Weekly case summaries from the New York Court of Appeals, from FindLaw.com.
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New York Court of Appeals
Digest for Week of December 27th, 2016

New York Court of Appeals Case Summaries

Contents:

People v. Bridgeforth

December 22, 2016
Criminal Law & Procedure
(Court of Appeals of New York) - Conviction for first-degree robbery is reversed and a new trial ordered where: 1) skin color is a cognizable classification upon which a challenge to a prosecutor's peremptory strikes can be made under Batson v. Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79 (1986); and 2) defendant made a prima facie showing of discrimination and the prosecutor failed to give a non-discriminatory reason for the juror exclusion at issue.
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People v. Flowers

December 22, 2016
Sentencing, Criminal Law & Procedure
(Court of Appeals of New York) - Conviction for criminal possession of a weapon is affirmed where: 1) defendant failed to preserve his argument that the trial court erred by re-imposing the original sentence after reversal on appeal; and 2) defense counsel's failure to challenge the resentencing was not ineffective assistance of counsel.
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Hain v. Jamison

December 22, 2016
Injury & Tort Law
(Court of Appeals of New York) - In a negligence action, the Appellate Division's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment is reversed where there is a material question as to whether the escape of defendant's calf onto the road was a proximate cause of decedent's death in car accident while she was trying to assist.
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People v. Miller

December 22, 2016
Criminal Law & Procedure
(Court of Appeals of New York) - Conviction for manslaughter is reversed where the trial court abused its discretion by prohibiting defense counsel from questioning prospective jurors about their views on involuntary confessions.
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Turturro v. City of New York

December 22, 2016
Transportation, Injury & Tort Law, Government Law
(Court of Appeals of New York) - In an injury and tort action, brought against defendant city after twelve-year old plaintiff was seriously injured in a collision involving a speeding driver on a Brooklyn roadway, the trial court's entry of judgment for plaintiff is affirmed. The Court held that: 1) plaintiff did not have to prove the existence of a special duty because the city's acts or omissions regarding the road were made in a proprietary capacity; 2) the evidence was legally sufficient to uphold the jury's finding that the city's negligence was a proximate cause of the accident; and 3) the doctrine of qualified immunity did not apply.
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Newcomb v. Middle County Central School District

December 22, 2016
Injury & Tort Law, Civil Procedure
(Court of Appeals of New York) - In a civil action, arising from an auto accident allegedly caused by defendant school district's sign distracting and obstructing passing drivers on a roadway, the trial court's conclusion that plaintiff should not be permitted to serve late notice of a claim is reversed where the trial court abused its discretion in determining that defendant would be substantially prejudiced without any record evidence to support that determination.
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People v. Finkelstein

December 22, 2016
Criminal Law & Procedure
(Court of Appeals of New York) - Conviction for coercion in the first-degree relating to defendant's harassment of his ex-girlfriend, both while still living at her apartment and from jail, is affirmed where: 1) defendant failed to preserve his argument that the court committed Apprendi error; and 2) defendant's sought jury instruction for second-degree coercion as a lesser-included offense was not warranted.
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People v. Patterson

December 22, 2016
Evidence, Criminal Law & Procedure
(Court of Appeals of New York) - Conviction for second-degree burglary and robbery is affirmed where the trial court did not err in admitting into evidence subscriber information in prepaid cell phone records as nonhearsay evidence within a business record, because the information was not introduced for the truth of the matters asserted.
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Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc.

December 20, 2016
Intellectual Property, Copyright
(Court of Appeals of New York) - Answering a certified question from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the Court held that New York common law does not recognize a right of public performance for creators of sound recordings and answered the Second Circuit's question in the negative.
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People v. Clark

December 20, 2016
Criminal Law & Procedure
(Court of Appeals of New York) - Conviction for second-degree murder is affirmed where defendant's trial counsel did not commit ineffective assistance of counsel in pursuing a misidentification defense while not advancing an inconsistent justification defense, after defendant decided on the strategy and denied that he was the person depicted shooting the victim on a surveillance video recording.
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People v. Morgan

December 20, 2016
Criminal Law & Procedure
(Court of Appeals of New York) - Conviction for manslaughter and possession of a weapon is affirmed where the trial court's supplemental instruction to the jury to continue deliberating, following the jury's return of a verdict which polling determined not to be unanimous, did not deprive defendant of a fair trial.
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People v. Perkins

December 20, 2016
Criminal Law & Procedure
(Court of Appeals of New York) - Conviction for multiple robberies is reversed and remanded. The Court held that a lineup's suggestiveness should not turn solely on whether a defendant's distinctive feature, here dreadlocks, figured prominently in a witness's prior description to police but can be considered as one factor when a court determines the suggestiveness of a lineup.
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People v. Brown

December 20, 2016
Criminal Law & Procedure
(Court of Appeals of New York) - In consolidated criminal actions concerning the People's change of their readiness status after having previously filed off-calendar statements of readiness, the Court held that there is a rebuttable presumption that such statements were truthful when made and that defendants can rebut the presumption with a demonstration that the People were not, in fact, ready at the time the statement was filed.
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Stonehill Capital Management v. Bank of the West

December 20, 2016
Commercial Law, Contracts
(Court of Appeals of New York) - In a contracts action arising from a dispute over the auction sale of a syndicated loan, the Appellate Division's grant of defendant's motion for summary judgment is reversed where the lack of a written sales agreement and plaintiffs' failure to submit a timely cash deposit were not conditions precedent to the formation of the parties' contract and do not render their agreement unenforceable.
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