Proposed Child Abuse Reporting Expansion (CARE) Act Would Require Clergy to Report Child Abuse in New York State

March 15, 2019  |  IN THE NEWS, SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS  |  Share
Proposed Child Abuse Reporting Expansion (CARE) Act Would Require Clergy to Report Child Abuse in New York State

New York State Assemblywoman Monica Wallace was joined by attorney Barry N. Covert and law professor Christine Bartholomew to introduce the Child Abuse Reporting Expansion (CARE) Act. The proposed law would require all members of the clergy, including Catholic Priests, to report child abuse in New York State. Under New York State law, an extensive list of professionals are on a “mandatory reporters” list, which requires individuals in those professions to report any suspected cases of child abuse to the proper authorities. Clergy are not included on this list of mandatory reporters. In addition, New York State’s current law includes a “clergy privilege”, which exempts clergy from reporting anything they hear in the course of a confession. The CARE Act would add clergy to the mandatory reporters list and allow the “clergy privilege” exemption to stay in place for all cases except in any matters involving child abuse. As a follow-up to the...

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WBEN New Radio Interview Barry Covert on The Child Victims Act

February 14, 2019  |  IN THE NEWS, SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS  |  Share

Attorney Barry Covert was interviewed by WBEN News Radio 930 to discuss details of New York State’s Child Victims Act. Barry Covert represents survivors of childhood sexual abuse and has worked with state lawmakers on legislation related to sexual abuse. Click the player below to hear details on the Child Victims Act including: How the Child Victims Act changes the statute of limitations for survivors of childhood sexual abuse to pursue justice against their abuser and institutions whose negligence allowed the abuse to occur Dates and deadlines for the Child Victim Act’s “Look-Back Window” provision, which is a 12 month period with essentially no statute of limitations The vast list of institutions where childhood sexual abuse has occurred The importance of validation and empowerment, which the Child Victims Act will provide to many sexual abuse victims for the first time in New York State For more information on the Child Victims Act and...

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Child Victims Act Extends Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sex Abuse Survivors

January 28, 2019  |  IN THE NEWS, SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS  |  Share
Child Victims Act Extends Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sex Abuse Survivors

The Child Victims Act, which is a bill that will extend the statute of limitations to allow victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice against their abuser, is expected to pass both houses of New York State’s legislature on Monday. Final details on all the provisions within the Child Victims Act will be available sometime after the state legislature’s vote. However, after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement had been reached on the bill, Maryalice Demler of WGRZ Channel 2 interviewed attorney Barry Covert to discuss specific components that will be included in the Child Victims Act. Click the video below to watch the the full interview.  Some of components discussed include: Statute of Limitations for Childhood Sex Abuse Victims Under the current statute of limitations in New York State, individuals who were the victim of a sex crime as a child only have until the age of 23 to pursue criminal charges...

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Gov. Cuomo’s Proposed Child Victims Act Could Help Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Seek Justice

January 16, 2019  |  IN THE NEWS, SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS  |  Share
Gov. Cuomo’s Proposed Child Victims Act Could Help Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse Seek Justice

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo delivered his 2019 ‘State of the State’ address on Tuesday, January 15th. One of the items Gov. Cuomo discussed in his address was a proposed law known as the Child Victims Act, which was created to afford more time to victims of childhood sexual abuse to seek justice. WIVB News 4 recently aired a report detailing the potential impact of the Child Victims Act. Attorney Barry Covert, who represents several survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic Priests, was interviewed by WIVB for their report. The Child Victims Act is legislation that has been subject to debate among New York State lawmakers for several years. Under current New York State law, an individual who was the victim of a sex crime as a minor is only able to pursue criminal charges and civil claims against their abuser until they are 23 years of age. The Child Victims Act...

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Can an Attorney Record a Client or Fellow Counsel Without Consent?

Can an Attorney Record a Client or Fellow Counsel Without Consent?

Michael Cohen, who previously served as the personal lawyer of President Donald Trump, made headlines earlier this year when it was disclosed that he regularly recorded conversations with clients, opposing counsel, and others without their knowledge. This story generated headlines for an extended period of time and it also raises a larger question: can or should an attorney record conversations with their clients or other lawyers without their prior consent? I wrote a guest column for the November 19th edition of the Buffalo Law Journal that addresses this issue. Click the following link to read my guest column on the Buffalo Law Journal’s website that provides some details on how to address the question of “can you record a client or fellow counsel without consent” including: legal standards versus attorney ethical standards; federal statutes on recording conversations without consent; The American Bar Association’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct and formal opinion on...

