The City Bar at 144

Two years ago, when I began my tenure as president of New York City Bar Association, I said that trying to describe the Association reminds me of the parable of the blind men and the elephant, in which you know only that part of the organization with which you come into contact. For lawyers it may be committee service, or pro bono work with the City Bar Justice Center or the Vance Center, or social events and networking. For the public, it may be access to legal services or a public-interest speaker or panel. We truly have something for everyone. But I said then, and I believe even more now, that the City Bar is more than the sum of its parts – that what really defines the organization, now and when it was founded 144 years ago, is its unique voice and its role as the conscience of the profession. Read more.


Debra Raskin
On May 20th, 2014, following the annual meeting of the New York City Bar Association, Debra L. Raskin became the Association's 66th President. Since 1988, Raskin has been a partner at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., which specializes in representing employees in labor and employment law matters. Prior to that, she was a New York State Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Bureau. After receiving her law degree from Yale, she worked at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago for four years and clerked for Hon. Lee P. Gagliardi of the United States District Court, SDNY. At the City Bar, Raskin has been Chair of the Executive Committee and of the Labor and Employment Law Committee. Read more.

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
"Death at Seaworld": Examining Killer Whales in Captivity

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

6 PM – 8 PM, Event

Understanding U.S. Business Visas 101

6 PM – 9 PM, Event

Careers in Insurance Law

6:30 PM – 8 PM, Event

A Conversation with Incoming New York City Human Resources Commissioner Steve Banks

8:15 AM – 9:30 AM, Event
Breakfast Series: New York Foreclosure: Government Mortgage Settlements, Foreclosure Legislation and Practice Tips for Practitioners

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

6 PM – 7:30 PM, Event
Bar @ the Bar

6 PM – 9 PM, CLE
The "How To" of Successful Motion Practice: Practical Advice & Tips

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event

Justice for the Poor: Fixing a Broken Public Defense System

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
Talent Night on the City Bar Stage


On May 20th, at the Annual Meeting of the New York City Bar Association,  Debra L. Raskin succeeded Carey R. Dunne as President.

FBI Director James Comey and SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White gave the keynote addresses at the City Bar Center for CLE's 3rd Annual White Collar Crime Institute on May 19th. Read Mr. Comey's remarks here and Ms. White's remarks here.

Judge Denny Chin of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit moderated the program "22 Lewd Chinese Women: Chy Lung v. Freeman (1876)" at the City Bar on May 21st. Presented in conjunction with the Asian American Bar Association of New York, this historical reenactment told the story of a case involving issues of federalism and civil and human rights that started in California and reached the U.S. Supreme Court. Thanks to sponsors AIG; BakerHostetler; Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP; Planet Depos, LLC; and Proskauer Rose LLP.


Carr Workplaces
Need an office that's ready now and comes with access to business support services? Need space for depositions, document reviews or meetings? Carr Workplaces has locations at 745 Fifth Avenue (58th St.) and 200 Park Avenue (Grand Central), and offers exclusive discounts for members of the New York City Bar Association. Learn more here.


City Bar members now have free remote online access to Casemaker’s broad and comprehensive libraries covering all 50 states and Federal level materials, as well as access to a suite of tools that make research faster and easier. To access Casemaker, please log in to your City Bar Member Account. Learn more here.

Three-Unit Service Dog Team

In a joint report, the Committees on Animal Law and Civil Rights expressed opposition to A.7958/S.3866, which would create a new definition for a "three-unit service dog team." Under the new definition a three-unit service dog team would be a team consisting of a person with a disability, a trained service dog, and a person over the age of eighteen who has been trained to handle a service dog. The report argues that this new definition would limit, rather than enhance, rights already recognized under NYS Civil Rights Law §§ 47 and 47-b(3). Requiring that a trainer be over the age of 18 and have been "trained to handle" a service animal further restricts current rights to use guide, hearing, and service dogs, or to train them in the first place, and is inconsistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act.


