Terror Funders Take A Hit

Staff Writer
A federal appeals court ruling in the civil case of an American teen murdered in Israel is being viewed as a major step forward in the growing courtroom battle against terrorists and their sponsors. A tribunal of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago last week unanimously upheld the $200 million suit brought by Stanley and Joyce Boim against two U.S.-based Islamic organizations they allege funded the terrorists who killed their son, David, in 1996.

Time Up On Crown Heights Appeal

Staff Writer
After five extensions of a deadline, federal prosecutors no longer have the option of seeking to reinstate the conviction of Lemrick Nelson Jr. in the death of Yankel Rosenbaum during the Crown Heights riots a decade ago. The clock ran out Friday, with no request from the Justice Department to present further arguments before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. A three-judge panel had ruled that Nelson was convicted by a racially gerrymandered jury. The appeals court will now return the case to Federal District Court in Brooklyn for a retrial.

New Push For Workplace Protection

Staff Writer
Even as he announced the settlement of discrimination claims against two major corporations, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer last week called for enacting the most comprehensive law in the nation to strictly define the accommodation employers must make for workers' religious observance. "The statute that is in place is inadequate at its root," said Spitzer, who was joined by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at a press conference Thursday. "We need a better law or we will not be able to protect the rights of workers the way they need to be protected."

Coroner Backs Witnesses In Borough Park Shooting

Staff Writer
An expert medical examiner has corroborated witness accounts that Gideon Busch was not charging at police when they shot him to death in a controversial August 1999 incident in Borough Park, recent court documents reveal. Suffolk County Medical Examiner Charles Wetli, who is to testify for New York City in a civil suit this fall, told lawyers for both sides during a deposition that the hammer-wielding Busch was "standing straight when he was first shot and his upper right arm was close to his chest."

Lies Alleged As Busch Civil Trial Nears

Staff Writer
City lawyers are expected to argue in Brooklyn Federal Court next month that witnesses to the 1999 shooting of a disturbed man in Borough Park collaborated on their story. But lawyers representing the family of Gideon Busch in a civil suit believe it was the six police officers who gunned him down that conspired on their version of events. No charges were brought against the cops, although members of the Borough Park community insist Busch was not threatening the officers when they opened fire on Aug. 30, 1999, striking the hammer-wielding man 12 times.

Nelson's Lawyers: He Did It

Staff Writer
In a dramatic change of strategy, defense attorneys for Lemrick Nelson Jr. are not contesting the charge that he fatally stabbed Yankel Rosenbaum during the Crown Heights riots of 1991. During opening arguments today, attorney Richard Jasper told jurors at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn that Nelson's intention was not to violate Nelson's civil rights. He said that Nelson, then 16, had been drunk at the time of the attack and was caught up in the "excitement" of the crowd.

Nelson On Trial, Part III

Staff Writer
The third trial stemming from the Crown Heights murder of Yankel Rosenbaum began Tuesday at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn with new prosecutors, a new defense team and a new judge. But the facts in dispute were the same as they have been for nearly a dozen years. Lemrick Nelson Jr. is one for two in convincing a jury that he is not the man who fatally stabbed Rosenbaum while a crowd of rioters shouting "get the Jew" attacked him on Aug. 19, 1991.

Sisso Sues To Stay

Staff Writer
Israel's senior envoy here has embarked on a decidedly undiplomatic path in his efforts to keep his job. Shmuel Sisso, who was appointed Israel's consul general in New York three years ago, is suing his own government in a bid to remain in New York. The Morocco native, who was appointed by former Foreign Minister David Levy, learned last week through press reports that he was one of 11 envoys to be replaced by Prime Minister Ehud Barak as part of a post-Levy shakeup of the foreign diplomatic corps.

Heschel School Tied To Real Estate Suit

Staff Writer
A Manhattan real estate broker claims she is being denied more than a quarter-million dollars in commission from the $20 million sale of a building for the Abraham Joshua Heschel School, according to a suit she filed recently in Manhattan Supreme Court. Although the Upper West Side academy is not named in the $1.2 million suit, an apparent agreement to shield the seller, developer Harry Macklowe, from commission and court costs could end up costing the school millions, just as it is about to launch an extensive capital campaign to fund a new high school.

Bet Din Suit

Staff Writer
In a case that could have drastic implications for rabbinic courts, a judge ruled last week that a defamation lawsuit by a Brooklyn woman against a bet din will go to trial. "This opens the door to a whole new genre of cases in which people are suing rabbis for doing what rabbis have done for centuries," said attorney Nathan Lewin, who is defending the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United States and Canada, known as Agudas Harabonim, one of America's oldest rabbinic courts.
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