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


Breakfast Series: Enforcement of Judgments
April 21
8:00 - 9:30 AM

An informal discussion where panelists outline the basics of enforcement procedure, including entering judgment, perfecting judgment through execution, working with the Marshal's office, judgment creditor priority, and the levy process. Discussion will also highlight areas of special interest, including pre-judgment attachment, multi-jurisdiction enforcement and competing jurisdictions.


Lobbying 101
April 30
9:00 AM -
12:00 PM

A practical introduction to the subject of advocacy and lobbying. The panel will cover the nuts and bolts of how to build an effective advocacy campaign--and how to do so within the law.

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



New York Needs More Family Court Judges

On March 5th, City Bar Legislative Director Maria Cilenti (third from left) traveled to Albany with other advocates to call for additional Family Court judges in New York State.

The City Bar has urged the Governor and Legislature to support the Office of Court Administration’s proposal to add 20 new Family Court judgeships throughout the State. The City Bar supports adding these judgeships to handle the enormous need, as the number of judges has increased only 8.8% statewide over the past 30 years while the Family Court caseload has increased 90%. No judge has been added to the NYC Family Court in over 20 years. A concerted effort is underway in Albany to add these judgeships and the City Bar plans to remain involved in this effort.

City Bar Releases 2014 State Legislative Agenda
The New York City Bar Association has released its 2014 State Legislative Agenda, which includes support of the Judiciary’s 2014-2015 Budget and access to justice initiatives, including proposals to consolidate the state’s major trial courts and requiring commission-based judicial appointments. This agenda represents only a portion of the dozens of positions generated by our committees over the course of each legislative session. It focuses on issues that are relevant to the current legislative debate or of particular importance to the City Bar, as well as legislative proposals drafted by our committees. Click here to read more.

Confidential Personal Identifying and Financial Data
The Office of Court Administration invited comments on the proposal of its Surrogate’s Court Advisory Committee to adopt a new rule to the Uniform Rules for Surrogate’s Court. The new rule, 22 NYCRR § 207.64, would limit public access to certain documents containing confidential personal identifying and financial data (Confidential Personal Information, “CPI”). The City Bar submitted comments on the Proposed Rule, which included the opinions of two of our committees and some recommendations for OCA’s consideration. In line with a previous submission to OCA regarding a proposal to redact CPI from court filings, the City Bar expressed its view that, consistent with 22 N.Y.C.R.R. §216.1, the sealing of court records should be guided by the general principle that sealing should be no broader than necessary to protect the threatened interest. [The new rule was ultimately adpoted without the City Bar's recommended changes.]

Judicial Selection Methods in New York: A Guide to Getting Involved
The Council on Judicial Administration has issued a Guide to understanding and getting involved in the judicial selection process in New York. The Guide is designed to explain how the over 1,200 state court judges and over 150 federal court judges in New York State are selected, and encourage lawyers and members of the public to involve themselves in the selection processes. As the Guide explains, there are many opportunities to participate in the processes, including voicing an opinion to the appointing authority, e.g., the mayor or governor; running for election as a delegate to a judicial convention; or becoming a member of a screening panel. Diverse participation, the Guide notes, is good for the process of selecting judges and greater participation generally brings transparency to the process and promotes public confidence in our courts.

Proposed Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
The Committee on Federal Courts provided comments on the Judicial Conference’s Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure on the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure proposed by the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. The report does not address all of the proposed amendments of the Rules but rather comments on the proposed amendments which the Committee believes are the most significant, and those where the Committee can add something new to the discussion. The report expresses support for some of the proposed amendments to the Rules, supports others with proposed modifications or clarifying commentary, and opposes some of the proposed amendments. In particular, the report: 1) supports the proposed amendment of Rule 4(m), with a suggested modification; 2) supports the proposed amendments to Rule 26(b) regarding the scope of discovery, with suggested clarifying commentary; 3) supports the proposed amendment to Rule 26(d)(2) that would authorize early document requests; 4) opposes the proposed amendments to Rule 30 that would further limit the presumptive number and duration of depositions; 5) supports the proposed amendments of Rules 33 and 34, with modifications; 6) supports the proposed amendment to Rule 36; and 7) generally supports the goals of the proposed amendments to Rule 37 but suggests significant revisions to the pending proposals.

Judiciary's 2014-2015 Budget Request
In its report on the 2014-2015 Judiciary Budget request, the Council on Judicial Administration strongly recommended that the Legislature adopt the Judiciary’s 2014-2015 Budget Request in its entirety. The report concludes that after sustaining a $170 million dollar budget cut in 2011, and zero growth budgets in 2012 and 2013, it is essential that the Legislature fund the Court’s modest 2.5% proposed increase in its 2014-2015 budget request. The report notes that budget setbacks over the last three years have had a devastating impact on the courts and the people they serve, including a loss of 1,900 positions. The proposed budget would maintain, restore and enhance essential court functions. The report also supports the proposal to add 20 additional Family Court judges, to be accomplished through a supplemental appropriation, to help relieve that Court’s burgeoning caseloads.

Confidential Personal Information
The Council on Judicial Administration submitted comments to the Office of Court Administration on the proposed rule aimed at preventing the unnecessary disclosure of confidential personal information in papers filed in civil matters. The comments strongly support the proposal, subject to a number of specific recommendations set forth in the comments, including changes to the definition of confidential personal information. The Council also urged OCA to take the measures necessary to ensure that any sealing of documents be no broader than necessary to protect the threatened interest.

Consumer Credit Actions
In a joint report the Committees on Civil Courts and Consumer Affairs expressed opposition to proposed amendments 22 N.Y.C.R.R. §§ 208.14-a and 210.14-a relating to adoption of statewide affidavit forms for use in consumer credit actions seeking award of a default judgment, and urged that OCA not adopt the use of the proposed forms. The proposed forms, the letter notes, would still permit debt-collectors to use “robo-signed” affidavits and would facilitate the entry of default judgments based on hearsay and without establishment of the plaintiff’s prima facie case, including a clear chain of title for the debt at issue. Instead, the letter recommends, that OCA adopt a rule requiring - in every case - the submission of an affidavit from the original creditor attesting to the basic facts of the alleged debt based on personal knowledge of the original creditor’s records and billing practices.

Model Preservation Letter
Given the importance of the preservation of materials (and especially electronic files and electronically-stored information) for litigation and the possibility that courts may impose penalties against parties who have not met their preservation obligations, the Committee on State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction has drafted a model preservation letter that can be used by practitioners to send to clients regarding preserving documents and electronic records. The model letter can be adapted to the facts of a particular case and users are advised to update the form based on changes in the law and technology.

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.