FROM THE PRESIDENT: DEBRA L. RASKIN

Debra Raskin
Wanted: More White Men for Diversity Efforts
This month, the New York City Bar Association is celebrating thirty years of efforts to increase diversity in the legal profession. A series of forums assessing the state of diversity in the profession culminates on June 18th with a gala fundraiser honoring the 2014 Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award Winners: Michelle J. Anderson, Joseph M. Drayton, Natalia Martín, Karla G. Sanchez, and, posthumously, Thomas E. Heftler and Michael W. Oshima. The City Bar will also present its first Diversity Pipeline Champion Award to the Morgan Stanley Legal and Compliance Division.


It has been ten years since the City Bar began producing Diversity Benchmarking Reports based on data from many of the more than 130 law firms and corporations that have signed on to our Statement of Diversity Principles. This year's benchmarking report, to be released on June 18th, takes a big-picture look at data gathered over the last decade. Read more.

     THIS WEEK AT THE CITY BAR
MONDAY, JUNE 16
6 PM – 8 PM, Event
Who's the Boss? When Women Call the Shots

6 PM – 8 PM, Event
Real World Ethical Issues In Pro Bono Practice


TUESDAY, JUNE 17

5 PM – 8 PM, Event
Spy Catcher: The Real-Life Story of Eric O'Neill and the Capture of Russian Spy Robert Hanssen

6 PM – 8 PM, Event

LGBTQ Youth and Families in Family Court


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18
6 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
Diversity and Inclusion Celebration Dinner

7 PM – 9 PM, Event
Contemplative Lawyering: Where Are We, Where Do We Go From Here?


THURSDAY, JUNE 19
12:30 PM – 2 PM, Event
Business Opportunities Through the City Bar's Legal Referral Service

6 PM – 9 PM, CLE
Litigation 101: Practices & Latest Procedures Explained & Demystified

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event
Summer Associates & Interns Annual Reception


FRIDAY, JUNE 20
8:15 AM – 4 PM, Event
Cross-Border Insolvency Program

     AROUND THE BAR

On June 4th, the City Bar presented the 25th Annual Legal Services Awards, which give recognition to attorneys and non-attorneys who provide outstanding full-time civil legal assistance to low-income New Yorkers. The awards were presented by Hon. Jenny Rivera, Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals. From left: Hon. Jenny Rivera; Margaret Becker, Disaster Recovery Unit, Staten Island Legal Services; Alan Canner, The Legal Aid Society, Harlem Community Law Office; Bernadette Jentsch, MFY Legal Services; Elizabeta Markuci, Immigration Project, Volunteers of Legal Service; Leander McRae, Preserving Affordable Housing Program, Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A; Debra L. Raskin, President, New York City Bar Association.

     MEMBER BENEFIT

Are you a solo practitioner who needs a virtual law office? Do you already pay for a virtual office but attend City Bar networking events, use the City Bar library for research, and meet clients in the Small Law Firm Center conference rooms in our prestigious landmark building? Are you a law firm that would like a midtown Manhattan office presence? Now you can complete the picture by having a virtual office at your New York City Bar Association home as well. Find out more here.

     RECENT COMMITTEE ACTIVITY
Smarter Sentencing Act
In a letter to Congress, the Committee on Federal Courts expressed support for H.R. 3382/S.1410, the Smarter Sentencing Act, because it would provide urgently needed reform of current mandatory minimum sentences. Most significantly, the Act would: 1) reduce mandatory minimum sentences for many drug offenses; 2) broaden the conditions under which drug offenders may qualify for a sentence below the mandatory minimum; 3) permit current federal prisoners to seek relief retroactively under the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010; and 4) require the Sentencing Commission to amend the Guidelines to reflect the new provisions, which will result in fairer sentencing overall.

Foreign Businesses in New York
In a letter to the New York State Legislature, the Committee on Banking Law provided comments on A.9576/S.7078, which would amend several different statutes to provide that an application by a foreign business organization to conduct business in New York would constitute consent to the general jurisdiction of the courts of New York for all actions against that organization. In the letter, the Committee questioned the constitutionality of the measure and asked that amendments be made to the bill to make clear the sponsors' stated intent that the bill's proposed changes to New York law not alter existing jurisdictional rules as applied to foreign banking organizations doing business in New York.

Dispensers of Prescription Pain Medication
The Committee on Bioethical Issues expressed support for A.1124-A/S.7660, state legislation that would require health care professionals licensed, registered or certified under Title Eight of the Education Law to treat humans and registered under the Federal Controlled Substances Act and in possession of a registration number from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, to complete three hours of Continuing Medical Education course work on pain management, palliative care and addiction every two years. According to the report, the proposed legislation would address the need for mandated education for health care professionals and improve public safety and health.

Trapping Signage

The Committee on Animal Law expressed support for A.524/S.712, state legislation that would require the posting of signage on all publicly accessible municipally-owned property where hunting, fishing or trapping may be occurring; the signage would warn people of the potential dangers associated with such practices, including the existence of concealed traps, so that people may take necessary precautions to protect themselves and others, including children and pets. Traps can pose an inherent danger to children, companion animals and non-target wildlife, including endangered species. This bill, the report notes, would significantly reduce that risk and have a minimal fiscal impact.
     NEW COMMITTEE
The Association has just formed the Committee on Middle Eastern and North African Affairs. This new Committee will be devoted to issues involving the world's most historic region, the birthplace of Abraham, Akhenaton, Moses, Jesus, the Prophet Muhammad and Zoroaster. It is the site of the construction of the pyramids, the ziggurats, Solomon's Temple, the Hagia Sofia and the Aswan Dam. Its ground has trembled under armies led by Ramses, Xerxes and Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar and Hannibal, Attila the Hun, Saladin and Richard the Lionheart, and Lawrence of Arabia and the Desert Fox. Its leaders have included kings and caliphs, dictators and democrats, sultans and shahs, and Arafat, Ataturk, Ayatollahs and Golda Meir. It has given us great art and literature, writing, our numbers and Bibles. For over 3,000 years it has been a source of culture, conflict and controversy, and now its own Committee. If you would like to be a member of the MENA Committee, please email inaugural Chair Bob Michael. Or contact Stephanie Glazer, Manager of Committee Membership Services.
     CITY BAR IN THE NEWS

New York Law Journal, June 13, 2014
Katzmann Seeks More Public Engagement With Judiciary

"[Chief Judge Robert] Katzmann praised the efforts of members of the Federal Bar Council, New York State Bar Association, Federal Bar Association and the New York City Bar for making 'numerous trips to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators and their staffs to educate Congress about the financial needs of the federal courts in our circuit.'"

Law360
, June 6, 2014 (subscription required)

Attys Can Use Remote Office As Primary Address: NY Bar

"The New York City Bar Association on Friday said New York lawyers can list as their principal law office addresses the street addresses of remote working spaces known as virtual offices, which allow members to pay monthly fees for the use of a shared office, even if much of the work is done at the attorneys' homes or other locations."

  

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