Public Tweets Can Be Subject to Subpoena

According to Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino, Jr., users of Twitter who post public tweets may find their user information can be obtained in a case against them. As reported in The New York Law Journal: “The Constitution gives you the right to post, but as numerous people have learned, there are still consequences for your public posts. What you give to the public belongs to the public. What you keep to yourself belongs only to you,” Criminal Court Judge Matthew Sciarrino Jr., sitting in Manhattan, wrote in People v. Harris, 2011NY080152. Sciarrino on June 30 ordered the site to produce

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Lawyers, Jurors and Social Media: Let’s Not Be Friends (New York City Bar Association Opinion)

The New York City Bar Association, within a recent ethics opinion, addressed the issue of whether an attorney is permitted to access social media websites to investigate the backgrounds of potential jurors and to monitor jurors’ activities during a trial.  In seeking to balance an attorney’s interest to conduct juror background research with the ethical prohibition against ex parte communication between lawyer and juror, the opinion strikes a reasonable compromise that satisfies both competing interests, yet takes into account the realities of today’s wired world. The issue had been previously addressed in 2011 by the New York County Lawyers’ Association (pdf

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FDA considering expanding role of pharmacists and reducing role of physicians…really?

It appears the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) is seriously considering new regulations that would expand the role of pharmacists, while reducing the role of physicians, in the management and prescription of patients’ medications for chronic conditions, such as asthma.  As you can imagine, this is being seriously questioned by the AMA and other physician and patient advocacy groups. I imagine that pharmacists and pharmacies might think this a good idea — until their insurance premiums escalate due to a anticipated increase in malpractice cases against them as they assume the role of ‘gatekeeper’ of patients’ chronic medical conditions. Obviously

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Clients stressed by lawsuits? Communicate!

I came across a New York Times article that stated what, to most, would appear obvious – that litigation is stressful!  While the author, a physician, oriented her thoughts towards physicians sued in medical malpractice matters, the premise holds true for any defendant dragged unwillingly into litigation.  While we as litigators are comfortable ‘operating’ in an adverse environment, litigation to a physician can be as foreign as an operating room is to an attorney.  The key to alleviating this angst, is communication.  Any individual defendant, be it physician or layperson, would naturally be upset by being named in a lawsuit.  The visceral reaction

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Against Medical Advice – Remember CPLR Article 14.

A recent article highlights why, when a patient signs out of a hospital ‘against medical advice,’ (“AMA”) counsel defending malpractice and personal injury lawsuits must raise culpable conduct/comparative negligence as an affirmative defense when interposing Answers on behalf of their clients.  As the article discusses, a 7-year retrospective study of over 80,000 discharged patients from a major New York metropolitan hospital demonstrates that patients who leave the hospital ‘AMA’ double their chance of dying or having an adverse health outcome within 30 days of discharge.  To put it otherwise, a patient increases his risk of future damage and or death

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