A panel explored “New Trends in Human Trafficking: Legislative, Victim Advocacy and Prosecutorial Updates” on October 30th. From left: Sienna Baskin, Co-Director of the Sex Workers Project at the Urban Justice Center; Suzanne Tomatore, Director of the Immigrant Women & Children Project at the City Bar Justice Center, Moderator; John Temple, Attorney-in-Charge of Human Trafficking Program at the Manhattan DA's Office; Laura Matthews-Jolly, Staff Attorney at Immigrant Women & Children Project at the City Bar Justice Center; and Kate Mogulescu, Supervising Attorney of Trafficking Victims Advocacy Project at the Legal Aid Society.
Don't Miss the 10th Annual Small Law Firm Symposium on November 14th
Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for decades, the Symposium is tailored to meet everyone's needs. Workshops cover starting a small firm, growing your existing practice, social media do's & don'ts, client development on and off line, leveraging cloud technology while avoiding ethical pitfalls, firm expansion through 'of counsel' relationships, attracting clients with creative billing strategies, and avoiding malpractice claims.
Most importantly, attendees can network with colleagues throughout the day at the breakfast, luncheon, and reception, and meet with companies that cater specifically to the small law firm attorney at the full day trade show, featuring: City National Bank (Lunch Sponsor); LexisNexis (WiFi Sponsor); FedEx (Breakfast Sponsor); Broadview Networks; Charles Griffin Intelligence, LLC; CLIO; Effective Solutions Plus, Inc.; Ignite Brand Group, LLC; Interstate Filings, LLC; Law Pay; Marsh; MicroOffice Solutions; Point-to-Point Solution; Progress in Work, LLC; Regus; Tabs3/PracticeMaster; U.S. Small Business Administration; Westlaw; Xpandya New York, Inc.; Your Wall Street Office, LLC.
Click here to register or for more information.
In a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Committee on Animal Law urged that the Gray Wolf remain on the list of Endangered or Threatened species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The Committee argues that the Gray Wolf, Canis lupus, should remain listed as endangered because: 1) it is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range; 2) it is overutilized for recreational hunting and trapping in the lower 48 states; 3) its population suffers substantially from both disease and human predation; and 4) the existing state regulatory mechanisms are inadequate to protect the Gray Wolf from extinction.
Fair Housing Act
The Committees on Civil Rights and Administrative Law jointly submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Township of Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc. The brief addresses Section 804(a) of the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), which makes it unlawful to refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin. The brief argues that the language of the section demonstrates that the FHA encompasses disparate impact claims, and that Congress did not intend to require a showing of discriminatory intent to sustain a claim. The brief further argues that to the extent that this question is unsettled, the Supreme Court should look and defer to the long-standing interpretation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development that the FHA prohibits actions which have discriminatory effects regardless of evidence of discriminatory intent.
"Of Counsel" Designation
Formal Ethics Opinion 2013-3, issued by the Committee on Professional Ethics, raises the question: Can a New York law firm designate as “of counsel” a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in New York but resides and practices law mainly in a foreign country? The opinion concludes that a New York law firm may designate as of counsel a lawyer who is licensed to practice law in New York but resides and practices law mainly in a foreign country, provided that: 1) the of counsel lawyer has a “continuing relationship” with the law firm; 2) the use of the of counsel title is not false or misleading in other respects; and 3) the of counsel lawyer’s practice does not constitute the unauthorized practice of law in the foreign country.
The Protect Interstate Commerce Act Amendments
The Committee on Animal Law expressed opposition to the Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA) (known as the “king Amendment”), which would amend the Federal Agriculture Reform and Risk Management Act of 2013 (H.R. 2642 or the Farm Bill). The amendment would prohibit a state from passing a law governing the production or manufacture of any agricultural product intended for interstate commerce that would impose higher standards than existing federal standards or the standards of any other state. The Committee argues that this amendment would effectively nullify many laws states have enacted to protect their inhabitants, and thus would have negative implications with respect to public health and food safety, animal welfare and state sovereignty.
