Most Read
Image 01 Image 02 Image 03

NY AG threatens law firm claiming office headcount violates Cuomo lockdown, gets sued in response

NY AG threatens law firm claiming office headcount violates Cuomo lockdown, gets sued in response

HoganWillig law firm in federal court lawsuit: The Attorney General “made it clear that Plaintiff was being watched and monitored and was conducting car counts in the parking lot and underground garage, [and] that she knew who was and was not working in other non-HoganWillig offices at the Amherst building”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5UZ5nWX3ADM

HoganWillig is a multi-office law firm in western New York State. Among its practice areas is real estate closings, which enabled it to obtain designation from the state as an “essential” business even under Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus lockdown orders.

The firm also has gained expertise in advising businesses how to weather the coronavirus regulatory storm, and now finds itself in the center of one of those storms as the New York Attorney General’s Office has been threatening the firm over its continued real estate operations, claiming the firm was not complying with Cuomo’s Orders. The firm is fighting back with a federal court lawsuit.

On April 20, 2020, the NY AG sent a cease and desist letter to the firm, to which the firm responded, and an ongoing exchange of correspondence took place in which the firm denied many of the accusations and insisted it was in compliance.

None of this satistified the NY AG’s office, and on May 13, 2020, HoganWillig filed a Complaint (pdf., w/out exhibits) seeking not only a declaration that it had violated no laws, but also seeking a court ruling that the governing statute that purports to empower the Governor to lock down the state was unconstitutional.

You can read the complaint for the details according to HoganWillig. None of the parties responded to a request for comment on the case.

What makes this case particularly interesting, is the apparent extent to which the NY AG’s office has gone to investigate HoganWillig, and that such investigation was the result of alleged complaints from unnamed persons.

From the Complaint:

56. Defendant [NY Attorney General Letitia] James, through two Assistant Attorneys General, began making inquiries of Plaintiff starting on or about April 6, 2020. There were telephone calls and emails.

57. On April 20, 2020, HoganWillig received a letter from AAG Foshee electronically titled “HoganWillig Cease & Desist Letter” (the “Cease and Desist Letter”). The Cease and Desist Letter provided that “[(Defendant James)] . . . demands that HoganWillig take immediate steps to implement a work plan to reduce the number of employees reporting to the Getzville office and transition to telecommuting or working from home on a regular basis.” Exhibit 1.

58. HoganWillig responded to AAG Foshee via a letter dated April 22, 2020, and signed by HoganWillig’s Safety Officer, Steven M. Cohen, Esq. Exhibit 2.

59. HoganWillig’s April 22, 2020 letter outlined the actions taken by HoganWillig to do just that – implement a work plan to reduce the number of employees reporting to its office. These actions, as well as additional actions concerning the safety of those employees and clients reporting to the office, are set forth in HoganWillig’s Workforce Reduction and Safety Protocols.

60. AAG Foshee responded on April 27, 2020 via a letter titled “HoganWillig Directive Letter” (the “Directive Letter”), which required that HoganWillig take additional actions, further to those already taken, to further “fulfill [its] obligations” under the Executive Orders. Exhibit 3.

61. HoganWillig responded to the Directive Letter via a letter dated April 28, 2020. HoganWillig’s April 28, 2020 letter again set forth the actions taken by HoganWillig to promote the safety of its employees and the cleanliness of its office, to comply with Defendant Cuomo’s numerous Executive Orders, and to respond appropriately and sufficiently to each of Defendant James’ requests with respect to HoganWillig’s continued operations. Exhibit 4.

62. When HoganWillig did not receive an immediate response from AAG Foshee in response to its April 28, 2020 letter, HoganWillig contacted AAG Foshee via telephone and email on April 30, 2020, so as to ensure that Defendant James had all of the information she required.

63. AAG Foshee responded later that same day, indicating that Defendant James “continue[d] to be concerned,” and accusing HoganWillig of “continu[ing] to engage in circumlocution.”

