Hostile work environment sexual harassment exists occurs where an employee is subject to offensive comments, discrimination, bullying or sexually verbal behavior in the workplace.  Anytime an employee in the workplace feels intimidated, scared or uncomfortable due to the actions or words of a coworker, a hostile work environment can be alleged.  A hostile work environment can include conduct sexual in nature which is severe enough to create an offensive working environment and fulfill a claim for hostile workplace sexual harassment.  In order for a legal claim to exist on the basis of a hostile work environment, the offending conduct need be severe or pervasive in the workplace.  One offensive comment will not suffice; the environment need be intimidating, hostile, or offensive to reasonable people.  Continue reading

A couple weeks ago I wrote about the importance of the pre-pleading memorandum in getting better plea offers from stubborn prosecutors, or a lower promised sentence from New York State judges.  Just 10 days later, the verdict is in: despite strong opposition by the prosecutors in the case of a celebrity restaurateur accused of Grand Larceny of nearly $850,000 of investor and employee funds, the judge offered a sentence of 4 months in prison (defendant to serve 3 1/2 months beginning in late June), significantly lower than the 1-3 years prison sentence offered by the prosecutors.  The deal was accepted yesterday in Kings County Supreme Court.  Continue reading

Quid pro quo sexual harassment (translated from Latin as “this for that”) occurs when an employer or supervisor asks or suggests through physical conduct that an employee perform sexual favors in return for some benefit at work, such as favorable performance reviews, desirable work shifts or promotions.  The suggestion of sexual favors in exchange for avoiding an adverse employment action, such as a poor performance review or even termination, is also an example of quid pro quo sexual harassment.  In any case, quid pro quo sexual harassment is illegal under both federal and many state laws.  Legal remedies include compensatory damages to recover lost wages, benefits or opportunities; reinstatement to the victim’s former position if they were terminated; and monetary damages due to pain and suffering or emotional distress.  Contact a top New York sexual harassment attorney if you believe you are a victim of quid pro quo sexual harassment. Continue reading

hail-mary-300x214The vast majority of New York State criminal cases end in plea bargains; getting a favorable one, however, largely rests on the shoulders of your defense lawyer.  And while many cases allow for easily negotiated pleas, many others involve deeply unpopular conduct or which have overwhelming evidence against the defendant.  These are the cases which require creativity from your attorney to achieve the best result possible.  In this post, I will discuss pre-pleading submissions; as the best New York criminal attorneys know, a well-researched and thorough document presented to the prosecutor and/or judge which extolls the virtues of the defendant or highlights mitigating factors of the defendant’s behavior can mean the difference between lengthy prison sentences and probation.   Continue reading

Two weeks ago in the national news we learned that a student at the University of Texas at Arlington (“UTA”), Thomas Klocke, committed suicide after the school ignored its own school disciplinary policies and punished him in violation of his Title IX rights for allegedly harassing a gay student in class.  A conspiracy between the unnamed complaining student at the school, UTA’s Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and the school’s associate director of academic integrity to go behind the back of the school’s Title IX coordinator in order to punish Klocke left him hopeless enough that he took his life last year.  Without his Title IX rights, the Mr. Klocke was denied an investigation and hearing prior to charges being brought and was not permitted the opportunity to present witnesses in his defense – or even to go back to the class and speak to his classmates to determine if any of them witnessed the allegations against him, allegations which were later determined by UTA to be unfounded.  Now the estate of the deceased student is suing UTA for violating his Title IX rights – and the reality that American colleges and universities are overly progressive and protective of so-called marginalized members of society, i.e., women and members of the LBGTQ community, has come to the forefront.  For these reasons, students who are accused of misconduct at college need to hire the best school disciplinary attorney they can find, whether they attend NYU, Columbia, Fordham, the SUNY schools, UConn, Yale, Rutgers or any school across the country.  The stakes could not be higher and the prejudice against students could not be greater in today’s politically-correct academic climate.  Continue reading

Sometimes your best defense after being arrested and charged with a crime is the government’s own inappropriate actions – their illegal or dilatory behavior can trigger either a dismissal of the charges against you, the suppression of evidence seized which otherwise would be presented to a jury in your trial, or some other sanction.  When charged with a crime in New York or elsewhere, it is imperative that your lawyer focus not just on the evidence against you but also on the behavior of law enforcement in collecting that evidence.  Just because law enforcement or prosecutors have been getting away with illegal tactics for years does not mean they will forever. Continue reading

I am writing again on the topic of domestic violence cases because we have recently seen in our office and in the news a rash of very weak charges brought by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office – based upon complaints clearly designed to manipulate or punish the accused. Arrests were made by law enforcement without even the most cursory attempt to learn the truth behind the allegations.  After just a few weeks following the arrest – to allow for a defense investigation and/or presentation to prosecutors – most of the charges were either dismissed or severely lowered.  Had the investigations occurred before the arrest and not afterward, the defendants would have been spared significant time, expense, damage to career and personal humiliation.  Moral to the story: when charged in a New York domestic violence case, hire the best New York domestic violence attorney you can so that he can immediately expose false allegations and allow you to get your life back as quickly as possible.  Without a strong and experienced attorney with a history of success, prosecutors are more likely to simply allow the case to fester which will only cause continued damage to the defendant’s life and career.  Continue reading

hotlightOne of the first things that will occur prior to or immediately after an arrest is an attempt by a law enforcement officer to wheedle a statement, admission or confession out of the defendant.  After all, this is the time when the individual is at his most vulnerable and often not thinking clearly – which leads usually to an attempt to try to talk one’s way out of the arrest.  Of course, all the talking in the world will not negate the arrest and instead will further the chances of a conviction due to the statement provided.  Adding to the trauma of an arrest is the fact that law enforcement officers have been known to bend the law when attempting to secure a damaging admission from the prisoner.  In a recent case of mine, the officers did just that while conspiring with the prosecutor to deny my client his counsel of choice.  Even more shocking: the arrested was a detective with the NYPD.  The lesson to be learned here is that no matter how knowledgeable of the criminal justice system a defendant may be, law enforcement will still try to get an admission out of him to cripple a defense and ensure a conviction.  While hiring the best New York criminal defense attorney you can upon arrest is a start, keeping your mouth shut no matter what is dangled before you can be just as important to the ultimate success of your case. Continue reading

If you have been arrested for a domestic violence crime in New York, do not panic.  Despite often carrying very serious penalties with sometimes painful personal and professional ramifications, these charges can be often be defeated through intensive investigation well before the trial stage, due to certain factors specific to these types of cases.  To start, domestic violence itself is not a criminal charge: the crimes usually associated with domestic violence incidents often include Assault, Harassment and Stalking.  The various assault charges contained in the New York Penal Law (NYPL §§ 120.00, 120.05 and 120.10) can rise as high as a B felony and as low as a misdemeanor – the range comes with potential jail time from up to 25 years down to probation.  In this post, I’ll give you some thoughts and ideas on what to do if charged with a domestic violence-related charge in New York.  Continue reading

In a recent blog post, I discussed the topic of ineffective assistance of counsel claims and the opportunity to vacate a conviction due to trial counsel’s representation which falls “below an objective standard of reasonableness” and, “but for counsel’s unprofessional errors, the result in the proceeding would have been different.”  Strickland v. Washington, 466 U.S. 668, 688, 694 (1984).  This week inside a Manhattan courtroom we will conduct a hearing for a decorated, former NYPD detective who was strongly advised by his attorney to plead guilty to a crime in connection with a bid to house retired horses from the NYPD Mounted Unit.  People v. Depamphilis, Docket No. 2010 NY 019168 (NY Co.). Continue reading