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MEDICAL NEED FOR DOG NOT PROVED FOR GIRL NEW YORK — A Brooklyn judge has left the door open for tenants who claim that emotional disabilities require an exception to no-pets policies, while closing the door to one particular family. Justice David Schmidt ruled in an Article 78 proceeding that a girl’s terrier is not medically necessary under the law. Thus the managers of an apartment building may evict the “anxious and depressed” 9-year-old and her mother for having the pet, he ruled. “Clearly, it is rational to conclude from the record that the dog is a benefit” to the girl, and it is “reasonable to assume that removal of the dog from the apartment will create additional anxiety” for her, Justice Schmidt wrote in Contello Towers II v. New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, 46978/03. “However,” he added, “there is simply no testimony or other evidence in the record to demonstrate that the dog is required for [her] to use and enjoy the premises, thus necessitating a ‘reasonable accommodation’ by [the landlord] under New York City, state and federal law.” The conflict began shortly after Ilona Shur and her daughter Alison moved in January 2002. Alison soon became “very reluctant” and “wouldn’t talk much,” according to Shur’s testimony at trial. Alison hid her food, complained of stomach pains, performed poorly in school and failed to make new friends. Her therapist diagnosed her as having “adjustment disorder with depressed mood,” and suggested that a “transitional object” — such as a dog — might alleviate the anxiety associated with the move. Shur bought Alison a Kerry blue terrier. The mother said she noted immediate improvement in her daughter’s mood and outlook. In May 2002, the building’s owner, the Contello Towers II Corp., served Shur with an eviction notice for violating her lease’s prohibition against dogs. — New York Law Journal

New Partners

FARELLA BRAUN ELEVATES 6 ASSOCIATES TO PARTNER Farella Braun & Martel announced Monday that it has promoted six associates to partner, effective Jan. 1. Lara Gilman, who counsels family and corporate clients on estate and succession planning, received her J.D. from King Hall School of Law at UC-Davis in 1993. John Gregory, a civil engineer and environmental law specialist who works on regulatory compliance, site cleanup and planning and development issues, received his J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1998. Nan Joesten, also an engineer and a former advertising professional, is a litigator specializing in intellectual property, trade secrets and technology suits. She received her J.D. from Boalt Hall School of Law in 1997. Said Kordestani, who counsels clients on technical and strategic transactions and tax issues, received his J.D. from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1996. Kelly Woodruff, whose practice includes bankruptcy and securities litigation, in addition to contract disputes and appellate work, received her J.D. in 1992 from Hastings College of the Law. Karen Yuen is a former CPA who represents clients in mergers and acquisitions, partnership formation and real estate transactions. She received her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1995. Farella Braun has 120 partners and is headquartered in San Francisco with a wine industry practice based in St. Helena in Napa County. The firm promoted three associates to partner last year. — Justin Scheck

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