64. AAG Foshee concluded her April 30, 2020 email by stating: “Our dialogue has been largely unproductive, as nothing has changed since we first contacted you. Our concerns with your continued operations have not been addressed, so we will be in further contact.”

65. Plaintiff had continuous and intense dialogue with AAG Foshee, and responded tofurther demands made by Defendant James,  up through and including May 13, 2020. Copies of HoganWillig’s correspondence with AAG Foshee is annexed hereto. Exhibit 5.

66. Even the implementation of strict protocols including electronic monitoring of HoganWillig employees would not satisfy Defendant James.

67. Nor would Defendant James advise whether the complaint had been received by another business in the community, or a disgruntled employee, or someone else entirely. Defendant James, through AAG Foshee, made it clear that Plaintiff was being watched and monitored and was conducting car counts in the parking lot and underground garage, that she knew who was and was not working in other non-HoganWillig offices at the Amherst building, but she would not give Plaintiff specifics so that they could respond.

Here is the claim for relief:

WHEREFORE, HoganWillig demands judgment as follows:

a. On its First Claim for Relief, that this Court issue and enter a declaratory judgment, pursuant to 28 USC § 2201 and Rule 57 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure declaring that New York State Executive Law § 29-a is unconstitutional, as an unconstitutional delegation of legislative authority to Defendant Cuomo;

b. On its Second Claim for Relief, that this Court enter an Order declaring that Defendant Cuomo’s actions exceed the scope of his authority under New York State Executive Law § 29-a, and that such actions are an unconstitutional abuse of Defendant Cuomo’s executive powers thereunder;

c. On its Third Claim for Relief, that this Court enter an Order permanently enjoining Defendants, or other applicable governmental/law enforcement authorities, from enforcing the Executive Orders, as any such enforcement would unconstitutionally impede Plaintiff’s representation of clients and would unduly and excessively burden interstate commerce;

d. On its Fourth Claim for Relief, that this Court enter an Order permanently enjoining Defendants, or other applicable governmental/law enforcement authorities, from enforcing the Executive Orders, as any such enforcement would unconstitutionally impede HoganWillig’s private contracts with clients, independent contractors, vendors, and other third parties;

e. On its Fifth Claim for Relief, that this Court enter an Order permanently enjoining Defendants, or other applicable governmental/law enforcement authorities, from enforcing the Executive Orders as arbitrary restrictions on HoganWillig, in violation of Plaintiff’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment substantive due process rights;

f. On its Sixth Claim for Relief, that this Court enter an Order permanently enjoining Defendants, or other applicable governmental/law enforcement authorities, from enforcing the Executive Orders as arbitrary restrictions on HoganWillig, in violation of HoganWillig’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment procedural due process rights under the United States Constitution;

g. On its Seventh Claim for Relief, that this Court enter an Order declaring that the issuance and enforcement of the Executive Orders is an unconstitutional taking without just compensation under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment; a permanent injunction preventing Defendants, or other applicable governmental/law enforcement authorities, from enforcing arbitrary restrictions on HoganWillig in violation of HoganWillig’s Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment rights; and compensatory damages adequate to justly compensate HoganWillig for the regulatory taking of its Property;

h. On its Eighth Claim for Relief, that this Court enter an Order declaring that the issuance and enforcement of the Executive Orders violates Plaintiff’s rights under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, and permanently enjoining Defendants, or other applicable governmental/law enforcement authorities, from enforcing the Executive Orders as arbitrary restrictions on HoganWillig, in violation of HoganWillig’s Fourteenth Amendment equal protection rights under the United States Constitution;

i. On its Ninth Claim for Relief, that this Court enter an Order permanently enjoining Defendants, or other applicable governmental/law enforcement authorities from enforcing the Executive Orders, in violation of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the United States Constitution;

j. On its Tenth Claim for Relief, that this Court enter an Order awarding Plaintiff its reasonable attorney’s fees pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1988, for Plaintiff’s seeking redress for Defendants’ violation of HoganWillig’s constitutional rights under 42 U.S.C. § 1983; and

k. Such other and further relief as this Court may deem just and proper.

