6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
Careers in Compliance

9 AM – 5 PM, CLE
Regulation of Financial Services Forum 2014

6 PM – 8:30 PM, Event

Family Law: A Student Forum

9 AM – 5 PM, CLE
Basic Mediation Training: Conflict Resolution Theory & Techniques

6 PM – 9 PM, CLE
Enforcing Money Claims Pre- & Post-Judgment: Turning Your Judgment into an Actual Financial Recovery

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
A Tribute to Mandela: Advocate Tembile Joyini, Legal Advisor to the Mission of South Africa to the United Nations

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
"The Paw Project": Examining the Controversial Practice of Cat Declawing in the United States

9 AM – 5 PM, CLE
16 Hour New Jersey Bridge-the Gap: Satisfy the Mandatory 15 Credits & More (Register Both Days) (Day 1 Only)

7 PM – 9 PM, Event

Les Lawyers Miserables


The Committees on Estate & Gift Taxation and Trusts, Estates & Surrogate's Courts met recently with officials from the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. From left: Paul A. Ferrara, Chair, Committee on Estate & Gift Taxation; Robert D. Plattner, Deputy Commissioner for Tax Policy, NYS Department of Taxation and Finance; Thomas H. Mattox, Commissioner, NYS Department of Taxation and Finance; and Sharon L. Klein, Chair, Committee on Trusts, Estates & Surrogate's Courts. See the Recent Committee Activity section below for a joint report by the committees.

New York Estate and Gift Tax Proposals
The Committees on Estate & Gift Taxation and Trusts, Estates & Surrogate's Courts issued a report concerning certain aspects of (1) the Final Report of the New York State Tax Reform and Fairness Commission and (2) the Final Report of the New York State Tax Relief Commission. In particular, the Committees support raising the New York estate tax exemption from $1 million to $5 million so that it is consistent with the federal estate tax exemption; support a phased-in reduction of New York's top estate tax rate from 16% to 10%; support the elimination of the New York generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax; urge caution with respect to reinstating the gift tax; and oppose subjecting to New York income tax those nongrantor trusts (or New York beneficiaries of such nongrantor trusts) that are currently exempt from New York income tax under the "New York Resident Trust Exception" which applies to nongrantor trusts for which (a) all of the trustees are domiciled outside of New York State; (b) all real and tangible trust property is located outside of New York State; and (c) all trust income and gains is derived from sources outside of New York State.

Disorderly Conduct Statute
In an amicus brief filed in the New York State Court of Appeals in New York State v. Johnson, the Criminal Law Committee argued that the Appellate Division’s decision created a precedent that permits police to order individuals standing in a public place to disperse, and to arrest them for failure to disperse, if police intelligence suggests that one or more of the individuals is in a gang, although no criminality or disruption was observed. This decision, the brief notes, renders the statute governing disorderly conduct unconstitutionally vague and fails to give clear guidelines for law enforcement and fair notice to the public that particular conduct is forbidden. The brief urges that if the New York legislature were to determine that gang problems require additional laws, legislatures should then adopt appropriate statutes. Such legislation would need to define critical terms to provide notice to the public and standards to guide law enforcement’s exercise of discretion. In its decision, the Appellate Division bypasses the legislative process, creating an offense in the absence of any statute.

Animal Welfare Act/Captive Bears
In a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Animal Law Committee urged that amendments be made to the federal Animal Welfare Act that would promulgate standards for captive bears. Specifically, the letter calls for amendments to the Animal Welfare Act that would: 1) prohibit the keeping of bears in pits or similar sensory-depriving conditions as a primary enclosure; 2) include environmental enrichment requirements that provide for means of expressing typical behavior including hibernating where appropriate, foraging, running, climbing, digging and nest building; 3) include den and pool requirements in accordance with currently accepted professional standards; and 4) include specific minimum space requirements for primary enclosures.

Hague Child Support Convention
The United Nations Committee sent a letter to U.S. Senate leadership urging that the Senate adopt and enact implementing legislation (S.1870), which would allow The Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance to take effect in the United States. The purpose of the Hague Child Support Convention is to ensure the effective international recovery of child support and other forms of family maintenance. The Convention would achieve this objective by establishing an agreed-upon set of international standards, including: 1) an efficient and responsive system of cooperation between Contracting States in the processing of international applications; 2) a requirement that Contracting States make available applications for establishment and modification, as well as for recognition and enforcement, of maintenance decisions; 3) provisions which ensure effective access to cross-border maintenance procedures; 4) a broadly based system for the recognition and enforcement of maintenance decisions made in Contracting States; and 5) expedited and simplified procedures for recognition and enforcement.

Parole Board Regulations
In 2011, the New York legislature amended the Executive Law intending to refocus the Board of Parole’s decision-making on whether an individual was ready to reenter society. The Board has now proposed regulations implementing the 2011 amendments as well as adding two factors that should be considered in making parole decisions. The Corrections & Community Reentry Committee reviewed the proposed regulations and offered a number of suggestions to the Board, including that the proposed regulations: should be compatible with the role of the judiciary; should facilitate adequate judicial oversight; and should create evidence-based presumptions to ensure that the Board’s decisions are objective and consistent rather than arbitrary and inconsistent. The Committee expressed concern that the regulations effectively implement the 2011 amendments and alter the Board’s current practice of focusing, often exclusively, on the nature of the instant offense and the individual’s prior criminal history.


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Law360, January 17, 2014
NYC Bar Panel Issues Guidance On Deals With Nonlegal Orgs

"The New York City Bar Association's Committee on Professional Ethics released an opinion Friday detailing a number of ethical issues that New York lawyers must take into account before entering into business relationships with nonlegal organizations. A New York lawyer who had been contemplating an arrangement with a nonlegal organization based in another state prompted the committee to issue the formal opinion, which explains that as many as 21 different Rules of Professional Conduct must be considered to determine whether a potential arrangement is ethically permissible."

, January 18, 2014

Weekend Staff Picks: McGill, Chorus & Vinyl

"Melissa [Eagan] also found the 85-voice New York City Bar Chorus -- yes, the city's only 'all-legal' chorus: This is made up of like 85 lawyers. I will admit I went kicking and screaming to this concert, and there they were all of them in their pinstripes, men and women, and it was so tremendous."

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