City Bar's First Annual White Collar Crime Institute
On Monday, May 14th, the City Bar will host the First Annual White Collar Crime Institute, an all-day series of panels
on the essential strategies needed when representing a white collar crime defendant. Panels will discuss how certain investigation techniques, information exchanges, contact with opposing counsel, and interactions with the media can effect the perception and outcome of a trial. There will also be discussions on techniques for winning at trial and the special handling required in
Violent Felony Offenders
The Committees on Criminal Courts and Corrections and Community Reentry issued a joint report opposing A.9019/S.3645-C (“Brittany’s Law”), which would create a registry for all violent felony offenders in New York State. The report opposes the proposed legislation for the following reasons: 1) the State will likely be subject to extensive and costly litigation to ensure that the constitutional rights of offenders are protected; 2) there is no empirical data that shows the legislation will be effective in deterring violent crime; 3) requiring immediate inclusion of 30,000 offenders, with an additional 8,000 to be added, could tax an already overburdened criminal justice system; and 4) the bill is extremely broad, the broadest in the country, and will dilute its effectiveness and waste law enforcement resources.
Actual Innocence Claims
In a joint report the Committees on Criminal Courts and Criminal Justice Operations expressed support for amending CPL §440 to provide for actual innocence claims. The Committees reviewed the proposed Actual Innocence Act of 2012 ( A.6551-A/S.79-A ) and recommended a number of changes to the legislation with regard to: 1) the burden of proof standard; 2) evidence to be considered; 3) applicability to guilty pleas; and 4) a proposed “reasonable probability of innocence” standard to allow passage through the “gateway” of procedural barriers.
Ineffective Assistance of Counsel on Appeal
Currently there is no statutory mechanism for such claims, forcing litigants to continue to rely on the common-law writ. The Committees on Criminal Courts and Criminal Justice Operations issued a joint report proposing legislation which would provide a remedy in New York for claims of ineffective assistance of counsel that relate to appellate representation. The proposed legislation would add a new section 450.65 to the Criminal Procedure Law that would: 1) codify appeal-related claims of ineffective assistance of counsel without restricting the availability of the flexible writ of coram nobis in other areas of the law; 2) encompass all the areas in which the writ has been recognized as providing relief for claims of ineffective assistance that relate to appeals and the appeal process; 3) treat appeal-related claims of ineffective assistance of counsel in a manner fundamentally similar to that for trial-related ineffective assistance claims; 4) provide an avenue for the resolution of appeal-related ineffective assistance claims that is simple, familiar, and non-discriminatory; and 5) provide a specific mechanism for factual investigation and fact finding that recognizes both defense attorneys' ethical responsibilities and the natural limitations of appellate courts.
Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act of 2007
The Committees on Criminal Law and Sex and Law filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, in Mental Hygiene Legal Services v. Schneiderman, in which the Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act of 2007 is being challenged. The Act requires a judge to confine a respondent to a secure treatment facility upon a finding that there is probable cause to believe that the respondent is a sex offender requiring civil management; however, a judge may not release the respondent prior to that proceeding. The brief supports the district court’s holding that this mandated detention without a “judicial proceeding to determine dangerousness” is unconstitutional. Requiring automatic detention for what could be over a year until the proceeding is held, without a showing of need or the opportunity for the defendant to show detention is not necessary, undermines the accuracy and integrity of the trial process and creates a significant likelihood of erroneous sex offender designations.
Committee Involvement--It’s Never too Late
Committees are how the City Bar’s work gets done. Working on a committee can give you great experience while opening up a number of career doors, some you may not even anticipate.
A full list of the City Bar committees along with a brief description of each and an application form can be found on the City Bar’s website. As a number of City Bar committees have more applicants than available slots, please consider applying to more than one committee.