Monday, January 31, 2011
This Week at the City Bar
Around the Bar
Recent Committee Activity
Volunteers Needed for Bronx CLARO
Seeking Employers for Thurgood Marshall Program
City Bar in the News
Member Benefit Update - Professional Liability Program
This Week at the City Bar
9 AM – 5 PM, CLE
16 Hour New Jersey Bridge-The-Gap (Both Days) (Day 1 Only)

5 PM & 8 PM, Event
61st Annual National Moot Court Competition: Final Rounds

5 PM & 8 PM, Event
61st Annual National Moot Court Competition: Final Rounds

6 PM 9 PM, CLE
Estate Planning Primer

5 PM & 8 PM, Event
61st Annual National Moot Court Competition: Final Rounds

9 AM – 12 PM, CLE
Corporate Compliance 2011: Best Practices and Recent Developments

4 PM & 8 PM, Event
61st Annual National Moot Court Competition: Final Rounds


6 PM, Event
Friday Evening Chamber Music

Around the Bar
DA Vance Speaks at City Bar on White Collar Crime

In his speech Tuesday titled “White Collar Crime in 2011: The Martin Act, Cybercrime and Beyond,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. announced that he will call on the New York State Legislature to strengthen the 1921 Martin Act, which he termed “marred by its overly lenient penalties.” Read full speech here.

Recent Committee Activity
Process Servers Utilizing GPS

The Committee on Civil Court provided testimony before the New York State Department of Consumer Affairs on the Department's proposed rules regarding the requirement that process servers utilize a global positioning system. The testimony generally supported the proposed rule as a positive step toward requiring electronic records of service, and recommended a number of modifications to the rule to further deter so-called sewer service.

Post-Conviction Motions
Under current law, assigned appellate lawyers in New York are not statutorily entitled to compensation for investigating meritorious post-conviction motions and for drafting and filing papers in support of such motions. The practical result of this funding restriction is that many potentially meritorious motions under Article 440 of the Criminal Procedure Law are not pursued. In a report to the New York State Legislature, the Committee on Criminal Justice Operations proposes amendments to County Law Section 722, which will authorize compensation to assigned counsel in these situations.

Volunteers Needed for Bronx CLARO Program
The Bronx CLARO Program, an innovative pro bono program co-sponsored by the City Bar that provides limited legal advice to unrepresented debtors with consumer debt cases, is seeking volunteers. The program is designed to assist the unprecedented numbers of individuals who must defend themselves pro se in consumer debt collection litigation. Bronx CLARO clinics take place in Bronx Supreme Court on Thursdays, from 3 PM - 6 PM.

Volunteers are invited to attend a February 16, 2011 training program at the Bronx County Bar Association's library, located at Bronx Supreme Court, 851 Grand Concourse in Room 124, from 6 PM - 9 PM. Three CLE credits will be offered for free to those who attend the training and volunteer six hours for CLARO.

To register, please visit For more information, please contact Dora Galacatos at

Employers Needed: 2011 Thurgood Marshall Internship Program
Employers are needed for the New York City Bar Association’s 2011 Thurgood Marshall Summer Internship Program, which places high achieving inner-city high school students with legal internships for the summer. Any employer interested in joining the program should contact Gabrielle Brown at (212) 382-6624 or For more information, please visit

City Bar in the News
New York Law Journal, January 26, 2011
City Bar Study Sees Diversity Slip at Local Law Firms
A report by the New York City Bar documents a “slippage of hard-won diversity gains” at local law firms last year, coupled with only “lackluster” improvements over the long term. The 2010 Diversity Benchmarking Study is the fifth since the city bar launched with what it recalled as “great enthusiasm” an effort to promote diversity. The study notes several positive developments, but characterizes as “disappointing” the overall results of its survey. “We must turn more fully toward retaining diverse talent and addressing the root issues which impede the development and progress of diverse attorneys,” the survey concludes. The city bar surveyed 108 firms that are signatories to a 2004 statement of diversity principles; 88 of the firms responded. Articulated in the statement are short- and long-term goals related to hiring, retention and promotion of diverse talent. Progress in meeting those goals “has been far more challenging than we anticipated,” acknowledged Barbara Berger Opotowsky, the city bar’s executive director in an interview.

Business Week, January 26, 2011
Mandatory Prison in Securities Frauds Sought by New York¡¦s Vance
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said he wants harsher penalties, including mandatory prison time, for people convicted of major securities fraud in New York. Vance said in a speech at New York City Bar Association in midtown Manhattan yesterday that he will call on the legislature to change the Martin Act, New York’s securities fraud statute. He said he will seek prison sentences of as long as 8 1/3 years to 25 years for frauds involving more than $1 million. The crime now carries no minimum prison sentence, regardless of the money involved.

Wall Street Journal, January 25, 2011
Manhattan Prosecutor Says Martin Act Needs Sharper Bite
The Martin Act, the New York law wielded powerfully against Wall Street by former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and others, is still too soft, says a top New York prosecutor. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., in a speech at the New York City Bar Association Tuesday evening, said the Martin Act¡¦s penalties were “overly lenient” in that the law treats offenders the same regardless of the severity of their crimes and doesn¡¦t include mandatory time behind bars.

Associated Press, January 25, 2011
NYC Prosecutor: Boost Security Fraud Law Sentences
Perpetrators of million-dollar stock and bond swindles should be forced to go to prison, one of the city's top prosecutors said Tuesday as he called for boosting penalties for breaking a wide-ranging state securities fraud law. By imposing the same punishment on a small-time schemer who gains $500 and a sweeping, sophisticated fraudster who costs investors millions of dollars, New York's law “is marred by overly lenient penalties,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. said in a speech to the New York City Bar Association. He said he'll push state lawmakers to make sentences increase with the size of a securities scheme, and he said he's eyeing broader application of the securities law in the future.

Reuters, January 25, 2011
NY Prosecutor Vance Wants Tougher Fraud Punishment
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance told a lawyers' group on Tuesday that he intends to ask the state legislature this year to change the law known as the Martin Act to allow for minimum prison terms in white-collar crime cases regardless of the loss amount. “The Martin Act has never been more relevant,” Vance said in prepared remarks to the New York City Bar Association. ¡§In recent years, our entire nation has become painfully aware of the devastating toll on our economy that results when widespread mistrust infects financial markets.¡¨

City Bar Now Offers Lawyers Professional Liability Program
We are pleased to advise you that the City Bar has expanded its member benefit partnership with Marsh to include the sponsored Lawyers Professional Liability Program, now underwritten by Zurich in North America. Marsh will serve as the program broker and administrator while Zurich will provide the traditional insurance company functions.

One of the first benefits of this new partnership is for members who practice in Manhattan. Professional liability premiums have been reduced by 25% from what members were previously paying Zurich for this coverage. This is in large part due to favorable loss experience exhibited by Manhattan firms.

Many members are currently insured by Zurich. In order to receive the 25% premium savings when your Zurich policy renews, members should log onto the website ( and complete the on-line broker of record form. This will permit Marsh to obtain your discounted Zurich renewal quotation.

If you are not currently insured by Zurich, you may obtain a no obligation premium indication for the new program by going to the same website ( and answering a few brief questions.

If you have any questions, please call Marsh at 877-783-5434 or e-mail Marsh at

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