Monday, March 7, 2011
This Week at the City Bar
Around the Bar
Recent Committee Activity
Legislative Update
City Bar in the News
Upcoming: Pro Bono Conference in Chile
This Week at the City Bar
6 PM – 9 PM, CLE

An Introduction to the Probate Process & How to Avoid It

6:45 PM, Event
FDR's Funeral Train Books at the Bar

6 PM, Event
Writing and Publishing for Business and Professional Development

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
Administrative Action as an Alternative to Immigration Reform

12:30 PM 1:30 PM, Event
Career Search Group

6 PM 9 PM, CLE
Land Use for the 21st Century: Basics for the NYC Real Estate Practitioner

6:15 PM 8:30 PM, Event
Parenthood and the Legal Profession: Planning for Pregnancy, Maternity Leave and Beyond

6:30 PM 8 PM, Event
Understanding Cyberattack: The Technological, Operational, and Legal Dimensions of Offensive Cyber Operations

6 PM – 9 PM, CLE
Copyright in the 21st Century: Copyright Basics for New Practitioners & Experienced Lawyers

6:30 PM 8:30 PM, Event
Minority Attorneys: Rebalance Your Career Asset Portfolio


9 AM 5 PM, CLE
Hot Topics in SEC Enforcement: A Changing Landscape

Around the Bar
Panel Asks: Where are the Women Litigators?

On March 1st at the City Bar, a panel of distinguished women judges and litigators explored the question of why women litigators appear in commercial cases at the appellate level at a far lower rate than their representation in law firms. The question had been raised by several women judges of New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, who put out a fact sheet on the topic. Pictured above are the speakers at the program, from left: City Bar President Samuel W. Seymour, Hon. Angela M. Mazzarelli, Penny Shane, Hon. Rosalyn H. Richter (front), Hon. Deborah A. Batts, Sandra Leung, Michele Coleman Mayes, and Hon. Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of New Yorkˇ¦s Court of Appeals. View video here.

Recent Committee Activity
State Anti-Immigration Laws

In a letter to Congress, the Committees on Immigration and Nationality Law and Inter-American Affairs urge that Congress enact federal legislation that will bring about comprehensive and effective immigration reform and oppose Arizona Revised Statutes (S.B. 1070) and similar anti-immigration laws under consideration by various state legislatures throughout the country. SB 1070 and similar state laws impermissibly interfere with U.S. foreign relations, intrude upon Congress’s supreme authority to regulate immigration and international trade, create an atmosphere of hostility and distrust between the people of the United States and Latin America, and create an environment for unlawful harassment and racial profiling of Latinos and other ethnic minorities regardless of their citizenship or immigration status.

Medical Care in Armed Conflicts
In a letter to President Obama, the Council on International Affairs argues that it is critical that women and girls who are raped and impregnated in situations of armed conflict receive appropriate and non-discriminatory medical care. However, women who become pregnant as a result of rape in situations of armed conflict are routinely denied access to abortion as part of their medical care. While the Helms Amendment places restrictions on U.S. funds for abortion-related services, US AID has unnecessarily extended those restrictions, contributing to the widespread denial of abortion as a treatment for these women and girls. Ending such restrictions in the context of armed conflict, the letter argues, would significantly improve care for the wounded and sick as required by the Geneva Conventions and help to alleviate suffering for some of the most vulnerable victims of war crimes.

Registration of Municipal Advisors
The Committee on Non-Profit Organizations submitted comments to the SEC on Proposed Rules 15B(a)1-1 through 15B(a)1-7, which would create a procedure for individuals considered municipal advisors to register with the Commission. The comments expressed concern that the Proposed Rules, as drafted, would have an inadvertent adverse impact on nonprofit organizations that have tax exempt debt or on other nonprofits that are deemed to be municipal entities, such as charter schools.

Addressing Systemic Bias in Administrative Tribunals
The Committee on Civil Rights filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit in Rothenberg v. NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. The brief argues that the availability of an Article 78 proceeding to review revocation hearings is not sufficient to cure systemic bias in administrative tribunals. While the availability of an Article 78 remedy may, under certain circumstances, afford all the process that is due, this is not the case where there are triable issues of fact related to allegations of systemic bias at a quasi-judicial administrative tribunal, but the available Article 78 proceeding would not permit a full adversarial hearing on those issues.

Legislative Update
The City Bar’s 2011 Legislative Program has been posted. The Program is a compilation of state legislative issues that have been studied and addressed by many of our committees. It includes commentary on existing legislation as well as proposals for new legislation. The City Bar looks forward to continuing its advocacy in a wide variety of policy areas, including government and ethics reform; the judiciary and access to justice; criminal justice; health law; children and families; civil rights; the legal profession; intellectual property; trusts and estates; and business and taxation issues. To view the program click here

City Bar in the News
New York Law Journal, March 7, 2011
Panel Explores Reasons for Lack of Women Commercial Litigators
For the past year, the seven women on the bench of the Appellate Division, First Department, kept coming back to the question: Where are the woman litigators? “We noticed that there are very few women arguing civil, and more specifically commercial, cases,” said Justice Rosalyn H. Richter in a phone interview. “Some of the judges began to talk to women bar leaders as to what, if anything, we could do to start a dialogue.” That dialogue went public last week with a panel discussion moderated by Justice Richter at the New York City Bar attended by a mostly female audience of approximately 200.

Law360, March 2, 2011
NY Judges Want Answers on Lack of Women Litigators
New York judges have noticed a “virtual absence” of women litigators on commercial cases in state and federal courts in the city, and aim to figure out the causes of the disparity, they said at a New York City Bar Association event Tuesday. A panel made up of two judges, two corporate counsel and a law firm partner debated some of the reasons for the lack of women in the world of New York commercial litigation before an overflow crowd dotted with high-profile partners and other members of the judiciary.

Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2011
Documents: NY Pacts Too Late to Slow Mortgage Fall
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance has called for tougher criminal penalties in New York’s Martin Act, which prohibits deception and misrepresentation in offering stocks, bonds or other securities to investors. It has been used in prosecutions by his office. Spitzer and Cuomo used it to settle investigations with huge fines from financial companies and civil agreements to change, often without admitting wrongdoing. “People in positions of trust are still embezzling from their companies and their clients,” Vance told the New York City Bar Association recently.

Chile Conference: 'Pro Bono & the Legal Profession: Strengthening Access to Justice'

The Conference, hosted by the Vance Center in conjunction with Fundacion Pro Bono Chile, will bring together lawyers, activists, judges, academics, and other legal professionals from across the Americas in Santiago, Chile, on April 7th and 8th, 2011, to discuss the ongoing crisis in access to justice and the response of the legal community. The conference builds on the work of legal actors in the Americas since 2000 to advocate for a greater response by the legal profession in the hemisphere to unmet legal needs of the poor and marginalized. The forum will serve as a workspace that brings together the principal Pan-American actors in access to justice, human rights, and the public interest. For more information or to register, click here.

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