In the News

“Summer Zervos case: Court rules Apprentice contestant defamation lawsuit against Trump can proceed”

By CBS News
Article Date March 14, 2019

NYLS Faculty : Alvin Bragg

The case could lead to more serious legal headaches for Mr. Trump, according to former New York State Chief Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg.

One issue: Last June, another judge had ruled Mr. Trump could be deposed.

“Any time you’re under oath there is information there that could come out and be turned over to law enforcement, and then, particularly with this president, there’s the risk of perjury,” said Bragg, who joined the New York Law School in January 2019 as a visiting law professor and co-director of the Racial Justice Project.

In addition, according to Bragg, other cases were stalled in anticipation of the Zervos decision, including one by the New York State Attorney General against the Donald J. Trump Foundation. In a June 2018 lawsuit, the Attorney General claimed the foundation was operated as a “shell corporation that functioned as a checkbook” for Mr. Trump, his campaign and businesses. In December, the nonprofit informed the state it would be shutting down.

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“Double jeopardy? New York law could trump a pardon backstop”

By The Washington Post
Article Date March 13, 2019

NYLS Faculty : Rebecca Roiphe

New York’s double jeopardy law doesn’t explicitly give state prosecutors a green light to bring charges when a defendant has received a federal pardon. Legal experts say the omission was inadvertent, but that could have big implications for New York’s ability to investigate and prosecute the president’s associates.

It’s quirky, too, because a presidential pardon can’t waive state crimes.

“If the president were to issue a pardon, it would seem like justice would be served by (Manafort) being prosecuted for state crimes. The state law, as it is currently written, doesn’t allow for that,” said former Manhattan prosecutor Rebecca Roiphe, now a professor at New York Law School.

New York state Attorney General Letitia James said Tuesday that she’s reached agreements with legislative leaders on a bill revising the double jeopardy law. She said she expects a vote within the coming weeks.

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“Willkie Farr Co-Chair Charged in College Bribery Scheme”

By Bloomberg Law
Article Date March 13, 2019

NYLS Faculty : Rebecca Roiphe

Willkie Farr & Gallagher Co-Chairman Gordon R. Caplan has been charged along with dozens of others, including Hollywood actors and executives, in a criminal conspiracy to bribe college admissions officials to gain admission for their children to top universities.

Schools where the defendants sought to send their kids include Yale, Stanford, Georgetown, and UCLA.

The defendants have been charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. An arrest warrant was issued by a federal judge.

Caplan was arrested at 6:30 am Tuesday and was released on $500,000 bail after appearing in Manhattan federal court. Caplan’s attorneys, Patrick Smith and Peter S. Cane, declined to comment on the charges.

In New York, where Caplan is admitted to practice, an attorney who is convicted of a felony is automatically disbarred, according to Rebecca Roiphe, an ethics professor at New York Law School.

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“Why Wasn’t William H. Macy Named in the College Scam?”

By Vulture
Article Date March 13, 2019

NYLS Faculty : Rebecca Roiphe

The Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to say why the Shamelessactor isn’t facing charges. However, several legal experts talked to Vulture about why a spouse might not be charged in this type of situation.

“There are a couple of different possibilities. One of the possibilities is that the husband is far less culpable,” explained Rebecca Roiphe, a New York Law School professor and former prosecutor. “Maybe it’s possible that the government has far more evidence than it’s laid out here, and in this evidence, that Huffman played a far more significant role than her husband.”

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“New York investors are primed to capitalize on hundreds of opportunity zones”

By Crain's New York
Article Date March 11, 2019

NYLS Alumni : Brian Kaszuba '04

Even though the IRS has yet to issue all the rules of the road, nearly 100 opportunity- zone funds already have launched, collectively seeking to raise about $20 billion, according to data from the National Council of State Housing Agencies. Cushman & Wakefield, CIM Group and Anthony Scaramucci’s SkyBridge Capital all have announced interest in the arena.

