Legal Analysis on Federal Charges for Individual Posted Violent Threats Against Buffalo Stores on Social Media

August 5, 2022  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS, Uncategorized  |  Share

Just two days following the tragic mass shooting at a Tops Market in Buffalo; violent, racially charged, threats were made to several businesses in the Western New York area. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of New York announced that a Buffalo-area man has been arrested and charged in connection with the threats made on social media. WGRZ 2 On Your Side aired a report, which provided details on the criminal charges the suspect faces for these social media threats. As part of their report, WGRZ’s Ron Plants spoke with attorney Barry N. Covert to provide legal analysis. The suspect in this matter is facing federal charges for making an interstate threat. Regarding the current charges, Barry Covert commented "Because he posted tweets, and those tweets when you post them apparently travel all the way to California, where Twitter is, and then back to New York, because of that traveling of...

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The Impact of Alex Jones’ Persona on Defamation Trial

August 5, 2022  |  Uncategorized  |  Share

The ongoing defamation trial, involving Alex Jones and the parents of a victim of the Sandy Hook school shooting massacre, has garnered significant media attention. The boisterous persona of Alex Jones has contributed to the "spectacle" that this trial is being portrayed as. Jim Vertuno and Michael Tarm of the Associated Press recently published an article that focuses specifically on how the "loud and aggressive" nature of Alex Jones is impacting the defamation trial. The reporters for the Associated Press spoke with attorney Barry N. Covert for their article on Alex Jones' behavior and how it may be complicating court proceedings. “It’s the most bizarre behavior I have ever seen at a trial,” said Barry Covert, regarding Mr. Jones actions in court. He continued “In my opinion, Jones is a money making juggernaut — crazy like a fox.” Mr. Covert concluded “The bigger the spectacle, the better.” The judge in this...

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Analysis of $4 Million Damages Alex Jones Ordered to Pay Sandy Hook Parents

August 5, 2022  |  First Amendment, IN THE NEWS  |  Share

On Thursday, August 4th, the jury in Alex Jones' defamation lawsuit ordered that he pay $4 million in compensatory damages to the parents of a child who was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting massacre. The Associated Press’ Jim Vertuno, reported on the $4 million ruling along with: details on potential punitive damages; a summary of events in the trial thus far; and future defamation litigation Alex Jones faces. Jim Vertuno spoke with attorney Barry N. Covert to provide legal analysis for this latest story on the Alex Jones defamation trial. The plaintiffs in this case sought $150 million in compensatory damages. Barry Covert stated that the $4 million award was lower than he would have expected given the evidence and testimony in the case. Mr. Covert stated "But I don’t think Jones can take this as a victory." He continued "The fact is, $4 million is significant even if we...

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Analysis of First Amendment in Defamation Lawsuit Against Alex Jones

August 3, 2022  |  First Amendment, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Analysis of First Amendment in Defamation Lawsuit Against Alex Jones

A trial is underway in the defamation lawsuit brought against conspiracy theorist and media personality, Alex Jones. The trial, which is taking place in Austin, TX, has drawn national attention and extensive media coverage. As the trial continues, the Associated Press recently published a story that examines how the First Amendment and free speech factor into Alex Jones’ case. Attorney Barry N. Covert spoke with the Associated Press’ Legal Affairs Writer, Michael Tarm, to provide legal analysis for this story. The defamation lawsuit was brought against Alex Jones by parents of one of the student victims in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Alex Jones made comments that the shooting was a hoax, which prompted the defamation lawsuit. In its “EXPLAINER” article, the Associated Press examines how this defamation case relates to the First Amendment, by addressing several questions, including: Are all defamation lawsuits First Amendment cases?; Have attorneys for the plaintiffs and defendant...

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Legal Analysis on the Arrest and Resignation of New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin

Legal Analysis on the Arrest and Resignation of New York Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin

New York State Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin resigned from his office after being arrested on fraud and bribery charges. WGRZ 2 On Your Side’s coverage on the story included an interview with attorney Barry N. Covert. Mr. Covert provided legal analysis that included: a review of the specific charges Brian Benjamin faces, the potential penalties if Benjamin is found guilty of the charges, and whether circumstances involved in the terms of Brian Benjamin’s bail in this case forced him to resign as New York State’s Lieutenant Governor. WGRZ reports that federal prosecutors accused Brian Benjamin of being part of a campaign finance scheme. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York outlined the case against Brian Benjamin, which stated that Benjamin accepted campaign contributions from a real estate developer in exchange for a state grant that was given to that business. In their report, WGRZ quoted Barry Covert as...

