This Week at the City Bar        
Vote for 2011–2012 Nominating Committee
Around the Bar
Award Announcements
Recent Committee Activity
City Bar in the News
This Week at the City Bar

6:30 PM 8:30 PM, Event
The Labor and Employment Spring Mixer


6 PM 8 PM, Event
Reentry and People with Physical Disabilities

6 PM 9 PM, CLE
Protecting IP in Contracts with the U.S. Government: The Minotaur in the Regulatory Maze

9 AM 5 PM, CLE
6-Hour Bridge-the-Gap: Corporate & Litigation (Day 2 Only)

6:30 PM, Event
Annual Presentation of The Kathryn A. McDonald Awards & Reception Honoring Family Court Judges in New York City

9:30 AM 11:30 AM, Event
Common Ethical Issues in Pro Bono Representation

12 PM 2 PM, Event
Madoff: The Wizard Of Lies – Public Affairs Luncheon

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

6 PM 8 PM, Event
Taking Senior Status: Considering Life’s Next Chapter and Redefining Retirement

6:30 PM, Event
The Hess Lecture: The Messages of Matter of Totten


9 AM 1 PM, CLE
Leveraged M&A: Navigating Debt Financing Issues in M&A Transactions

12 PM, Event

New York Law As An International Standard – Report on the Work of the NYSBA Task Force on New York Law in International Matters

Vote for the 2011-2012 Nominating Committee
Ten candidates have been nominated for election to five positions on the Nominating Committee, which will serve in 2011–2012. Members are invited to vote for up to five candidates. Voting will remain open until noon on May 17, 2011. To vote, click here.

Around the Bar
Practice Before Immigration Court in Removal Cases

On May 5th, Mark R. Von Sternberg, Senior Attorney at Catholic Charities Community Services, and Hon. Noel Ann Brennan, United States Immigration Judge, were on the panel of a CLE course on the step-by-step process of a removal case before an immigration judge, from the pleading stage through final decision.

City Bar's Legal Referral Service Celebrates Law Day

Last week, the City Bar’s Legal Referral Service, together with the New York State Courts Access to Justice Program, put on Law Day events in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn. These events offered New Yorkers the opportunity to learn about their legal rights and responsibilities, to receive educational material on diverse legal topics, and to get free legal consultations with volunteer attorneys, public agencies, and local bar associations.

Award Announcements
22nd Annual Legal Services Award Winners
The City Bar has named four legal services attorneys and one non-attorney as recipients of the Twenty-second Annual Legal Services Awards, which recognize attorneys and non-attorneys who provide outstanding civil legal assistance to low-income New Yorkers. The Awards will be presented on May 25th.This year’s recipients are Lauren Donnelly, Supervising Attorney, The Legal Aid Society; Harvey Epstein, Director, Community Development Project, Urban Justice Center; Meghan Faux, Director, Foreclosure Prevention Project, South Brooklyn Legal Services, Inc.; Betty Heaton, Senior Legal Assistant/Social Worker, Manhattan Legal Services; and Linda Lopez, Deputy Director, Sanctuary for Families Battered Women’s Legal Services. Click here to read more.

Sixth Annual Diversity Champion Award Winners

The City Bar will present the Sixth Annual Diversity Champion Awards at a ceremony and luncheon on May 24th. The award recognizes the critical role individual attorneys have played in initiating and sustaining change within their organizations and the overall New York legal community. This year’s recipients are Sheila S. Boston, partner at Kaye Scholer and chair of the firm’s diversity committee; Vincent T. Chang, partner at Wollmuth Maher & Deutsch and past president of the Asian American Bar Association of New York; S. Jeanine Conley, partner at Baker & Hostetler and president of the Association of Black Women Attorneys; and Andrew T. Hahn Sr., partner at Duane Morris and past president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Click here to read more, and here to buy tickets and/or tables.

Recent Committee Activity
Marriage Equality
Eighteen committees endorsed a report supporting marriage equality for same-sex couples in New York. For over a decade the City Bar, through reports and amicus briefs, has demonstrated that the right to a civil marriage, regardless of a spouse’s sex, is essential for full equality for all New Yorkers. This report urges that the Legislature pass a bill that provides full marriage equity, noting that anything short of full marriage equity, such as civil unions, would not provide the widely recognized legal status conferred upon married individuals by the federal government and other states.

Alternative Standards of Creditworthiness

In a letter to the SEC, the Committee on Investment Management Regulation offered comments on Release IC-29592, which would, among other things, remove the references to credit ratings in Rules 2a-7 and 5b-3 of the Investment Company Act of 1940, and replace them with alternative standards of creditworthiness that are designed to achieve the same purpose as the rating requirement. The letter focuses its comments on the responsibilities that the proposed Rules place on money market fund boards of directors or trustees, and urges the Commission not to adopt these proposals without amending the proposed Rules to address the role of the money market fund board so that it: 1) is more consistent with the way in which fund directors undertake their oversight role consistent with their fiduciary duties under applicable law; and 2) does not take the role of a rating agency.

