This Week at the City Bar
TUESDAY, MAY 28
6 PM – 7:30 PM, Event
Targeted Killings Away From a “Hot” Battlefield: Exploring the Legal Issues
WEDNESDAY, MAY 29
8:30 AM – 10:30 AM, Event
Nuts and Bolts of Re-entry
9 AM – 5 PM, CLE
16 Hour Bridge-the-Gap: Corporate & Litigation (Day 2 Only)
6 PM – 8 PM, Event
The Keys to Senior Life Planning: Dollars & Doing
THURSDAY, MAY 30
8:30 AM – 10 AM, Event
The “How To” of Successful Motion Practice
Around the Bar
Former City Bar President Michael Cooper toasted outgoing Executive Director Barbara Berger Opotowsky at a reception on May 21st to honor her and to unveil the portrait of former City Bar President Samuel W. Seymour.
Special Website Notice for City Bar Members
During the period May 28, 2013 ¡V May 31, 2013, the New York City Bar Association will be upgrading our member database. During this time, members and customers will not be able to:
• Log into or access the members-only portion of the website
• Pay dues or join the Association online
• Access the remote library of forms and other material
• View the CLE Calendar
• Register online for a CLE program
To pay dues, or to join the Association, please contact the membership department at 212.382.6665 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To register for a CLE program, please call 212.382.6663 or email email@example.com. The Event Calendar and registration for Events will still be available online.
Upon completion of the upgrade, the major change you will see is that when registering for an event, you will be asked to sign in. If you are currently a member and/or have an account, you simply have to provide your User Name and password. If you do not have User Name/Password, you can easily create an account online. This information will allow us to serve you better and provide you with information that is most appropriate.
If you have any questions, or need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact the Membership Department at 212.382.6665 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We apologize for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience during this upgrade.
Recent Committee Activity
The Committees on Civil Rights, Criminal Courts, Criminal Justice Operations, and Drugs and the Law issued a joint report on the New York City Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy. The report reviews the historical background of the City’s stop-and-frisk procedures, the legal principles that apply, the justifications for the policy, the concerns that have been articulated about the effect of the stops on individuals and communities, and recent steps the NYPD has taken in an effort to increase public confidence in the policy. The report also sets forth a number of specific recommendations that would help ensure a better balance between the NYPD’s law enforcement objectives and the need to protect civil liberties and avoid alienating communities of color.
Rule of Law in Zimbabwe
In a joint letter to the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs of the Republic of Zimbabwe, the Committees on African Affairs and International Human Rights expressed concern over the arrest and detention of the human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa. The letter urges that the charges against Ms. Mtetwa be withdrawn and that there be no further harassment of her. The actions that have been taken against Ms. Mtetwa harm the integrity of the Zimbabwean legal system and threaten the right to legal representation, a cornerstone principle of the Zimbabwean Constitution and of African Union and international legal pronouncements.
Real Property Income and Expense Statements
The Committee on Condemnation and Tax Certiorari expressed concerns with certain aspects of New York City Council Intro No. 906-A, which deals with requiring income and expense statements from property owners for tax assessment purposes. The concerns outlined in the report include that: 1) the Department of Finance should be obligated to publish a non-filer/defect list earlier than February 1st; 2) the requirement to affirmatively file a given property’s exclusion from Real Property Income and Expense statements is unfair and unnecessary; 3) there is no valid rationale to de-couple the statutory penalties from one another; and 4) making the Real Property Income and Expense statement non-filing monetary penalty a lien upon real estate is unfair to new owners. Incorporating these suggested refinements, the report notes, would serve to enhance fairness to the taxpaying public.
The Committees on Sex and Law and Criminal Courts issued a joint report suggesting recommendations to enhance Criminal Procedure Law § 440.10(1)(i), regarding the vacatur of prostitution and trafficking-related convictions for victims of sex trafficking. The report provides an overview of the current law as well as data regarding its implementation and court-related outcomes. The report also outlines a number of recommendations for the effectuation of further relief under the law including that: 1) courts continue to streamline the procedures for these motions, and maintain stricter deadlines for responses and decisions; 2) broad outreach be continued, including the publicizing of the remedy through New York State licensing agencies; and 3) the Legislature amend C.P.L. § 440.10(1)(i) to include a provision allowing for the assignment of counsel for the purpose of preparing such motions for indigent petitioners.