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Legal Analysis of Recent Court Rulings on New York State Mask Mandate

January 28, 2022  |  APPEALS, Coronavirus COVID-19, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of Recent Court Rulings on New York State Mask Mandate

This week, there have been multiple court rulings regarding New York State’s mask mandate. The first ruling was issued by a State Supreme Court judge on Monday, January 24th; the second ruling was issued by a State Appellate Court judge on Tuesday, January 25th; and oral arguments are scheduled to be made before the full Second Department of the New York State of Appeals on Friday, January 28th. Various media outlets asked attorney Barry N. Covert provide legal analysis on the series of court rulings regarding New York State’s mask mandate. Mr. Covert’s analysis addressed several topics, including: The current status and potential future of New York State’s mask mandate; Impact recent court rulings have on Erie County’s mask mandate; and School districts’ ability to institute their own mask mandates, independent of state and local government? Mask Mandate Executive Order Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, then Governor Andrew Cuomo was granted emergency powers by the New...

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Legal Analysis of Gov. Hochul’s Enforcement of New York State’s HERO Act

September 10, 2021  |  IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of Gov. Hochul’s Enforcement of New York State’s HERO Act

New York State Governor Kathy Hochul recently signed a directive that requires businesses in New York State to implement specific workplace safety plans. This directive enforces regulations set forth in the New York Health and Essential Rights Act, also known as the HERO Act. The HERO Act was put in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. WGRZ 2 On Your Side anchor Scott Levin recently interviewed attorney Barry N. Covert to provide legal analysis regarding enforcement of New York State’s HERO Act. During the interview, Mr. Covert discussed the potential implications the HERO Act will have on New York State businesses, the liability the HERO Act may create for employers, and the possibility of a legal challenge to the HERO Act. Continuing reading for portions of Barry Covert’s comments and click the video below to watch the full interview with WGRZ’s Scott Levin. What are the implications of Gov. Hochul’s announcement on...

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Legal Analysis of Federal Court Ruling in Buffalo Mayoral Election Ballot Case

September 10, 2021  |  IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of Federal Court Ruling in Buffalo Mayoral Election Ballot Case

A federal court judge recently ruled that Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown will appear on the ballot for the upcoming mayoral election on the Buffalo Party Line. Attorney Barry N. Covert visited WIVB News 4’s studio for an interview with anchor Melanie Orlins. In the interview, Mr. Covert to provided legal analysis on the latest development in the Buffalo mayoral race. Continuing reading for portions of Barry Covert’s comments and click the video below to watch the full interview with WIVB’s Melanie Orlins. What was your first reaction to Judge Sinatra’s decision and do you think that there was a conflict of interest with his brother, of course, being a Buffalo developer and a longtime supporter of Mayor Brown? BNC: I’m taking that question first. The judges, especially federal court judges, take the ethical issues very seriously when it comes to whether they have a conflict and can stay on the case and can’t....

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Legal Analysis of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Resignation Announcement

August 11, 2021  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share
Legal Analysis of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Resignation Announcement

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his resignation in response to an investigation into a series of sexual harassment accusations made against him. WIVB News 4 anchors Jacquie Walker and Don Postles interviewed attorney Barry N. Covert to provide legal analysis of the governor’s resignation announcement. In the WIVB interview, Barry Covert discusses: the timing of Governor Cuomo’s resignation; the impact the resignation may have on Governor Cuomo’s accusers; the criminal cases Governor Cuomo is still facing; the financial implications the charges and investigations have on taxpayers; and the potential for future investigations. Continuing reading for portions of Barry Covert’s comments and click the video below to watch the full interview from WIVB. What was your reaction when you heard the announcement of the governor’s resignation today? BNC: This was certainly a lot faster than I thought he would resign. It really peaks my interest as to why he picked today and now to resign as opposed to waiting...

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Legal Analysis of CBS Interview with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Accuser and the Resignation of Melissa DeRosa

August 9, 2021  |  CRIMINAL, IN THE NEWS  |  Share

The New York State Assembly’s Judiciary Committee met behind closed doors today to discuss the recent sexual harassment report from Attorney General Letitia James and review the next steps in the process of a potential impeachment of Governor Andrew Cuomo. Following the Judiciary Committee’s meeting, New York Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Levine held a press conference to discuss the impeachment probe as well as the timeline to potentially move forward with impeachment. WIVB News 4’s coverage of the sexual harassment investigation into New York Governor Andrew Cuomo continued with anchor Jacquie Walker interviewing attorney Barry Covert. In their interview, Mr. Covert weighs in on the timeline for the state legislature’s investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the impact of the CBS interview with “Executive Assistant #1”, and the potential impact of Melissa DeRosa’s resignation from the governor’s office. Continuing reading for portions of Barry Covert’s comments and click the...

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