The New York City Bar Association supports raising the age of criminal responsibility from 16 to 18, as proposed in the 2015-2016 New York State Executive Budget.

The Proposal is based on a report produced by the Commission—comprised of law enforcement, advocates and service providers—appointed by Governor Cuomo to make recommendations on how New York could raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction and make other reforms to improve youth outcomes while increasing community safety.

A City Bar report collaborated on by eight committees notes, “The Commission Report and the Proposal represent a comprehensive approach to reforming the youth justice system. The recommendations came from a thorough study of best practices in New York and across the nation, including the lessons learned from jurisdictions that have successfully raised the age in recent years. The City Bar applauds the work of the Commission and supports the Proposal. We urge its passage this session.”

The Proposal would raise the age of juvenile jurisdiction to 18 years old, consistent with national norms. Family Court would have original jurisdiction over most youth who were arrested; using current numbers, this would shift approximately 86% of the 16- and 17-year-olds cases to Family Court. However, Criminal Court would retain jurisdiction over youth charged with serious-offense crimes and offense charged under the Vehicle and Traffic Law. Youths retained in adult court would also have additional protections and receive age-appropriate treatment.

The City Bar has previously expressed support for raising the age of criminal responsibility.

Citing research supporting the view that adolescent brains do not develop full decision-making capacity until into the mid-20’s, the report notes, “we grounded our support in the following overarching concepts: that raising the age will reduce recidivism; that adult jails are dangerous for youth; that alternatives to incarceration are a more effective and cost-efficient way to reduce youth recidivism than detention and incarceration; that youth charged as adults face an array of collateral consequences that prevent them from moving forward with their lives; and that raising the age will help to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in our criminal justice system.”

The Proposal also would create a new Youth Part in the superior court of every county to hear the cases of 16- and 17-year-olds who remain in Criminal Court. Youth Part judges would receive specialized training in adolescent development and research-based recidivism prevention, and would have expanded discretion to remove cases to Family Court, or retain cases in the Youth Part but apply all of the provisions and protections of the Family Court Act. The Department of Probation will conduct a risk and needs assessment of all youth who are not detained, and provide referrals to appropriate evidence-based services.

The Proposal would also ensure that no youth under the age of 18 are detained in adult jails, regardless of whether they are in Family or Criminal Court. Additionally, consistent with research showing that when low-risk youth are more deeply involved in the justice system they are more likely to reoffend, the legislation contains several provisions to increase diversion from courts and from detention and placement.

As a first step toward incorporating this understanding into the justice system, notes the report, the Proposal expands the eligibility for a youthful offender adjudication—which replaces convictions and makes the court records confidential—to youth under age 21. The Proposal also provides that the court records for all youth who are eligible for a youthful offender adjudication (except those charged with sex offenses) will be confidential while the case is pending and that the proceedings can be held confidentially upon request. The State has also committed to bearing the costs associated with raising the age of juvenile jurisdiction.

As the report concludes, “the City Bar believes the reasons for raising the age for the crimes identified in the Proposal are equally applicable to all crimes. We hope that after the Proposal is fully implemented and demonstrating success, the Legislature will see fit to amend the law so that it includes all crimes.”

The report may be read here: http://bit.ly/1BLMWCh

 

Posted in New York City Bar Association | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

In this political climate, it is particularly important that the public have a high level of trust in its elected officials. The public should know that its elected officials are in government to work in the public interest, not to take care of their own interests. One key element of establishing public trust is disclosure of outside income.

In 2010, the New York City Bar Association issued a report [http://bit.ly/1FsJZYA] saying New York’s lawmakers should be required to disclose the sources and amounts of their outside income—specifically including the identity of paying clients—and to provide a description of the services rendered. The report concluded that there is no basis for excluding lawyer-legislators from the public scrutiny to which legislators should be held and that an independent system could be developed so that claims of attorney-client privilege could be vetted in those limited circumstances where the public’s interest in disclosure is outweighed by a client’s interest in secrecy.

The Public Integrity Reform Act of 2011 took the first steps in this direction, by establishing a limited regime for lawmakers’ disclosing their clients. However, that level of disclosure has been inadequate, and does not provide the opportunity for scrutiny that the public deserves. The proposal in the Executive Budget legislation would establish the level of disclosure of outside income contemplated in the City Bar’s 2010 report, and we applaud the Governor for highlighting the importance of this issue, and welcome the Assembly’s agreement. We urge the Legislature to adopt the outside income disclosure provisions proposal in full, to demonstrate the Legislature’s commitment to bolstering public confidence in our State’s government.