Here is an excerpt from the AG’s April 20, 2020, cease and desist letter about monitoring cars in the parking lot (bold in original, underscoring added):

Thank you for your email dated April 13, 2020 responding to our request for additional information about HoganWillig’s ongoing operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We continue to have serious concerns about the number of employees that are reporting to work at HoganWillig’s Getzville and Lancaster offices during this time of spreading epidemic. As you know, Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.8 specifically requires that “All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize.” This applies to businesses operating what are deemed to be providing essential services under the Executive Order. Based on the information that we have, HoganWillig is not in compliance with that provision of the Executive Order….

You characterize the Getzville office as a “ghost town,” with only perhaps 20% of the ordinary attendance. While this may be true, there were on average 20 cars in your parking lots on a daily basis last week. This number is concerning as it suggests significant in-person work being performed regularly in that office. We have received multiple complaints that attorneys, paralegals and support staff report to work from all departments within the firm, regardless of the type of matter being worked on and the fact that the work could be performed remotely.

Here is an excerpt from HoganWills’ April 22, 2020, response:

As the Safety Officer for my law firm, I share your goal of protecting all of our employees, clients and transactional participants. Let me start by sending you the protocols we have put in place in all our offices. Tab B is the protocol developed on March 28th in response to Empire State Development Corp designating HoganWillig an essential business. Tab C is the protocol revised on April 16th due to the evolving nature of the crisis.

To that end, each of our protocols, procedures, and our workplan have already been implemented, such that Hogan Willig has cut its in-office staff to the minimum required to carry out the essential business of our clients. Thus, it is my belief that no further implementation is required pursuant to Executive Orders 202.6 et seq. and applicable ESD Guidance, particularly given that, for those employees and clients who do report to our offices, all appropriate social distancing and cleaning/ disinfecting protocols have been fully complied with.

* * *

With respect to our conducting in-person real estate closings, these transactions are oftentimes required to be performed in-person. Thus, to the extent that they can be performed remotely, we have, and will continue to, require that our Real Estate Department do so; but, in the event that these services cannot be provided remotely, we will proceed to give our clients the option and ability of coming in to our professionally and dailysanitized offices to take the actions necessary therefor, while of course observing all appropriate social distancing and cleaning/ disinfecting protocols.

Your concern about the number of employees reporting to work at our Getzville and Lancaster offices is based, I believe, on misinformation. You make reference to specific data you collected. Please tell me exactly what you have been told (I’m not concerned with the source, just the data) so I can respond with precision. Let me say at the outset that if Hogan Willig is out of compliance with any Executive Order or ESDC directive, we will take prompt and austere measures to immediately come into compliance.

* * *

With regard to your unnumbered paragraph 4, I take no issue with the facts set forth up until the last three (3) sentences. There is no “law” requiring in-person real estate closings while the EO is in effect. However, such statutes as NY RPL Article 9 and NY GOL and NY Exec Law §130, et seq. set forth execution requirements that inherently require in-person contact. While at one point virtual notarial executions were permitted by EO, the time for that has expired, and lenders, title insurance companies, etc. wouldn’t and won’t honor or “insure over” virtual notarizations….

I respectfully disagree with your statement that remote-only real estate transactions are “nonetheless required in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.” That statement is contrary to my understanding of the express language of the EO’ s and ESDC’ s interpretations of the EO’ s. The only real estate deals that are being closed in-person are those that must be closed in person to comply with the relevant laws (cited in greater detail below) in light of the requirements of primarily lenders and title insurers concerning the proper execution of deeds, mortgages, promissory notes, lien releases, etc., that the above laws be complied with….

With regard to your unnumbered paragraph 6 on page 2 of your letter, I don’t dispute the car count, as I have not counted the cars myself, but I point out that there are six (6) businesses in my building. Please see Tab E. At least one of them is a real estate company, and one of them is a bank….

