Monday, December 13, 2010
From the President: Samuel W. Seymour
This Week at the City Bar
Around the Bar
Recent Committee Activity
City Bar in the News
Support the Justice Center this Holiday Season

President's Letter

A Robe, a Gavel, and a Free Society
All the rights secured to the citizens under the Constitution are worth nothing, and a mere bubble, except guaranteed to them by an independent and virtuous Judiciary.”
– Andrew Jackson

An independent judiciary, composed of skilled and dedicated jurists, has been recognized since our country・s founding as a cornerstone of American democracy. The esteem in which our courts are held, and their ability to properly administer justice, depend ultimately on the ability of the nation・s judicial systems to recruit and retain judges of exceptional legal talent and integrity.

Governor David Paterson, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and the New York State Legislature are to be strongly commended for their efforts in passing Bill A42010, creating a state commission on judicial compensation. The new seven-member commission will periodically evaluate and adjust the salaries of New York judges to ensure that they remain competitive and commensurate with the skill and experience New Yorkers expect of their judiciary.

Read full letter here.

This Week at the City Bar
9 AM 12 PM, CLE
Tri-State Employment Law: The Critical Distinctions You Need To Know

12:30 PM, Event
Lunch with a Judge: Hon. P. Kevin Castel

6:30 PM 9 PM, Event
CEDAW After 30 Years: The Status of Women in the Middle East

9 AM 12 PM, CLE
Current Legal Ethical Issues With Professor Stephen Gillers

6 PM – 8 PM, Event
How Long Is Too Long: Achieving Timely Permanency For Children in Foster Care

12 PM – 2 PM, Event
Hero: The Life and Legend of T.E. Lawrence

6:30 PM 8:30 PM, Event
Reflection on the ICC Review Conference: Examining its Successes, Failures and Impact on Africa

9 AM – 12 PM, CLE
Unleash Investigative Research Information in Websites and Social Media While Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls (Video Replay)

Around the Bar
City Bar Presents Sixth Annual Thomas E. Dewey Medals

On December 7th, the City Bar hosted the Sixth Annual Thomas E. Dewey Medal Presentation Ceremony for outstanding Assistant District Attorneys. The medal winners this year were Peter D. Coddington, Bronx County; Mary D. Hughes, Kings County; Connie L. Fernandez, New York County; Kristen Kane, Queens County; Karen Schoenberg, Richmond County; and Steven M. Goldstein, Special Narcotics. Former Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau gave the keynote address. Pictured from left: Samuel W. Seymour, City Bar President, Robert M. Morgenthau, and Seth Farber, Dewey Medal Committee Chair.

Recent Committee Activity
Disclosures Concerning “Conflict Minerals”

In a joint letter to the SEC the Financial Reporting, International Human Rights, and Securities Regulation Committees offered comments on the SEC's proposed rules under Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Act. Section 1502 addresses an emergency humanitarian situation in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo by requiring disclosures concerning “conflict minerals” in order to deter the use of those minerals to finance armed conflict in the region. Under Section 1502, such disclosures must be specifically designed, readily available and usable by diverse constituencies. The letter suggests this can best be achieved by establishing new forms and adopting new rules governing the preparation and filing of these forms. Specifically, the letter notes that the Commission should: 1) adopt a specific form to be filed annually on the EDGAR System by each issuer subject to the requirements of Section 13(p) of the Exchange Act, but only by those issuers; and 2) amend Form 10-K and Form 20-F, which reporting companies use to file annual reports pursuant to Sections 13(a) and 15(d) of the Exchange Act, to include check boxes on the cover indicating whether the issuer is required to file a report under Section 13(p).

City Bar in the News
Newsday, December 4, 2010
Fix New York's Election Laws (Editorial)
“It's unbelievably tough for challengers to gather enough signatures to get on the ballot. In more than half the states, there・s a good alternative: Pay a filing fee and get on the ballot. The fee・s size varies by state, but it usually costs less than gathering signatures and defending them in court. And it・s revenue for the state. The New York City Bar proposes that system for our state, an excellent idea.”

New York Law Journal, December 1, 2010
Legislation Creates Judicial Pay Commission
“The frustration of New York state judges who have gone without a raise since 1999 came a step closer to ending yesterday after lawmakers approved the creation of a commission to recommend new salary levels once every four years.…The New York City Bar, the New York County Lawyers’ Association and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., among others, publicly urged lawmakers to back a commission once Mr. Paterson put it on an agenda of items he would like to see the Legislature address during its session this week.”

A Message From the City Bar Justice Center
Give New Yorkers The Gift They Really Need This Holiday
Every day the calls for help pour into the City Bar Justice Center V and we turn to you this holiday season so we can continue to provide 20,000 disadvantaged New Yorkers access to free legal services, and the safety, security, and hope they need.

Every $1 of your fully tax-deductible gift is leveraged into $9 of pro bono legal services to the poor.

Please consider making a generous contribution to the Justice Center to answer the increasing calls for help in our community. Visit to make your credit card donation quickly and securely online, or mail your check payable to City Bar Justice Center to 42 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036.

Thank you for your partnership and generosity.

For more information about our work, download the 2009-2010 Annual Report.

To forward this newsletter, click here.

To view this newsletter on the Web, click here.

To change your contact information: email

Click here to unsubscribe from 44th Street Notes e-mails

New York City Bar
42 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036
(212) 382-6600