Please see a fuller statement released by the City Bar today addressing the Budget disclosure proposals and other ethics issues: http://bit.ly/1FC6SZp

 

Posted in New York City Bar Association | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off

As you read this, the Governor and legislative leaders are negotiating the State’s budget for the fiscal year beginning April 1st. And as has become customary, the Governor’s proposed budget legislation includes many public policy issues. This year, two of the important topics included in the proposed budget involve significant criminal justice policy considerations: raising the age of criminal responsibility, and addressing the aftermath of the Eric Garner grand jury determination. In both instances, City Bar committees worked together on position statements that we have submitted to the Governor and Legislature.

Eight City Bar committees collaborated on a report supporting the Governor’s proposal to raise the age of criminal responsibility in New York from 16 to 18. All but one other state sets the age of criminal responsibility at 18. Raising the age would channel 16 and 17-year old offenders into Family Court, with its better services and options, and into youth correction facilities rather than adult prisons, where young offenders may be more likely to learn to be career criminals than to take a lawful path.

Under the Governor’s proposal, which was based on the work of the Commission on Youth, Public Safety and Justice, cases involving youth under 18 would be heard in Family Court, with certain exceptions, such as violent felonies and vehicle and traffic offenses. Youth who are retained in adult court would have additional protections and receive age-appropriate treatment. The proposal also creates a new Youth Part in the superior court of every county that would hear the cases of 16- and 17-year-olds who remain in the adult criminal courts. Youth Part judges would receive specialized training in adolescent development and research-based recidivism prevention. Youth Part judges would have expanded discretion to remove cases to Family Court, or to retain cases in the Youth Part but to apply all of the provisions and protections of the Family Court Act, upon finding that such treatment is in the interest of justice.

We based our support on the following overarching concepts: that raising the age will reduce recidivism; that adult jails are dangerous for youth; that alternatives to incarceration are a more effective and cost-efficient way to reduce youth recidivism than detention and incarceration; that youth charged as adults face an array of collateral consequences that prevent them from moving forward with their lives; and that raising the age will help reduce racial and ethnic disparities in our criminal justice system. Raising the age of criminal responsibility also makes scientific sense: research shows that adolescent brains do not develop full decision-making capacity until into the mid-20s. Our youth should not be saddled with the lifetime consequences of adult convictions and deserve the opportunity to participate as full members of their communities. We urge the Legislature to pass the Governor’s proposal.

The Governor’s budget legislation also attempts to address the concerns prompted by the Garner grand jury determination by including the Criminal Justice Reform Act of 2015. The proposal specifies a number of changes that were reviewed and considered by six City Bar committees. Perhaps the most significant  provision of the proposal would establish a Governor-appointed “independent monitor” who would be responsible for reviewing the grand jury investigations of cases involving the police-related death of an unarmed civilian. The independent monitor would then have the power to refer cases to the Governor for the purpose of appointing a special prosecutor when it was found that the district attorney inappropriately declined to prosecute or the grand jury presentation did not conform to the law. While we commend the Governor’s effort to address the critical issue of the public’s perception of and confidence in the criminal justice system, we oppose the creation of an independent monitor as both logistically problematic and inadequate.

The review by an independent monitor with a possible referral to a special prosecutor is an after-the-fact solution that is too cumbersome and distant from the time of the grand jury presentation to be of real value. Since the independent monitor would take into consideration both the witnesses and evidence the prosecutor chose to present to the grand jury as well as the prosecutor’s report, it is likely that the independent monitor’s report would be little more than a justification for the actions the prosecutor took. The possibility of a rubber stamp is particularly  likely because the independent monitor can recommend a special prosecutor only where “substantial error” creates a “reasonable probability” of an indictment such that the presumption of regularity afforded to such proceedings can no longer apply, or if the independent monitor uncovers newly discovered evidence “of such magnitude that there exists a reasonable probability that had such evidence been presented” an indictment would have resulted. A two-step process also creates concerns about the due process rights of police defendants because they would be subject to a system of review different from that accorded every other defendant.

If the goal of the independent monitor proposal is to assure the public that the process for handling cases involving deadly force by police against unarmed civilians is fair and unbiased, we believe further study and consideration should be given to the role of an independent special prosecutor in such cases.

