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


Constructive Perspectives: Are New York's Construction Safety and Insurance Laws Serving the Public?
March 13
8:00 AM -
2:30 PM

Occasioned by the recent interest in New York's Scaffold Law, a series of panels will provide a multi-disciplinary exploration of issues related to construction site safety and project risk management.

To GAL or not to GAL, Ethical Considerations in Housing Court
March 18
6:00 - 9:00 PM

A panel with experts from the courts, academia and private practice will cover the ethical issues that arise in housing court when working with an unrepresented and mentally ill litigant. CLE credit available.


Hot Topics Affecting Cooperatives & Condominiums 2014
April 3
6:00 - 9:00 PM

This program will provide an overview of issues facing cooperative and condominium boards and owners, particularly in the law pertaining to objectionable conduct, the business judgment rule, and issues related to financing of newly constructed buildings.

Mortgage Notes & the Future of Home Finance
April 23
6:00 - 9:00 PM

The financial crisis has placed stresses on the legal infrastructure for residential mortgages and securitization. This program examines a number of technical and political questions about the adequacy of the current establishment and the potential need for reform.

Current Governance Issues in Coops & Condos
June 10
8:30 - 10:30 AM

This seminar will examine important issues relating to employment laws and the administrative forums that affect boards and individual directors, as well as board member fiduciary duties.

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


Proposed Home Mortgage Bridge Loan Act
The Banking Law Committee has proposed the Home Mortgage Bridge Loan Act, which would institute a program that will provide temporary and repayable financial assistance through bridge loans to homeowners experiencing temporary difficulty in paying their mortgage loans through no fault of their own. The program is modeled after Pennsylvania's highly successful Homeowners' Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, which was established over 25 years ago. The bill was introduced in the New York State Senate at the end of session last year (S.5035) and the Committee will be working to have a companion bill introduced in the Assembly. To read the Committee’s reports on this proposal, please visit their committee report page.

Real Estate Forms
The City Bar has provided a number of model forms, many with commentaries, concerning real estate matters. These include model contracts of sale, lease agreements, subleases and other forms and provisions. All of these forms have been prepared by the Association's real estate committees.

Construction Procurement Laws
In its report, 21st Century Construction, 20th Century Construction Law: An Update, the Committee on Construction Law continues to urge New York State to completely overhaul its statutory scheme for publicly and privately constructed and financed elements of the built environment across the State to match the needs of 21st Century construction projects. The goal of the proposed overhaul is for the State to provide all New York public owners with all procurement and delivery modes, as necessary and appropriate, to materially reduce costs, speed delivery and improve quality and safety. Specifically, the report makes the following recommendations: 1) expand the authorization of the design-build methodology to include its use for all types of structures, and additionally authorize the construction-management-at-risk methodology for all New York public owners; 2) remove the regulatory chilling effect on the design-build methodology in current legislation and resolve regulatory inconsistencies; and 3) expand the New York City Educational Construction Fund model to all public school districts and for other building typologies such as public health care clinics and ambulatory care facilities to further leverage the benefits of private multi-use development projects when and where they occur.

Fair Housing Act
The Committees on Civil Rights and Administrative Law jointly submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Township of Mount Holly v. Mt. Holly Gardens Citizens in Action, Inc. The brief addresses Section 804(a) of the Fair Housing Act (“FHA”), which makes it unlawful to refuse to sell or rent after the making of a bona fide offer, or to refuse to negotiate for the sale or rental of, or otherwise make unavailable or deny a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, familial status or national origin. The brief argues that the language of the section demonstrates that the FHA encompasses disparate impact claims, and that Congress did not intend to require a showing of discriminatory intent to sustain a claim. The brief further argues that to the extent that this question is unsettled, the Supreme Court should look and defer to the long-standing interpretation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development that the FHA prohibits actions which have discriminatory effects regardless of evidence of discriminatory intent.

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.