Weekly Round-Up: November 15th, 2013

Welcome to this week’s edition of the “Weekly Round-up.” We have compiled an interesting variety of articles for you to view this week. Please enjoy!


~NYLS Professor Lenni Benson and Russell Wheeler discuss how the U.S. immigration court system would be better equipped to provide justice for immigrants if staffing was increased to match the high volume of cases. The article can be viewed here. (Houston Chronicle)

Family Court

~This article discusses whether a court should take into consideration the fact that a parent is suffering from PTSD in a child custody proceeding.  The article also addresses whether a Family Court Judge may compel a Veterans Administration doctor to testify despite the fact that the Department of Veterans Affairs does not wish the doctor to do so.  Click here to view this article about a former marine and his current family court case.  (Syracuse.com)

~Click here for an article discussing a defamation suit against a psychologist brought by a father in a visitation proceeding apparently relating to the father’s response to the child’s reaction when the father told the child he would not take him to McDonalds. This article raises the issue of whether and in what circumstances psychologists can be sued based on the testimony they give in court in regards to custody and visitation matters and when co-parenting disagreements need to become matters to be dealt with in court. (Huffington Post)


~An op-ed by David Bornstein explores the topic of children who have experienced traumatic childhood events who tend to act out at school as a coping mechanism, and not by choice. Mr. Bornstein suggests that teachers and staff should move away from reflexive discipline tactics and instead aid these children in calming down and getting back to learning. Click here. (NYTimes)

~New York City’s Department of Education has released progress reports for hundreds of NYC schools that can be seen here.  Mayoral Elect Bill de Blasio has said that “in his first year,” he “will eliminate letter grades for schools.”  Parts of Mr. de Blasio’s education agenda can be viewed on his website here.

LGBT Rights

~The 2nd Department Appellate Division recently ruled on a case deciding whether a same-sex couple had an enforceable oral “joint venture/partnership” that would entitle the plaintiff to a share of the defendant’s retirement contributions and earnings.  The couple had been in a long-term committed relationship and had two children before same-sex marriage was granted in New York.  The oral agreement stemmed from a mutual decision that the Plaintiff would leave her full-time position to work part-time and take care of their children while the Defendant would continue her full-time employment.  The 2nd Department ruled that the plaintiff satisfied the elements of a breach of contract claim that an oral contract had been established and later breached.  For the opinion of this case, please click here. (NYS Reporter)