Winter 2024 Newsletter

Recent news, events, and useful information from the

Northern District of New York Federal Court Bar Association

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FCBA Boasts Record Attendance at Its Annual Dinner

More than 165 FCBA members and guests attended the NDNY-FCBA’s Annual Dinner on November 30, 2023, at the restored Marriott in downtown Syracuse (formerly the historic Hotel Syracuse).

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Speaking with … Gabe Nugent

By Janelle Pelli

Gabe Nugent is a familiar face for anyone who’s been involved with the Federal Court Bar Association. Gabe has served as both a trustee and an officer of the FCBA, and been involved in the group’s CLEs, social events, and committee work. In July 2023, after 17 years at Barclay Damon, Gabe became Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Syracuse University.  In this interview, Gabe discussed the transition from law firm partner to chief legal officer for a large university, as well as his responsibilities in his new job and what he misses about private practice.

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President's Message

By Eric Nordby

It’s exciting to realize that 2024 will mark the 20th year of the NDNY-FCBA! Our association’s collective dedication to upholding the principles of justice and the rule of law is more vital than ever, and it’s with great pride that I share the latest developments and challenges facing the FCBA, and other federal courts and lawyers across the nation.

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NDNY Practice Tip: The Disagreement Over Whether the Appeals Council Must Articulate Its Consideration of Newly Submitted Medical Evidence in Social Security Cases

By Ariel Shuster

This article discusses recent Social Security cases finding that, when a treating source opinion is submitted to the Appeals Council after issuance of a decision by an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), the Appeals Council must apply the treating source rule as set forth in the governing regulations and applicable case law, and explain whether the opinion is being given controlling weight or, if not, articulate the weight afforded to the opinion and the reasons for the weight assigned. According to these cases, a generic statement merely indicating that a claimant’s request for review has been denied does not satisfy the Appeals Council’s obligations in this regard. Starting in 2021, with an opinion by Magistrate Judge David E. Peebles, there began to emerge a competing line of cases in the Northern District of New York; these cases hold that when the Appeals Council denies a request for review, it need not articulate the consideration given to a newly submitted medical opinion.

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Clerk's Corner: Let's Chat

By John Domurad

To better serve the public, the Northern District Clerk’s Office has adopted a mantra of “Meeting our customers where they are, rather than where we would like them to be.” What does this mean? It means being open to using new technologies that create additional avenues through which our customers and stakeholders can reach us with questions or requests. I have to be candid, when my Chief Deputy, Dan McAllister, approached me with an idea of installing a “chat” feature on our external website, I was somewhat skeptical. “Do we really need that” was my first reaction. However, Dan challenged me to ask any parent of a millennial how the younger generation would prefer to communicate, and they will reaffirm that the younger generation would much rather text and email than pick up the phone and “waste time” talking.

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NDNY First Amendment Case to Be Heard by the Supreme Court

By Colin Sommers

A case that started in the Northern District of New York is now at the Supreme Court. On November 3, 2023, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in National Rifle Association v. Vullo, a case involving qualified immunity and First Amendment issues.

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Court Announces Selection of FCBA Past President Mitchell J. Katz as New Magistrate Judge

The Board of Judges of the Northern District of New York has selected Mitchell Jay Katz to serve as a Magistrate Judge in Syracuse. Mr. Katz will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Chief Magistrate Judge Andrew Baxter in January 2024.

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Trial Reenactments Return to the NDNY

More than 100 people attended an historical trial reenactment at the Albany federal courthouse on the evening of October 25, 2023 – the first reenactment since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic three and a half years prior.

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Judicial Panel Educates Albany Law School Students

By Diana Waligora

The FCBA collaborated with Albany Law School to host a discussion about judicial decision-making on the evening of November 1, 2023. The event consisted of a one-hour panel discussion followed by a networking cocktail reception.

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Featured Photograph: Cast of the 1875 Trial Reenactment

The cast of the historical reenactment of Chy Lung v. Freeman, held October 25, 2023 at the James T. Foley federal courthouse in Albany.

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