IN THIS ISSUE : MONDAY, MARCH 19, 2012
From the President: Samuel W. Seymour
This Week at the City Bar
Around the Bar
City Bar Program for Resolution of Disputes Among Lawyers
Member Benefit: City Bar-Sponsored Health Plans
Employers Needed: Thurgood Marshall Internship Program
Recent Committee Activity
City Bar in the News
   

President's Letter
Criminal Justice


The New York City Bar Association was established in 1870 to press for improvements in our justice system, and since then it has been dedicated to ensuring that we have a justice system that is accessible to all. In no instance is the effectiveness and integrity of our system more important than in criminal matters, where the stakes are so high for individuals and communities.

The work of the City Bar is influential in large part because of the quality and makeup of the committees responsible for our reports, programs and public comments. Like the Association as a whole, our committees are comprised of a cross-section of lawyers, and the work of our committees reflects that balance. Notably, for my purposes today, our committees devoted to criminal matters are made up of both defense attorneys and prosecutors.

Read more.

This Week at the City Bar
MONDAY, MARCH 19
6 PM – 8 PM,
Event
Hot Topics in Intellectual Property: Protection of Fictional Characters

6 PM – 9 PM,
CLE
Latest Developments In Renewable Energy Financing (Post-Stimulus)



TUESDAY, MARCH 20
9 AM – 12:30 PM,
CLE
Today’s Challenges for Non-Profits: Crisis Management for Charities


7 PM – 9 PM,
Event
Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 21
6 PM – 8 PM,
CLE
The Civil Frauds Enforcement Landscape: Recent Developments & Trends


6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
Getting Appointed to a Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”) Panel for the Second Circuit and the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York


THURSDAY, MARCH 22
6 PM – 9 PM,
CLE
Reinventing Your Practice for Today’s Market: Virtual Law Firms & Telecommuting


7 PM – 8:30 PM,
Event
Is Work and Life Balance Possible in the 21st Century? The Libra Solution Shows Professional Women and Men How to Have the “Best of It All”


7 PM – 9 PM,
Event
Contemplative Lawyers Group: Emotions and Lawyering



FRIDAY, MARCH 23
9 AM – 11 AM,
CLE
Insider Trading 2011: Current Trends & Recent Developments in the Investigation, Prosecution & Defense of Insider Trading Cases (Video Replay)


6 PM – 8 PM,
Event
Friday Evening Chamber Music

Around the Bar
On Freedom of Expression


Michael O’Flaherty, incoming President of the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission, member of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and chief drafter of the Committee’s 2011 ground-breaking General Comment No. 34 on Article 19 of the Covenant, spoke at a March 13th event on “International Law on Freedom of Expression and Information: Breakthroughs at the U.N. and Other Significant Developments.” The event was co-sponsored by the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, the City Bar’s International Human Rights and United Nations Committees, and the Open Society Justice Initiative.

City Bar Program for Resolution of Disputes Among Lawyers
The City Bar has just issued its amended Rules for the Mediation and Arbitration of Disputes Among Lawyers. The Rules are designed to provide a forum for the prompt, efficient and private resolution of disputes among lawyers with regard to the business or professional aspects of their practice of law. On May 3rd, from 6 – 7 p.m., come hear a panel of experienced arbitrators and mediators who worked on the Rules provide information on the dispute resolution program, discuss the rules, and answer any questions. More information here.

Member Benefit
Open Enrollment for City Bar-Sponsored Health Plans

Open Enrollment is underway between now and April 1st for the City Bar’s sponsored medical program for Sole Proprietors and Small Groups.

With all the changes occurring among medical insurers, members have important decisions to make about the type of plan that best meets their needs and how much to pay for it. The City Bar provides a wide range of health plan options for its members through United Healthcare’s Oxford Products. Marsh serves as the sponsored broker/administrator for this program.

And, if you practice as a sole proprietor, we have good news for you. We now have three new plan options available to sole proprietors that can save qualifying members significantly on their premiums.

Read more.

2012 Thurgood Marshall Internship Program Seeking Employers
Employers are needed for the New York City Bar Association’s 2012 Thurgood Marshall Summer Internship Program, which places high achieving inner-city high school students in legal internships for the summer. Any employer interested in joining the program should contact Gabrielle Brown at 212-382-6713 or by e-mail. More information about the program, along with the 2012 Employer Registration Form, is available here.

Recent Committee Activity
Settlement of Investment Disputes

The Committee on International Commercial Disputes issued a report entitled Recommended Procedures for Recognition and Enforcement of International Arbitration Awards Rendered Under the ICSID Convention. The International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (“ICSID”) was created as a mechanism and facility by which disputes between private investors and foreign States can be resolved through international arbitration. Although an ICSID award is not subject to any judicial challenge, it still must be brought to a national court for recognition and enforcement if a losing party refuses to pay the award voluntarily; however, there are no prescribed procedures that national courts should follow to comply with this treaty obligation. The report sets forth recommended procedures to be followed by practitioners in the federal district court for the Southern District of New York in seeking recognition and enforcement of an ICSID international arbitration award. The procedures outlined in the report are designed to facilitate the swift recognition and enforcement of awards and entry of judgment.

Aggravated Family Offense

The Committee on Domestic Violence issued a report supporting A.1986-B/S.5822, which would establish the crime of aggravated family offense, making it a felony offense for abusers who repeatedly engage in domestic violence. Current penalties for repeat domestic abusers do not adequately reflect the gravity of these crimes and many domestic violence crimes are categorized only as misdemeanor offenses under New York law. Under the proposed legislation, if an offender is convicted of two or more “qualifying” specified offenses against a member of the same family or household, the offender can be charged with an E felony. Creating a felony-level charge for offenders who repeatedly engage in domestic violence offenses enables court supervision of offenders for a longer period of time and gives the court the authority to sentence a repeat offender to state prison time. In addition, an order of protection could be extended for a longer period of time, allowing the victim the necessary time to relocate and lessen the emotional ties with the offender.

City Bar in the News
Lawyers.com, March 12, 2012

In an article for Lawyers.com entitled Woman Enslaved Through Arranged Marriage, Jennifer King wrote, "‘I think it’s great progress for prosecutors to look expansively at the human trafficking law and use the law to the extent fully envisioned by the law makers,’ says Suzanne Tomatore, an attorney who is director of the Immigrant Women & Children Project at the City Bar Justice Center. ‘But there is still a lot of education to be done.’ The Immigrant Women & Children’s Project is a non-profit group that works with immigrants in and around New York City who are victims of domestic violence, human trafficking, sexual assault, child abuse and other violent crimes.”


Law Technology News , March 7, 2012

In an article for Law Technology News entitled False Friends: the Ethical Limits of Discovery via Social Media, Jonathan I. Ezor wrote, “attorneys may be tempted to try to ‘become friends’ with an opposing party or witness on a service like Facebook and thus gain access to posts and files not available to the general public…Such ‘false friending,’ though, has been rejected as unethical practice by multiple state and local bars…The opinions are often based on the local version of Rules 4.1 (Truthfulness In Statements To Others), 4.2 (Communication With Person Represented By Counsel), and 8.4(c) (prohibiting ‘conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation’) of the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility. Examples of these opinions include…Formal Opinion 2010-2 of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Committee on Professional Ethics.”

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