In addition, as a major title agent in Western New York, none of our underwriters for title insurance are allowing us to issue policies without inperson notarization on documents such as deeds, mortgages, affidavits, and/ or other documents required to be recorded pursuant to Article 9 of the RPL. Title insurance is required by lenders and issued in accordance with the New York State Department of Financial Services as a necessary component of real estate transactions. Further, while we are working with at least one lender to provide electronic notarization to clients, no lender that we represent has permitted a closing to be completed with electronically notarized documents. Moreover, Chautauqua County is requiring in-person notarization on all documents offered for recording….

There have been multiple exchanges since then, including this April 27 response from the AG’s Office. which provided in part:

As you are aware, Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order 202.8 requires that “All businesses and not-for-profit entities in the state shall utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize.” This applies to businesses operating what are deemed to be providing essential services under the Executive Order. Despite our repeated requests that you provide us with information evidencing compliance with this order in your Getzville office, you have failed to do so.

To comply with the Executive Order, HoganWillig must do more than encourage employees working on essential matters to work remotely whenever possible. It is your responsibility to mandate teleworking on a daily basis, and permit reporting to work in person only if necessary to perform work in support of an essential business, service or provider. This applies to all attorneys, paralegals and support staff. You have not demonstrated that this mandate has been implemented in your Getzville office.

You request that we provide you with the name(s) of HoganWillig employee(s) who wish to be transitioned to teleworking in your Getzville office. This is not our duty, nor are the wishes of employees relevant under the terms of the Executive Order. As the employer, you surely know who is reporting to work each day. You know who is working from home; who is taking a personal day, a sick day, or a vacation day. We understand that this information is compiled and emailed to staff every day. We further understand that only 8-12 employees work from home each day, from your staff of nearly 70 employees. Many employees – without being told to work remotely, and particularly where so many are not – may be under the tacit understanding that it is not a genuine option. You have provided no evidence contradicting our understanding, despite our repeated requests.1

[fn 1 We have confirmed that HoganWillig is the only tenant currently occupying space in the building located at 2410 North Forest Road, as all other tenants performing essential services areunder work from home mandates (as you should be).]

* * *

As for your contention regarding remote notarization, Executive Order 202.7 which, inter alia, authorized remote notarization, was extended through May 7, 2020 by Executive Order 202.14:

202.14: NOW, THEREFORE, I, Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by Section 29-a of Article 2-B of the Executive Law, do hereby continue the suspensions and modifications of law, and any directives, not superseded by a subsequent directive, made by Executive Order 202 and each successor Executive Order to 202, for thirty days until May 7, 2020, except as limited below.

Executive Order 202.18 extended the provisions of Executive Order 202.14 through May 15, 2020. The “which” clause referencing “closed or otherwise restricted public or private businesses or places of public accommodation” is properly construed as nonrestrictive, such that the entire provisions of each of the referenced Executive Orders have been extended. Hence, remote notarization remains authorized through May 15, 2020.

* * *

We have clearly set forth HoganWillig’s obligations under Executive Law 202 et seq., and our directives to fulfill your obligations. Your response is required by close of business on Tuesday, April 28, 2020. The Attorney General reserves the right to take all available measures, including seeking emergency relief in court, to ensure your compliance with Executive Order 202 et seq.

To which there was an April 28, 2020, response from HoganWillig that read, in part:

As of the date of this letter, our Real Estate Department anticipates 42 closings this week. While they have worked diligently to complete these closings with the least person-to-person interaction as possible with other attorneys, clients, and third parties, most of our real estate closings still require in-person signing of lender and title documents, in-person notarization of deeds, mortgages, and affidavits, and the printing of checks where wires are not possible. As previously stated, our title underwriters and lenders have both refused to accept e-notarized documents which has required us to prepare and have executed bank packages  sale documents, title affidavits, and other documents related to closings. Even with your interpretation that remote notarizations are extended, many buyers and sellers don’t have scanner/ printing capability.

I will mention that as I was walking around the building looking for HW staff coming and going, I personally saw someone enter an office, other than Hogan Willig, in my building on the second floor today. Your data that Hogan Willig is the only tenant currently occupying space at 2410 is wrong, regardless of the mandates under which you believe other offices are operating.

