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Justice Anthony Marano, Nassau County administrative judge, has initiated a caseload reassignment among the 25 justices randomly assigned to cases filed at Supreme Court. The judge took the total number of cases not ready for trial � about 7,200 � and divided them among the justices so that each judge had roughly the same number of cases. Justice Marano, who explained the move was “not a radical departure,” said it would give him a “point of reference” to determine how quickly cases were moving. He said he plans to review those numbers periodically. “It seemed inequitable for some judges to have high caseloads and some to have small caseloads,” he said.
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A Nassau County Supreme Court justice has awarded $10,000 in punitive damages to an elderly couple who were victims of a scam to obtain title to their home. In Keen v. Goldstein, 6861-02, Justice John P. Dunne determined after a nine-day trial that Michael Goldstein acted in a “deliberate, gross and wanton” manner when he promised to lend Otis and Rosemary Keen $20,000 in quarterly payments of $5,000 plus $900 a month until they were both deceased, at which point he would be reimbursed from their estate. Mr. Goldstein, according to the decision, falsely told the Keens that he would purchase a life insurance policy on their behalf in case he predeceased. In addition, he had the couple sign over the deed to their house in the presence of a man impersonating a lawyer, the judge found. In order to fund the $900 payments, Mr. Goldstein applied for a loan, stating that he was an importer/exporter broker of human body parts. He admitted the occupation was against the law but that the practice was acceptable on the European black market, the decision says. Granting the plaintiff’s motion to rescind the deed transfer, Justice Dunne wrote that the parties “never had a sufficient meeting of the minds.” He further found the transaction unconscionable.
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The Suffolk County Women’s Bar Association will host a Gala Dinner March 25 at the Watermill Restaurant in Smithtown at 6 p.m. in celebration of its 20th anniversary. Justice A. Gail Prudenti, presiding justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, will deliver the keynote address. The event will celebrate the significant advancement of women in the legal profession and the promotion of fair and equal administration of justice. Call (631) 673-6905 for information.
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State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer will be the keynote speaker at Hofstra University’s Distinguished Lecture Series March 31 at 8 a.m. in the David S. Mack Hall. His topic will be “Wall Street: What’s Next.” Call (516) 463-6358 for reservations.
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Ruskin Moscou Faltischek has hired Matthew B. Stein, who will practice in the firm’s financial services, banking and bankruptcy department. Mr. Stein graduated from Fordham University School of Law.

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