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


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.

Father, Son, and Constitution: How Justice Tom Clark and Attorney General Ramsey Clark Shaped American Democracy
Thursday, December 5
6:00 - 8:00 PM

Author Alexander Wohl discusses his new book on Justice Clark and Attorney General Clark's respective legacies in American jurisrudence.


Trials of the Century
Tuesday, December 3
9:00 AM -
4:30 PM

Using actual film footage, re-creations, photos, and verbatim trial transcripts, Trials of the Century offers an unforgettable educational experience with excerpts from the Scopes Monkey Trial, Nuremberg and the O.J. Simpson case. Co-Sponsored with ALI-CLE.


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






City Bar Backs Raising Retirement Age for Judges
The City Bar has issued a statement in support of Proposal 6 to be on the New York ballot on November 5th. The proposal would amend section 25, article 6 of the New York State Constitution to raise the mandatory retirement age from 76 to 80 for Supreme Court justices and from age 70 to 80 for Court of Appeals judges. “The City Bar supports Proposal 6, consistent with our longstanding position that the mandatory judicial retirement age, which was enacted in 1869, is outdated. Many individuals who reach the age of 70 have a substantial number of productive years ahead of them. Many states and the federal judiciary permit judges to serve past the age of 70, and New York should as well." This amendment would also increase the number of judges to address the heavy caseloads in New York courts. Read more here.

OCA Requests for Public Comment on Administrative and Uniform Rules
City Bar committees continue to play a role in reviewing and commenting on changes proposed by the Office of Court Administration to the Administrative Rules of the Unified Court System and Uniform Rules of the Trial Courts. OCA has proposed two new rules: one that would limit the public’s access to certain documents containing personal indentifying and financial data, such as death certificates, tax returns and documents containing social security numbers; and one amendment that would provide for the adoption of statewide forms to be used in consumer credit actions seeking an award of a default judgment. OCA has asked for comments by December 4th. If you are interested in learning more about these and other proposed rules, please visit OCA’s website at:

OCA Program Bills Enacted:
A.6554/ S.4850, which will help prevent abuse during the discovery process by permitting non-parties who are not actually served with a subpoena, but whose records are nevertheless sought by the subpoena, to seek a protective order. The State Courts of Superior Jurisdiction Committee supported the bill.
A.5582-A/S.4530-A, which provides for the filing of a certificate of merit in certain residential foreclosure actions.
A.6553/S.5004, which relates to discretionary retention of alternate jurors after final submission of the case.
A.7460/S.5078, which will require attorneys to file a record of a criminal conviction in any court in the United States with the appellate division.
A.7181/S.5125, which will conform the Criminal Procedure Law to the procedure used in superior court for selecting a jury.

Seeking Judges for Moot Court
The Annual Moot Court Competition needs experienced attorneys to volunteer as judges for the New York/New Jersey regional competition on November 20th and 21st as well as the final rounds on February 10th, 11th, and 12th. Volunteer judges qualify for 2 CLE credits, 1.5 for Skills and 0.5 for Practice Management/Professional Practice.
This year, Moot Court presents two issues of significant constitutional importance: the first concerns whether a state law mandating that beverage retailers post a sign in their stores about the negative health effects of certain beverages violates the First Amendment. The second arises under the Commerce Clause and considers whether a state law that requires a unique mark to be placed on beverage containers sold within the state violates the Dormant Commerce Clause. To apply, click here; for more information, email the Moot Court Program Administrator, Mariann Owens.

Committee Vacancies
The Women in the Courts Task Force is dedicated to addressing issues pertinent to women litigants and advocates. This year the Task Force will host panels regarding interacting with in-house counsel, language access issues in the court, and legal issues surrounding sex trafficking.If you are interested in joining our committee, please contact the Chair, Rebecca Berkebile at

Public Safety as a Factor for Setting Bail
In a joint report, the Committees on Criminal Courts and Corrections and Community Reentry expressed opposition to A.6799/S.4483, which would require judges to consider public safety as a factor for setting bail. Though the Committees recognize the goals of the Bill and applaud the Legislature's attempts to revise New York's current bail scheme, the report argues that the Bill does not achieve the stated goals. There is no evidence that the Bill would be effective in protecting public safety; indeed, the report notes, available data from states with statutes similar to the proposed Bill shows no difference in re-arrest rates. In addition, the report expresses disfavor with the Bill because: 1) the provision that requires judges to set bail in the least restrictive means runs counter to the public safety provisions; and 2) the Bill does not provide adequate definitions or tools to assist courts in assessing public safety effectively.

Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment Act
The Committees on Criminal Courts and Corrections and Community Reentry issued a joint proposal to amend § 8-b of the New York Court of Claims Act. Section 8-b, known as the “Unjust Conviction and Imprisonment Act” (“UCIA”), provides a cause of action that permits people who have been wrongly convicted and imprisoned to seek compensation but, as drafted, excludes many deserving persons before they even get in the courthouse door. The proposed amendments would correct this problem by amending the UCIA to insure that: 1) so long as all statutory requirements are met, including a showing of innocence, an individual whose conviction is reversed on any ground will be eligible to recover; and 2) anyone who pled guilty or made a false exculpatory statement despite his or her innocence also would be eligible to recover, so long as all other statutory requirements are met.

Resigning Fiduciaries
The Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Courts Committee expressed support for A.7062/S.4272, which would amend the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act to remove the requirement that a fiduciary seeking to resign must file a judicial accounting—instead it would allow the court to approve either a formal (judicial) or informal settlement of the resigning fiduciary’s account. This proposed change, the report argues, would not prevent the Surrogate’s Court from compelling a judicial accounting but would remove the requirement to do so, which would mean a substantial monetary savings to many families. The bill passed both houses of the Legislature and awaits delivery to the Governor’s Office.

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, 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.