In addition to opining on these budget proposals, the City Bar hosted a panel discussion on March 3rd on NYPD policies and improving police/community relations, which featured a panel reflecting diverse efforts to come to grips with this fundamental issue. The time is ripe for a robust public discussion of our criminal justice system that involves all stakeholders, and we urge the Governor and Legislature to facilitate that discussion this session so that meaningful reforms can be achieved. We will continue to issue reports, conduct programs, advocate legislation and otherwise work toward achieving a fair and responsive criminal justice system.

Debra L. Raskin is President of the New York City Bar Association.

Posted in New York City Bar Association | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics has issued an Opinion (2015-2), stating that although the use of a flat, nonrefundable monthly fee in a retainer agreement raises a number of ethical issues, it is permissible in certain circumstances, provided it is not excessive, is fully earned, and does not impede the client’s right to terminate the representation. The retainer agreement must also clearly disclose how the fee is calculated, what services it covers, and under what circumstances the fee becomes fully earned and, thus, nonrefundable.

New York lawyers are prohibited from entering into an arrangement for a “nonrefundable retainer fee,” according to Rule 1.5(d)(4) of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct. They may, however, charge a “reasonable minimum fee” if the retainer agreement “defines in plain language and sets forth the circumstances under which the fee may be incurred and how it will be calculated.” For the purpose of Rule 1.5(d), the Committee believes that the difference between a minimum and flat fee is immaterial and that a flat fee is ethically permissible if it satisfies the other requirements of Rule 1.5.

Generally fees paid to a lawyer in advance are nonrefundable only to the extent they have been earned; see Rule 1.16(e). A “general retainer,” a fee that is paid solely to secure a lawyer’s availability and not intended to compensate them for legal services, is earned whether or not the lawyer performs any legal work, provided the arrangement is made clear to the client. Alternatively, a fee paid in advance for legal services for specific, identified matters, or “special retainer,” is not earned unless those services are performed. To determine whether the nonrefundable monthly fee is ethically permissible, notes the opinion, it must be analyzed as a “hybrid retainer” – a fee that combines aspects of both types.

As the opinion states, in light of Rule 1.5(d)’s prohibition against nonrefundable retainers, charging a nonrefundable monthly fee raises significant concerns and should be analyzed carefully, specifically in regard to four key questions:

Is the Fee “Excessive” Under Rule 1.5(a)? A lawyer must determine whether the amount of the fee would be “excessive” under the relevant circumstances. Rule 1.5(a) lists some of the factors to be considered, such as: the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the work, and the skill required to perform the services; the likelihood that acceptance of the employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer; the experience, reputation and ability of the lawyer; and whether the fee is fixed or contingent. As the opinion notes, “a monthly fee is not excessive solely because it involves a minimum or flat amount.”

Is the Fee Fully Earned? Assuming the fee is not excessive, then it will be fully earned, so long as either: (1) the client has not requested any services from the lawyer during the month; or (2) the lawyer has provided any services requested by the client that month, which fall within the scope of the retainer agreement. The lawyer must consider, however, what happens if the client requests services in a particular month which the lawyer fails to provide. One way to address this concern is to agree that the monthly fee is nonrefundable only if no services are requested during the month or the lawyer performs any services requested during the month. If, on the other hand, the client requests services that the lawyer fails to perform, then the monthly fee would be fully or partially refundable. Whether this approach works would depend in part on the reasonableness of the allocation in light of the factors to be considered in assessing whether a fee is excessive. The retainer agreement should explain the basis for making any portion of the monthly fee non-refundable.

Does the Fee Impede the Client’s Termination Right? A nonrefundable monthly fee must not operate as a disincentive for the client to terminate the representation. Thus, in setting the amount of the monthly fee, the lawyer must consider whether it will create a meaningful financial disincentive for the client to terminate his or her relationship with the lawyer. This determination will depend, among other things, on the amount of the fee and the client’s financial circumstances and expectations.

Is the Fee Adequately Disclosed in the Retainer Agreement? Rule 1.5(b) requires a lawyer to “communicate to a client…the basis or rate of the fee and expenses for which the client will be responsible.” In addition, Rule 1.5(d)(4) permits a lawyer to charge a “reasonable minimum fee” if the retainer agreement “defines in plain language and sets forth the circumstances under which the fee may be incurred and how it will be calculated.” The retainer agreement should explain clearly which services are included in the monthly fee if requested by the client. It should also explain why and to what extent the monthly fee is nonrefundable, and must avoid any suggestion that the monthly fee is nonrefundable without being earned.

