With a Winter Storm Warning in effect and a forecast for up to 12 inches of snow by tomorrow, the City Bar, including the library, will close today at 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday morning's programs have been cancelled. Please check the home page and Event and CLE calendars for the latest updates on whether/what time the City Bar will open tomorrow and the status of events and CLEs.


New Year's Policy Goals at the New York City Bar

The new year is often a time for people to reflect upon personal and professional goals. It is no different at the New York City Bar Association, and I would like to take this opportunity to share with you our policy goals and resolutions for City Hall, Albany and Washington in 2014.

This year brings New York City a new Mayor – its first in 12 years. Recognizing that this is a pivotal time for our city, this past spring we held a forum for the candidates and issued a report, “Policy Recommendations for New York City’s Next Mayor,” so that we could weigh in, during the campaign season, on issues of importance to our committees. The report, representing a collaborative effort of 27 committees, was also designed to serve as our primary platform for goal-setting and advocacy over the first several months of the new mayoral administration. Read more.

8:30 AM – 10:15 AM, CLE/Event
CANCELLED: Honing Your Legal Editing Skills

9 AM – 11 AM, Event
CANCELLED: Cover Letter Writing Workshop

6 PM, Event
Mentoring Circles Meeting

6 PM – 9 PM, CLE
CANCELLED: The Scope of Attorney-Client Privilege

6:30 PM – 8 PM, Event
The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind -- and Changed the History of Free Speech in America – Books at the Bar

6:30 PM – 7:30 PM, Event
Tomorrow's Lawyers: An Introduction to Your Future by Richard Susskind – Women Lawyers' Book Club Series

9 AM – 11 AM, CLE
Ethical Issues Confronting Insurers, Policyholders & Counsel in Complex Financial & Securities Litigation


Last Thursday, the City Bar held its first “Bar @ the Bar” happy hour for members. The events are designed to provide a comfortable and convenient setting for conversation and networking in a small group setting. Future Bar @ the Bar events will take place on February 25, March 12, April 23 and May 29, from 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. All members are welcome. Fee is $20 and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis.

The City Bar provides a forum for the resolution of disputes among lawyers with regard to the business or professional aspects of their practice of law. The program was established by the Committees on Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution and is open to all members of the profession. The goal is to provide for the prompt, efficient and private resolution of these disputes. The Association maintains panels of mediators and arbitrators, and also helps in the neutral selection process and in providing conference facilities. A pamphlet explaining the program and containing the program's rules and model dispute resolution clauses can be found here. For more information, contact Alan Rothstein at or 212-382-6623.


Ethics Opinion - Relationships with Non-Legal Organizations
The Committee on Professional Ethics issued Formal Ethics Opinion 2014-1, which asks whether a New York lawyer is permitted to enter into a business relationship with a non-legal organization based in another state, where: (1) the New York lawyer would review forms prepared by the non-legal organization on behalf of its customers to determine whether they comply with certain applicable legal requirements; and (2) the non-legal organization would pay the lawyer a percentage of the fees paid by the customers to the non-legal organization, pursuant to a pre-determined fee schedule. The opinion concludes that a lawyer must consider a wide range of ethical issues before entering into a business relationship with a non-legal organization, and addresses a number of the questions this arrangement raises under the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. The opinion notes that a New York lawyer may also need to consider additional issues, such as whether the contemplated arrangement complies with the rules of professional conduct in jurisdictions other than New York State and whether it complies with all relevant substantive laws and court rules in New York or elsewhere. In addition, the lawyer must consider additional ethical concerns if the proposed business arrangement results in an attorney-client relationship being formed with the individual customers (a question of law on which the Committee could not opine). In that situation, the lack of direct communication with the clients may make it difficult for the lawyer to fulfill many of his or her ethical obligations, including duties of competence, communication, confidentiality, and more.

Use of Antibiotics in Farm Animals

The Committee on Animal Law expressed support for S.1256/H.R.1150, which would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require the Food and Drug Administration to prohibit the use of antibiotics in ways that accelerate the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The proposed legislation would provide the necessary regulation by generally phasing out the nontherapeutic use of antibiotics in animal agriculture and providing appropriate safeguards to ensure that continued usage of such drugs is based on a reasoned health risk analysis. This legislation, the report argues, is necessary to address the widespread overuse and misuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture in order to preserve the efficacy of vital antibiotics in treating serious diseases in humans.

Use of Animals in Traveling Circuses and Shows

The Committee on Animal Law expressed support for A.5407/S.5971, which would amend New York’s Agriculture and Markets Law to restrict traveling circuses or shows from allowing the participation of an exotic or wild animal in an animal act if during the thirty day period preceding such participation the animal was traveling in a mobile housing facility. Current law, the report notes, does not effectively protect circus animals who perform in New York from harmful conditions inherent in circuses involving animal shows or from abuse and mistreatment, and the proposed legislation would be an important step in protecting the rights of these animals.


The Office for Diversity Pipeline Initiatives is seeking attorneys with securities and finance law experience to participate as Advisor-Volunteers during the new Securities and Finance Law Seminar Series. Advisor-Volunteers will meet after each seminar with diverse law students from local law schools who are interested in learning more about a career in securities or finance law. We ask the volunteers to talk about their practice and the career path that led to their current position at a law firm, in-house, with the government, or elsewhere. Attorneys can volunteer on one or more of the following dates: 1/24, 2/7, 3/21, 3/28, 4/11 and 4/25. Interested attorneys can register at the following link:

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42 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
(212) 382-6600

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