According to the Complaint, there was continuing communications and disagreements leading up to the filing of the Complaint.

I provide the detail above not to prove who is right or wrong, but to demonstrate the extent to which the Attorney General’s office went to investigate a law firm what was designated an essential business and which clearly was making great efforts to comply with the law and to protect employees.

The state apparatus was so concerned with this law firm in an area far away (NY State is huge) from the epicenter of the pandemic over six hours drive away.

While forcing nursing homes to take coronavirus-infected patients leading to thousands of deaths, and disastrously bungling coordination with NYC government leading to thousands more deaths, the state government has found time to threaten this “essential” business, investigate it, and consume what must be hundreds of person-hours on both sides.

While thousands die in NY nursing homes and the state economy collapses, this is how state government spends its time.

DONATE

Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.

Comments

The Friendly Grizzly | May 16, 2020 at 9:51 pm

Stuff like this makes me wonder when the first shots will be fired.

    legacyrepublican in reply to The Friendly Grizzly. | May 16, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    If this is any indication, I think they will be the self-inflicted ones fired by the NY AG.

      notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to legacyrepublican. | May 16, 2020 at 11:56 pm

      Look who else is about to get it.

      MAY 14, 2020

      Michigan medical groups sue Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over ‘drastic’ and ‘unconstitutional’ coronavirus lockdown
      The lawsuit says CDC coronavirus projections were “grossly inaccurate.”

      The Blaze

    Good question.
    A. When people get tired of needing a law firm to find out how to live.

At this point, it would be truly surprising if a Dhimmi-crat apparatchik actually acted in a non-totalitarian governing style.

Because, it’s now become apparent that unabashed, jackbooted, bullying totalitarianism is the Dhimmi-crat’s default operating posture and ethos.

stevewhitemd | May 16, 2020 at 9:56 pm

Wow. If they’re doing this to a medium-sized law firm, what are they doing to everyone else? No wonder New York is a mess.

    Concise in reply to stevewhitemd. | May 17, 2020 at 1:19 pm

    I’m just spit-balling here but what are the odds that this firm maybe has ties to the republican party or at least is perceived as anti-Cuomo?

OK, I’ll make a stab at an explanation:

The NY AG’s office has traditionally been a magnet for fascistically-inclined individuals … ?

Am I wrong?

‘..and would unduly and excessively burden interstate commerce’

I have no idea why more businesses aren’t hammering state governments with the Commerce Clause. This seems pretty cut and dry to me, as a non-lawyer type.

    Another Voice in reply to rdmdawg. | May 17, 2020 at 12:02 am

    Each of the Articles listed within the Claim of Relief brought in a Constitutional Amendment, but it was the Interstate Commerce Clause brought in which I found so perfect! Everything in in the brief references Constitutional rights but this one covers the right to conduct interstate business which limits the power of the states to prevent any regulation. No state executive order (nor law) can take precedence. I believe this was evident when Roberts shoved Obamacare through by use of it to the dismay of those states who presented their case of objections.

      Milhouse in reply to Another Voice. | May 17, 2020 at 9:31 am

      Roberts did no such thing. On the contrary, he did the exact opposite, getting the supreme court to declare that the commerce clause only allows congress to regulate the interstate commerce that people engage in voluntarily, but does not allow it to require people to engage in interstate commerce that they don’t want to.

    Milhouse in reply to rdmdawg. | May 17, 2020 at 9:29 am

    They’re not hammering it because it’s nonsense. Every state’s regulations treat interstate commerce exactly the same as intrastate commerce.

    Interstate commerce is not exempt from state law. The only thing the commerce clause forbids states from doing is to discriminate in favor of intrastate commerce and against interstate commerce. And of course any valid federal law is the supreme law of the land, and preempts any state law or constitution that contradicts it — but it does so equally for interstate and intrastate commerce.

Really, they are trying to sue a Law Firm?
Really?
They really didn’t think this out.

This was no random enforcement.

