THIS WEEK AT THE CITY BAR
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10 – WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 12
5 PM & 8 PM, Event
Final Rounds of the 64th Annual National Moot Court Competition


THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13
9 AM – 11 AM, CLE
Current Ethical Issues in the Practice of Securities Law

4 PM & 7:30 PM, Event
Final Rounds of the 64th Annual National Moot Court Competition


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14
7:30 PM – 8:45 PM, Event
Valentine's Day Special: Violin & Piano Music from Classical and Romantic Eras

     AROUND THE BAR

On February 3rd, over 400 people packed the Meeting Hall at the City Bar to hear Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan deliver a lecture titled "Justice Ginsburg's Greatest Hits" at the Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law. From left: Bret I. Parker, City Bar Executive Director; Justice Elena Kagan; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg; Carey R. Dunne, City Bar President. Watch the video here.
 
     RECENT COMMITTEE ACTIVITY

Judiciary's 2014-2015 Budget Request
In its report on the 2014-2015 Judiciary Budget request, the Council on Judicial Administration strongly recommends that the Legislature adopt the Judiciary’s 2014-2015 Budget Request in its entirety. The report concludes that after sustaining a $170 million dollar budget cut in 2011, and zero growth budgets in 2012 and 2013, it is essential that the Legislature fund the Court’s modest 2.5% proposed increase in its 2014-2015 budget request. The report notes that budget setbacks over the last three years have had a devastating impact on the courts and the people they serve, including a loss of 1,900 positions. The proposed budget would maintain, restore and enhance essential court functions. The report also supports the proposal to add 20 additional Family Court judges, to be accomplished through a supplemental appropriation, to help relieve that Court’s burgeoning caseloads.

Confidential Personal Information
The Council on Judicial Administration submitted comments to the Office of Court Administration on the proposed rule aimed at preventing the unnecessary disclosure of confidential personal information in papers filed in civil matters. The comments strongly support the proposal, subject to a number of specific recommendations set forth in the comments, including changes to the definition of confidential personal information. The Council also urged OCA to take the measures necessary to ensure that any sealing of documents be no broader than necessary to protect the threatened interest.

Patent Eligibility

The Committee on Patents submitted an amicus brief in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International. Filed in the U.S. Supreme Court, the brief argues that there has been a significant jurisprudential disagreement regarding the contours of the test for subject matter patent eligibility under Section 101 and that these varied approaches have led to the misapplication of Court precedents. The brief therefore urges that: 1) the Section 101 patentability analysis should consider a patent claim as a whole consistent with Diamond v. Diehr; 2) analysis of "patentable subject matter" should not include considerations of novelty or non-obviousness; and 3) "claim construction" should be required prior to any Section 101 patentable subject matter inquiry.

Mandatory Mediation in the Commercial Division

The Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution expressed support for the Proposal of the ADR Committee of the Commercial Division Advisory Council to Implement the Task Force Report's Proposal for a Pilot Mandatory Mediation Program and the Statement of the Administrative Judge Regarding Implementation of a Rule of the Commercial Division. The benefits of the pilot mandatory program, which would direct every fifth newly assigned case to mediation, include the increased use of mediation and the ability to gather data about the process, with the ultimate goal of helping parties resolve cases earlier in the process.

    NOTICE OF THE NOMINATING SLATE

Nominees Named
The following candidates have been nominated by the Executive Committee for election to five positions on the 2014-2015 Nominating Committee. Ballots will be sent to the membership. Those elected will be announced at the Annual Meeting of the City Bar on May 20, 2014. Pursuant to By-law XXIII, other nominations must be posted no later than March 27, 2014.

 Reema S. Abdelhamid
 Sheila S. Boston
 Pamela R. Chepiga
 Hon. Denny Chin
 Muhammad U. Faridi
 Harlan A. Levy
 Deborah Masucci
 Hon. Kiyo A. Matsumoto
 Marjorie J. Peerce
 Milton L. Williams, Jr.

    CITY BAR IN THE NEWS

Washington Post (Associated Press), February 3, 2014
Justice Kagan Celebrates Justice Ginsburg

"U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 'has done as much as anyone in the last 40 years' to make the country more just and equal, her colleague on the bench, Justice Elena Kagan, said Monday night. Kagan spoke about Ginsburg's work as an attorney and her decisions as a judge at a lecture for the New York City Bar Association. The talk was for the annual 'Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Distinguished Lecture on Women and the Law' put on by the bar association, and Ginsburg was in the audience and introduced Kagan to the crowd. Kagan started her remarks to the appreciative audience on a light note, pointing out that Ginsburg has numerous fans who have created online sites about her and showing pictures of Ginsburg as a young woman, but she went on to more serious praise, from the quality of her legal writing to the cases she has been involved with and her steadfast determination to work toward gender equality."

New York Law Journal
, February 5, 2014

Kagan Honors a Pathbreaker for Women in Law

"More than any other individual, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 'is responsible for eliminating sex discrimination from American law,' fellow Justice Elena Kagan said in a lecture Monday night that paid homage to Ginsburg's fight for women's equality. Kagan noted that more than a quarter of a century separated her own appointment to the court from the appointment of the first woman justice, Sandra Day O'Connor, and she credited O'Connor and Ginsburg for paving the way for women. 'In those 25 years, the world has changed, so that my and Justice [Sonia] Sotomayor's post-law school career paths were ever so much easier,' said Kagan, who took office in 2010. About 400 mostly female attendees turned out at the New York City Bar Association to hear a rare, extended commentary by one justice on a sitting colleague's work."

Law360
, February 5, 2014 (subscription required)

NY Bar Groups Back Judiciary's $1.8B Budget Request

"The state's two largest bar groups backed the New York state judiciary’s $1.81 billion budget request in full Wednesday, pressing Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state lawmakers to find room for proposed funding increases lawyers say will stave off long-term damage to the courts system. Both the New York State Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association were pushing back after the governor said the judiciary should get its request in line with his philosophy of capping increases at 2 percent."


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