Around the Bar
22nd Annual Legal Services Awards Presented at City Bar
On May 25th, the 22nd Annual Legal Services Awards recognized attorneys and non-attorneys for outstanding civil legal assistance to New York’s poor. From left: Samuel W. Seymour, President, New York City Bar; Linda Lopez, Deputy Director, Sanctuary for Families Battered Women’s Legal Services; Betty Heaton, Senior Legal Assistant, Social Worker, Manhattan Legal Services; Harvey Epstein, Director, Community Development Project, Urban Justice Center; Lauren Donnelly, Supervising Attorney, The Legal Aid Society; Hon. Fern A. Fisher, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for New York City Courts. Not pictured: Meghan Faux, Director, Foreclosure Prevention Project, South Brooklyn Legal Services, Inc.
City Bar Awards 2011 Diversity Champions
At the Sixth Annual Diversity Champion Award Luncheon on May 24th, four
attorneys were honored for their demonstrated commitment to improving
diversity throughout the legal profession: Sheila S. Boston, Vincent T. Chang, S. Jeanine Conley and Andrew T. Hahn, Sr.
“Tiger Mom” and Others on Balancing Career and Family
On May 23rd, the Committee on Career Advancement and Management presented a program entitled Motherlode: Lawyering, Parenting (and Writing About It) in the Age of “Having it All.” The panel featured Amy Chua (pictured), author of the popular and controversial book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother and a professor at Yale Law School, along with Emily Bazelon, a Senior Editor at Slate, and author Julie Buxbaum. Theresa Park moderated.
Recent Committee Activity
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel
Currently no statutory remedy exists in New York for claims of ineffective assistance of counsel that relate to appellate representation. In a joint report, the Committees on Criminal Justice Operations and Criminal Courts express general support for S.4472, which would codify claims of ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. The report recommends several modifications to the proposed legislation, including: any codification of coran nobis should relate solely to ineffective assistance claims and not more broadly; claims encompassed in the proposed legislation should also include the failure to perfect an appeal and the failure to file a timely notice of appeal; appellate courts should be allowed to consider or summarily reject successive applications; and the proposed legislation should authorize the appellate court in which the issue is raised to: (a) request input from appellate defense counsel, and/or (b) refer the matter to the trial court or a judicial hearing officer for a hearing and fact findings.
Generation Skipping Transfer Tax
The Committees on Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Courts and Estate and Gift Taxation issued a joint report in support of A.7729, which would amend Section 2-1.13 of the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (“EPTL”). Section 2-1.13 was enacted in 2010 in response to the repeal of the federal estate tax for decedents dying in 2010 and the repeal of the generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax in 2010. However, with the passage of The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, additional modifications to Section 2-1.13 outlined in the proposed legislation are necessary to effect consistency.
Consignments of Works of Art
The Committee on Art Law expressed support for A.7189/S.4988, a bill the Committee initially drafted, which would address certain deficiencies in provisions of the New York Arts and Cultural Affairs Law (“NYACAL”) that are applicable to consignments of works of art to art merchants by artists, their heirs, and their personal representatives by strengthening the existing trust property and trust fund provisions of Articles 11 and 12 of NYACAL.
City Bar in the News
Reuters, May 26, 2011
Courts Adopt New Regulations On Attorney Advertising
Court administrators in New York have adopted a set of new regulations on attorney advertising after federal courts struck down a number of more restrictive proposals.…The adoption of the new rules ends a five-year debate over what constitutes misleading attorney advertising, the focal point of which was a federal suit in which the plaintiffs claimed the proposed regulations impeded on commercial speech protected by the First Amendment.…Reaction among attorneys is mixed. In an amicus brief filed on behalf of the plaintiffs, the New York City Bar Association said the state had taken a few bad apples to be representative of the entire legal community. “The fact that some lawyers occasionally use a particular advertising device for unethical purposes does not establish that the technique itself is likely to be misleading,” the brief reads.
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