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Ira Harkavy, Common‑Sense Judge, has died at the age of 84.

posted May 26, 2015, 12:30 PM by Pete Weinman   [ updated by Lou Bara ]

In the annals of New York ju­risprudence, the penalty was considered unprecedented: Judge Ira B. Harkavy of Brook­lyn Civil Court sentenced a 77-­year‑old landlord to 15 days of house arrest in one of his own di­lapidated apartment buildings.


Judge Harkavy (pronounced HARK‑a‑vee), who died on Sun­day at 84, was known for com­mon‑sense solutions to juridical arcana.


In 1985, he dismissed charges against a Korean‑American greengrocer whose store had been looted after he left it un­locked upon being taken into cus­tody by the police after squab­bling with a customer. The judge said the dispute had apparently grown out of a misunderstanding and that the grocer's embarrass­ment was punishment enough.


In 2002, Judge Harkavy re­moved the operators of an adult home for the mentally ill in Brooklyn after a series of articles in The New York Times found ne­glect and malfeasance. In 2007, he ruled for the Lubavitch Orthodox Jewish movement's central or­ganization in a highly charged dispute with a messianic group over control of the movement's headquarters in Brooklyn.


But he was best known for his sentencing, on Dec. 7, 1987, of Morris Gross of Brighton Beach to 15 days in the six‑story build­ing Mr. Gross owned at 320 Ster­ling Street in what is now called Prospect‑Lefferts Gardens for failing to address more than 400 housing code violations.


Commenting on the case, Law­rence P. Cartelli, a lawyer for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Devel­opment, said, "This building is an example of the type of situation where a landlord buys a building and bleeds it."


Abraham Biderman, New York's housing commissioner at the time, said that no landlord in the city had received such a sen­tence before. A spokesman said this week that the department knew of none that had been hand­ed down since.


When Mr. Gross arrived at the building on Feb. 12, 1988, to begin serving his sentence in a freshly plastered and painted apartment, he was met by jeering tenants and a banner in the lobby that read, "Welcome, you reptile" He was fitted with an electronic an­kle bracelet, accompanied full-time by two guards and wore sunglasses despite gloomy skies.


"He was trying to hide his face," Rubiela Rodriguez, a ten­ant, said. "When he came to col­lect the rent, he didn't hide his face."


Judge Harkavy fined Mr. Gross $32,000 for contempt of court and ordered him to pay $137,900 in civil penalties, which he could use to improve the building after serving his sentence.


The punishment proved effec­tive. Mr. Gross dispatched con­struction crews to make repairs, and most of the violations were fixed within a month of his re­lease, eight days early for good behavior. He vowed to do no more harm.


"I've retired from the real estate business," he said.


In 1992, the city seized the property for unpaid taxes, but a plan to let a tenants' group lease it until renters could buy their units as co‑ops did not work out. The city later took the building back and converted it into rent-­stabilized apartments. (A one-­bedroom unit went for $1,350 a month in 2013, with a cap on how much tenants could earn.)


Judge Harkavy died of cardiac arrest at a nursing home in Old Bridge, N.J., his son Elliot said. He is also survived by his wife, Roberta; two other sons, Steven and Daniel; and six grandchil­dren.


Ira Baer Harkavy was born in Brooklyn on April 13, 1931. His fa­ther, Morris, was the chief engi­neer for the Borough of Queens. His mother, Esther, did not work outside the home. He graduated from Brooklyn College and Co­lumbia Law School.


After serving as chairman of a local community board, he was elected to the Civil Court in 1981, appointed as an acting State Su­preme Court justice in 1992 and elected to the State Supreme Court in 2000. He retired at the end of 2007.


Mr. Gross's case inspired a 1991 film, "The Super," starring Joe Pesci as an unscrupulous land­lord, Louie Kritski, who is or­dered to spend 120 days in his own building. Even the rats snub him initially.


"Maybe," one tenant says, "they're avoiding your floor out of professional courtesy."



Friday, May 22, 2015

p. B14, col. 4


Vincent J. Gallo, Esq.: Would you like to have your entire Mortgage forgiven? If so, keep reading...

posted May 26, 2015, 5:14 AM by Pete Weinman   [ updated May 26, 2015, 5:15 AM ]

For a summary and Mr. Gallo's commentary of Benitez v United Home of N.Y. LLC, 2015 NY Slip Op 30794(U) April 8, 2015, click HERE.

FREE Uncontested Divorce CLE on Thursday, June 18, 2015 from 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM.

posted May 21, 2015, 5:59 AM by Pete Weinman   [ updated May 22, 2015, 7:37 AM by Lou Bara ]

For the flyer, click HERE

RCBA Member, Lou Bara, Esq., has joined the Website Team!

posted May 13, 2015, 7:56 AM by Pete Weinman

Mr. Bara, the Principal Court Attorney to Justice Matthew A. Sciarrino, Jr, kindly offered to step-up and help Pete Weinman maintain and update this website.  Welcome, Lou!!!


RCBA Annual Meeting, June 2nd 2015

posted May 13, 2015, 7:27 AM by Lou Bara   [ updated May 13, 2015, 7:30 AM by Pete Weinman ]

The Annual Meeting of the Ricmond County Bar Association will take place on Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015 at 5:30 PM at Li Greci's Staaten, located at 697 Forest Avenue.  Officer and Director elections will be held at the meeting.  Please see the attached PDF for more information.

