IN THIS ISSUE: MONDAY, MAY 6, 2013
This Week at the City Bar
Around Albany
Recent Committee Activity
Save the Date: Diversity & Inclusion Champion Awards
City Bar in the News
   
This Week at the City Bar
MONDAY, MAY 6

6 PM – 8 PM,
Event
The Annual Presentation of the Kathryn A. McDonald Awards & Reception Honoring Family Court Judges in New York City


6 PM – 9 PM,
CLE
Current Developments in Commercial Division Practice


6:30 PM – 8 PM,
Event
Evaluating Teachers: Will New Teacher Evaluation Systems Result in Better Teaching and Learning?



TUESDAY, MAY 7
8:15 AM – 10 AM,
Event
Driving towards Efficiency through E-billing: A Dialogue with In-House Counsel


12 PM – 2 PM,
Event
A Walk Across the Sun – An Examination of Human Trafficking
Public Affairs Luncheon


12:30 PM – 2 PM,
Event
Recent Developments in International Arbitration – a Luncheon Discussion with Remote Access


6 PM – 8 PM,
Event
Extraordinary Issues for Extraordinary Kids: A Primer on the Issues Involved When Confronted with Special Needs Children in Divorce


6 PM – 9 PM,
CLE
Best Practices for Solo Practitioners & Small Law Firms: Ethical Concerns & More



WENESDAY, MAY 8
6 PM – 8 PM,
CLE
Briefwriting 101: A Step-by-Step Approach

6:30 PM – 9 PM,
Event
Women’s Rights in the Islamic World after the Arab Spring



THURSDAY, MAY 9
9 AM – 5 PM,
CLE
Family & Divorce Mediation Training (Day 1 of 3 Day Training)



FRIDAY, MAY 10
9 AM – 5 PM,
CLE
Family & Divorce Mediation Training (Day 2 of 3 Day Training)

6 PM – 8 PM,
Event
Friday Evening Chamber Music

Around Albany

On Monday, April 29th, members of the Corrections & Community Reentry Committee traveled to Albany for a lobby day. Accompanied by Elizabeth Kocienda, the City Bar’s Assistant Director of Legislative Affairs, members met with the chair of the Assembly Corrections Committee, Daniel O’Donnell, as well as representatives from the Senate and Assembly Codes Committees. The group also met with legislative staff to discuss two bills they support – one which would give judges more discretion when setting probation sentences, and one aimed at reducing barriers to employment for applicants with a criminal record. City Bar committees interested in setting up a lobby day should get in touch with the Legislative Affairs Department. Pictured (left–right): Allegra Glashausser, Paul Montuori, Sara Manaugh (chair), and Bernadette Jentsch.

Recent Committee Activity
Immigration Reform
The Immigration and Nationality Law Committee sent two letters to congress concerning the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S.744). The first letter focused on the right to counsel aspects in the bill, expressing support for the bill as a strong and serious step forward as it contemplates the right to free counsel for certain particularly vulnerable groups. However, the letter urged that the bill be expanded to include universal representation for indigent immigrant detainees, including those facing deportation proceedings, and made further recommendations. The second letter focused on the steps the legislation takes to reduce the Department of Homeland Security’s over-detention of non-citizens and offers additional steps Congress can take to further reduce detention and ensure due process.

Independence of the Judiciary in Guatemala
In a joint letter to the Constitutional Court of Guatemala, the Committees on International Human Rights and Inter-American Affairs expressed concern about the independence of the judiciary in Guatemala after the trial of Efrain Rios Montt and Mauricio Rodriguez Sanchez was suspended following the publication of a statement criticizing the trial, which was expressly endorsed by President Otto Perez Molina, and which claimed that the genocide trial was an attack on the Guatemalan state and a farce. The letter notes that there have also been numerous reports of threats to the safety of witnesses, judges, and lawyers who have participated in the trial, which violates international standards on the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. The Guatemalan courts, the letter urges, must be free to decide the cases before them without being subject to improper influences, inducements, pressures, threats or interferences, direct or indirect, from any quarter or for any reason.

