Weekly News Update


*President Barack Obama has nominated local attorney Lawrence Vilardo to become a federal court judge for the Western District of New York. Vilardo is a Buffalo native who graduated from Canisius College, then Harvard Law School. He has been a partner at Connors and Vilardo since 1986 and handles both civil and criminal matters at both the trial and appellate levels. [WBFO.org]

*Recently, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas accused the Fourth Circuit of violating its own standards by refusing to publish a decision regarding a trial judge’s unlawful increase of a prison sentence out of vindictiveness. However, law professor Erica Hashimoto stated, “requiring courts to author binding precedent in every case is simply unworkable.” Is it reasonable to expect courts to publish every decision they write? [NY Times]

*A group of patients and doctors filed a lawsuit Wednesday asking the New York Supreme Court to rule that aid in dying to terminally ill patients is legal in the state. The lawsuit argues that having a doctor help a mentally sound, terminally ill patient end their life does not fall under the state’s current assisted-suicide ban, under which physicians can be prosecuted for manslaughter. [Time]

*Public Advocate Letitia James vowed that a Staten Island justice won’t have the last word if he ultimately declines to release the Eric Garner grand jury record. In that case, “the appellate division awaits us,” Ms. James declared outside state Supreme Court, St. George. [SILive]

*The city will shell out $4.5 million to hire a legal team to specifically fight “frivolous” lawsuits targeting cops, a spokesman for Mayor de Blasio said last Friday. The move came the day after The Post exclusively reported that city lawyers actually paid $5,000 to a thug who menaced cops with a machete rather than take his outrageous lawsuit to court. [New York Post]

*A teen arrested after posting a Facebook status with gun emojis pointed at police emojis is no longer facing a charge of making terrorist threats against the NYPD, his attorney said. A grand jury decided against indicting Osiris Aristy, 17, on charges that he threatened to kill police. [DNAinfo]

*Standard & Poor’s $1.5 billion settlement will let the world’s biggest ratings company move beyond a bruising legal battle over the top grades it gave to subprime-mortgage bonds, though at a more painful price than those paid by big banks that assembled those securities. [Bloomberg]

*A New York appellate court has reinstated criminal charges, including homicide and manslaughter counts, against a Long Island man who prosecutors contend caused a crash that resulted in a police officer’s death. In a ruling handed down Wednesday, four judges with the Appellate Division’s Second Department said there was “legally sufficient proof before a grand jury” that James Ryan’s actions caused the death of Nassau County Police Officer Joseph Olivieri on Oct. 18, 2012. [Examiner]