Bret I. Parker Named New York City Bar Executive Director
This Week at the City Bar: George J. Mitchell to Deliver Arps Lecture
Around the Bar
Vance Center News
Committees Seeking Members
Securities & Finance Law Seminar Series: Volunteers & Reception
City Bar in the News

Bret I. Parker Named Executive Director of New York City Bar Association

The New York City Bar Association has chosen Bret I. Parker to succeed Barbara Berger Opotowsky as its Executive Director as of the Association’s Annual Meeting on May 21.

Parker is currently Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Elizabeth Arden, Inc. and President-Elect of the International Trademark Association. He has been a member of the City Bar since 1996 and has chaired its Trademarks and Unfair Competition Committee, served as a member of the Pro Bono and Legal Services Committee and serves as a City Bar delegate to the New York State Bar Association House of Delegates.

Read more.

This Week at the City Bar
6 PM – 9 PM,
Can I Go Forward with Pain Management after I-STOP?

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

9 AM – 12:30 PM,
Blogging, Friending & Tweeting: What Attorneys Should & Should Not Do

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
“The Rule of Law” – The Leslie H. Arps Lecture by former U.S. Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
Careers in Elder Law

8:30 AM – 9:45 AM,
Careers in Compliance

9 AM – 11:45 AM,
Selected Ethics Issues in Mediation & Settlement Negotiations

6:30 PM – 8 PM,
Following a Non-linear Career Path and Redefining Success: Four Stories

6 PM – 8 PM,
Employment & Severance Agreements: What Both Employment & ERISA Attorneys Need To Know

6:30 PM
– 9 PM,
Speed Networking
Lawyers Connect First Thursdays

Around the Bar
City Bar Presents Annual Botein Awards

On March 28th, the New York City Bar Association presented its annual Botein Awards to outstanding court employees in the First Judicial Department. From left: Hon. A. Gail Prudenti, Chief Administrative Judge of the Courts of New York State; Vincent McGowan, Senior Network Technologist, Office of Court Administration; Michael Siano, Senior Court Officer, Manhattan Supreme Court, Criminal Division; E. Lauren Holmes, Assistant Deputy Chief Court Attorney, First Department; Carey R. Dunne, President, New York City Bar Association. Not pictured: Christopher Gibson, Senior Court Clerk, Manhattan Supreme Court, Civil Branch; Jack Sheridan, Manager, Telecom Group, Office of Court Administration.

Vance Center News
Vance Center Joins Global Alliance on Health and Pollution

The Global Alliance on Health and Pollution has invited the Vance Center to become a member. A collaborative body, the GAHP envisions a world safe from toxic pollution. It helps low-and middle-income countries clean up legacy toxic hotspots, prevent re-contamination and guard against future pollution. Key stakeholders who have taken concrete action, shown leadership and/or are interested in resolving the issues of toxic pollution are invited to participate in the GAHP.

Read more.

Committees Seeking Members
The following committees are seeking new members for the upcoming committee year beginning on September 1. Joining a committee is a great experience and can open up a number of career doors. If you are interested in applying to any of these committees, please complete a committee application. A full list of City Bar committees, along with a brief description of their activities, can be found on the City Bar website.

The AIDS Committee has worked on HIV-related issues and policy matters on all levels: city, state, federal, and international. Most recently, the Committee drafted a report on proposed New York State legislation prohibiting the use of condoms as evidence of prostitution. Past issues the Committee has explored and weighed in on include: the status of HIV+ women in Chile; the United Nations Global Committee on AIDS; and criminalization of HIV in America. The AIDS committee members work in private practice, for non-profit agencies, educational, and medical institutions.

The Bioethical Issues Committee explores issues at the intersection of law and medicine. The Committee has many active subcommittees in various areas, including: Palliative Care and End-of-Life Issues, Organ Donation and Transplantation, Legal Issues Affecting Academic Medical Centers, and Patents and Biotechnology. The Committee’s current roster of topics includes the examination of legislative restrictions on pain medication for terminally ill patients; participation by healthcare professionals in enforced interrogation techniques; the legal implications of innovations in transplant medicine; and the controversies surrounding gene patenting. The Committee sponsors events and CLEs, and additionally write reports and commentaries relating to pertinent bioethical issues.

The Civil Court Committee works on all types of cases filed in New York City Civil Court, except for landlord/tenant matters, which are handled by a different committee. A focus for the Committee is consumer debt collection actions, which numbered almost 100,000 in 2012 and in which well over 95% of consumers were unrepresented. The Committee engages in extensive legislative advocacy, invites government officials as guest speakers, has prepared policy papers, and organizes various types of educational programs.