New York Law Journal, November 4, 2013 (subscription required)
City Bar Ethics Opinion Clarifies 'Of Counsel' Status
"Law firms in New York may designate as 'of counsel' a lawyer who is licensed in this state but lives and primarily practices in a foreign country, according to an opinion issued by the New York City Bar Association's Committee on Professional Ethics. The committee said that the 'of counsel' designation is permitted under Rules 7.5 and 5.5 of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct as long as the attorney has a 'continuing relationship' with the firm, that the use of the title is not false or misleading and the of counsel lawyer's practice does not violate rules of the foreign country. Formal Opinion 2012-3 apparently arose from an inquiry from a law firm."
New York Law Journal, November 4, 2013
Pro Bono Academy Offers Advice to Small Businesses
"In many cases, the attendees had never gotten counsel on their businesses from an attorney before, let alone one from a big corporate law firm. More than 200 people turned out to bring their legal questions to 157 volunteer lawyers from 31 firms....If, after a consultation, attendees needed ongoing legal help, they were paired with one of several civil legal services providers present at the event, including Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation, the City Bar Justice Center, Lawyers Alliance for New York, the Legal Aid Society, the Urban Justice Center, Volunteers of Legal Service and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest."
Law360, November 1, 2013 (subscription required)
NYC Bar OKs Of Counsel Title For NY-Licensed Attys Abroad
"The New York City Bar Association's committee on professional ethics issued an opinion Thursday that New York law firms can designate licensed state lawyers practicing abroad as of counsel if they have a continuing relationship with the firm and meet other conditions. Under the formal opinion, which draws upon the New York Rules of Professional Conduct, an of counsel title given by a New York law firm to a lawyer living in a foreign country must also not be false or misleading and the of counsel's practice must be authorized in the foreign jurisdiction. The committee, made up of about 40 members, issues formal opinions as guidance to practitioners throughout the state as well as informal opinions to individual practitioners who submit ethics questions that merit lengthy responses."
New York Law Journal, October 31, 2013
Raskin Is Nominated City Bar's Next President
"The New York City Bar Association has nominated Debra Raskin, 62, a labor and employment lawyer and one of three vice presidents of the bar group, to serve as its next president. If elected, she would succeed Carey Dunne in May. Raskin is a partner at Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C. She earned her law degree from Yale Law School in 1977, then worked for the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago. Raskin also served as an assistant New York attorney general in the civil rights bureau. She joined the Vladeck firm in 1986 and has been a member of the city bar since 1991."
New York Times, October 29, 2013
Ballot Measure on Judicial Retirement Age Is Said to Divide Cuomo and Top Judge
"On the surface, Proposition 6 is straightforward enough: It would raise the mandatory retirement age for State Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges to 80. Currently, the State Supreme Court, a trial-level court, requires justices to leave at age 76; the Court of Appeals, the state's highest court, has a cutoff at 70. If passed, extra judges would be available to ease overcrowded courts...Much of New York City's legal establishment is backing the proposition, including the New York City Bar Association and the New York State Trial Lawyers Association. The New York State Bar Association, however, has remained on the sidelines."
Law360, October 28, 2013
Vladeck Waldman Partner Tapped To Lead NYC Bar Association
"Debra L. Raskin, partner at labor and employment plaintiffs firm Vladeck Waldman Elias & Engelhard PC, will succeed Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP litigator Carey R. Dunne as president of the New York City Bar Association if her selection is approved this spring, the 24,000-lawyer group said Monday. If approved by voters on May 20, Raskin, a City Bar vice president and a presence in many high-profile court cases, would become the 143-year-old group's 66th president. 'I am deeply honored by this nomination and thrilled at the possibility of serving in this new role for this amazing organization,' she said."
CBS News, October 28, 2013
Obama: "I'll Keep Fighting" to Restore FBI Sequester Cuts
"James Comey was formally installed as the seventh director of the FBI Monday in a ceremony at the agency's Washington offices...The president also offered his own words of praise for Comey, who he said he selected from a number of top-notch candidates....He joked that the new FBI director has earned the respect of 'folks across the spectrum,' telling the story of the time Comey received a note of praise for an award he had received from the New York City Bar Association from a member of a crime family he was prosecuting."