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 In the News 
Guest Viewpoint: Lawsuits Hinder Flood-Battered Municipalities

By: Thomas B. Stebbins

Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin/Elmira Star Gazette


There is a principle in law called "force majeure," more commonly known as the "Act of God" clause, which states that certain events are simply beyond the control of man. In his pending lawsuits against eight to 10 municipalities, the county and the state for their response to the 2011 floods, attorney Ron Benjamin seems to have forgotten the principle.


As reported in the March 11 article, "Lawsuits push towns to the limit," Benjamin is now inundating local governments with requests for information that constitute a "fishing expedition," according to one source. For small towns and cities that have already suffered severe financial distress because of the flooding, this is adding insult to a rather serious injury.


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Senator Gallivan Sponsors Scaffold Law Reform Bill

By: Phoebe Stonbely

Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York


On Tuesday Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-Elma), announced his sponsorship of a bill to reform New York's antiquated 'Scaffold Law.' 


LRANY thanks and applauds the Senator for making this commitment to help move New York in the right direction by bringing common sense back to our civil justice system.


The press conference held on Tuesday can be seen here in a piece covered by the Democrat and Chronicle and Politics on the Hudson.  


The information was also blogged by the TU Capitol Confidential and BCNYS Capital Business Blog.


Mike Elmendorf, President & CEO of ACGNYS discussed Scaffold Law Reform on The Capital Press Room radio show (Minutes 38:16-41:45) and made a television appearance with Senator Gallivan on Capital Tonight.   


Just yesterday, The Buffalo News ran an article covering the sponsorship in which LRANY Executive Director was quoted:

"We in New York spend four, five and even 10 times more for our public infrastructure projects than most other states."


There was even a post by NY Construction Accident Attorneys, arguing -unsurprisingly- against reform to the law.


To learn more about the 'Scaffold Law' and how you can get involved, visit www.ScaffoldLaw.org


Apple, Glass Doors and the $1 Million Broken Nose 

By: Michael Seinberg

Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York


For 83-year old Evelyn Paswell, modern architecture seems to be a problem. Paswell walked into the clear glass front door of the Manhassat, Long Island Apple Store on December 13 and broke her nose. Paswell, a Queens grandmother and former fur company vice president is now suing Apple for $1 million. The suit, filed in the U.S. Eastern District federal court, claims that, "The defendant was negligent . . . in allowing a clear, see-through glass wall and/or door to exist without proper warning." Shouldn't she also be suing the creator of glass?


The scary part is that while she might not be able to see the glass in front of her, she's, by her own admission still quite with it. "I may be elderly, but I'm very active, and I'm still driving too!" she was quoted as saying. Should she be? And why was she at the store in the first place? She was returning an iPhone.


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Would You Like Sex With That Sir?

By: Michael Seinberg

Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York


Here's a new one: A woman is claiming in a federal lawsuit that McDonald's is responsible, in part, for forcing her into the world's oldest profession. Oh, and it happened 20 years ago. Oh, and she married the guy who did this to her. Confused? Read on.


Shelley Lynn claims that she was hired by one Keith Handley, who, in 1982 gave her a job as a counter person at a McDonald's in Arroyo Grande, CA. According to the suit, Handley owned the franchise through his company Ivernia. In December of 1985, the two began dating and shortly afterwards she was fired on trumped up charges of insubordination. Handley then bought her a house in Las Vegas where she had plans to become an entertainer, but he quickly claimed poverty and told her she needed to become a highly paid sex worker in order to afford to keep her new home and lifestyle.


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How Not to Sue a Facebook Billionaire

By: Alison Frankel



If Paul Ceglia -- the onetime wood pellet salesman from upstate New York who hired Mark Zuckerberg as a computer programmer before Zuckerberg founded Facebook -- thought he'd wring a quick settlement out of his claim to own a piece of Facebook by virtue of a two-page contract Zuckerberg signed in 2003, boy did he think wrong.


Facebook's long-awaited motion to dismiss, finally filed Monday in federal court in Buffalo, asserts that Ceglia was out for an easy score based on a doctored version of the 2003 contract. But it's not easy to put one over on Zuckerberg or his lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Facebook's 74-page dismissal motion is a virtual compendium of the tiny mistakes (alleged) frausters can make and the ways determined defendants can find them out.


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Court Blacklist Restricts Some Frequent Filers

By:Robert McCoppin

Chicago Tribune


Bettie Pullen-Walker has had her day in court, again and again. And now the court has cut her off.


The Chicago woman has filed six lawsuits in federal court in Chicago involving a dispute with Roosevelt University, which she claims expelled her unjustly just before she got her doctorate, according to legal records. Each time the case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction or duplication, she brought it back again.


In 2008, a panel of federal judges declared her a "restricted filer" and ordered the court clerk to return, unfiled, any new legal claims she submits.


That put Pullen-Walker on a little-known but growing list of 74 people whose rights to tender new civil lawsuits in Chicago's federal court district have been limited. The court has ruled that those on the list have brought forth too much repetitive or frivolous litigation and has prohibited them from filing further legal actions unless they get prior approval from a committee of judges.


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About the Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York

The Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York (LRANY) is a broad based coalition of hardworking New York business leaders, professionals, and consumers who are committed to changing New York's burdensome and expensive legal system to help create more jobs and energize our State's economy.

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Executive Director: 

Tom Stebbins 


Lawsuit Reform Alliance of New York

19 Dove Street,

 Suite 201

Albany, New York 12210 


Phone: 518.512.5265

Fax: 518.512.5267