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Judge in Garson Matter Clarifies Ban on Releasing Tapes Justice Steven W. Fisher wrote to all sides in the bribery conspiracy case against Brooklyn Justice Gerald P. Garson and four co-defendants Friday making it clear that the 1,076 secretly recorded video and audio tapes collected by investigators may not be disseminated to the press. In a faxed letter, Justice Fisher said he was concerned by the assertion of Gerald J. McMahon, the attorney for co-defendant Nissim Elmann who admitted giving a crucial videotape to Fox 5 news, that he was unaware of “any prohibition” on the release of the tapes. Justice Fisher noted that the eavesdropping material had been sealed by order of First Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau on March 11, 2003. To avoid any future “ambiguity” over the question, Justice Fisher forbade all lawyers in the case from disclosing any eavesdropping material to the press or public. He also asked Mr. McMahon to disclose whether he released any “other eavesdropping material or other secret recordings.” In a letter faxed Friday to Justice Fisher, Mr. McMahon responded that he was not aware of another release. � Daniel Wise State Judicial Conduct Commission Gets New Leadership Criminal defense lawyer Lawrence S. Goldman and part-time Town Justice Francis A. Ciardullo on Wednesday will become the chairman and vice chairwoman of the Commission of Judicial Conduct. The two were selected earlier this month by a vote of the 12-member commission, which is responsible for enforcing the Code of Judicial Conduct. Mr. Goldman succeeds Henry T. Berger, who resigned after 16 years on the commission, 13 of which he served as chairman. Justice Ciardullo, who is also a health law specialist at Fager & Amsler in addition to her part-time duties as justice in Schroeppel, Oswego County, fills a vacancy that was created in September 2002 by the death of former Supreme Court Justice Frederick M. Marshall. � Daniel Wise Study Shows Drop in Entry-Level Law Firm Hiring Entry-level hiring at law firms declined further in 2003, according to a recent report published by the National Association of Law Placement. Entry-level hiring fell 8 percent between 2002 and 2003, according to the report, following a 6.8 drop between 2001 and 2002. Hiring trends were negative in 35 of the 38 cities surveyed by NALP, with only Dallas and Houston firms showing an increase in entry-level hiring. Hiring in San Francisco remained unchanged from 2002. Lateral hiring also fell in 2003, with firms with more than 500 lawyers hiring 32 percent fewer lateral attorneys than a year earlier. Another NALP report suggests improvement may be on the horizon, noting that law schools have reported an increase in the number of firms recruiting on campus last fall. � Anthony Lin Toxic Tort Exception Clarified in Boiler Case The toxic tort discovery rule does not apply to a carbon monoxide contamination, the Appellate Division, Second Department, ruled last week. The court dismissed many of Manhattanville College’s malpractice and other claims stemming from a January 1999 carbon monoxide leak in one of its dormitories that caused the hospitalization of two students. The leak at the Purchase, N.Y., dorm was attributed to an explosion in one of several boilers that had been installed eight years earlier. The college sued the manufacturer, distributors, engineers and construction managers for breach of contract, product liability and professional malpractice. But the four-judge panel ruled many of the claims were barred by various statutes of limitations. The toxic tort rule, Civil Practice Law and Rules �214-c, which would give the college three years to file suit after discovering a toxic substance, did not apply because Manhattanville did not allege that the carbon dioxide had caused any delayed or latent physical damage to its property, the court said. “Whenever the source of carbon monoxide is temporarily or permanently abated, the gas dissipates and the building once again becomes safe for its occupants,” the panel said. Manhattanville College v. James John Romeo Consulting Engineer, 2003-00172, appears on page 32. � Cerisse Anderson Bernard Botein Awards Set for Tonight Four employees of the Unified Court System will be honored this evening with Bernard Botein Awards for outstanding contributions to the court: Jeffery E. Carucci, deputy chief clerk, Manhattan Supreme Court, Civil Branch; Michael Colodner, counsel, Office of Court Administration; Alan J. Murphy; chief clerk, Manhattan Supreme Court, Criminal Branch; Ronald Uzenski, court clerk specialist, Appellate Division, First Department. The ceremony begins at 5 p.m. at the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 42 W. 44th Street.

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