Republic.com (2001), Risk and Reason (2002), Why Societies Need Dissent (2003), The Second Bill of Rights (2004), Laws of Fear: Beyond the Precautionary Principle (2005), Nudge: Improving Decisions about Health, Wealth, and Happiness (with Richard H. Thaler, 2008), Simpler: The Future of Government (2013) and, most recently, Why Nudge? (2014) and Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas (2014).


The Legal Studies Institute is housed within the Departments of Political Science and Philosophy. At the core of the LSI is a new academic program of study, a minor in Legal Studies. Students opting to minor in Legal Studies will have access to introductory and upper level courses in law and philosophy, American constitutionalism, law and society, criminal law and procedure, and law and public policy. Students in any major may minor in Legal Studies. For more information, visit theLegal Studies course catalog webpage.

The LSI also offers an array of counseling services and co-curricular programs and events for students interested in careers in law and/or public policy. It also offers pre-law advisement and career counseling services to all interested College of Staten Island students and graduates. Workshops or panel discussions are held each year about the law school admissions process and career options in law and related fields. We host specialists in LSAT preparation, deans of admission at area law schools, and attorneys practicing in various practice fields, all for the purpose of providing students with access to the practical knowledge and networking opportunities they need to succeed in law school and the profession beyond. The LSI also sponsors and coordinates student internships in law. Students receive college credit for legal internships in a variety of practice settings, including the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office, Legal Aid’s Criminal Defense and Civil Litigation Divisions, and small firm practice. In conjunction with the Provost and the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, the LSI sponsors an annual lecture which brings a prominent legal scholar or practitioner to our campus each year.

By Ken Bach

Neuroscience in the Courtroom. RCBA Member, Hon. Joseph Maltese, is a panelist.

posted Sep 24, 2014, 11:40 AM by Pete Weinman   [ updated Sep 24, 2014, 11:40 AM ]

November 20, 2014 

8:30 a.m.–3:00 p.m.
Fordham Law School
150 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
Advances in neuroscience are challenging conventional notions about human thought, behavior, pain, and brain injury. These developments are upending established medical concepts as well as traditional moral and ethical considerations. These insights could potentially uproot old paradigms embedded in the law and rules of evidence. 

Fordham Law’s “Neuroscience in the Courtroom” has assembled a panel of world-class neuroscientists and distinguished experts, judges, and lawyers to share their knowledge and experience regarding issues posed by advances in neuroscience and neuro-imaging/investigations: diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), functional MRI (FMRI), quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG), volumetric MRI, near infra-red spectroscopy (NIRS), and positron emission tomography (PET).

By casting a new light on traditional ideas regarding brain injury, pain, morality, criminal culpability, competence, objectivity/subjectivity, and causation, neuroscience presents an array of challenges that are being played out in the courtrooms of this country and globally. 

Attend Fordham Law’s “Neuroscience in the Courtroom” to learn how judges and lawyers can respond to the advances, insights and challenges that neuroscience and neuro-imaging present for proof and adjudication. 

The conference is designed for

  • Judges who will preside over cases involving neuroscience issues
  • Attorneys in relevant practices (e.g., personal injury, criminal, trusts and estates) who will contend with neuroscience issues with their clients

Chaired by Michael Flomenhaft, Esq., The Flomenhaft Law Firm, PLLC

Registration and Continental Breakfast

8:30–8:45 a.m.
Welcoming Remarks: Michael Flomenhaft, Esq.

8:45–10:15 a.m.
How Neuroscience Expands and Transforms Proof

Moderator and Speaker: Michael Flomenhaft, Esq.

Panelists: Ruben Gur, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Director of Neuropsychology, and the Center for Neuroimaging in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Brain Behavior Laboratory, Perelman School of Medicine; Joy Hirsch, Ph.D., Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobiology, Yale School of Medicine; Michael L. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., FACR, Associate Professor, Department of Radiology (Neuroradiology), Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Associate Professor, Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, Associate Director, Gruss Magnetic Resonance Research Center (MRRC), Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University; Susan K. Marcus, Esq., Law Offices of Susan K. Marcus; Rachel Yehuda, Ph.D., Director, Traumatic Stress Studies Division, Mount Sinai School of Medicine

10:15–10:30 a.m.

10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
The Challenge Neuroscience Poses to Embedded Principles and Longstanding Notions in the Law

Moderator and Speaker: Michael Flomenhaft, Esq.

Panelists: Michael D. Freeman, Med.Dr, Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor, Forensic Research & Analysis, Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine; Ruben Gur, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Director of Neuropsychology, and the Center for Neuroimaging in Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Brain Behavior Laboratory, Perelman School of Medicine; Susan K. Marcus, Esq., Law Offices of Susan K. Marcus; Tor Wager, Ph.D., Director, Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Laboratory, University of Colorado at Boulder Department of Psychology and Neuroscience

12:00–1:30 p.m.
Lunch (on your own)

1:30–3:00 p.m.
The Admissibility of Neuroscientific Evidence under Frye and Daubert  

Moderator and Speaker: Benedene N. Cannata, Esq., Of Counsel, The Flomenhaft Law Firm, PLLC

Panelists: Deborah W. Denno, J.D., Ph.D., Arthur A. McGivney Professor of Law, Fordham University School of Law; Michael Flomenhaft, Esq.; Honorable Paul G. Gardephe, U.S. District Judge, Southern District of New York; Honorable Joseph J. Maltese, Appellate Division, Second Department, Supreme Court of New York; Susan E. Rushing, M.D., J.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine; Dorothy Clay Sims, Esq., Partner, Sims & Stakenborg, P.A.

CLE CREDIT has been approved in accordance with the requirements of New York State CLE Board for a maximum of 4.5 transitional and non-transitional professional practice credits.

$400 attorneys ($200 alumni, government and public interest attorneys)
$50 non-attorneys
Free for all Fordham Law faculty and students

SAVE THE DATE: December 17, 2014 - RCBA Annual Holiday Party at Above.

posted Sep 17, 2014, 6:21 AM by Pete Weinman   [ updated Sep 17, 2014, 6:22 AM ]

Details to follow.

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