Survey: 2010 Environmental Law

This Article will discuss notable developments in the law relating to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) for the survey period in 2010.  While early 2010 saw no major cases from the Court of Appeals or groundbreaking law from appellate division courts, it did see the potential emergence from lower court decisions of the practical contours of the Court of Appeals’ 2009 standing decision in Save the Pine Bush, Inc. v. Common Council of the City of Albany.  Two cases address the unusual issue of what types of agencies are subject to SEQRA, several deal with issues of ripeness, prematurity, and equitable remedies, and other decisions concern challenges to major New York City rezoning and developments. While no court addressed climate change/greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) analysis under SEQRA, early 2010 saw significant technical guidance issued by New York City on the issue that may shape future practice in that area, particularly within New York City, while raising significant questions regarding mitigation.

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Mark A. Chertok is a partner, and Ashley S. Miller an associate, at Sive, Paget & Riesel, P.C., in New York, NY ( Both authors practice environmental law at the firm.

Survey: 2010 Evidence

For 2011, the editors have returned the Survey to its core function: providing a compendium of the statutory changes and case law developments for a one-year period, in this issue, July 1, 2009 through June 30, 2010. In years past, other authors and I have exceeded the formal end date of June 30 as we labored to cram ever more recent decisions into each Survey. While arguably increasing the utility of the Survey, the practice exponentially increased the editorial work to be performed by the members of the Syracuse Law Review, and eliminated uniformity in the coverage by the different articles.

The Evidence Survey last year contained some cases decided after July 1, 2009, and to accomplish the goal of this year’s Survey, they are included herein, as well. Thus, some old wine is in this new bottle.

Repetition is a tool used by every trial attorney.  Advocates tell a jury what they are about to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what they just told them. For this Survey, repetition will cause no harm, and perhaps a case that did not resonate last year will be of significance to readers this year.

The editors also decided this year, in an effort to streamline the Survey, not to include a separate Disclosure Survey,2 preferring instead to have disclosure cases covered in, and divided between, the Civil Practice Survey, authored by Michael A. Bottar and Kimberly Wolf-Price, and this Evidence Survey.

Readers of this Survey are invited to visit from time to time for updates on the cases reported herein, and e-mail any comments, suggestions, or criticisms to
So, on to some evidence (and a few disclosure) cases.

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For over twenty-three years David Paul Horowitz has represented injured people and the families of victims of wrongful death throughout New York State in all types of personal injury cases, including medical malpractice, product liability, construction, and mass torts. He has practiced with Ressler & Ressler in New York City for over thirteen years. As an Adjunct Professor of Law, he teaches New York Practice at Brooklyn Law School and Evidence at St. John’s Law School. As of May 2010, he is the sole author, and has undertaken a complete re-write, of the nine-volume treatise, Bender’s New York Evidence. He is also the author of the LexisNexis AnswerGuide New York Civil Disclosure and the 2011 Supplement to Fisch on New York Evidence, and pens the New York State Bar Journal’s monthly column, “Burden of Proof.” He is a member of the OCA CPLR Advisory Committee and the New York State Bar Association’s CPLR Committee. He presents CLE, including an annual CPLR Update Program, throughout the state for the New York State Judicial Institute and numerous bar associations, and is a founding Dean of CLE at the New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers. He welcomes comments, questions, and referrals, and may be contacted at or 914-424-1113.

Survey: 2010 Media Law

Roy Gutterman provides an update of Media Law between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.

This year’s media law Survey covers defamation, invasion of privacy, and intellectual property disputes involving media ranging from newspapers, magazines and book publishers to websites and internet-based operations. Cases cover high-profile litigants linked to the late, tabloid star Anna Nicole Smith, radio personalities, and a host of parties involved in newsworthy and public affairs. Cases also involve allegations of criminal activity, sex tapes, copyright infringement, and even whether offensive language can be broadcast on television.

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Roy S. Gutterman is an associate professor of communications law and journalism and director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

Survey: 2010 Professional Responsibility

James Townsend provides an overview of Professional Responsibility in the state of New York between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.  He discusses the protection of confidences, advertising and solicitation, judiciary law, disciplinary matters, and disqualification for conflict of interest.

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Mr. Townsend is the managing partner of Remington, Gifford, Williams & Colicchio, LLP, a small general civil practice firm in Rochester; he is a member of the New York State Bar Association Ethics Committee and a member and immediate past chair of the Monroe County Bar Association’s Ethics Committee; he has chaired the Seventh Judicial District Attorney Grievance Committee; he has presented in several state and local programs regarding ethics; and he has been a guest speaker on several occasions.

Survey: 2010 Tort Law

The Honorable John C. Cherundolo provides an overview of tort law in the state of New York through between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010.  This article discusses the areas of Labor Law, Municipal Liability, Product Liability, Motor Vehicles, and the Right to Appeal

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John C. Cherundolo is an Acting Supreme Court Justice of the New York Unified Court System, Onondaga County, and an Adjunct Professor of Law at Syracuse University College of Law. He received his LLM from Temple Law, JD from Syracuse University College of Law, and MPA from the Syracuse University Maxwell School and BA Syracuse University.

Survey: 2010 Civil Practice

This Survey year includes several key legislative enactments and
case developments that impact virtually all practitioners.  These
developments have been “surveyed” in this Article, meaning that the
authors have made an effort to alert practitioners and academicians
about noteworthy changes in New York State law and to provide basic
detail about the change in the context of the Civil Practice Law and
Rules (CPLR). Whether by accident or design, we did not endeavor to
discuss every Court of Appeals or appellate division decision.

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Michael A. Bottar: J.D., summa cum laude, Syracuse University College of Law (Order of the Coif, Order of Barristers); B.A., Colgate University; Attorney, Bottar Leone, PLLC, Syracuse, New York; Adjunct Professor, Syracuse University College of Law; Board of Directors, Syracuse University Law Alumni Association and New York State Academy of Trial Lawyers.

Kimberly Wolf Price: J.D., magna cum laude, Syracuse University College of Law (Order of the Coif); B.A., Colgate University; Assistant Dean, Office of Professional and Career Development, Syracuse University College of Law; Adjunct Professor, Syracuse University College of Law.