Anybody want to bet that the firm both:
A) Is not a major contributor to Cuemo or his cronies
B) Has been a thorn in the NY AG’s side before

This is revenge, pure and simple. If the AG’s office intends on enforcing the lockdown, they would be focusing their efforts on companies where a small push would suffice. Law offices fight back, and any neutral AG would just shrug and let them be while cracking down on the easy ones. This means the AG office is not only going against expected efforts, but are pushing this HARD.

I look forward to seeing Cuemo’s thugs taken out and given a good, swift legal beating.

Perhaps someone would enlighten me as to why I should give a rat’s patootie about some law firm in western New York.

Who cares. New York caused this whole thing, but the jig is up. New York is so yesterday.

We’re opening back up where I live. I guess New York will just have to go it alone. Good luck with that.

You blew it, Punkin. Have a nice day.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to tiger66. | May 16, 2020 at 11:10 pm

    New York like Hollywood has made itself irrevelant to the rest of the country.

    That great sucking sound you hear are all the companies leaving New York.

Someone at this law firm must have committed the sin of (a) being a Republican, or (b) supporting Republicans or, (c) even worse, might have said something nice about our President.

There is no other explanation as to why this attorney general would go on the attack – since who uses (abuses) her powers to attack anyone who is not part of her wing of the Democratic party.

People are dying and she spends huge amounts of resources, money, time and effort to harass a company that is clearly trying to comply with her outrageous demands.

If Dad were still around, he’d say the AG has a “hall monitor” complex …

I’m surprised one of the requests for relief isn’t “and stay the hell out of our parking garage”. 😉

Subotai Bahadur | May 16, 2020 at 10:52 pm

Besides the possible results if the AG’s office loses the battle, there is another one. New York State says they are down 60+% in tax revenue. If they have a company which is, as far as I know, as legal and ethical as any law firm and they declare war on it with no legal basis:

a) how long will that firm stay in NY?
b) how long will any firm in NY stay after thinking about it?
c) how many other firms will see the positives of opening a branch in NY, OR starting up in NY?

Subotai Bahadur

    Wrathchilde in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | May 17, 2020 at 8:21 am

    The money’s too god for them to bail over just little things like Constitutional violations. Sad but true. No matter how bad it gets, someone will always be mesmerized by the dollar signs.

    Milhouse in reply to Subotai Bahadur. | May 17, 2020 at 9:35 am

    They have to stay in NY, for the same reason that they can’t telecommute. As they wrote to the AG, their business is real estate and they have to attend closings in person.

This and other law firms COULD HAVE joined together and fought this for the good of all but no, not until their rights(pocketbook) are in danger. Do hope it goes well for them and everyone else. Maybe someone needs to monitor the parking lot for “trespassing” government officials.

Katy L. Stamper | May 16, 2020 at 10:57 pm

Our worst suspicions about the disloyal opposition have been confirmed.

How many voters that normally don’t pay attention, but do vote, will notice?

The idea that a government at any level has the privilege of deciding what is or isn’t an “essential” business strikes me as fundamentally un-American. Governments can certainly issue warnings or advice about such things as public health precautions (or, for that matter, any aspect of business), but that’s a long way from justifying totalitarian control.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to tom_swift. | May 16, 2020 at 11:17 pm

    Maybe a windfall profits tax on all the national chains allowed to continue operating (Amazon) and we were forced to do business with……

    amwick in reply to tom_swift. | May 17, 2020 at 8:28 am

    This is from their own blog..

    “Is Your Business Exempt from New York State’s 100% Workforce Reduction Mandate?”

    https://www.hoganwillig.com/blog/is-your-business-exempt-from-new-york

    I would bet dollars to donuts that they are able to advise people how to fill out the form, making their business essential.

      Milhouse in reply to amwick. | May 17, 2020 at 9:36 am

      This is probably their offense that provoked the AG’s ire. Either that or some rival is informing on them, as has happened to Dr Zelenko.

