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One of the oldest concepts in the Law is “standing.” Black’s Legal Dictionary defines Standing as “A party’s right to make a legal claim or seek judicial enforcement of a duty or right.” In plain English, it means do you own the right of the claim. This is the first issue to come up in any court case, as the Court must decide if the party suing “owns the claim.” more
The fierce debate between Rep. Michelle Bachmann and Texas Gov. Rick Perry over using executive power to require young girls to be vaccinated against Human Papillomavirus (HPV) raises a very interesting question for all Americans to ponder. If state and federal governments use their power—not to mention the law—to intervene in public health related issues, is that a “violation of liberty interest” as Bachmann called it or do we view it as a necessary measure that would be considered public good? more
Last week a witness refused to answer any questions that I was asking by pleading the “Fifth Amendment.” Although the case was a civil matter, this witness was fully protected by the Bill of Rights, from responding for fear that his answers might later be used against him in a criminal case. more
Editor’s note: With a double parsha this week and the calendar edging closer towards Rosh Hashana, we present a second Torah column. Rabbi Etengoff is dedicating the following dvar Torah in memory of his sister-in-law, Ruchama Rivka Sondra, and the refuah shlaimah of Yosef Shmuel ben Miriam. more
Few industries are as low-risk and high-reward as the tzedaka industry. After all, there is little overhead, no merchandise to stock, a steady supply of customers, and customers pay cash without expecting anything in return. more
It was a morning like any other, a clear sky above the Upper West Side, where my art studio class at LaGuardia High School was starting its fall semester. Across Amsterdam Avenue, the gates of Engine 40 Ladder 35 quickly went up and fire trucks raced downtown carrying 11 men to an unprecedented emergency. more
As we approach Rosh Hashana the operative word is “judgment.” From the unique foods we eat, to the customs we maintain, our prayers, our thoughts all embody the idea that a court case of sorts is playing out in cosmic proportions. more
“To be or not to be” is not always the question. Sometimes the question is how to be? Should we be happy, or should we be sad? Should we be at war, or should we be at peace? Should we feel hate, or should we love? more
We gawked and stalked. We punned and had fun. In shock, we asked “how?” and then acted holier than thou. Some didn’t care, others pointed with indignation, while colleagues joined with foes demanding resignation. more
A few years ago there was a kerfuffle in the Orthodox Jewish world over a book called “Making of a Godol: A Study of Episodes in the Lives of Great Torah Personalities.” The book was a scholarly … more
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