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


Barriers to Healthcare: Does Law have a Role to Play in Solving the Problems?
May 19th-20th
Edinburgh, Scotland

The Science and Law Committee is co-soponsoring the two-day conference in Edinburgh featuring several panels on severe public health issues including the impact of different health care models on universal healthcare access, a panel examining of legal barriers to facilitating access to HIV treatment, and discussions on the regulation of medical technogologies and oversight of health care providers. Conference attendees can earn up to 11 CLE hours for this program.


A Conversation with Incoming New York City Human Resources Commissioner Steve Banks
May 28
6:30 - 8:00 PM

The newly appointed Human Resources Administration Commissioner and longtime Attorney-in-Chief of The Legal Aid Society will address the City Bar about the future of HRA under Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration.



Recent Developments & Updates in the Practice of Disabilities Law
May 12
6:00 - 9:00 PM

The program will focus on recent legal developments in several issues including accessibility, mental illness, and employment as they relate to people with disabilities. Presenters will include litigators who argued some of the cases that will be discussed as well as lawyers who are expert in their fields.

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


2014-15 Health & Mental Hygiene Budget
On March 31st the Governor signed the 2014-15 Health and Mental Hygiene Budget. Included in the final budget were provisions supported by the Legal Problems of the Aging Committee which included aid continuing protections in the Managed Long term Care area. (Click here for report.) Language which would have permitted the use of medical marijuana in the State was ultimately removed from the final budget after being included in the Assembly version of the bill. Other provisions included in the budget include: federal funds for a state Basic Health Program; a new requirement for insurance companies to provide reasonable notice to patients if their doctor is out-of-network; limits to co-pays for "surprise" and out-of-network emergency care; an arbitration process for setting rates for out-of-network care; and the removal of a requirement that nurse practitioners have a written collaborative agreement with physicians before they can practice if they have three years of practice. The full 2014-15 Health and Mental Hygiene Budget can be found here.

President’s Column
City Bar President Carey Dunne discusses the Association’s efforts to issue and convey policy recommendations on a wide range of topics, including health-related issues, to the de Blasio administration as it has taken shape. Check out his latest column “Beyond November: The City Bar and the New Mayor.”

Committees Seeking Members
The Drugs and the Law Committee studies the impact, effectiveness and development of law and policy in various areas relating to licit and illicit drugs, including drug control, drug use, criminalization, legalization/regulation, addiction, treatment, harm reduction, public health and human rights, on the state, federal and international levels. The Committee has issued position statements in support of Good Samaritan legislation, lifting the federal funding ban on syringe exchange, medical marijuana, and the relevance of the international drug control treaties to domestic drug reform. The Committee also holds public events on various aspects of drug law and policy. To apply, please contact committee Chair Heather Haase.

The Mental Health Law Committee encompasses issues related to adults and children with mental and intellectual disabilities in areas such as representation by attorneys, guardianship issues, end-of-life decisions, criminal and civil commitments, and criminal justice matters. The Committee's purpose is to inform the public, advocate for both individuals and government so we may bring both together to work on reforms in legislation, and work with the legal community in understanding the many issues that involve the mentally ill. To apply, please contact committee Chair Deborah Meyer.

The Science and Law Committee has a broad mandate that goes beyond health care, inclusively including member-driven topics where science and law intersect. Recent topics and focuses include scientific examination of subsidies of bioethanol, 3D printing of medical devices, solar energy, compulsory licensing in the biotech industry, and others. Members are encouraged to form subcommittees and actively pursue the topics that interest them, and to seek to provide direction, motivation and support to turn an interest into something substantial. To apply, please contact the incoming committee Chair, Henry Behnen.

Medical Marijuana
In a joint report, the Committees on Drugs & the Law and Health Law commented on Governor Cuomo's proposal to restart the Antonio G. Olivieri Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Program, which would allow New Yorkers who enroll as subjects in the Research Program to obtain medical marijuana. The report states that while this is a start, the narrow scope of the Research Program does not provide all qualified patients with access to a safe and reliable supply of medical marijuana, and that the Compassionate Care Act (CCA) should be enacted as a modern and effective means of providing qualified patients access to medical marijuana. The report notes that appropriately licensed and regulated registered organizations/dispensaries in the community, as provided for by the CCA, are better suited for reaching the populations suffering from the serious conditions that may benefit from treatment with medical marijuana.

Recommended NYC Policies Regarding HIV/AIDS
In a letter to Mayor de Blasio, the Committee on AIDS recommended a number of issues for his Administration to address regarding persons living with HIV/AIDS in New York City, including: (i) providing affordable housing protection and increasing rental assistance levels; (ii) eliminating restrictions on the use of federal funds for landlord/tenant proceedings; and (iii) prohibiting the use of condoms as evidence in prosecutions.

Protecting Social Welfare
In a joint letter to the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services, the Committees on Children & the Law; Civil Rights; Domestic Violence; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Rights; New York City Affairs; Sex & Law; and Social Welfare, as well as the Council on Children, outlined a number of suggested priorities for the administration which would serve to protect the social welfare and equal protection of New Yorkers. The suggestions include: 1) support breastfeeding mothers; 2) ensure access to subsistence benefits for the neediest New Yorkers; 3) improve the relationship between social welfare agencies and vulnerable New Yorkers such as individuals with disabilities, survivors of domestic violence, sponsored immigrants and LGBTQ individuals; and 4) implement new tools to promote child wellness.

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.