The Military Affairs and Justice Committee addresses legal and policy issues affecting the United States armed services and the operation of the Court of Military Justice. The Committee’s activities in recent years have included regularly sending observers to the military tribunal proceedings in Guantanamo; presenting public talks by the General Counsel of the Navy and by leading experts in cyber warfare; hosting discussions with military personnel recently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, with judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and with military fellows from the Council on Foreign Affairs; site visits to Navy ships and West Point; coordination with the City Bar Justice Center Veterans Assistance Project to assist veterans seeking benefits; and co-authoring reports and letters on such subjects as human rights standards applicable to the United States’ interrogation of detainees, prosecution of individuals accused of terrorism in civilian courts, and repeal of “Don't Ask Don’t Tell” and the policies excluding women from combat positions.

The Committee on Legal Issues Affecting People with Disabilities invites monthly presenters to discuss topics of interest to disability rights, labor and management, education, guardian/conservatorship, and government benefits attorneys. This spring the Committee is presenting a CLE, Representing Deaf and Hearing Impaired Clients, and is considering additional CLEs for next year. Speakers have presented before the committee on the following topics: wages of home care workers and their effect on home care delivery, “drive-by” lawsuits filed by unscrupulous attorneys about architectural access issues, the jurisdiction of the City Commission on Human Rights, the work of US Department of Justice Office of Human Rights in the Southern District, and the rights of mentally and developmentally disabled citizens to reside in the community.

The Aeronautics Committee is composed of attorneys who have a special expertise and interest in aviation law. Committee membership is represented by attorneys who practice in the insurance defense, litigation, regulatory, aeronautical support services, and general and commercial aviation industries. A substantial number of the members also have private pilot’s licenses and are owners or operators of general aircraft. The Committee presents speakers at regularly scheduled meetings and aims to conduct at least one special speaker’s program or CLE course open to members and non-members of the Association at least once a year. This year, the topic for the speaker’s program will be drones. Finally, the Committee also participates in various public service ventures and has a particularly close relationship with Aviation High School in Long Island City.

Securities & Finance Law Seminar Series: Volunteers & Reception
The Office for Diversity Pipeline Initiatives is seeking attorneys with securities and finance law experience to participate as Advisor-Volunteers at the final two installments of our inaugural Securities and Finance Law Seminar Series on 4/5 and 4/19. Immediately following the 4/19 seminar, there will be a reception to celebrate the law students who completed the series. For more information about the series and to RSVP, please visit the Program Website. Interested attorneys can also email Gabrielle Brown here.

City Bar in the News
Crain's New York Business, March 29, 2013

In Wake of Sandy Woes, Here Come the Lawyers
“Property owners seeking restitution are running into fundamental problems. The national flood program is capped at $250,000, which won’t cover extensively damaged homes that were worth millions before Sandy hit. Furthermore, many homeowners did not have flood insurance. They had hoped property insurance would cover their losses, which is leading to legal disputes. ‘If the private insurer can say it was flood-related, then they don’t have to pay for it, the government does,’ said Victor Tello, coordinating attorney for disaster relief at the City Bar Justice Center.”

Financial Times, March 24, 2013

Subcontractors are Chink in Cyber Armour
“The long-term trend of companies hiring subcontractors to reduce costs has accelerated with the growth of cloud computing services. They have helped widen the range of IT jobs that can be outsourced but created new opportunities for hackers. Orrie Dinstein, chief privacy leader at General Electric’s GE Capital arm, said some service providers had sloppy security practices for handling sensitive data and lacked the same controls as their big corporate clients. ‘They become the weakest link,’ he said at a New York City Bar Association conference last week. ‘You have to look not just at yourself but at the whole supply chain.’”

New York Times, March 22, 2013

Real Estate Q & A: Resolving Disputes with a Mediator
“A spokesman for the New York City Bar Association, said the association’s Co-op and Condo Mediation Project was created to resolve disputes between co-op and condo owners and their boards, managing agents contractors and others. ‘A trained mediator helps the parties negotiate and hopefully resolve their disputes,’ Mr. Friedman said, adding that a party can participate with or without a lawyer. With litigation, he said, judges bound by rules governing evidence and testimony hear both sides and then make a binding decision. With mediation, the parties are in a more informal setting, and with the assistance of the mediator, they try to negotiate what will work best and agree on a mutually satisfactory solution.”

Thomson Reuters
, March 21, 2013

Bar Groups Release Ratings of N.Y. Court of Appeals Candidates
“The candidates for the seat vacated by the November death of Judge Theodore Jones are First Department Justices Sheila Abdus-Salaam and Dianne Renwick; Second Department Justice John Levanthal; Fourth Department Justice Eugene Fahey; David Schulz of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz; Maria Vullo of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; and Rowan Wilson of Cravath, Swaine & Moore. The New York City Bar Association on Thursday said that Abdus-Salaam and Levanthal were ‘exceptionally well qualified’ for the seat. The group rated the other five candidates ‘well qualified.’”

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