What Is Law New?

Law New is a weekly news column on legal topics. The columns aim to explain the law in plain language and provide background that helps people understand legal issues. The columns are written by staff members of the New York State Bar Association’s Access to Justice division.

81-07(a)(2): The committee on open government may adopt guidelines that require agencies to delete identifying details from records made available under this article in order to prevent unwarranted invasions of personal privacy, provided such deletion does not interfere with the public’s ability to exercise its right to inspect and copy such records. Such guidelines shall be in addition to any applicable privacy laws.

The Governor signed legislation today to protect New Yorkers from medicine price-gouging during a national drug shortage, curb predatory subscription services, and prohibit hospitals, health care professionals and certified ambulances from reporting medical debt to credit agencies. New Yorkers of all backgrounds are being hammered by these costs, with people of color twice as likely to have their medical debt reported to credit bureaus and low-income individuals three times more likely. This bill will help address this injustice and support our neighbors struggling to get jobs, secure credit, rent an apartment, buy a home and build long-term wealth.

A court reporter or stenographer is a person who writes down word for word what is said in a courtroom. The court reporter can be called upon to make a transcript of a hearing, trial or other event in which someone says something that might later be used as evidence in a lawsuit. The person is usually required to sign a statement that what he or she wrote is true. The person may also be required to take a test to prove his or her qualifications.

A lawyer who gives advice to a Judge or another party about what the law means in a particular case is called an amicus curiae (Latin for “friend of the court”). This person must file an appearance with the court and appear at the case. This is usually done only when the person’s knowledge of the law could help in a case or when he or she has a strong interest in its outcome.