This Week at the City Bar
Around the Bar
Vote for 2012-2013 Nominating Committee Members
44th Street Blog: City Bar Hosts Public Forum on LGBT Rights in Africa
Recent Committee Activity
Committees Seeking Members
City Bar in the News
This Week at the City Bar
6 PM – 9 PM,
Current Legal Ethical Issues

9 AM – 4:45 PM,
Article 81: Certified Training for Guardians Court Evaluators & Attorneys for Alleged Incapacitated Persons

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
Intelligent Interviewing: Telling Your Story, Selling Yourself

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
Women in International Law: Transforming the Legal Landscape

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family

9 AM – 5 PM,
Futures & Derivatives 2012: Distinguishing Markets & Understanding Converging Regulatory Regimes

6 PM – 7 PM,
Dispute Resolution Among Lawyers

6 PM – 8 PM,
Law Week Public Forum: How to Prepare and Succeed in a Civil Court Action

6:30 PM – 8 PM,
What Works? Keeping Court-Involved Youth in Their Homes and Communities

7 PM – 9 PM,
New York Cupcake Tasting – Lawyers Connect: First Thursdays

9 AM – 12:30 PM,
Sweepstakes, Promotions & Marketing Laws: Comprehension & Compliance

Around the Bar
Recruited, Retained, Honored

On April 24th, the Annual Lucheon of the Committee on Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers celebrated the achievements of the Diversity Fellowship Program and the participation of its employer law firms, corporations, and government offices. From left: Muhammad Faridi, Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP; Barbara Berger Opotowsky, Executive Director, New York City Bar; Teresa Minger, Mitsui; Steven Seltzer, Metlife; Chair of Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers Committee; Kevin Khurana, Proskauer Rose LLP.

There is Still Time to Vote
In accordance with the By-Laws, the Executive Committee has nominated ten candidates for election to five positions on the Nominating Committee that will serve in 2012-2013. Members are invited to vote for up to five of the ten candidates for the Nominating Committee.

Please log on to the Members Only page and click Vote Now to be taken to the electronic ballot. You can read about the candidates from links inside the ballot. Voting will remain open until noon (12:00 pm Eastern Standard Time) on May 15, 2012. If you haven’t already voted, please do so.

44th Street Blog
City Bar Hosts Public Forum on LGBT Rights in Africa
On April 23rd, the New York City Bar Association hosted a public forum called “LGBT Rights as Human Rights: Recent Legal Developments in Africa,” which considered developments in LGBT rights in relation to legislation in Africa that criminalizes same-sex activity or organizing on behalf of LGBT people.

Panelists shared their perspectives on the complex causes of the legislation, including the legacy of colonialism, influence of fundamentalist religious groups, inflammatory political rhetoric and misuse of the media to incite violence against LGBT people. Also considered were the far-reaching effects of the legislation, which go beyond violence and imprisonment to include undermining national HIV and AIDS responses and excluding LGBT people from basic human rights entitlements such as schooling, housing and medical care.

Read more.

Recent Committee Activity
Inadvertent Disclosure of Documents
The Committee on Professional Ethics issued Formal Opinion 2012-01, which considers the ethical obligations of the lawyer who receives a misdirected document. The opinion concludes that a lawyer who receives a misdirected document should act in accordance with Rule 4.4(b) and must promptly notify the sender (in addition to identifying and following applicable substantive law), but has no other obligations under the New York Rules of Professional Conduct with respect to the retention, return, destruction, review or use of the document or its contents. Rule 4.4(b) provides the only governing ethical rule on this topic (other than the normal duty of truthfulness set forth in Rules 4.1 and 8.4). In 2003 the Committee issued Formal Opinion 2003-04, which addressed the same questions discussed in 2012-01. Formal Opinion 2003-04 was issued when the New York Code of Professional Responsibility was in effect. At that time the Code contained no provision directly addressing a lawyer’s responsibility with respect to inadvertently sent documents, and lawyers accordingly took guidance from judicial decisions and bar association opinions. To the extent that Formal Opinion 2003-04 imposes standards that go beyond the standard indicated by Rule 4.4(b), Formal Opinion 2003-04 is withdrawn. Nonetheless, there may be appropriate circumstances in which a lawyer may still act as former Opinion 2003-04 directed (e.g., returning or destroying an inadvertent disclosure at the sender’s request), without violating the Rule or this opinion.