    Dave in reply to tom_swift. | May 17, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    I have been saying this since day one. The governors only have so much emergency power, but the problem is that the leftist judges one would have to go through to open one’s business would be ok with keeping the “non-essential” businesses shut down,”for the public good” and likely without imposing an expiration date.

Starting a fight with an entity that has the capacity to fight back seems stupid. Even if the firm does real estate, they are all legally trained and legally educated. Not to mention they have wives, husbands, friends from Law school who have more experience in the courtroom and with litigation in general.

Beyond that, these guys have the financial resources to hire very competent legal representation. As someone else alluded to, this firm was likely targeted in part due to political affiliation. I would be willing to bet good money that there are some extraordinarily good litigation firms in N.Y. who are likewise not political favorites of Cuomo or his AG. Hell, they might take the case just for fun at cost in order to put a finger in their eye.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to CommoChief. | May 16, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    Ah……

    Real estate…. That explains it.

    That industry has been objecting to the Dictator Governors’ Lock up….. Quite vocally……

    alaskabob in reply to CommoChief. | May 16, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    Or… a notice that the AG is selling “insurance” and that appropriate donations to the Party could prevent such a costly lawsuit. Just a new cost of business in NY.

    Chicklet in reply to CommoChief. | May 17, 2020 at 12:26 am

    Did somebody say stupid? There’s only one reason why she is AG and it was covered above.
    Sad and lonely that Mario’s son has gotten all the press, Leticia has decided to pick on (what she thought was) a sleepy law firm in a very remote part of the state. She should have studied the map instead- don’t attack smarter-than-you attorneys in a ‘red’ part of New York!

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 17, 2020 at 12:07 am

More lawsuits coming to Boston.

Methinks that’s not tea they are drinking there.

Massachusetts Paints Instructional Arrows on Sidewalks…

The Last Refuge

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 17, 2020 at 12:11 am

Washington Examiner

@dcexaminer

“You’re not a dictator.”@GovRonDesantis slams states imposing strict lockdown orders.

“People do have rights.”https://washex.am/2X7xjEO

Republican gubernatorial candidate Ron DeSantis speaks during a campaign event in Miami.
‘You’re not a dictator’: Ron DeSantis slams states imposing strict lockdown orders
GOP Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis reminded governors across the country who continue to impose strict coronavirus lockdowns

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 17, 2020 at 12:19 am

Ready-to-party residents pack local bars after Wisconsin Supreme Court lockdown ruling.

‘We’re the Wild West,’ gov says, lamenting his loss of control.

The Blaze

The fools have started a legal battle over their unconstitutional actions with a pack of REAL ATTORNEYS which could upset their whole game.
This could really go poorly for the AG’s office.

Jesus Christ, I’m about to loose my mind! I read paragraph after paragraph detailing how said law firm bent over backwards to comply mit Das Order, then, and only then, to complain – in ten categorical Claims for Relief, that the whole thing (Das Order) was illegal. Of course it was illegal! So why was it imcumbent upon the law firm to waste their time and breath demonstrating compliance with Das (illegal) Order in the first place? I would have more sympathy for this law firm had they simply told the gov to “f’-off” in the first place.
But the worst of all is this limp-wristed paragraph from ours truly, William Jacobson: “I provide the detail above not to prove who is right or wrong, but to demonstrate the extent to which the Attorney General’s office went to investigate a law firm what was designated an essential business and which clearly was making great efforts to comply with the law and to protect employees.”
Cannot determine who is right or wrong? “Designated”? “Essential Business”? “Making great efforts to comply” mit Das Illegal Order? If this is the best defense of Liberty you can make, Bill Jacobson, we are lost.

    randian in reply to sfharding. | May 17, 2020 at 8:40 am

    They had to do that. Courts look askance at plaintiffs who ask for relief from regulations they’re ignoring. Comply, then ask for relief.