Fire Safety Standards in Animal Housing Facilities

In a letter to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the Committee on Animal Law expresses support for proposed amendments to NFPA 150, which would expand the scope of animal facilities that would be required to have sprinkler systems and smoke control systems installed. Specifically the amendment would require that sprinkler systems and smoke control systems be installed in facilities housing animals designated as "Category B" animals, which include all animals not designated as "Category A" animals, including, but not limited to, farm animals such as turkeys, cows, pigs and chickens, as well as companion animals such as dogs and cats and other animals typically found in pet stores and breeding facilities. While NFPA standards are not binding, they are an important source of model industry standards that are frequently adopted by states and municipalities throughout the country. Adoption of the proposed amendment to NFPA 150, the letter urges, would provide needed guidance on comprehensive fire safety standards for all confined animals.


New York Law Journal, May 20, 2014
Raskin Takes on President's Role at City Bar

"As Debra Raskin prepares to assume the role of president of the New York City Bar Association, her to-do list includes access to justice and an effort to broaden membership within the organization. As a partner at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, a plaintiff labor and employment firm, Raskin said those priorities reflect her concerns about inclusion and using the legal profession's 'unique position' for social good – two principles for which the city bar has always stood. 'Lawyers speak a language that others don't have. As a keeper of these languages, we have some obligation to share that,' said Raskin, who takes the lead of the approximately 24,000-member organization May 20."

Wall Street Journal
(Market Watch Blog), May 20, 2014

SEC Head Says Too Many Regulators Piling Into Investigations

"Stop piling on to every investigation, Securities and Exchange Commission head Mary Jo White told other regulators Monday. In a speech at the New York City Bar Association, White sharply rebuked those regulators that compete on investigations in an effort to make headlines. 'Collectively, we should also try to avoid unnecessary competition among ourselves for cases and headlines,' she said. 'While I realize we may not always achieve this goal in practice, enforcement is serious business and we have a professional responsibility to use our agency resources wisely and in a manner that best applies our specific expertise and enforcement tools.'"

New York Law Journal, May 20, 2014
Leaders of SEC, FBI Address White-Collar Crime Strategy

"The heads of the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation both pushed back against the idea that some financial companies are 'too big to jail' during speeches at the New York City Bar Association on Monday. SEC chairwoman Mary Jo White and FBI director James Comey both spoke as part of the city bar's third annual White Collar Institute, which also brought together several panels on current topics in white-collar crime. White's keynote speech, which opened the event, set forth a broad outline of the challenges facing the SEC and the tools it uses to deal with them."


Wall Street Journal (Law Blog), May 20, 2014
Comey: FBI "Grappling" With Hiring Policy Concerning Marijuana

"FBI Director James B. Comey said Monday that if the FBI hopes to continue to keep pace with cyber criminals, the organization may have to loosen up its no-tolerance policy for hiring those who like to smoke marijuana. Congress has authorized the FBI to add 2,000 personnel to its rolls this year, and many of those new recruits will be assigned to tackle cyber crimes, a growing priority for the agency. And that's a problem, Mr. Comey told the White Collar Crime Institute, an annual conference held at the New York City Bar Association in Manhattan. A lot of the nation's top computer programmers and hacking gurus are also fond of marijuana."

, May 19, 2014 (subscription required)

SEC To Lean On 'Controlling Persons' Law In Fraud Cases

"The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's leader said Monday that the agency will ramp up its use of a federal law that allows it to target 'controlling persons' after a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling undercut the scope of a better known anti-securities fraud statute. SEC Chair Mary Jo White told a room of white collar defense attorneys at the New York City Bar Association that the agency would also push harder to win admissions of wrongdoing in future settlements as part of new strategies to address the assertion that individuals haven't been held accountable for corporate frauds and to adjust to the high court's 2011 Janus Capital Group v. First Derivative Traders ruling."

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