October 2013           News | Upcoming Programs & CLE | Reports | Get Involved


The Pregnancy Discrimination Act: Gains, Losses and Next Steps
Thursday, October 24
6:30 - 8:00 PM

On the 35th Anniversary of the Act, a distingushed panel from academia, non-profits, the EEOC and private practice examines the effectictiveness and gaps in the law.

Protecting Families – People and their Pets – Experiencing Domestic Violence
Wednesday, November 6
6:30 – 8:30 PM

Many domestic violence victims lack safety options that will include their pets, who are often also abused. A panel will discusses the current domestic violence sheltering system as well as relevant laws and legislation that ensure the entire family's safety.

A Review of Recent Case Law and Perspectives from the Bench on Child Neglect/Abuse Proceedings Which Are Based Upon the Theory of Res Ipsa Loquitur
Monday, November 18,
6:00 – 8:00 PM

A panel of attorneys and judges provide their perspective on current legal issues impacting the litigation proceedings in child neglect and abuse cases based on res ipsa loquitur. CLE credit is available for this program.


Marriage Equality - After the Supreme Court Rulings Law
October 28
9:00 AM -
12:00 PM

A panel of practioners from academia, banking and private practice will examine the impact of the Supreme Court's recent decision in U.S. v. Windsor on tax and estate planning and immigration issues. 

Divorce Law 101: Breaking Up Doesn't Have To Be Hard to Do
Friday, November 1
9:00 AM-
12:15 PM

A comprehensive overview of the important strategies involved in successfully representing your client, this course guide you through the divorce process from the first client interview to the final divorce decree or settlement.

Adoption Law 101
Friday, November 1
1:15 - 4:30 PM

This introductory course provides attorneys with an in-depth overview of the adoption process, including international adoptions, tax credits and termination of parental rights.


Missed a Program? You Can Still Benefit! CLE Programs' CDs, DVDs and other course
materials can be found on the website.



Women's Equality Act
The City Bar provided comments on and supported, with limited recommendations, an omnibus bill proposed by Governor Cuomo and dubbed the “Women’s Equality Act”. This bill, which lays out a 10-point plan for advancing women’s rights in a wide variety of areas, included a provision related to strengthening order of protection laws for victims of domestic violence and making the process less onerous. Specifically, the proposed legislation amends the Family Court Act and Judiciary Law to establish a pilot program for filing of petitions for temporary orders of protection electronically and allowing victims the option to provide testimony via audio-visual means. Our report recommended that consideration should also be give to implementing a system that uses technology to ensure access to orders of protection once they are granted. The 10-part Women’s Equality Act was passed by the Assembly in toto; however, the Senate opted to pass nine out of the ten bills separately, and did not vote on a bill related to abortion. Thus, the Act cannot become law unless, before the end of the year, the Senate passes it in toto, which is unlikely. Alternatively, the Assembly can pass certain of the bills separately in order to match what the Senate has passed, something the City Bar has urged Assembly members to do. The fate of either course of action remains unclear.

Childcare Assistance
The Committee on Sex and Law expressed support for A.3498/S.2275, which would require that local social services districts notify the Office of Children and Family Services 90 days before the effective date of a planned across-the-board reduction in eligibility or increase in co-payments for childcare assistance. Currently, New York State law requires that notice for a reduction or discontinuance of social services benefits be mailed to the individual family 10 days before the effective date. This limited timeframe, the report argues, does not provide many families sufficient time to plan for such a dramatic financial loss. The bill provides a simple and cost-effective way to ensure that parents and providers are made aware of critical financial decisions made by the counties that will impact their household budgets, so that they have time to develop a plan to respond to a loss of financial assistance. The bill was delivered to the Governor on October 11, 2013. He has 10 days to sign or veto it.

Inclusion of Same-Sex Spouses in Family Reunification Immigration Laws
In a joint letter to Congress, the Committees on Civil Rights Immigration and Nationality Law; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights; and Sex and Law expressed support for Senator Leahy’s amendments to the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act , S. 744, which would include same-sex spouses and permanent partners in family reunification immigration laws. These amendments, the report notes, update immigration law to reflect advances around the world in recognizing same-sex partnerships and protect the rights of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents with same-sex spouses or permanent partners to bring their partners to the U.S. as heterosexual couples do.

Same-Sex Marriage
The Committees on Sex and Law, Civil Rights, and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights joined together to issue a report on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which reiterated the City Bar position that DOMA violates the Due Process and Equal Protection provisions of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution because it denies fundamental rights to certain individuals based on sexual orientation. The report urges that DOMA either be repealed through passage of the Respect for Marriage Act or be overturned by judicial decision. [The Supreme Court overturned Section 3 of DOMA in US v. Windsor.]

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.

Legislative Affairs
Have an interest in or questions about the City Bar’s legislative work? Send an email to legislation@nycbar.org, 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.