Guantanamo Detainees
The Task Force on National Security and the Rule of Law authored a letter to President Obama urging him to take Executive action to release or transfer the prison’s 86 detainees previously cleared for release and to take concrete steps to restart the process toward closure of the Guantanamo Bay facility, including the eventual prosecution, transfer or release of the remaining individuals currently held there. Section 1028 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 provides a means, albeit arduous, to do so. The Task Force noted the hunger strike currently taking place at the facility, and said the steps urged in the letter are necessary not only to cleanse the stain on the nation’s reputation as a staunch defender of the rule of law and international human rights but also to remove what has become a serious threat to national security.

Save the Date
2013 Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award Luncheon
Join us for the annual Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award Luncheon as the City Bar honors individual attorneys who have demonstrated commitment to improving diversity within the New York City legal profession and whose actions and activities embody the ideals of the City Bar’s Statement of Diversity Principles. This year’s honorees are: Larry Chanen, Senior Vice President and Associate General Counsel, JPMorgan Chase; Asim Rehman, President, Muslim Bar Association of New York & Corporate Counsel, MetLife, Inc; Alita T. Wingfield, Executive Director, Morgan Stanley.

The awards will be presented on Wednesday, June 5, 2013 at 12:15 PM at the Association. For more information or to register please visit bit.ly/divchampawardreg or contact Clare Plunkett at (212) 382-6772 or by email.

City Bar in the News
New York Law Journal, May 1, 2013

Seeking Dialogue, City Bar Has Suggestions for the Next Mayor
“The New York City Bar is urging the city’s next mayor to reform the controversial police practice of stop-and-frisk, expand programs to help unrepresented litigants in civil cases and strengthen consumer protections, among other recommendations in a 95-page report released today. In many areas, the bar group urged the next mayor to continue to advocate for policies preferred by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, including strengthening gun control and promoting more efficient transit to reduce carbon emissions. The city bar will be hosting a forum for the candidates on June 6. ‘We hope this report proves useful for the mayoral candidates, the public, and the City Council as each considers and prioritizes electoral issues,’ the report said.”


New York Law Journal, May 1, 2013

Access to Lawyers Is Critical to Ensuring Justice
By Carey R. Dunne
“Law Day is an opportune time to recall and applaud our country’s landmark civil and human rights achievements, from the Emancipation Proclamation to the recent steps toward LGBT equality. It's also a good day to remind ourselves that, for every such milestone, there are miles to go in the effort to meet the essential legal needs of many across our nation. Without basic representation—the day-to-day blocking and tackling that gets done by our legal services providers, pro bono organizations and others—our headline civil rights achievements risk being overshadowed by the continuing inequality and injustice that many Americans experience year after year.”


Law360, May 1, 2013

Cable TV Giants Have Carved Up NYC, Lawyer Group Says [subscription required]
“Franchise agreements New York City has entered into with telecommunications giants Verizon Communications Inc., TimeWarner Cable Inc. and Cablevision Systems Corp. may have left consumers without enough competitive choice, the New York City Bar Association said Tuesday. The 23,000-lawyer bar association made the comments in a sweeping policy document full of suggestions for the city’s next mayor that includes recommendations for making the city more green; maintaining the independence of judges and putting a fleet of taxis on the streets that is accessible to disabled people.”


New York Daily News, May 2, 2013

New York City Bar Tells Mayoral Hopefuls to Reform, Not Scrap Stop-And-Frisk
“Fine tune stop-and-frisk to avoid future legal challenges to the NYPD's controversial crime-fighting strategy. That was the advice Thursday from the New York City Bar in its ‘Policy Recommendations for New York City’s Next Mayor.’ ‘We believe it would be imprudent for the City to await a court-determined outcome of the lawsuits before making changes to avoid the destructive social consequences of these stops,’ the influential legal group’s report stated.”

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