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Featured Posts

Is Affirmative Action on the Way Out?

The latest Supreme Court decision in Fisher v. The University of Texas at Austin tightens the reins even further on race-based undergraduate admissions.

New Bill Increases Penalty for Child Trafficking in Connecticut

More than 130 children have been forced into sexual slavery in Connecticut in the last five years and the Connecticut legislator is doing something about it.

UConn Law Professor Speaks to Congress on Cybersecurity

While many lobby to limit the duty to disclose consumer data breaches, Dr. David Thaw warns against rewarding companies for bad investigations and eroding consumer protection.

Appeal from Second Circuit Striking Down Town Prayer

Congress has been opening with prayer since before the revolution, but in Town of Greece v. Galloway, the practice began in 1999 and may have been intended to favor one religion.

The Law Student's Guide to Creating a Strong Legal Resume

A legal resume has two parts: Education and Experience. Both can be added to and tweaked, without lying or exaggerating, and make you really stand out.

New Connecticut Law Limits Immigrants Turned over to ICE

This controversial new policy means that Connecticut authorities will only honor ICE detention requests for immigrants on terrorist watch lists, felons or those who meet other safety risks.

Law is a Personal Profession

Life has become less personal, but Law remains a personal profession and anyone can put themselves on the short list for a job by skipping email and applying in person.

How to Study in Your Car - Redeeming the Time

Whether you're driving or folding laundry, you can get ahead by listening to the right audiobooks and lectures. This article reviews of the best audio resources and explains how to get them.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

New York Court of Appeals Finds a Proximate Cause Standard in Additional Insured Endorsements

Originally published on sdvlaw.com


Image result for ny court of appeals

In The Burlington Insurance Company v. NYC Transit Authority, et al., No. 2016-00096, the New York Court of Appeals issued a landmark decision with regard to the meaning of “caused, in whole or in part, by” in the additional insured context. In a split decision, the court rejected Burlington Insurance Company’s (Burlington) argument that the language implied a “negligence” standard, but held that coverage was provided to the additional insured only where the named insured’s acts or omissions were the proximate cause of the injury.

The underlying loss occurred when the additional insured, the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), failed to mark a buried electrical cable on a subway project. An employee of the named insured, a subcontractor on the project, drove an excavator into the buried energized cable causing an explosion which, in turn, caused a NYCTA employee to fall from an elevated work platform and sustain injury. The court in underlying action found that the named insured was not negligent.

The Appellate Division found in favor of coverage, citing several First Department decisions which held that the older “arising out of” endorsement language and the newer “caused, in whole or in part, by” language did not differ materially in application. The Appellate Division also noted that under the plain meaning of “caused,” the named insured was at least a partial cause of the loss, despite not being at fault. The New York Court of Appeals agreed to hear Burlington’s appeal as there was no authority on this subject from New York’s highest court.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

UConn Law Professor Testifies Before Congress on Cybersecurity

By Geoffrey J. Miller
Published in The Hartford Courant, Aug. 12, 2013.


Photo Credit: Dallas Business Journal
The U.S. House of Representatives recently invited six distinguished experts, including Professor David Thaw of the University of Connecticut School of Law, to give their opinions on a possible federal law that would govern when companies are required to notify consumers of data breaches. This is the fourth time in less than decade that such a law has been discussed.

When technology expands, the law slowly grows up around it. Often this results in what subcommittee chair Lee Terry (R-Nebraska) referred to as "a patchwork of state and territory-specific statutes...[that] tend to differ from each other in many ways."  This is the case for many laws governing the internet, including those that govern data breach notification requirements.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there are currently forty-six state and four territorial breach notification laws; plus the Federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which applies only to medical information. Because a single online breach may affect consumers from all fifty states, it is easy to see how these different and sometimes contradicting laws can be a nightmare for companies who are faced with a security breach.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

How to Have a Good Reputation in a World that Hates Lawyers

By Geoffrey J. Miller

It may not come as a surprise to hear that lawyers are not as esteemed as teachers and engineers, but according to Pew Research Center's latest poll, Americans believe that lawyers contribute less to society than every other major job category on the poll, including business executives.

This is a little sad when you consider how many lawyers dedicate their lives to improving society. Take, for example, India New England's 2012 woman of the year - Connecticut U.S. Attorney Krishna Patel. Patel has dedicated her life to ending child sex trafficking in the region. Or take Martha Stone - Executive Director and founder of Connecticut's Center for Children’s Advocacy. Not to mention that school segregation in the United States and slavery in England were both abolished by lawyers.


That said, lawyers have a long history of being disliked. As Abraham Lincoln put it:
There is a vague popular belief that lawyers are necessarily dishonest. I say vague, because when we consider to what extent confidence and honors are reposed in and conferred upon lawyers by the people, it appears improbable that their impression of dishonesty is very distinct and vivid. Yet the impression is common, almost universal.*
According to Pew Research Center, about one-in-five Americans (18%) say lawyers contribute a lot to society, about two-in-five (43%) say they make some contribution; and one third (34%) say that lawyers contribute not very much or nothing at all. This is not a new sentiment by any means, see this short television clip from 1992. The public's opinion of Journalists has also reached an all-time low, so by reporting on legal news, I probably run a high risk of being tarred and feathered in my driveway.

Lawyers are also seen as endless drains on the economy, increasing transaction costs and making everything more expensive. See The Cost of Accidents: A Legal and Economic Analysis, by Guido Calabresi. Many people also believe that lawyers make far more money than they really do. While a few lawyers make quite a lot starting out, the majority of new lawyers fall into the 50-60K range.