From the President: Samuel W. Seymour
This Week at the City Bar        
Around the Bar
Legislative Update
Recent Committee Activity
City Bar in the News

President's Letter
The International Language of Pro Bono

“There are two serious trips we take in our life: one is to the hospital and the other is to court. We do not expect patients to treat, operate or medicate themselves, but we expect pro se litigants to represent themselves.” These were Hon. George Daniels opening remarks for his presentation at the Pro Bono and the Legal Profession: Access to Justice Conference held in Santiago, Chile, on April 7th and 8th, and I think they truly capture the critical nature of pro bono legal services.

Read full letter here.

This Week at the City Bar
12 PM 2 PM, Event
Special Meeting: What Should the Legal Community Do About the Arrests of Chinese Lawyers?

6 PM, Event
My First Ethical Dilemma: A Program for Law Students

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

8:30 AM 10 AM, Event
Smart Marketing Means Ready, Aim, Fire: Aim with Your Value Proposition and Target Client

6:30 PM 8:30 PM, Event
Women of Color Workshop Series: Managing Transitions

6:30 PM 8:30 PM, Event
Database Crime Tracking: Crime Prevention or Privacy Invasion?

Around the Bar
The British Were Here!

On April 13th, with ‘Buckingham Palace guards’ standing watch, the City Bar was transformed into an English pub as the City Bar Justice Center’s annual fundraising gala honored Barclays PLC and Linklaters LLP for their global pro bono programs, community projects, and public service activities.

Pictured above from left: Samuel W. Seymour, President, New York City Bar Association; Lance Croffoot-Suede, Partner & Head of Americas Community Investment, Linklaters LLP; Robin Maxwell, Partner, Linklaters LLP; Mark Harding, Group General Counsel, Barclays PLC; and Austin T. Fragomen, Jr., Chair, City Bar Justice Center.

Legislative Update
2011-2012 New York State Budget
With the Governor’s signature on March 31st, the Legislature passed the first on-time state budget in years. A number of City Bar committees provided comments on portions of the budget relevant to their practice areas. Click here for highlights.

Recent Committee Activity
Western Sahara: Morocco’s Use of Natural Resources

The report prepared by the United Nations Committee examines the legal issues involved in the use by Morocco of the natural resources within the territory of Western Sahara. The report, the result of more than 16 months of research, fact gathering, and analysis, concludes that even assuming the legal status most favorable to the Moroccan position, that of an administering power, to the extent Morocco is using natural resources located within the territory of Western Sahara, unless such use is in consultation with and to the direct benefit of the people of the Western Sahara, Morocco’s use of the territory¡¦s natural resources constitutes a violation of international law.

Asylum Claims Based on Social Group Membership
The Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law submitted comments to the Department of Homeland Security urging that proposed new regulations clarify that the “social perceptions” test is based on an attitude of society, and not on whether the group has features which are visible to the naked eye. In addition, any new regulations should reflect that the attitude towards the group is such that it does not receive equal treatment as compared with other members of the national community, and that no application bases on membership in a particular social group should be denied until all possible configurations of social group have been exhausted.

Disclosure of Retired Lawyers’ Addresses
The Committee on Professional Discipline wrote a letter to the Chief Administrative Judge recommending that members of the New York Bar who have certified they are retired, as defined by court rule, be permitted to list either a Post Office Box or an active email address as an alternative to publicly disclosing their home address. Currently, home addresses are listed in the Attorney Directory maintained by the Unified Court System, if the lawyer does not list an address or the lawyer cannot be located at that address. However, listing the home address of certain retired attorneys, such as former prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys, may raise safety concerns. The Committee recommends the alternative listing as a way to provide contact information for retired attorneys without compromising their safety.

Re-Adoption of the Use of Letters of Caution
The Committee on Professional Discipline joined with the Professional Discipline Committee of the State Bar in a letter to the Chief Counsel to the Departmental Disciplinary Committee, First Department, urging that the Department re-adopt Letters of Caution as a non-disciplinary measure for resolving disciplinary complaints. Currently, the Department can either impose formal discipline or dismiss the complaint. Letters of Caution, which are used in the three other New York Appellate Departments, provide a means of addressing attorney conduct, which does not call for formal discipline, but which raises a concern and would allow the DDC to comment on the conduct and provide a record that the attorney was cautioned.

City Bar in the News
New York Law Journal, April 12, 2011
Courts Offer Special Registration to Out-of-State In-House Counsel
In-house attorneys who are not licensed to practice law in New York will nevertheless be able to offer legal advice in the state under new rules adopted by the Court of Appeals.…The rules are intended to solidify New York’s status as a center of commercial enterprise in the United States by making it easier for national and international companies to operate here, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said.…The New York City Bar also endorsed the proposal. “The new rules appropriately reflected the realities of modern practice, and we believe they will strengthen the high standards of our bar,” city bar president Samuel W. Seymour of Sullivan & Cromwell said yesterday in a statement.

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