News & Blog

Archive: 2011

Defense Victory in War for Facebook Authorizations

December 8, 2011 • Posted By Douglas R. Rosenzweig • Trial Practice


Earlier, we posted on efforts by defense counsel to obtain information posted by plaintiffs on social networking sites such as Facebook.  Now, defense counsel has a new weapon in its arsenal.  A recent decision in Pennsylvania permitted defense counsel to obtain plaintiff's Facebook username and password holding that "there is no reasonable expectation of privacy on Facebook. Almost all information on Facebook is shared with third parties, and there is no reasonable privacy expectation in such information." Largent v. Reed, No. 2009-1823, slip op (Pa. C.P. Franklin Co. Nov. 8, 2011).  Please follow this link for additional information Blog Post. 

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The State of Estate Legal Malpractice Following Schneider

November 15, 2011 • Posted By Ruth A. Kavanagh • Complex Litigation


In June 2010, the New York Court of Appeals rendered a controversial decision in Estate of Schneider, 15 N.Y.3d 306, 907 N.Y.S.2d 119 (2010), wherein the Court overturned long-standing precedent that the fiduciaries of an estate had no standing to bring a legal malpractice action against a decedent’s estate-planning attorney.  In Schneider, the Court held that the personal representative of a decedent’s estate had the capacity to maintain a malpractice action against an attorney for negligently causing the estate to incur enhanced tax liability.  The Court stated that the decedent’s estate essentially stood in the shoes of the decedent and thus, privity, or a relationship approaching privity, existed between the personal representative of the estate and the estate-planning attorney.  While the Court limited its holding to the fiduciaries and declined to extend a cause of action to the decedent’s beneficiaries, the decision nonetheless raised serious concerns amongst estate-planning practitioners.

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French & Casey, LLP welcomes new ligitation associate Karen Mahon, Esq.

October 26, 2011 • Posted By • News

Ms. Mahon has experience in all aspects of insurance defense and civil litigation.  More specifically, she has experience in handling auto negligence matters and in defending physicians and other healthcare professionals in medical malpractice suits. French & Casey is thrilled to add her talents and experience to our litigation department.

French & Casey, LLP Parnter Moira Casey speaks at program entitled: “End of Life Planning and the Circle of Care”.

October 22, 2011 • Posted By • News

Moira Casey was part of a panel of distinguished speakers at a program called the “End of Life Planning and the Circle of Care”.  It is being held at the Community Church of Douglaston on Saturday, October 22, 2011 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.  Moira spoke about Estate planning and Long Term Care Insurance.  The event is co-sponsored by the Community Church and St. Anastasia’s R.C. Church, Douglaston, New York.

Expert Preclusion

September 21, 2011 • Posted By Jenna E. Elkind • Trial Practice


CPLR §3101(d) lays out the rule for expert witness disclosure and states that “where a party for good cause shown retains an expert an insufficient period of time before the commencement of trial to give appropriate notice thereof, the party shall not thereupon be precluded from introducing the expert’s testimony at the trial solely on the grounds of noncompliance with” §3101(d)(1)(i).  Because CPLR §3101(d) fails to provide a time frame for expert disclosure, courts look to the facts of each case to determine whether the disclosure complies with the CPLR.  The only guidance given in the CPLR is that parties should give “appropriate” notice of their expert, but that failure to do so does not have to mean preclusion of the expert if “good cause” for the late notice is shown.

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The current application of Labor Law §240 (1) to falls from a ramp or plank

August 31, 2011 • Posted By Lance E. Benowitz • Construction Claims


The use of either a ramp or plank at a construction site is a common occurrence. Both are used to move materials from one area to another, while at times both are utilized in the same fashion as a ladder or scaffold or like other safety devices to help the worker perform his work at the site. At other times, the plank or ramp is simply used as a passageway to allow the worker to access another work area or enter the construction site. The question arises, what happens when a worker is injured while walking up or down the plank or ramp? The answer lies in how the ramp is utilized and in what department and/or county the case is being litigated.

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Sporting Participant’s Assumption of Risk

August 17, 2011 • Posted By Jenna E. Elkind • Complex Litigation

New York Courts have long had to answer the question of what duties are owed to a participant in a sporting activity.  Courts have consistently held that “risks involved with sporting events are incidental to a relationship of free association between the defendant and the plaintiff in the sense that either party is perfectly free to engage in the activity or not as he wishes.”  Conning v. Dietrich, 2011 NY Slip Op 513404, citing Turcotte v. Fell (Sup. Ct. Kings Cty. July 15, 2011), 68 N.Y. 2d 432 (1986).  Because participants are free not to engage in the activity, defendant’s only duty is “to make the conditions [of the event] as safe as they appear to be.”  Id.  “If the risks of the activity are fully comprehended or perfectly obvious, plaintiff [is deemed to have] consented [to the risks] and defendant has performed its duty.” Id.

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French & Casey 2011 Firm Outing to Citi Field

August 12, 2011 • Posted By Douglas R. Rosenzweig • Contracts

French & Casey, LLP travelled to Citi Field for the Padres v. Mets on August 11, 2011.  The weather was spectacular and partners, associates and support staff had a great opportunity to interact outside of work.  Special thanks to Joe French for organizing the outing. 

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Tips for Defeating Labor Law § 240(1) Motions for Summary Judgment

August 1, 2011 • Posted By Douglas R. Rosenzweig • Construction Claims

Hurt Person

As all owners and general contractors operating in New York State have become aware, the Labor Law, particularly Labor Law § 240(1) is an extremely onerous statute and leaves a defendant with few moves to avoid an adverse judgment.  Although case law has developed which will shield an owner, general contractor or statutory agent from Labor Law 240(1) liability if the worker is found to be “recalcitrant” or the “sole proximate cause of his accident”, the factual predicate necessary to support these claims can be downright difficult to prove.  Given the First and Second Departments apparent willingness to expand the protections of the Labor Law, defendants are left with more and more cases in which damages become the only point of contention.

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