    Mac45 in reply to sfharding. | May 17, 2020 at 12:40 pm

    This law firm is a business. It’s business is mainly handling the legal aspects of real estate transactions. It is not an activist organization and does not want to expend resources on something other than its primary, money-making enterprise, real estate. So, it complies as best it can with the regulations then in place. When told that it is violation of those regulations, it asks for specific guidance from the enforcement agent for the state, the AG’s office. When this is not forthcoming and the state is still attempting to interfere in the conduct of the business, the firm goes to court to demand that the AG be enjoined from continuing what has been ably demonstrated to be harassment, not honest attempts at enforcement. And, one of its arguments is that the actions taken by the Governor are unconstitutional and there any regulatory orders and actions taken pursuant to those orders are unconstitutional and illegal. The state has forced the business to pursue this path to seek relief from legal harassment.

So far every complaint has been held up by the courts..usually by the first or second forum.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | May 17, 2020 at 2:41 am
VaGentleman | May 17, 2020 at 4:02 am

I love it when lawyers fight. They use such highfalutin language to say ‘screw you’.

A bunch of bureaucrats write a rule, a law firm says what it means, and a court hands out hall passes. A pox on all these rent seekers.

Formerly known as Skeptic | May 17, 2020 at 7:34 am

So, what happens when/if one of these lawsuits finds that one of the Governors did NOT have the authority to lock down their State? The Fifth Amendment argument that this constitutes a Taking in particular seems to put States in jeopardy of significant liability. IANAL so I would appreciate a legal take on it.

It was clearly about more than them having too many people at the office,,, here is the key..

The firm also has gained expertise in advising businesses how to weather the coronavirus regulatory storm,

So this firm is a thorn in the AG’s backside.. everything else is smoke and mirrors.

I hope they kick ass. I never thought I would feel that way about a bunch of lawyers, but these are strange times.

“Nice state of emergency you got here, Fredo. Be a shame if something happened to it because you got too big for your britches.”

FWIW… buzz on twitter is that this case has been assigned to

Hon. John L. Sinatra, Jr., who was nominated by President Trump May of 2018.

I don’t know anything about this website, if you are interested.

https://www.law360.com/articles/1273623

The NY AG’s office is also going after Dr Zev Zelenko, supposedly because someone in his office allegedly wrote on social media that the tests his clinic is administering were validated by the FDA, when in fact his supplier doesn’t appear on the FDA’s list of vendors of validated tests. No citation to these alleged social media posts has been provided, nor any evidence that whoever allegedly made them works in Dr Z’s office.

He has now released a response accusing a competitor of having fabricated this complaint to the AG’s office. He also says the same competitor made a complaint against him several years ago, which it cost him $70,000 to defend against, resulting in his complete vindication. He says that at the time he decided to stay quiet about it for the sake of keeping peace in the community, but now that this person’s interference is endangering lives he feels he has to let the public know.

Reading stories like this confirms why I hold disdain for most in the legal community ( this place breaks that mold).
One would think they would have more important things to do at this time.

Did anybody else catch this…The AG claimed that only 8-12 employees of 70 were working from home …but also claimed that 20 cars were in the parking lot…something doesn’t add up.

    Public transit, maybe?

      rebelgirl in reply to georgfelis. | May 17, 2020 at 12:29 pm

      or carpooling? That implies a lot of essential employees who take public transit on a regular basis.I dunno..that’s a lot of closeness to get to an office where social distancing is being practiced, don’t you think?

      rebelgirl in reply to georgfelis. | May 17, 2020 at 1:31 pm

      this is in the Amherst, NY office of the firm. That town only encompasses 53 sq miles…highly unlikely they have a large mass transit system

I guess we can assume that HoganWillig will not be contributing to Gov Cuomo’s re-election fund

this is how state government spends its time
This is *always* how gov’t spends its time. Unless you consciously smack it back down on a regular basis.

The New York Attorney General would appear to be crooked and corrupt. They are also using their unlimited investigatory powers to threaten and silence Nursing Homes from testifying as to the Governors orders demanding they insanely accept COVID-19 Patients or lose their licences. Resulting in the avoidable and criminally negligent deathS of thousands of elderly New Yorkers. This isn’t an AG. It’s a Consiglieri.

Font Resize
Contrast Mode
Send this to a friend