As the Committee concludes, while use of a flat, nonrefundable monthly fee in a retainer agreement raises a number of ethical issues that must be considered carefully, ultimately such a fee may be permissible in certain circumstances, provided it is not excessive, is fully earned, does not impede the client’s right to terminate the representation, and is adequately disclosed.

The opinion can be read here: http://bit.ly/1E4rDhg

 

Posted in New York City Bar Association | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The New York City Bar Association urges the Legislature to accept the Judiciary’s 2015-2016 Budget Request in its entirety.

The Budget Request seeks a 2.5% increase, amounting to $51.3 million dollars, in the “All Funds Budget.” Funds would be used to increase the number of courts that can remain open to the public until 5 p.m., allow courts to maintain current staffing levels, and fill a limited number of critical positions. Increased funds are also requested for legal services to ensure that the most vulnerable New Yorkers are not without counsel in cases involving the essentials of life.

A report, prepared by the Association’s Council on Judicial Administration, outlines that since 2009, the Judiciary has absorbed nearly $400 million in increased costs while its budget has increased only $27.5 million, or 1.5%. As a result of cutbacks of $170 million in the 2011 Judiciary Budget, the Judiciary was forced to close the Civil Court buildings and courtrooms early, lay off staff, and cease hiring to replace employees lost through attrition. During this period, the New York State Unified Court System lost 2000 employees. Staff shortages caused delays in processing court documents and imposed hardship on litigants throughout the court system.

The City Bar gives numerous examples of the difficulties caused by what it calls the “starvation diet” given to our court system, including sex offense victims forced to go through repeated emotional distress as their cases are postponed multiple times; a robbery case postponed six times, after which the victim refused to appear again; debtors in Civil Court forced to wait months because their files can’t be found; and shortages of clerks and interpreters causing backups of weeks and months in Housing Court. In State Supreme Court, an attorney recently had to wait six months for a one sentence written decision confirming an arbitration award on default.

The 2015-2016 Judiciary Budget Request includes the costs of five Family Court judgeships created effective January 1, 2016; 20 Family Court judgeships created effective January 1, 2015, and the City Court judgeships established pursuant to Chapter 548 of the Laws of 2013. Additionally, it includes an increase of $15 million in funding for civil legal services to address the needs of unrepresented litigants. As detailed in the Budget Request, it is estimated that for each dollar invested in civil legal services, New York State receives more than six dollars in economic benefits resulting from reduced social services and other public expenses as well as an increase in federal benefits.

While the previous year’s “Road to Recovery” Judiciary Budget improved somewhat the harsh impact of the budgetary shortfalls implemented in 2011, the Judiciary still has “a long way to go before it recovers from those cutbacks,” notes the report. “The Legislature should appropriate sufficient funds to ensure that the Judiciary Budget continues on its road to recovery and is able to satisfy the Judiciary’s important responsibilities to the people of the State of New York.”

The report may be read here: http://bit.ly/1ALgVs3

 

Posted in New York City Bar Association | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

On January 28th, the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Drugs and the Law and New York City Affairs Committee convened an expert panel for a discussion of the past, present and possible futures of marijuana law in New York City.

The panel was moderated by Touro Law Center Dean and Professor of Law Patricia Salkin, a land use expert, and featured Stephen Levin and Jumaane Williams, both City Council Members from Brooklyn, and Nitin Savur, Deputy Chief of the Trial Division of the New York County District Attorney’s Office.

From left: Noah Potter, Drugs and the Law Committee; Matthew S. Schweber, New York City Affairs Committee; Patricia Salkin, Dean and Professor of Law, Touro Law Center; Nitin Savur, Deputy Chief of Trial Division in Charge of Criminal Courts, Office of the New York County District Attorney; Stephen Levin, New York City Council Member, District 33; and Jumaane D. Williams, New York City Council Member, District 45.