Hon. Matthew Sciarrino, Jr. Lecturing in Las Vegas May 18, 2015.

posted May 11, 2015, 3:38 PM by Pete Weinman   [ updated May 12, 2015, 12:25 PM by Lou Bara ]

Heavy Hitters On Board to Share Unique E-Discovery and Legal Insights at CEIC 2015

Here's a link to the information: click HERE.
If you come to CEIC every year to hear from the industry’s movers and shakers in the legal realm, you're in for a treat this year at CEIC in Las Vegas, May 18 – 22. We’ve secured big talent and big topics in the track called E-Discovery: Legal Issues, Technical Challenges and Solutions, including legal issues related to data breaches and information governance.

Best Practices for Navigating Legal Issues Associated with a Data Breach 

Speakers in this e-discovery track include judges, corporate attorneys, outside counsel and e-discovery industry analysts, all of whom live and breathe e-discovery every day. Of the 10 sessions in this track, five are panels that include a variety of industry pundits from high profile enterprises such as the U.S. Attorney’s Office and a leading retailer.

The first panel session on Monday afternoon, “The Intersection of Privacy, Security and E-Discovery,” will feature three seasoned experts in a lively discussion:

  • Ed McAndrew, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Cybercrime Coordinator and National Security Cyber Specialist
  • David Steele, Senior Counsel, Home Depot
  • Chad McManamy, Esq., Vice President of E-Discovery and Assistant General Counsel, Guidance Software
McAndrew, Steele, and McManamy, with many years of experience on the front lines of e-discovery, will help you understand the latest developments in federal cybercrime and security law, lawyers' ethical obligations for data security, and lessons learned in real cases.

Isn’t it Time to Talk About Information Governance with E-Discovery? 

At the request of past CEIC attendees, we’ve also allocated time to address the core concept of information governance in a Wednesday afternoon session called “Information Governance and E-Discovery: Can They Really Go Hand-in-Glove?” A panel of experts will explain the challenges in adopting an information governance process that coexists with e-discovery and highlight how they can be addressed together to maximize efficiencies and reduce costs.

Leading Legal Minds Will Shed Practical Light on Judicial Decisions 

We’re excited that the Honorable Andrew Peck, Magistrate Judge with the Southern District of New York, has agreed to come back to CEIC again this year. Peck is a leading e-discovery judge who consistently pushes the boundaries of what judges expect and what parties should strive for through his decisions on technology-assisted review and other e-discovery issues.

Peck will participate on the Tuesday morning panel, “Judicial Roundtable on Current E-Discovery Issues,” with Hon. Matthew Sciarrino Jr. of Kings County Supreme Court and attorney Daniel Lim, a leading e-discovery attorney with Shook, Hardy & Bacon.

CEIC 2015 has become one of the most important venues for inside counsel, litigation support staff and information security professionals to meet up and sync up on today’s legal and technical challenges. And there’s a lot more in store for e-discovery and legal professionals—including 11 more sessions in the track E-Discovery Labs for the Practitioner—so please visit our CEIC event website to see the agenda in detail, register, and more.

2015 Law Day & Justice Sullivan Award Ceremony.

posted May 8, 2015, 7:18 AM by Pete Weinman

Tony Bisignano was awarded the Justice Sullivan award.  
This year's theme was, "Magna Carta: Symbol of Freedom Under Law."

For photos and a brief story about the event, please visit the SI Advance.  Click HERE

Photos from the RCBA 106th Annual Banquet Honouring Justice Maltese and Claire Cody Miller are online.

posted May 8, 2015, 4:58 AM by Pete Weinman   [ updated May 8, 2015, 5:02 AM ]

Photo courtesy Hon. Matthew Sciarrino, Jr.
Check the Photographs Section of this site, or click HERE

Felix Gilroy, Esq., a Staten Island attorney, has passed away.

posted May 6, 2015, 8:41 AM by Pete Weinman   [ updated May 6, 2015, 8:42 AM ]

The wake will be held at Martin Hughes Funeral Home, 530 Narrows Road South, today from
 7 - 9 p.m. and tomorrow 5/7/15 from 2 - 4 p.m. and from 7 - 9 p.m.  The funeral will be on Friday, May 8, 2015  with a mass at 12:30 p.m. at St. Sylvester's Church on Targee Street.

Toni Ann Barone's Grandmother / Anthony P. Barone's Mother-in-Law has Passed away.

posted May 4, 2015, 6:03 AM by Pete Weinman   [ updated May 4, 2015, 6:03 AM ]

It is with great sadness that I have to deliver sad news.  Toni Ann Barone Esq.'s grandmother and her dad's (Anthony P. Barone) mother in law, Viola Cretella passed away on Friday. The wake will be held at Hanley's Funeral Home today, May 3, 2015 from 3 - 7 p.m. and tomorrowMonday, May 4, 2015 from 2 - 4 p.m. and from 7 - 9 p.m.
The funeral mass will be on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at Our Lady Queen of Peace at 10:30 a.m.

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