Sensible Reform of the Rockefeller Drug Laws
The Committee on Corrections submitted an amicus brief in People v. Paulin & Pratts. Filed in the New York State Court of Appeals, the brief agues that under the 2009 Drug Law Reform Act (DLRA-3), individuals serving long indeterminate sentences, like the Defendants-Appellants, should be eligible for resentencing to shorter determinate terms. Though the Defendants-Appellants meet the criteria to be eligible for resentencing, the Appellate Division ruled that Defendants-Appellants were categorically barred from seeking resentencing under DLRA-3 because they were in the Department of Corrections custody following a parole violation and therefore should not benefit from that violation. This reasoning, the brief argues, is inconsistent with the plain language of DLRA-3 and its goal of keeping nonviolent drug offenders out of prison and in treatment.

Youthful Offender Status
The Committee on Juvenile Justice issued a report expressing opposition to A.4945, which would limit a judge’s discretion to confer Youthful Offender status on a teenager who commits a criminal act. Currently, the Criminal Procedure Law gives judges the discretion to confer Youthful Offender status on defendants 14 through 18 years old, who have been found to have committed criminal acts. The proposed legislation would bar a teenager from being designated a Youthful Offender if he/she has two juvenile delinquency felony convictions, unless the mitigating circumstances in the current law are present.

City Bar in the News
New York Times, May 4, 2011

As Barriers to Lawyers Persist, Immigrant Advocates Ponder Solutions
On Tuesday, about 200 leaders from legal, governmental and immigration circles gathered in Manhattan to discuss the barriers that deny many immigrants proper legal counsel.…The problem only gets worse when immigrants are sent to distant detention centers in places like Texas or Louisiana, as happens to nearly two-thirds of those taken into immigration custody in New York. Nearly 80 percent of those immigrants are unrepresented, according to the study, which examined Justice Department data from 2005 to 2010. “If they doníŽt have a lawyer, it’s because they don’t have anything,” said Lynn M. Kelly, executive director of the City Bar Justice Center. “People beg, borrow and pass the hat around the community to hire attorneys.”

New York Law Journal, May 4, 2011
City Bar’s Lawyer Assistance Program Continues Its Mission
Letter to the Editor by Eileen Travis

Despite the de-funding of the New York State Lawyer Assistance Trust (“Budget Slices Support for Lawyers Facing Drug, Alcohol Abuse”), we would like readers of the New York Law Journal to know that the New York City Bar Lawyer Assistance Program (NYC LAP) continues to provide free, confidential help to lawyers, judges, law students and their family members struggling with substance abuse and mental health problems. NYC LAP is a professionally staffed program that provides assistance to all legal professionals who live and/or work in the five boroughs. Bar membership is not required. NYC LAP offers assessment, intervention, consultation, education and referral to community resources, self-help groups, private therapists, psychiatrists and inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities. The mission of NYC LAP is to intervene and address problems before they jeopardize a lawyer’s practice, a judge’s career or a law student’s education, with all the resulting ramifications for them and their families. [To contact NYC LAP, call the confidential phone line--212.302.5787--or email]

New York Law Journal, May 2, 2011
Budget Slices Support for Lawyers Facing Drug, Alcohol Abuse
The court system has eliminated all funding for a program that helps lawyers cope with alcohol and drug abuse problems. According to its website, the New York State Lawyer Assistance Trust was established in 2001 by Chief Judge Judith Kaye and Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman as “a permanent entity that brings statewide resources and awareness to the prevention and treatment of alcohol and substance abuse among lawyers, judges and law students.” The courts have appropriated money for the trust in every year since, for a total of $1.3 million. Its grants are funneled through the New York City Bar and other local bar groups. But the program has come to seem less “permanent” with the court system facing substantial budget cuts.

New York Law Journal, May 2, 2011
Thanks Due Lawyers at Guantanamo
Law Day Column by Samuel W. Seymour
The need for equal access to due process and effective counsel, even in times of national turmoil, remains as central to American values today as it was on the eve of the Revolution, and nowhere is this principle more evident than at the American military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay. Since 2002, over 750 enemy combatants have been detained at Guantanamo Bay. Of these, more than 500 have since been released without charges, many after years in custody without recourse to a habeas corpus petition.…Over the past nine years, lawyers from across the ideological spectrum have volunteered countless hours to represent the Guantanamo prisoners. Most have worked pro bono, and many have struggled against intrusive and unnecessary bureaucratic barriers in seeking a fair and speedy trial for their clients.

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