This Week at the City Bar        
Around the Bar
Small Law Firm Report
Recent Committee Activity
Committee Seeking Members
City Bar in the News
This Week at the City Bar

8 AM 7:30 PM, Event
Microfinance USA Conference 2011

6 PM, Event
“Tales From the Sausage Factory: Making Laws in New York State,” by Daniel L. Feldman and Gerald Benjamin - Books at the Bar

6 PM 9 PM, CLE
Legal & Ethical Issues for Investment Counsel

6:30 PM, Event
MOTHERLODE: Lawyering, Parenting (and Writing About It) in the Age of “Having it All”

8 AM 8 PM, Event
Microfinance USA Conference 2011

8:30 AM 9:30 AM, Event
Women in IP Breakfast Series: Hot Topics in Internet Law

12:15 PM 2:30 PM, Event
Sixth Annual Diversity Champion Award Luncheon

6 PM – 7:30 PM, Event
It's a Parody! It's a Satire! It's…Infringement?

6 PM 8 PM, Event
Join the Court Interpreting Conversation: The 2006 OCA Action Plan Five Years Later

6 PM 9 PM, CLE
Current Legal Ethical Issues for In-House Counsel & Those Who Advise Them

7 PM, Event
They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children

8 AM 9:15 AM, Event
Temporary Maintenance: The New Formula and the New Statute

6 PM 8 PM, CLE
Changing Players in Bankruptcy and Rule 2019

6:30 PM, Event
Life Outside of a Law Firm: Alternative Careers for Lawyers


9 AM 12 PM, CLE
Housing Finance: Policy & Practice

Around the Bar
Bar Associations Join Together on Marriage Equality

On May 17th, leaders of nearly two dozen New York bar associations gathered at the City Bar to urge that legislation be passed to end discrimination against same-sex couples who wish to marry in New York. Read more and view video here.

Pat Hynes’ Portrait is Unveiled, with a Little Help from a Painter Named Anthony Benedetto

Tony Bennett joined former City Bar President Patricia M. Hynes, along with her husband, Roy L. Reardon, right, at the unveiling of Ms. Hynes’ portrait, which was painted by Everett Raymond Kinstler, left. Mr. Bennett, who paints under the name Anthony Benedetto, is friends with Mr. Kinstler. The portrait can be seen in the Reception Hall on the second floor.

Small Law Firm Report
City Bar Report Lays Out “Best Practices for Solos and Small Firms in the Current Economy”
In response to the increase in the number of attorneys forced by the economy to start their own businesses, The City Bar’s Small Law Firm Committee has produced a report covering the essentials of running a small firm or solo practice. The report’s content is divided into six topics: the attorney client relationship and retainer agreements; conflicts of interest; billing practices; exit strategies and law firm partnership agreements; technology and social media; and professional liability insurance. A separate ˇ§best practicesˇ¨ section aggregates all the points throughout the report that are applicable in a broader context of general law practice management.

Recent Committee Activity
Save Our State Amendment
The Committee on Foreign and Comparative Law filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit in Awad v. Ziriax. SQ755, the Save Our State Amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution, would prohibit Oklahoma courts from considering or using international law or Sharia Law. The brief argues that SQ755, if allowed to become effective as part of the Oklahoma State Constitution, would violate the Supremacy, Full Faith and Credit, Contract, and Due Process Clauses of the US Constitution, in addition to the patent violation of the Establishment and Equal Protection Clauses. In addition, the essential commercial interests of the citizens of Oklahoma would be severely jeopardized, as parties outside of Oklahoma could refuse to honor contracts and decisions governed by Oklahoma law, due to the lack of comity and reciprocity.

Committee Seeking Members
The Administrative Law Committee is accepting applications for membership for the 2011-2012 year. 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, in the past year, providing testimony to the New York City Charter Revision Commission and commenting to a special mayoral committee on the consolidation of certain administrative tribunals, and by collaborating with the City’s Administrative Justice Coordinator and the Office of Administrative Tribunals and Hearings on CLEs. Our focus on process also informs our participation on amicus briefs and other projects. To apply, please contact the Committee’s Chair, Adrienne Ward, at

City Bar in the News
Reuters, May 17, 2011
New York Bar Groups Endorse Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Representatives of more than 20 bar associations made a legal case for passing same-sex marriage legislation in New York on Tuesday, arguing that anything less than full marriage equality relegates same-sex couples to second-class status. The announcement comes as a growing number of political figures, business leaders and celebrities are stumping for a same-sex marriage bill in Albany before the end of the current legislative session on June 20. As part of that push, the bar groups – ranging from the New York State Bar Association, which represents 77,000 attorneys, to the Metropolitan Black Bar Association – endorsed a bill introduced recently by Assemblyman Daniel O'Donnell that would grant civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. “We think the time is right in Albany for consideration of this in the legislature,” said Samuel Seymour, president of the New York City Bar Association and a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell. “We can’t predict the outcome, but we’re here to do what we can to make it happen.”

New York Law Journal, May 17, 2011
Groups Take ‘Lawyer’s Approach’ to Advocacy of Same-Sex Unions
Sponsors of the event say they want to emphasize that the legal impediments faced by same-sex couples should overcome moral or religious objections to homosexual unions. “Our members interact with same-sex couples on a regular basis and we try to meet their legal needs,” Samuel Seymour, the president of the city bar, said in an interview yesterday. “And we cannot do that right now.”…Whether a same-sex partner can visit their mate in an emergency room, gain custody of their partner’s child or collect their partner’s pension are still unclear in New York, Mr. Seymour said. “I think we are trying to take a different approach, a lawyer’s approach, on how to look at it,” he said. “We think it is kind of a new viewpoint on a problem we would like to resolve.”

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