The Committee on Sex and Law expressed support for A.3498/S.2275, which would require that local social services districts notify the Office of Children and Family Services 90 days before the effective date of a planned across-the-board reduction in eligibility or increase in co-payments for childcare assistance. Currently, New York State law requires that notice for a reduction or discontinuance of social services benefits be mailed to the individual family 10 days before the effective date. This limited timeframe, the report argues, does not provide many families sufficient time to plan for such a dramatic financial loss. The bill provides a simple and cost-effective way to ensure that parents and providers are made aware of critical financial decisions made by the counties that will impact their household budgets, so that they have time to develop a plan to respond to a loss of financial assistance.
The Committee on Animal Law expressed support for A.3772/S.3426, which would further limit “canned hunting” activities by removing the ten-acre limitation, thus prohibiting the killing of any non-native big game mammal in an enclosed space or other area of any size from which there is no means for such animal to escape, as well as release of such animal in an enclosed space or other area of any size from which there is no means of escape in the presence of a person who is or will be shooting the animal. The legislation, however, does not end the practice of canned hunting in New York State as it only addresses non-native big game mammals and not many other animals commonly released and killed in enclosed hunting preserves. The report therefore recommends that the proposed legislation be amended to apply to all animals, regardless of species.
Debt Settlement Services
In a joint report, the Committees on Consumer Affairs and Civil Court expressed opposition to A.597, which would amend the Budget Planning Law to permit entities other than Type B not-for-profit corporations to offer debt management services and allow such entities to conduct business in New York, subject to licensure, fee limitations, consumer disclosures, and additional conditions. This bill, the report argues, departs from New York State’s longstanding policy of protecting consumers from deceptive and abusive debt relief services by limiting the provision of such services to entities that charge no fee or only a nominal fee, and that debt relief for more than a nominal fee on behalf of economically distressed consumers is inherently flawed and abusive.
City Bar in the News
Corporate Counsel, May 22, 2013
Telling the FBI Your Company Has Been Hacked
“As cyber attacks against U.S. companies move markets, drain tens of millions dollars from bank accounts, siphon off trade secrets, and threaten critical infrastructure, the mantra among government officials is: sharing (information) is caring. The government’s desire to increase information sharing on cyber intrusions with the private sector is at the heart of an executive order issued in February¡Xand it was a point underscored at a New York City Bar Association event on Monday, when Mary Galligan, who is an FBI ‘cyber cop,’ urged corporations to come forward with information about attacks on their networks.”
New York Law Journal, May 21, 2013
Vance Urges Modernizing White-Collar Crime Laws
“Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. yesterday called for modernizing New York’s white-collar crime laws to better deal with corporate fraud and political corruption. He made his remarks in a speech at the New York City Bar’s midtown headquarters, given as part of the second annual meeting of the bar group’s White Collar Crime Institute, a day-long CLE program. Vance called his speech a ‘preview’ of the recommendations that will be issued by the task force on white-collar crime that he convened last year.”
Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, May 21, 2013
City Bar: A Former Corporate Counsel Becomes Executive Director
“The City Bar¡¦s commitment to the profession, to pro bono, to diversity, to CLE and to a number of other issues and activities made this opportunity very attractive to me....I expect to see more opportunities for inside and outside counsel to collaborate through the City Bar....I do hope to leverage my prior experience to strengthen the already great work that the City Bar does through the Justice Center, the Vance Center and all its other programs in these areas.”
Thomson Reuters, May 20, 2013
Legislators Must Toughen N.Y.’s White-Collar Laws: DA Vance
“New York state’s legislators must do more to strengthen the state’s archaic fraud laws if prosecutors are to keep up with the evolving nature of white-collar crime, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said on Monday. Vance, president of the state’s district attorneys association, said New York’s financial crime laws were hopelessly outdated, even as their federal equivalents have been frequently revised by congressional legislation in the wake of massive scandals like the savings and loan cases, the Enron Corp collapse and the housing market crisis. ‘Let me say bluntly: We are fighting with 1970s-era tools,’ Vance said during a speech at a white-collar crime conference hosted by the New York City Bar Association.”
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