IN THIS ISSUE : MONDAY, May 7, 2012
This Week at the City Bar
City Bar President Sam Seymour Calls for End of China’s Abuse of Chen Guangcheng and Other Lawyers
Around the Bar
Vote for 2012-2013 Nominating Committee Members
Committees Seeking Members
City Bar in the News
   
This Week at the City Bar
MONDAY, MAY 7
6 PM – 8 PM,
Event
The Annual Presentation of The Kathryn A. McDonald Awards & A 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
Recent Developments in Environmental Law in Latin America



TUESDAY, MAY 8
6 PM – 8 PM,
Event
The State of Language Access Reform: A Discussion of the OCA 2006 and 2011 Action Plans



WEDNESDAY, MAY 9
6 PM – 8 PM,
Event
What, Me RETIRE? What Would I Do?


6 PM – 8:30 PM,
Event
Finding a Non-Profit Board Position: Board Fair and Attorney Networking Event


6 PM – 9 PM,
Event
Solar Power in New York: Law and Policy


6 PM – 9 PM,
CLE
Representing Clients in Federal & State Criminal Tax Investigations: Defense Strategies & Prosecution Initiatives Every Attorney Needs to Know



THURSDAY, MAY 10
12:30 PM – 2 PM,
Event
The Necessities of Opening, Expanding, and Running Your Own Practice Effectively


6 PM – 8:30 PM,
CLE
The Employment Discrimination Charge & Complaint: Agency Choices Affecting Both Plaintiffs & Management


6:30 PM – 8 PM, Event
Distant Genocides: Not a Court’s Business?
The Leslie H. Arps Memorial Lecture


6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
Event
Animal CSI: Using Veterinary Forensics to Solve Crimes Against Animals



FRIDAY, MAY 11
9 AM – 1 PM,
CLE
Hedge Funds in the Current Environment

City Bar President Sam Seymour Calls for End of China¡¦s Abuse of Chen Guangcheng and Other Lawyers
The shocking and unacceptable treatment of Chen Guangcheng, a well-known legal advocate, and his family by Chinese authorities reflects the broader problem of harassment of dozens of lawyers in China who represent unpopular clients and causes disfavored by the government.

Read more.

Around the Bar
Kathryn A. McDonald Awards


On May 7, the New York City Bar presented its annual Kathryn McDonald Awards for outstanding service to New York City Family Court, at a reception which also honored New York City Family Court Judges. On hand were, from left, Hon. Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson, Administrative Judge, New York City Family Court; Stephanie Gendell, Chair of the City Bar's Council on Children; honoree Peter Passidomo, Chief Clerk, New York City Family Court; Ann McDonald, daughter of former Family Court Administrative Judge Kathryn McDonald, for whom the awards are named; New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman; and Samuel W. Seymour, City Bar President. Not pictured: honoree Glenn Metsch-Ampel, Deputy Executive Director, Lawyers for Children.

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.

Committees Seeking Members
The Asian Affairs Committee focuses on legal and policy issues and developments relating to Asia. Its membership is comprised of New York lawyers with an interest in Asia – many whom have lived or worked there, or are engaged in activities relating to one or more Asian countries. The Committee is currently engaged in, among other things, studying the alternative dispute resolution regimes of China, Japan, South Korea, India and Singapore. It has, during the past year, hosted several lawyers and judges from each of these countries. The Committee is looking for new members starting fall 2012. If you are interested in joining, please contact Jaipat S. Jain, Chair, at jjain@lpgllp.com or by phone at (212) 784-2418.

The Public Service Network Committee fosters public service within the legal community by placing lawyers with nonprofit organizations in various volunteer capacities. The Staff Coordinator works with nonprofit organizations to determine their needs, and works with volunteer attorneys to evaluate their interests and skills in order to match attorneys with the right organizations. The Network’s database of organizations includes more than 400 nonprofits. The Network has placed over 1,000 lawyers in varied legal and non-legal roles, including service as a Board member, assisting with policy and legal research, representation of both the organization and the organization’s clients, program development, public relations and many more. The Committee serves in an advisory capacity, working with the Coordinator on program evaluation and growth, event planning, and developing relationships to increase volunteer and nonprofit partner participation. To apply to serve on the committee, please contact Tom Schoenherr at tschoenherr@law.fordham.edu.