Delayed Legacies
The Committee on Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Courts issued a report in support of proposed amendments to Sections 11-1.5 and 11-A-2.1 of the EPTL and Section 2102 of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, which call for the following three principal changes: 1) if a legacy has not been paid within 7 months from the date of issuance of letters to the fiduciary, subject to a contrary provision in a governing instrument, interest on the legacy would become automatically payable to the legatee; 2) the interest rate used to calculate the interest payable on delayed legacies would be the federal funds rate as of January 1 of the applicable year, less 1% (with a floor of 0.5%); and 3) the interest paid on delayed legacies would be recharacterized under EPTL 11-A as accounting income.

Employer Diversity Initiatives
The Committee on Labor and Employment Law issued a report entitled Employer Diversity Initiatives: Legal Considerations for Employers and Policymakers. The report explores the efforts by employers to attract and attain a diverse workforce and the legal impediments that may arise from implementing such initiatives. The Report includes: 1) an overview of the anti-discrimination laws and the changing demographics of the U.S. workforce since the passage of Title VII; 2) a discussion of conflicting policies and laws and the legal risks employers face when planning and implementing certain diversity initiatives; 3) a summary of the diversity “best practices” that are permissible under current law; and 4) a discussion of the extent to which diversity planning documents will be protected from disclosure.

In a joint letter to the IRS, the Committees on Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Courts and Estate and Gift Taxation commented on Notice 2011-101 request for comments on the income, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax issues and consequences arising from a transfer by a trustee of all or a portion of the principal of an irrevocable trust (a “Distributing Trust”) to another irrevocable trust (a “Receiving Trust”), sometimes called “decanting” that results in a change in the beneficial interests in the trust. The letter notes the various factors and issues that are specifically identified in the Notice and lists additional factors and issues that should be viewed as relevant to the analysis of the income, gift, estate, and GST tax consequences of decanting. All of these factors are not necessarily relevant to each and every decanting and do not impact the proposed safe harbors except as indicated. The letter then presents a number of situations that the IRS should consider adopting to provide trustees with safe harbors to allow them to decant assets from a Distributing Trust to a Receiving Trust, without any tax consequences.

Committees Seeking Members
The Military Affairs and Justice Committee is accepting applications for membership for the 2012-2013 year. The Committee addresses legal and policy issues affecting the United States armed services and the operation of the Court of Military Justice. The Committee also awards medals to the top graduate in the JAG programs of the service academies and the law program at West Point. The Committee’s activities in recent years have included 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 a military lawyer recently deployed in Afghanistan, with judges from the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and with fellows from the Council on Foreign Affairs; and co-authoring reports and letters on such subjects as human rights standards applicable to the United States’ interrogation of detainees, repeal of “Don't Ask Don’t Tell,” and voting rights for service members. To apply, please contact the committee’s secretary, Julie Jetton, at

The Administrative Law Committee is accepting applications for membership for the 2012-2013 year beginning in September. The Committee is interdisciplinary, and considers administrative law issues on a local, state, and federal level. The Committee has played an active role in efforts to further due process and access to justice at New York City’s administrative tribunals, including providing testimony to the New York City Charter Revision Commission, and then commenting to a special mayoral committee on the consolidation of certain administrative tribunals. It has also collaborated with the City’s Administrative Justice Coordinator and the Office of Administrative Tribunals and Hearings on CLEs. In addition, on May 10, the Committee will be co-sponsoring an informative CLE for practitioners on federal, state, and local agency choices with respect to employment discrimination charges and complaints. Our focus on process also informs our participation on amicus briefs and other projects. To apply, please contact the Committee’s incoming chair, Kevin Gildea, at

City Bar in the News
National Law Journal , April 23, 2012

The 2012 Midsize Hot List
“Operating out of just three offices – two in New York and one in Washington – Carter Ledyard & Milburn has become a serious player in the international legal scene without assuming the financial burden of regional offices…The firm maintains a competitive summer-associate program, which satisfies the majority of its staffing needs. Additionally, it participates in a number of programs designed to increase its minority hiring numbers, including the Thurgood Marshall Summer Law Internship Program. Sponsored by the New York City Bar Association, the paid internship program places high school students at law firms and favors minority students.”

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