Savur, who oversees criminal court for District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., described his office’s interest in reducing the number of marijuana misdemeanor cases clogging the courts. Between 2009-2014, there were over 49,000 misdemeanor marijuana cases. After attempting in 2012 to convince the State legislature to expand the scope of New York’s cannabis decriminalization statute, DA Vance recently endorsed the de Blasio administration’s announcement that the New York City Police Department will issue summonses for possession of personal-use amounts of cannabis instead of making arrests. Earlier, Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced that his office would not prosecute first-time offenders for possession of personal-use amounts.

The panelists all agreed that the profusion of marijuana arrests has been problematic. While marijuana was separated from other controlled substances under state law in the 1970s, a persistent problem has remained: while simple possession is a violation rather than a criminal offense, possessing marijuana in “public view” remains a B misdemeanor. The practice of police officers asking people to empty their pockets and then charging the misdemeanor offense has been exposed and criticized in the discourse around stop-and-frisk in New York.

Council Member Williams is as concerned with who is getting arrested as much as the volume of arrests. He raised the issues of unequal enforcement, even from neighborhood to neighborhood. While Williams favors complete legalization, he hopes there are ways in the meantime for the city to take leadership to address the inequities, and he advocates automatic expungement of criminal records.

Council Member Levin also hopes that Albany will step up with leadership in the future, and will continue to look for ways to advance policy at the local level and put pressure on the state legislature.

Professor Salkin pointed out that local law is “ground zero” for discussion of legal cannabis. If state law changes, the next question is what localities can do to either opt out or influence implementation options. Issues about local control have cropped up in the medical marijuana arena, as they have with fracking, adult entertainment and numerous other issues. Professor Salkin suggested that New York City commission a “health impact assessment” of changes to marijuana policy, which would look at health impacts, mental health and social justice indicators.

The panel discussed other changes in New York State law during 2014, including the Compassionate Care Act, which legalized limited uses of cannabis for medical purposes.  The Department of Health has released draft regulations for public comment, but the effects of the new scheme will not be known for some time.

You can hear and download a podcast of the the entire discussion here.

The event was the first in a series on marijuana laws to be held at the Association. Check the City Bar’s calendar for information on the next event.

 

Posted in New York City Bar Association | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Professional Ethics has issued an Opinion (2015-1), stating that a New York law firm is ethically permitted to use the services of a professional employer organization (PEO), as long as the firm: (1) does not allow the PEO to interfere with the lawyers’ ethical obligations to exercise independent professional judgment or to supervise other lawyers and nonlawyers; (2) does not allow the PEO to access confidential information relating to the firm’s clients; (3) complies with the obligation to avoid conflicts of interest; and (4) does not compensate the PEO in a manner that violates rules against sharing fees with nonlawyers.

Professional employer organizations help small businesses provide employment benefits and human resource services to their employees, such as payroll, employee training, health insurance benefits and retirement plans. PEOs allow companies to offer benefits at a lower cost and, in some instances, benefits that law firms could not provide without the PEO relationship.

New York and other states have adopted statutes governing PEOs. The New York Professional Employer Organization (NYPEO) Act defines a PEO as a business that enters into a written contract with a client to “co-employ all or a majority of the employees providing services for the client” on an “on-going rather than temporary” basis, and requires that the PEO agreement expressly allocate between the PEO and the client “[e]mployer responsibilities for worksite employees, including those of hiring, firing and disciplining” employees.

The concern for New York lawyers is whether using a PEO is consistent with a lawyer’s ethical obligations under the New York Rules, including the following:

  • The Duty to Exercise Independent Professional Judgment and Supervise Employees: “The duty to exercise professional independence is a core value of the legal profession,” notes the opinion. This value is reflected in multiple provisions of the New York Rules, including Rule 1.8(f), 2.2, 5.4(c), and 5.4(d)(3). Accordingly, “a PEO must not be allowed to influence decisions that would impact the lawyer’s ability to provide independent professional judgment to his or her clients.” Law firms are also ethically required to supervise the conduct of other lawyers and non-lawyers at the firm, as illustrated by Rule 5.1, 5.2 and 5.3. Thus, an agreement with a PEO must be tailored so that “the PEO does not have the authority to hire, terminate, or discipline employees or otherwise have control over law firm employees in connection with any aspect of the practice of law,” assuming the NYPEO Act allows for this.
  • The Duty to Preserve Confidential Information: Rule 1.6 requires a lawyer to preserve confidential information belonging to a client and to “exercise reasonable care to prevent the lawyer’s employees, associates, and others whose services are utilized by the lawyer from disclosing or using confidential information of a client,” absent an exception. Additionally, under Rule 5.1, law firms are required to make reasonable efforts to ensure that lawyers working through the PEO do not share with them clients’ confidential information, and in order to comply, the opinion notes, PEO arrangements with law firms must include reasonable safeguards to prevent this.
  • The Duty to Identify and Avoid Conflicts of Interest: Lawyers and law firms have an obligation to avoid conflicts of interest arising from current or former client relationships, as noted in Rules 1.7, 1.9 and 1.10. And given the PEO business model, it is foreseeable that a single PEO would enter into agreements with multiple law firms. But as the committee states, “as long as the PEO is not interfering with the lawyers’ professional independence, controlling or supervising employees, or accessing confidential information, we believe there is no ethical prohibition against the PEO providing similar administrative services to other law firms that represent adverse clients.” 
  • The Prohibition against Sharing Fees with Nonlawyers: Lawyers are prohibited from sharing legal fees with nonlawyers, except in limited circumstances that do not apply here. See Rule 5.4(a).  Notes the committee, “in our opinion, a law firm is ethically permitted to compensate a PEO based on a percentage of total payroll, flat fee, or fee per employee or service. As long as these payment arrangements are not based on the fees paid by the law firm’s clients, they do not violate Rule 5.4(a)’s prohibition against fee-sharing.”

Additional issues may require consideration, notes the opinion, such as whether the arrangement with the PEO complies with relevant substantive laws and the professional conduct rules of other jurisdictions, but these fall outside the jurisdiction of the Committee, which is limited to interpreting the New York Rules of Professional Conduct.

The opinion can be read here: bit.ly/1B6DXwn

 

Posted in New York City Bar Association | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

The George Washington University Law School won the final round of the 65th Annual National Moot Court Competition, held last night at the New York City Bar Association. The winning team was composed of Dane Shikman and Kyle Singhal. The team from Georgetown University Law Center, composed of Ani-Rae Lovell, Stephen Petkis and Terence J. McCarrick, Jr., placed second.

Back row: Francis M. Wikstrom, President, American College of Trial Lawyers; Hon. Debra A. James, Supreme Court Justice, New York County; Hon. Sidney H. Stein, United States District Court Judge, Southern District of New York; Debra L. Raskin, President, New York City Bar Association; Hon. Rosalyn H. Richter, Supreme Court Justice, Appellate Division, First Department; Hon. Barry A. Cozier, Shareholder, LeClairRyan and former Supreme Court Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department; Hon. Barbara R. Kapnick, Supreme Court Justice, Appellate Division, First Department. Front row: Dane Shikman and Kyle Singhal, George Washington University Law School. Photo Credit: Michael D. Herman, PureMarketingGenius.com

Best Brief honors went to the University of Tennessee College of Law (Jarrod Casteel, Katilyn Holland and John Baxter), with Runner-Up Best Brief awarded to Wake Forest University School of Law (Karon Fowler, Caroline Massagee and Kelsey Meuret).

Best Individual Speaker went to Stephen Petkis of Georgetown University Law Center, with Runner-Up Best Individual Speaker going to Kyle Singhal of The George Washington University Law School.

The final round was judged by seven distinguished judges and attorneys: Hon. Rosalyn H. Richter, Supreme Court Justice, Appellate Division, First Department; Hon. Debra A. James, Supreme Court Justice, New York County; Hon. Sidney H. Stein, United States District Court Judge, Southern District of New York; Hon. Barry A. Cozier, Shareholder, LeClairRyan and former Supreme Court Justice, Appellate Division, Second Department; Hon. Barbara R. Kapnick, Supreme Court Justice, Appellate Division, First Department; Debra L. Raskin, President, New York City Bar Association; and Francis M. Wikstrom, President, American College of Trial Lawyers.

The Competition presented two constitutional issues. The first concerned whether the peremptory strike of a juror on the basis of sexual orientation is subject to heightened scrutiny under the Equal Protection Clause. The second addressed the proper test, under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, for the extraterritorial application of U.S. antitrust law.

The final argument of the Competition was the culmination of more than six months of preparation and arguments by 175 teams from 123 law schools in every geographical area of the country competing at the regional and national levels.

The Competition is co-sponsored by the American College of Trial Lawyers and the National Moot Court Competition Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

 

Posted in New York City Bar Association | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off