From the President: Samuel W. Seymour
This Week at the City Bar
Around the Bar
Recent Committee Activity
Save the Date: Justice Center Gala
City Bar in the News

President's Letter
Pipeline to a More Diverse Legal Profession

Nothing is more inspiring than seeing the New York City Bar Association’s Meeting Hall filled with a group of students eager to pursue a legal career, especially in light of recent negative news and commentary surrounding law school transparency and the legal profession. That the students represent the beautiful diversity of our society makes it all the sweeter.

The City Bar’s Diversity Pipeline Initiative was created to encourage and support inner-city students as they pursue a legal career, and works to increase the number of students who graduate from law school. The office provides professional experience, development, and educational programs for students through high school and college and as they enter law school, by offering access to information and assistance in developing the necessary skills to succeed academically and professionally.

Read more.

This Week at the City Bar
9 AM – 11 AM, Event
Intensive Resume Workshop 2012

9 AM – 12:30 PM, CLE
10th Annual Hot Topics in Advertising & Marketing Law (Video Replay)

6 PM – 7:30 PM, Event
Hot Tax Issues for Individuals and Small Businesses: What to Expect in 2012

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
Social Media For Law Students

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
Communicate for Impact: Using “People Styles” to Hone Your Communication Skills

6 PM – 8 PM, CLE
When Do I Need Ethical Advice & How Do I Get It?

6 PM – 8 PM, Event
Series on Starting Early: Building Your Personal Brand to Enhance Your Legal Career

6 PM – 9 PM, CLE
Litigation 101: Practices & Latest Procedures Explained & Demystified

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
Demystifying Judicial Screening Panels: How you can Actively Participate in the Judicial Selection Process

9 AM – 12 PM, CLE
A “How To Guide” to Basic Derivatives & Structured Products

Around the Bar
The Eurozone

On January 9th, a panel discussed economic issues in the Eurozone, including their implications for US/NY lawyers doing business in Europe. From left: Larry D. Johnson, Chair, Committee on European Affairs; Ioannis Vrailas, Deputy Head, Delegation of the European Union to the United Nations; Brian Rance, U.S. Finance Practice Head, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer U.S. LLP; Chrystia Freeland, Editor, Thomson Reuters Digital (Moderator); Lutz Karpowitz, Director of FX Strategy, Commerzbank AG; Julie Chon, Senior Fellow, Global Business and Economics Program, Atlantic Council

Recent Committee Activity
Increasing the Number of Family Court Judges
In testimony before the New York State Bar Association Task Force on the Family Court, the Council on Children argued that increasing the number of Family Court Judges would improve the practices and efficiency of the Family Court process. Overburdened judicial caseloads are leading to long adjournments, protracted trials, and unconscionably long foster care lengths of stay for both children who return home to their families and who are eventually adopted. New York City, the testimony points out, has not had an additional Family Court Judge since 1991 and desperately needs the necessary resources, which include a sufficient number of judges to administer justice in a timely manner.

Animal Fighting Manual
The Committee on Legal Issues Pertaining to Animals updated and reissued its manual Prosecuting Animal Fighting and Live Animal Cruelty Depictions: Legal Issues Under New York and Federal Law. The manual addresses both the New York State and federal laws, substantive and procedural, involved in prosecuting those who profit from and participate in animal fighting ventures. The industry of animal fighting is one of the areas in which the states and the Federal government have concurrent jurisdiction. The manual is designed primarily for use by and to assist persons and agencies with responsibilities regarding animal fighting and animal cruelty in New York.

Nigeria's Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill
In a joint letter to the President of Nigeria, the Committees on African Affairs, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights and Sex and Law expressed opposition to Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill, which generally criminalizes homosexual conduct and advocacy. The Bill, the letter argues, threatens the fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals who are LGBT and Nigerian organizations that support LGBT rights, and violates Nigeria’s obligations under international and regional law.

Save the Date
City Bar Justice Center Annual Gala

Join us Wednesday, April 4, 2012 for the City Bar Justice Center Gala, as we honor BNY Mellon and Debevoise & Plimpton LLP for their leadership and dedication to pro bono and public service.

For more information and to reserve tickets, please contact our Gala Office at 212-249-6188 or

City Bar in the News
New York Law Journal, January 10, 2012

City Bar Urges Adoption of Judiciary Budget
The New York City Bar Association is urging the Legislature to approve “in its entirety” the Judiciary’s proposed $2.3 billion budget for 2012-13. The spending plan “is fiscally prudent, ameliorates the harshest consequences of last year’s budget cuts, and helps address vital unmet legal needs of the state’s most vulnerable individuals,” the city bar said in a brief report released last week. Last year, 1,300 workers – 8 percent of the nonjudicial workforce – left the courts due to early retirements and layoffs forced by a $170 million budget cut. According to the city bar, early closings and other measures instituted to cope with the cuts have “resulted in severe hardships for litigants and lawyers, and extensive delays in proceedings.” The city bar said that the judiciary’s budget proposal “would permit the courts to ameliorate some of the measures that have had the most immediate and direct impact on court users.”

Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2012

Credit Suisse Parts with Litigation Finance Group
A new player with a familiar face has entered the burgeoning field of litigation finance, where businesses invest in high-stakes legal disputes, sharing the risks – and potential rewards.…The idea is to provide financing for lawsuits and other legal spending that in-house law departments would otherwise have to take on themselves. That money allows companies to embark on costly lawsuits, hire more expensive outside counsel, or in some cases mount a full-throttle defense instead of settling to avoid big legal bills. In exchange, the funds get a cut of the winnings or a return based on estimated risk…The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Legal Reform has criticized litigation funding, saying it could lead to conflicts of interest or abusive lawsuits. But the New York City Bar Association says such conflicts are by no means insurmountable; see this July opinion from the group’s ethics committee on third-party litigation financing.

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