May 2014           News | Upcoming Programs & CLE | Reports | Get Involved


Justice for the Poor-Fixing a Broken Public Defense System
May 29
6:30 - 8:30 PM

More than 50 years have passed since Gideon v. Wainwright established the bedrock principle that people facing serious charges in criminal cases are guaranteed the right to counsel free of charge if they cannot afford an attorney. This panel will discuss the obstacles that exist to fulfilling the ideal of the right to counsel for eligible defendants and what steps can be taken now to fundamentally change the system to provide justice for the poor.



Representing Clients in Federal & State Criminal Tax Investigations: Defense Strategies & Prosecution Initiatives Every Attorney Needs to Know

June 9
6:00 - 9:00
This program will focus on strategies that attorneys can use to best represent taxpayers under criminal investigation. Topics to be covered include elements of commonly prosecuted federal and state tax crimes, current IRS and DOJ tax prosecution initiatives, particularly foreign bank account investigations, and more.


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materials can be found on the website.


A New Administration in NYC

Mark Peters, Commissioner of the Department of Investigation, at a joint committee meeting hosted by Criminal Law Committee.

In his latest President’s column, Carey Dunne discusses the Association’s efforts to issue and convey policy recommendations on a wide range of topics, including criminal justice issues, to the de Blasio administration as it has taken shape. Entitled “Beyond November: The City Bar and the New Mayor,” the letter discussed, among other things, efforts by committees to reach out to newly appointed agency officials to request meetings. Our Criminal Justice committees have been particularly active in this area, meeting with or scheduled to meet with officials such as Mark Peters, Commissioner of the Department of Investigation (see photo), Elizabeth Glazer, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice and Joseph Ponte, Commissioner of the Department of Correction. (Click to see transition memos to Ms. Glazer and Mr. Ponte.)

In Case You Missed It
• The Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office, led by Kenneth Thompson, has indicated it will stop prosecuting people arrested on charges of possessing small amounts of marijuana.
• Governor Cuomo announced the members of the Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice, which is charged with providing recommendations regarding youth in New York’s criminal and juvenile justice systems, in particular, the issue of increasing the age of criminal responsibility. Former City Bar President, Hon. Barry Kamins, will serve on the Commission.

Non-Citizen Defendants
The Committees on Immigration & Nationality Law, Criminal Courts, and Criminal Justice Operations issued a statement applauding the NY Court of Appeals decision in People v. Peque, Diaz, & Thomas, requiring a judge to advise a non-citizen criminal defendant that pleading to a felony may result in deportation. The Committee urged trial and appellate courts to extend the Peque ruling to misdemeanors and violations, and urged the State Legislature to amend New York Criminal Procedure Law Section 220.50(7) (regarding advisals to defendants) to include misdemeanors and violations, and to authorize automatic vacatur if the record establishes that the court failed to issue the statutory warning.

Senate Rejection of Assistant Attorney General Nominee
City Bar President Carey Dunne wrote to U.S. Senate leaders to express concern over the Senate's recent vote in opposition to the confirmation of Debo Adegbile to head the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice. The letter, drafted by the Committee on Capital Punishment, said the rejection of Mr. Adegbile's nomination principally on the ground that he represented a death-row inmate is contrary to the fundamental American principle of access to justice and sends a chilling message to the legal profession that any lawyer who may at some point want to serve in a public office should refuse to represent a client, no matter how meritorious the case, if that client is unpopular. The letter urged that the Senate reconsider Mr. Adegbile's nomination.

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 leadership opportunities and 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.

Legislative Affairs
Have an interest in or questions about the City Bar’s legislative work? Send an email to, visit our website or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Updates include recent City Bar reports, news and upcoming programs in a particular practice area and are issued periodically to City Bar members.