New Laws for Lawyers in 2023

Law new is about more than just legal technology, but how lawyers embrace change and innovate in their practice. It’s about finding ways to use technology to create more efficient processes and to focus on what matters most for clients. It’s about being open to ideas that might not be part of the norm but will benefit clients, and it’s about working in a field that continues to grow and expand at an incredible rate.

State laws can have effective dates throughout the year, but January is a common time for new enforcement to begin. The fresh batch of laws in effect in 2023 covers topics from quirky to serious, with many addressing issues dominating the national discourse.

For example, Missouri now makes it a misdemeanor to sleep or camp on state-owned land unless the owner has notified the individual in advance of its intention to clear the area. The same law also allows localities to establish homelessness outreach teams that can be called upon to help people living on the street.

A new law in Massachusetts allows employers to provide their workers with up to 40 paid days off a year if the company is experiencing a “significant disruption.” The law also prohibits an employer from firing or refusing to hire an employee because of that person’s absence from work due to a family medical emergency, parental leave, military duty, domestic violence or another similar reason.

In other state news, a law in New York that takes effect Jan. 1 will make it easier for a voter to have their ballot counted, even if it’s cast in the wrong county or assembly district. A similar law in North Carolina will require governors to get more formal support from executive branch officials before enacting and extending a state of emergency.

Locally, the minimum wage in New York City and Westchester is now $16 per hour and $15 per hour in the rest of the state. The new law named after Matthew Horan, a young man who died of an accidental fentanyl overdose, will increase the availability of life-saving overdose antidotes by allowing health care providers and pharmacies to give them out.

The City is also updating its data breach notification laws to align them with those of the state. This bill, which has already passed both the Council and the Assembly, would require City agencies that experience a security breach that exposes private identifying information to promptly disclose it to the City’s Chief Privacy Officer, the Office of Cyber Command and affected persons, as well as to the public.

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