IN THE NEWS: Javerbaum Wurgaft’s Defense Lawyer Quoted in Associated Press Article

By JW Law

New Jersey’s veteran defense attorney, Rubin Sinins, was recently quoted in an Associated Press article on the verbal jousting between the U.S. District Judge William H. Walls and attorneys from both sides of the aisle in a high profile political corruption case involving Senator Bob Menendez.

Menendez, New Jersey’s Democratic senior senator, is accused of carrying out an extensive bribery scheme with a Florida-based ophthalmologist, Dr. Salomon Melgen, for several years. Just two days into the trial, Judge Walls stopped the proceedings twice to admonish attorneys about the relevance of their lines of questioning.

Walls referred to the prosecutor’s questioning of a witness as “ridiculous,” ‘’junk” and “sheer nonsense.” He also told the defense attorney to “shut up” as the two engaged in a heated argument on Wall’s opinion, where he dismissed the defense’s request to temporarily hold the trial so that Menendez could participate in “critical” votes in the Senate.

Sinins said it’s the judge’s prerogative to maintain total control over the courtroom.

“A trial judge has total control over the courtroom, and any attorney who forgets that does so at his peril,” he said.


Sinins added that the residual effect of such exchanges could affect the client’s case, even though they were made outside the presence of the jury.

“A trial is about, in large part, the attorney’s credibility in trying to convince the jury that what they’re saying is the correct version of events. If a jury senses that a judge does not respect an attorney that is devastating to the client’s case.”

To read the full article, please click: Jousting between judge, attorneys enliven Menendez trial



Why Twitter Lawsuit Against the U.S. Should Matter to You

JW Law

Less than 24 hours after news broke that Twitter was suing the government agencies to protect the privacy of the person or persons behind the now popular anti-Trump Twitter account @ALT_uscis, the government backed off.

Twitter dropped its lawsuit against the government after informing a federal court that the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection had withdrawn its request for information about an anonymous account that has critiqued President Donald Trump’s immigration policies and enforcement actions.

Last Thursday, Twitter filed a lawsuit to block the order by the law enforcement agencies to reveal the information about the parody account, whose name stands for alternative U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, including user names, account login, phone numbers, mailing addresses and I.P. addresses. In an earlier federal court filing, Twitter disclosed that last month it had received a summons to reveal the information.

So why does it matter?

Digital privacy has become a thorny issue that has brought government at loggerheads with technology giants. In the past, Apple refused to create a “backdoor” operating system that would allow the FBI to hack the phone of an accused in the 2015’s infamous San Bernardino shooting.

Twitter and other social media giants have constantly been defending its user’s First Amendment Rights. However at the same time, Twitter, in its most recent self-reported transparency report, said it provided user account information in 29% of “valid legal requests” from various government entities during the second half of 2016, down from previous reporting periods.

The company guidelines for law enforcement officials, define valid legal requests as “appropriate legal process such as a subpoena, court order or other valid legal process – or in response to a valid emergency request.”

They also added, “Requests for the contents of communications (e.g., Tweets, Direct Messages, photos) require a valid search warrant from an agency with proper jurisdiction over Twitter.”

Javerbaum Wurgaft attorney Rubin Sinins, who has successfully defended companies and individuals in criminal matters relating to social media, argued that new technologies pose complex problems when it comes to privacy. “We are vigilant in keeping up with the latest legal development and often seek to shape them,” he said.

Sinins served as amicus counsel before the New Jersey Supreme Court in establishing constitutional protection for cell phone users’ locations in a landmark case of State v. Thomas Earls (2013).

It is important now more than ever to protect your privacy.