From the President: Samuel W. Seymour
Nominees for President and Leadership Positions Announced
This Week at the City Bar
Around the Bar
Recent Committee Activity
Justice Center Highlight: The Public Service Network
City Bar in the News

President's Letter
The Legislation Passed. Now What?

The New York City Bar Association’s members devote a great deal of time and energy to analyzing and commenting on legislation. But our work does not necessarily end once the legislation we have supported becomes law. After over a decade of analysis and advocacy by the City Bar, two major laws were passed that will reshape matrimonial law in New York. And in each case, after all that work, we see the importance of remaining just as active in the implementation of the laws.

Read more.

Nominees for President and Leadership Positions Announced
Carey R. Dunne has been nominated as President of the New York City Bar Association. If elected, Dunne will succeed Samuel W. Seymour as the 65th president in the Association’s 141-year history. The Nominating Committee’s announcement regarding nominees for officers and members of the Executive Committee and Audit Committee can be found here. The Association’s press release announcing the slate can be found here.

This Week at the City Bar

6:30 PM – 9 PM, Event
World War II Remembrances from D-Day Sicily, through the Eyes and Camera of the Hon. Bentley Kassal

9 AM – 1 PM, CLE
Building On The ABCs: Legal issues For Operating Not For Profits

12:30 PM – 2 PM, Event

Growing Your Practice: Can I Get More Business Through Marketing, Public Relations, or Advertising?
6 PM – 9 PM, CLE
Insurance Law: The Basics

6:30 PM – 9 PM, Event

Shariah Law and Islamic Finance – A Threat to America?

9 AM – 5 PM, CLE
16-Hour Bridge-the-Gap: Ethics, Skills & More (Both Days) (Day 1 Only)

6:30 PM – 8:30 PM, Event

Tackling Career Search Pitfalls for Young Diverse Attorneys

9 AM 4:30 PM, CLE
Trials of the Century (ALI-ABA)

6 PM 8 PM, Event

Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned – Books at the Bar

7 PM 9 PM, Event

Pass the Bar Reception – Lawyers Connect: First Thursdays

Around the Bar
Hofstra Wins Regional Moot Court Competition

Hofstra University School of Law won the regional rounds of the 62nd Annual National Moot Court Competition, which took place November 16–17 at the New York City Bar Association. Seton Hall University School of Law took second-place honors. Both teams will advance to the final rounds in early 2012. Back row: Judges Trudie Ross Hamilton; Hon. Howard Miller; Hon. Eileen Nadelson; Denise Quarles; C. Evan Stewart; Front row: Yallda M. Haery; Gianna Cricco-Lizza, Seton Hall; Jesse Goldberg; Jessica Miller and Melissa Danowski, Hofstra. Read more.

Recent Committee Activity
Reproductive Rights
The Committee on Civil Rights filed an amicus brief in the US Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, in The Evergreen Association, Inc. v. The City of New York, challenging the constitutionality of Local Law 17. A district court enjoined implementation of the law. Local Law 17 requires that certain organizations providing services to pregnant women disclose the extent of the health services they provide and make other related disclosures. It is meant to deal with organizations that purport to provide medical services to pregnant women but in fact are designed to convince women not to have abortions. The brief argued that the likelihood of success in proving that Local Law 17 violates constitutional free speech has not been demonstrated. The circumstances of the case, the brief notes, do not warrant strict scrutiny and, even if they did, the District Court misapplied strict scrutiny by identifying and relying on largely untested alternative approaches to serving the City of New York’s compelling interest, and by rejecting the City’s express finding that certain of these alternatives were ineffective at meeting that interest.

Medicaid Estate Recovery
The Committee on Legal Problems of the Aging issued a report expressing concerns with the implementation of Chapter 59 of the Laws of 2011, which would expand Medicaid estate recovery to non-probate assets. The primary objection to the implementation centers on the retroactive application of the regulations, which allow the Medicaid program to recover against the expanded estates held by Medicaid recipients who die after September 8, 2011, without considering when the property was transferred if the Medicaid recipient retained an interest until death. This retroactivity, the report notes, contradicts the enabling language of the statute and expands Medicaid’s estate recovery beyond the intent of the legislature.

State Law Regulating Immigration
The Committee on Immigration and Nationality Law filed an amicus brief in the US Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, in United States v. State of Alabama in which a state statute seeks to preempt the formulation of federal immigration reform. At issue in the case is Alabama’s Taxpayer and Citizen Protection Act of 2011 (H.B. 56), which creates a new set of state law immigration criminal offenses and duties required of state officers that together attempt to set a policy for enforcement of federal civil immigration law independent of and in conflict with enforcement priorities established by federal statute and valid federal regulation. The brief argues that in light of the relevant Supreme Court case law on preemption and well-established principles of statutory construction, and the basic division of responsibilities established by the Constitution and federal system of government (assigning to Congress the power to conduct foreign relations), the State law is invalid under the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution.

Multi-Jurisdictional Practice
The Committee on Professional Responsibility sent a letter to the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 commenting on the Commission’s Choice of Law and Conflicts of Interest Initial Proposal. The Committee’s comments focus on Comment 23 of the Proposal, which speaks to when a lawyer performs work for a client in multiple jurisdictions where the conflict rules differ. Although the letter expresses general support for Comment 23, it recommends several substantive revisions.

Undercover Investigations
In a joint report, the Committees on Professional Responsibility, Professional Ethics and Professional Discipline proposed an amendment to Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4, which would regulate lawyers’ supervision of undercover investigations. The report addresses the serious professional responsibility dilemma faced by lawyers in well-accepted situations involving the use of undercover investigations, where Rule of Professional Conduct 8.4 would prohibit such conduct. The report concludes by proposing that Rule 8.4(a) be amended so that the Rule expressly permits a lawyer to give advice regarding, and to supervise the conduct of, an otherwise lawful undercover investigation. However, this provision would not override Rule 4.2’s “No-Contact Rule,” so that contact with represented parties would remain prohibited.

Reentering the Legal Field Through the Public Service Network
Lisa Peterson had been an Associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, and then served as in-house counsel to an adoption agency before leaving the practice of law for several years to raise her two sons.

Last year, ready to return to the law, she contacted the Public Service Network. An initiative of the City Bar Justice Center, the Network’s mission is to foster public service in the legal community by matching attorneys, law firms and corporate legal departments with legal and non-legal volunteer opportunities in the not-for-profit sector. Attorneys are drawn to the Network for different personal and professional reasons. For some, like Lisa, it offers a pathway back to legal practice after a hiatus.

Read more.

City Bar in the News
New York Law Journal, November 14, 2011

State Bar Opens Online Portal to Assist Attorneys with Addictions
Attorneys seeking help for substance abuse, depression and other problems now can turn to eLAP, an online portal established by the New York State Bar Association’s Lawyer Assistance Program. Bar leaders unveiled the new site,, at a House of Delegates meeting Nov. 5 in Albany.…Several local bar associations, including the New York City Bar Association, also provide lawyer assistance programs. The New York City Bar’s hotline number for attorneys in distress is 212-302-5787.

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