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Will the Buffalo Diocese Whistleblower Face Legal Action?

November 2, 2018  |  IN THE NEWS, SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS  |  Share
Will the Buffalo Diocese Whistleblower Face Legal Action?

I provided legal analysis for WIVB News 4's recent story on Siobhan O'Connor, the former Diocese of Buffalo employee who leaked documents regarding the diocese's handling of priests accused of sexual abuse. Ms. O'Connor was featured in a report on 60 Minutes, which detailed the documents and information she released. WIVB's follow-up story on the 60 Minutes report focused on the question of whether or not whistleblowers may face legal ramifications and if Ms. O'Connor specifically could face legal action. Click the image above for more information and click here for my full analysis, which includes why I do not think Siobhan O'Connor will face any significant legal fallout for leaking Diocese of Buffalo documents as well as instances when a whistleblower may be subject to legal action.  

Diocese of Buffalo’s Reaction to Whistleblower on 60 Minutes

November 1, 2018  |  IN THE NEWS, SEXUAL ABUSE SURVIVORS  |  Share
Diocese of Buffalo's Reaction to Whistleblower on 60 Minutes

I was interviewed by WGRZ Channel 2 anchor Scott Levin regarding a press release that the Diocese of Buffalo’s Communications Office issued. The press release contained e-mails sent by Siobhan O’Connor, a former employee of the diocese. The press release was issued shortly after Siobhan O’Connor was featured during an episode of 60 Minutes that reported on the Diocese of Buffalo’s handling of priests who have been accused of sexual abuse.  In the 60 Minutes report, Ms. O’Connor acknowledged that she was the whistleblower who leaked records from the Diocese of Buffalo’s secret archive.  60 Minutes reported that the documents and information that Ms. O’Connor leaked to a local reporter revealed that Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone had allowed priests who were accused of sexual abuse to remain in their role as priests. WRGZ’s Scott Levin asked for my reaction to the press release the Diocese of Buffalo issued following the 60 Minutes...

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Denver Broncos Quarterback Chad Kelly Arrested

October 24, 2018  |  IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Denver Broncos Quarterback Chad Kelly Arrested

WGRZ Channel 2 reported on the recent arrest of Denver Broncos backup quarterback, Chad Kelly. I was interviewed by anchor Scott Levin and provided legal analysis for WGRZ on this story. Police in Englewood, CO were called at approximately 1:00 AM regarding a man standing outside a residence. The man, who Englewood Police confirmed was Chad Kelly, then entered the residence without authorization and was forced to leave by the occupants of the home. Shortly thereafter, Kelly was arrested by police near the location of the incident. Click the image above for more information and click here for my full analysis, which includes specifics on: the severity of the charges filed against Chad Kelly; the probability that Chad Kelly will face jail time for this incident; how the charges might be defended; and what appears to be the probable outcome of this case.

Former Roswell Park Employee Diverted Drugs, Leading to Patient Infections

September 28, 2018  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Former Roswell Park Employee Diverted Drugs, Leading to Patient Infections

I provided legal analysis for WIVB News 4's recent story regarding a former Roswell Park employee who removed a narcotic from syringes and replaced it with water.  It is believed that those syringes were then used on patients, which resulted in several patients developing an infection. Click the image above for more information and click here for WIVB's full story, including my analysis on the recent trend of drug diversion cases, the criminal charges that can be brought against Roswell Park's former employee, as well as Roswell Park's potential liability in the matter.

Buffalo Police Benevolent Association Files Libel Lawsuit for Online Comments Made About Officers

September 21, 2018  |  CONSTITUTIONAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Buffalo Police Benevolent Association Files Libel Lawsuit for Online Comments Made About Officers

I provided legal analysis for WGRZ Channel 2's story on a libel lawsuit filed by the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association on behalf of two Buffalo police officers. The suit has been filed against an individual who made comments about the officers in the comments section of The Buffalo News' website. WGRZ anchor Scott Levin asks for my analysis on whether online comments are protected by the First Amendment or grounds for a defamation lawsuit. Click the image above for more information and click here for WGRZ's full story, which includes my legal analysis.