This Week at the City Bar
Around the Bar
Recent Committee Activity
City Bar in the News
This Week at the City Bar
8:30 AM – 7 PM,
New York City’s Housing Court at 40: Controversies, Challenges, and Prospects for its Future [Registration Closed]

6 PM – 8:30 PM,
The Rapidly Thawing Arctic: Opportunities and Challenges

8:30 AM – 10 AM,
Using the Internet to Compete and Win
Smart Marketing Series

6 PM – 7:30 PM,
Online Evidence for Matrimonial Attorneys: Ensuring What You See is What You Get

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
Moving from the Public Sector to the Private Sector

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
Back to School: Leaving the Practice of Law to Become a Teacher

9 AM – 11:30 AM,
Ethics in the Empire State: Are You Familiar With the Latest Rules of Professional Conduct?

6:30 PM – 8 PM,
“A Civility Seder: A Timeless Tale of a Band of Lawyers’ Exodus From the Bondage of Bad Behavior”

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
Careers in Financial Services

4:30 PM – 7:30 PM,
Empowering Tomorrow’s Leaders: Best Practices for Supporting Diverse Students During Law School and Into Employment

Around the Bar
9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Clinic

On March 5th, the City Bar Justice Center held its latest clinic in connection with the reopened 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Over 30 attorneys from over a dozen firms and law departments helped nearly 30 potentially eligible claimants with their applications.

Recent Committee Activity
Health Services for Transgender New Yorkers
The Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights issued a report urging repeal of New York State’s regulatory exclusion of state Medicaid insurance coverage for any care, services, drugs, or supplies for the purpose of gender reassignment. Transgender people are the only group of New Yorkers who are currently denied Medicaid coverage for services based on their identity. Providing full coverage for transgender health services will put transgender patients in the same position as all other patients in that only medically necessary services will be covered. The report recommends that New York should follow the increasing number of states, municipalities, and private employers and provide coverage for all mental health, medical, and surgical treatments necessary to provide adequate health care to transgender people.

Interim Medicaid Services

The Committee on Legal Problems of the Aging expressed opposition to Section 34 of Part A of the 2013 Health and Mental Hygiene Budget Article VII for 2013-2014 (A.3006-B/S.2606-B), which would eliminate the requirement that social services districts provide interim Medicaid services for those with immediate needs while their Medicaid applications are pending. The passage of this proposed amendment would put the health of New Yorkers at risk. There are circumstances, the report notes, in which gravely ill or impaired New Yorkers need immediate care. Without access to immediate services the ill individual will face health and safety risks and unnecessary suffering.

Spousal Refusal
The Committee on Legal Problems of the Aging expressed opposition to Section 68 of Part A of the 2013 Health and Mental Hygiene Budget Article VII for 2013-2014 (A.3006-B/S.2606-B), which would eliminate the spousal refusal option in New York State’s Medicaid program for couples living at home. The report notes that these changes would adversely impact some of New York’s most vulnerable citizens and, in some cases, conflict with existing law. The report urges that the proposal be removed from the Budget.

Rule of Law in Kenya

Noting threats to jurists in Kenya, the Committee on African Affairs wrote to the Kenyan President urging the Government of Kenya to take all necessary steps to ensure that judges are able to discharge their constitutional duties with the independence and integrity that is guaranteed under domestic and international laws. At a time when several prominent Kenyan national political figures stand accused of grave violations of human rights in connection with the violence following the 2007-2008 general elections, an independent judiciary is essential to ensuring that any potential electoral disputes are resolved peacefully, and that Kenya complies with its domestic and international obligations to uphold the rule of law.

Sovereign Debt

With the continuing sovereign debt crisis centered in southern Europe, the current market practice regarding governing-law provisions (“choice of law” provisions) in sovereign debt litigation has become a growing issue. In an effort to address this, the Committee on Foreign and Comparative Law has issued a report entitled, Governing Law in Sovereign Debt: Lessons from the Greek Crisis and Argentina Dispute of 2012. The report makes observations about the legal consequences, to issuers and debt holders, of selecting the issuer’s law as the contractually stipulated governing law, and undertakes a very preliminary survey of market practice in this area, with the possible result that the views that led to the debt terms facilitating the Greek workout could be reexamined and the underlying theories held up for critical review.

City Bar in the News
Thomson Reuters, March 11, 2013

Lawyers seek changes to NYSE risk-management rule
“A New York City bar group is calling on the New York Stock Exchange to revise a rule that gives audit committees a role in overseeing risk management at companies listed on the exchange.…The rule creates ‘significant disadvantages’ for companies by expanding audit committees' purview beyond risks associated with financial reporting and disclosure, the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Financial Reporting said in a March 5 letter to NYSE chief regulatory officer Claudia Crowley. The association suggested that the NYSE revisit the rule and consider vesting authority for broad risk supervision in a company’s board of directors, which could in turn delegate certain aspects of risk control to the audit committee or other groups.”

Wall Street Journal, March 6, 2013

Attorneys Ask NYSE to Reconsider Risk Rule
“An attorneys’ group has asked the New York Stock Exchange to reconsider an exchange rule that gives the audit committees at Big Board-listed companies the responsibility for overseeing the companies’ risk management. While audit committees are and should be responsible for oversight of risks related to a company's financial reporting, the NYSE’s current rule appears to make them responsible for overseeing risks in other areas, from credit and liquidity risk to legal and even environmental risk, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York said in a letter Tuesday to the exchange's NYSE Regulation.”

Wall Street Journal
, March 4, 2013

Sandy Stirs Legal Mess
“Of the $60 billion Congress allocated toward Sandy funding, $1 million was dedicated to funding legal services. But as storm victims wade through hundreds of technical documents issued by multiple agencies, they are swamping legal clinics in search of help, according to interviews with more than a dozen attorneys.…‘The need is so vast,’ said Lynn Kelly, executive director of the City Bar Justice Center, a nonprofit arm of the New York City Bar Association that has worked on more than 400 Sandy-related cases. ‘We’re trying to spread the services as broadly as possible throughout the city.’”

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