The excitement also has landlords who’ve found themselves inside an opportunity zone trying to recalibrate what their real estate is worth. The owner of a vacant lot on a Flushing side street has gotten offers from opportunity-zone investors and others but is holding out for more, said Hillary Li, a saleswoman at Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty.

“There’s so much development in Flushing,” Li said. “It’s different from how it used to be.”

Over in Sunset Park, residents hope the rise of opportunity zones will prompt developers to consider building smaller after the local community board voted down a proposal to construct two 12-story towers and an 11-story tower along Eighth Avenue.

“Maybe with tax incentives they could live with a lower-scale development,” said Brian Kaszuba, chairman of the board’s zoning and land-use committee. “Maybe they could build 100% affordable housing or a school.”

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“Here’s what happens after Mueller submits his long-awaited report”

By CBS News
Article Date March 08, 2019

NYLS Faculty : Rebecca Roiphe

Mueller’s report is likely to explain why he declined to prosecute some individuals and, as Barr noted during his confirmation hearings, the Justice Department tends not to reveal why it did not prosecute someone. However, that policy is not absolute.

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“U.S. Chamber Warns That Cities Are Litigating Too Much”

By Bloomberg Law
Article Date March 07, 2019

NYLS Faculty : Joanne Doroshow

The report also takes aim at contingency fee arrangements with private law firms, which it says entice local officials with potentially huge payouts with little or no upfront costs.

These arrangements, under which outside law firms are paid only if they win a case, pose potential conflicts of interest and the risk of duplicative litigation, especially when state attorneys general pursue related litigation, the report states.

The report was co-authored by Ron McKenna, a former Attorney General for Washington State, Elbert Lin, a lawyer in the Washington office of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP who was a solicitor general for West Virginia, and Drew Ketterer, of Ketterer & Ketterer in Norridgewock, Maine, who formally served as that state’s attorney general.

But Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice & Democracy Democracy in New York, dismissed the report as a move to cut off access to the courts to limit corporate accountability.

“Lawsuits by cities and counties, which target corrupt or illegal corporate practices, can prevent and mitigate substantial harm, recoup for taxpayers significant costs caused by corporate law-breaking, and fill large voids caused by otherwise ineffective or weak public protections,” she said.

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“Cohen’s Testimony is Bad News for Don Jr.”

By Vice News
Article Date February 27, 2019

NYLS Faculty : Rebecca Roiphe

Don Jr. has long been the subject of intense scrutiny over his role in his father’s business and campaign decisions, so much so that he’s reportedly told friends he expects to be indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller. Cohen’s explosive testimony Wednesday, which is already known to federal prosecutors, may be the clearest indication yet of the legal peril he’s facing, former prosecutors told VICE News.

“This is a really bad look for Don Jr.,” said Rebecca Roiphe, a former federal prosecutor and an expert on prosecutorial ethics at New York Law School. “Although it’s not yet a slam-dunk case.”

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“Losing it? Tesla CEO Elon Musk Changes Twitter Name to Bizarre Meme”

By CCN
Article Date February 27, 2019

NYLS Faculty : Rebecca Roiphe“The SEC here is trying to avoid having to take extreme action, but Mr. Musk keeps pushing them,” said Rebecca Roiphe, a professor at New York Law School. “It is hard to say how this is going to end.”

“The SEC here is trying to avoid having to take extreme action, but Mr. Musk keeps pushing them,” said Rebecca Roiphe, a professor at New York Law School. “It is hard to say how this is going to end.”

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“Corrosive to democracy: Law school panel discusses policing of black communities”

By The GW Hatchet
Article Date February 27, 2019

NYLS Faculty : Alvin Bragg

Alvin Bragg, a visiting professor at New York Law School, formerly served as the chief deputy attorney general of New York and led a government entity created in 2015 to increase investigations into police misconduct. Bragg said his team of investigators faced resistance from some officers, including one who questioned if the inquiry was a “witch hunt.”

“If you did something wrong, we’re going to find out – and if you’re not, you should be happy to know that then we will transparently disclose what occurred,” Bragg recalled telling officers.

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