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December 2010 Archives

Body Found in Rubble of Burned Schenectady Building

On December 10, a building on McClellan Street in Schenectady was heavily damaged by fire. The building contained five one-bedroom apartments on the second and third floors and Iglesia Pentecostal Puerta de Bendicion, a church, on the first floor.

Injuries add up on Set of 'Spider-Man'

Yet another actor has left the set of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." The $65 million Broadway musical is one of the biggest productions ever of its kind. Unlike many Broadway productions, "Spider-Man" uses extensive aerial and acrobatic stunts, which add a very real element of danger for the cast and crew.

Criminal Defense Roles Enhanced - Helpful Links

There are certain consequences of a plea that any attorney should know about. For example, if a defendant pleads guilty to a crime, they may go to jail even if the plea agreement doesn't call for it...no surprise there..and of course any reliable criminal defense attorney will advise their client of this possibility.  On the other hand, there are many collateral consequences of a guilty plea, particularly to a felony, that a lawyer may not think to inform the client of - for example the loss of voting rights, or the inability to qualify for certain social services such as public housing.  Many, if not most, collateral consequences will not apply to all defendants in all cases, but a US Supreme Court decision issued in March has been making waves in several states in determining whether an attorney has provided constitutionally sufficient representation in cases where the attorney has failed to advise the client of certain collateral (and often civil) consequences that will result from their conviction.  In Padilla v. Kentucky, the Supreme Court held that the attorney's failure to advise a client of the deportation consequences of his plea and subsequent criminal conviction amounted to "constitutionally deficient" representation.  Many courts are now extending this rule to cover other consequences, as mentioned above, such as child custody and social services.

Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Against Knights of Columbus Allege Cover-up

Two men sued the Knights of Columbus last week, alleging that a youth leader sexually abused them when they were boys. The Knights of Columbus is the world's largest Catholic lay organization, with nearly 28,000 Columbian Squires who are members in the organization's fraternity for young men between the ages of 10 and 18.

Winter Weather, Icy Roads Contributing to Accidents

Although the calendar might say differently, winter has arrived in New York. Snow and icy roads have caused numerous accidents in the Albany area this week. Two inches of snow arrived in the Capital Region Monday, causing multiple accidents and long delays throughout the area.

New York Death Leads to Proposed Backup Camera Requirement

In 2002, a New York boy was hit and killed when his father backed up a car in the driveway at their family home. The father's car had a blind zone that made it impossible for him to see the two-year-old boy. Since that time, Congress passed the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act. The Act, named for the New York boy, required the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to create regulations to minimize blind zones in all passenger vehicles.

Study Shows Medical Malpractice in Hospitals Common

Despite efforts across the nation to make hospitals safer for patients, a recent study presented in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that little progress has been made in curbing medical malpractice. Dr. Christopher P. Landrigan, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, was the lead author of the study, which analyzed reports from 10 North Carolina hospitals from 2002 to 2007.

Albany Area Nursing Home Abuse Case Moves Forward

After allegations of abuse at a Schaghticoke nursing home, investigators decided to seek more evidence. For six weeks in March and April 2009, they set up hidden-cameras in the room of a 53-year-old patient. Investigators obtained hundreds of hours of video during the six-week period of surveillance. What they filmed has led to criminal charges.

Parish and Priest Found Liable in Priest Sex Abuse Case

This week, one of the largest damages awards in a clergy sexual abuse case occurred in a lawsuit against a now defrocked priest. Francis DeLuca was defrocked in 2008 after being convicted of molesting his 18-year-old grandnephew in New York.

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