IN THIS ISSUE : TUESDAY, MAY 29, 2012
This Week at the City Bar
Around the Bar
Recent Committee Activity
City Bar in the News
   
This Week at the City Bar
TUESDAY, MAY 29
6 PM – 9 PM,
CLE
Asylum Strategies for Victims of Gang Violence


6 PM – 9 PM,
Event
Negligent Hiring Myths and Facts: Employers’ Concerns and Best Practices When Hiring People with Criminal Conviction Histories



WEDNESDAY, MAY 30
6 PM – 8 PM,
Event
Tangled Webs: How False Statements Are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff – Books at the Bar


6 PM – 9 PM,
CLE
E-Discovery: Best Practices & Ethical Implications


6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
Event
Using Your Law Degree for Something Other than Practicing Law: Exploring Non-Legal Roles Within Law Firms


6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
Event
Managing a Successful Career Transition: The Whole Person Way – Women of Color Workshop Series



THURSDAY, MAY 31
6 PM – 8 PM,
Event
Managing Challenging Conversations: A Workshop for Women Partners and In-House Counsel


6:30 PM – 8 PM,
Event
Discovering In-House Careers


6:30 PM – 8:30 PM,
Event
Patents Committee Roundtable: Patent Act Section 101 and the Federal Courts – Is More the Reason for the Morass? Patent Eligible Subject Matter in the Wake of Bilski and Mayo



FRIDAY, JUNE 1
9 AM – 12 PM,
CLE
Practicing in NYS Supreme Court (Video Replay)


7 PM – 8:15 PM,
Event
City Bar Chorus: Concert to Benefit the City Bar Justice Center and the Chorus

Around the Bar
Chen Guangcheng Meets the Press


On May 24th, the City Bar was the site of the first interviews with Chen Guangcheng since the Chinese legal activist arrived in the U.S. Here Mr. Chen prepared to be interviewed by CNN’s Anderson Cooper, right, before being interviewed by Reuters for print and TV.

Recent Committee Activity
50 Hour Pro Bono Requirement for Bar Admission
The Committee on Pro Bono and Legal Services sent a letter to Chief Judge Lippman outlining the issues the Committee feels should be considered in implementing New York State’s 50-hour pro bono requirement for bar admission, to help ensure that the program will be a success. The Committee urged that the program: 1) clearly define what counts as pro bono, as there are many definitions of pro bono service and the program must determine which is most appropriate; 2) consider whether law students can receive credit for their pro bono service and whether the pro bono requirement can be fulfilled if they are getting paid (the Committee recommends yes to both); 3) consider whether to include qualifying pro bono service performed out of state as well as service performed in state but which impacts non-New Yorkers (the Committee believes limiting eligible service to work performed in New York will have an adverse impact on many law graduates who come from out-of-state law schools to work in New York); and 4) provide that the affidavit describing the nature of the student’s pro bono work, the organization and the individual lawyer who supervised them, and the dates and hours of service, be made by the applicant and not by a third party.

Fee Dispute Resolution Program
In a letter to the New York State Unified Court System, the Committee on Professional Discipline expressed opposition to a proposed amendment to 22 NYCRR § 137.1(b), which would exclude from the Fee Dispute Resolution Program any matters involving disbarred, resigned, or suspended attorneys, or attorneys being investigated by grievance committees. The Committee notes there is no compelling reason why a client should be required to forego participation in the Program merely because his/her attorney acted wrongfully in an unrelated matter.

City Bar in the News
American Banker, May 24, 2012
Some Bad Mortgages Need Just Temporary Aid
“The New York City Bar Association, through its Committee on Banking Law, recently issued a report urging Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York state legislature to adopt a mortgage bridge loan assistance program. That report provides a description of the proposal, a draft statute, and an analysis of the number of borrowers in New York that are likely to be helped through the program. It also considers several program funding options, including one that would rely on contributions from financial institutions to satisfy their Community Reinvestment Act obligations, at little or no cost to the state. Inspired by a highly successful Pennsylvania program instituted during the steel slump of the early 1980s, the City Bar’s proposal provides temporary repayable mortgage assistance to borrowers who on the one hand have good credit and employment histories, but on the other hand suffer temporary income loss rooted in the ongoing slump.”


New York Law Journal, May 23, 2012

Panel Is Tasked to Suggest Ways to Enact Pro Bono Requirement
“Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman yesterday announced the creation of an advisory committee that will make recommendations on how to implement a new pro bono service requirement set to become a prerequisite in 2013 for admission to the New York bar…Panel member Lynn Kelly, director of the New York City Bar Justice Center, said supervision is key to the program’s success, adding that in her experience volunteers ‘want to help but need someone to tell them how to do it.’ She said law schools can play an important role in preparing students with the basic skills they will need, such as interviewing. ‘We can look at reducing the need for supervision by making sure students get the skills they need in law school,’ Kelly said.”


Thomson Reuters
, May 23, 2012

Comments Oppose OCA Proposal on Fee Dispute Program
“A proposal by New York court administrators to prohibit disbarred or suspended attorneys from participating in fee dispute programs could harm clients and clog small claims courts with new cases, attorneys from across the state said…Others took issue with the provision that would bar attorneys who are the subjects of open complaints from participating in fee dispute programs. Claims of professional misconduct are kept confidential until an attorney is formally disciplined, but the fee dispute rule, several people said, could force attorneys to out themselves as the subjects of complaints. ‘The mere fact of a complaint is hardly compelling evidence that the lawyer actually engaged in misconduct,’ wrote Richard Supple, the chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Professional Discipline Committee. NYCBA opposes the proposed rule.”


Law Technology News
, May 23, 2012

Do Transactional Lawyers Have a Duty to Preserve Evidence?
“Malik was a suit by the FDIC, as receiver for a mortgage company, against the mortgage company’s attorneys, and others, concerning a series of 26 loan transactions. Most of the electronic documents and emails relating to these transactions had been deleted, without having been printed or backed up, prior to litigation. The court determined that the transactional lawyers had had an obligation to preserve these records and that the deletion was prejudicial…The plaintiff argued that the defendant attorneys had an obligation to preserve arising out of rules of professional responsibility and attorney ethics opinions. Significantly, the defending attorneys did not respond to that argument, which the court accepted. The ethics opinions relevant in Malik were ABA Informal Opinion 1384 (1977) and Association of the Bar of the City of New York Formal Opinion 1986-4, both discussing the general obligation to preserve client files; and Association of the Bar of the City of New York Formal Opinion 2008-1, applying those guidelines to electronic files, documents and emails.”

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