City Bar in the News
Thomson Reuters
, April 30, 2012

NYC Bar Issues Ethics Opinion on Documents Sent Inadvertently
“Lawyers who receive documents that were sent by mistake must promptly notify the sender, but they are not necessarily prohibited from using them, the New York City Bar Association said in an ethics opinion released Monday. The opinion is an effort to address a problem that has grown in the digital age, as electronic communication has become more pervasive. ‘We were really trying to clarify an area of ethics and law where there has been a lot of confusion,’ said Jeremy Feinberg, who chairs the association’s professional ethics committee. Opinion 2012-1 relies on Rule 4.4(b) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, which requires lawyers who reasonably know that a document was given to them inadvertently to inform the sender.”


New York Law Journal, May 1, 2012
The Bar Must Help Preserve Legal Services
By Samuel W. Seymour

“The New York City Bar has long advocated for adequate funding for legal services for the poor, and we support the right to counsel for people trying to address fundamental civil legal needs. Yet, we recognize that these currently are elusive goals. We applaud Judge Lippman’s vital initiative to increase legal services funding, but that will serve primarily to balance the reduced funding from the state’s IOLA program and severe cuts in federal legal services funding.…The City Bar provides pro bono representation to the needy in a broad range of matters through the City Bar Justice Center, which also runs a hotline for those who have legal questions. In addition, we have several programs that primarily assist people who are proceeding pro se.”


ABA Journal, May 1, 2012

NYC Bar: Lawyers Must Tell Opponents If Documents Are Mistakenly Sent, but May Be Able to Use Them
“An opinion released Monday by the New York City Bar Association attempts to provide a clear pathway through an ethical thicket concerning a lawyer’s duties when he or she receives material from an opponent that was sent by mistake. And Formal Opinion 2012-1 does provide bright-line rules on several fronts, saying that the lawyer must promptly notify the sender, under Rule 4.4(b) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, and making clear that the rule applies to all communication, both electronic and hard-copy, regardless of who sends it, according to Reuters. However, lawyers must now decide for themselves how to deal with a gray area that has been created by the new ruling: Whether it is ethically permissible to use the material, assuming that the notification requirement has been satisfied. In this respect, the new opinion is less restrictive than a prior ethics opinion, which had banned use of the material and has now been withdrawn, the article explains.”


New York Law Journal
, May 2, 2012

City Bar Changes Opinion on Getting Messages in Error
“An attorney who receives a communication meant for someone else by mistake has no obligation beyond notifying the sender ‘as soon as reasonably possible,’ according to a new ethics opinion from the New York City Bar. The obligation to notify the sender of a misdirected communication is set forth in Rule 4.4(b) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. However, a 2003 opinion from the city bar had gone beyond the rule, saying that the recipient of such a communication should refrain from reviewing it and destroy it upon request. The new opinion withdraws that earlier one.”


Thomson Reuters, May 3, 2012

Manhattan is State’s Divorce ‘Mecca,’ Judge Says
“The Manhattan court’s reputation for providing a relatively fast path to an uncontested divorce is ‘no secret’ to some members of the New York County matrimonial bar, said Michael Mosberg, an attorney with Aronson Mayefsky & Sloan who chairs the New York City Bar Association’s Matrimonial Law Committee. But what is less well-understood is why New York County has become so much faster at processing uncontested divorces than other courts, all of which suffer the same budget and staffing constrictions, Mosberg added. ‘You have a concentration of people who are filing these uncontested divorce cases, and this is where they’re coming without regard to the effects and potential ramifications this may have,” Mosberg said. While high-income couples typically come represented by savvy attorneys who know the rules, the problems…hit more at lower-income parties who may not have the means to hire counsel or contest the Manhattan court venue, Mosberg added.”

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