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Selected Resolutions

Guidelines for Amicus Curiae Briefs
Executive Committee, February 4, 1959 (As amended, September 14, 1988)

RESOLVED, that the following statement of policy respecting the preparation and filing of amicus curiae briefs on behalf of the Association is hereby adopted for the guidance of other committees of the Association:

1. The President will not ordinarily approve the filing of an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the Association or any committee of the Association, unless one or more of the following criteria is met:

(a) the views of the Association or committee have been specifically requested by the court;

(b) the question to be briefed directly affects the activities of the Association;

(c) the question to be briefed is one affecting members of the bar in the conduct of their professional activities; or

(d) the case is one of substantial public importance in which a brief on behalf of the Association or the committee is likely to add a material contribution to the presentation of counsel for the parties or for other amici.

2. Briefs may not be filed without specific prior authorization by the President.

3. A brief submitted for consideration should be submitted at least ten days prior to the date the brief is due, and should be accompanied or preceded by a short memorandum stating why, in the opinion of the submitting committee, it should be filed, and showing that one or more of the above criteria is satisfied.

4. Proposals to submit amicus curiae briefs should not be given publicity without the specific approval of the President.

5. No authorization may be given for the filing of any amicus curiae brief unless the request thereof is accompanied by a written statement setting forth the manner in which the brief will be reproduced and the name of the person or firm which will do the reproduction, the number of copies to be reproduced, the number of copies required to be filed pursuant to the applicable court rules, the estimated cost of reproduction (supported by a written printer’s estimate) and an itemized list of other expenditures to be incurred in connection with the preparation and distribution of the brief (e.g., secretarial costs). Upon receipt of such information, and upon request of the committee Chair, the costs of printing an approved amicus curiae brief will be borne by the Association.

6. There shall be filed with the Director of Library Services of the Association, for the use of the President, Executive Committee and Library, six copies of the final version of every amicus curiae brief filed on behalf of the Association or on behalf of any committee thereof, not later than the date on which it is filed with the court.

 

Guidelines for Evaluation of Nominees to the United States Supreme Court
Executive Committee, December 5, 2007

Qualified.” The nominee possesses the legal ability, experience, knowledge of the law, intellectual and analytical skills, maturity of judgment, common sense, sensitivity, honesty, integrity, independence, and temperament appropriate to be a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. The nominee also respects precedent, the independence of the judiciary from the other branches of government, and individual rights and liberties.

Highly Qualified.” The nominee is qualified, to an exceptionally high degree, such that the nominee is likely be an outstanding Justice of the United States Supreme Court. This rating should be regarded as an exception, and not the norm, for United States Supreme Court nominees.

Not Qualified.” The nominee fails to meet one or more of the qualifications above.

In evaluating a nominee for Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the Executive Committee also will take into account the qualities suitable to the special duties of the Chief Justice with respect to the Court and federal court system.

 

Appeals from the Judiciary Committee Pursuant to By-Law XVIII
Executive Committee, October 6, 1982 (As amended, September 12, 1990)

1. When a candidate for judicial or other office within the jurisdiction of the Committee on the Judiciary is notified by that Committee, pursuant to Section 3 of By-Law XVIII, of an adverse conclusion by that Committee upon original consideration or rehearing concerning the candidate’s qualifications or fitness for office, the notification shall:

(a) advise the candidate of the right, if any, to appeal from that conclusion to the Executive Committee and to be represented on such appeal by an attorney;

(b) inform the candidate of the date of expiration of the period for filing a notice of such appeal; and

(c) furnish one copy each of these Rules, of the Judiciary Committee Rule concerning appeals and of By-Law XVIII.

A candidate wishing to exercise the right of appeal must so notify the Chair of the Executive Committee in writing. The period for filing a notice of appeal to the Executive Committee as herein provided shall expire not less than two business days following notification to the candidate of the Judiciary Committee’s conclusion upon original conclusion or rehearing unless, in the judgment of the Chair of the Executive Committee or the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, circumstances require a shorter period and the candidate is so advised. If the candidate requests or is granted a rehearing by the Judiciary Committee, the Executive Committee may temporarily suspend the appeal process, pending action by the Judiciary Committee. If the Judiciary Committee makes public an adverse conclusion concerning a candidate’s qualifications or fitness before the time for filing a notice of appeal has expired or, if the candidate has given timely notice of appeal, before the appeal is disposed of, the Judiciary Committee shall state, as may be appropriate, (a) that the candidate is entitled to appeal from the decision of the Judiciary Committee or (b) that the candidate has taken an appeal from such decision.

2. The time and place for the hearing of any appeal shall be fixed by the Chair of the Executive Committee, who shall preside over the hearing and deliberations on any appeal. If the Chair is absent or disabled, the Chair’s functions shall be performed by such other member of the Executive Committee as the Chair may designate for that purpose.

3. Prior to the hearing of an appeal, the Chair of the Judiciary Committee shall submit to the Chair of the Executive Committee (or the Chair’s designee) copies of the investigating subcommittee report, a copy of the written statement of disapproval furnished to the candidate, any written materials submitted by the candidate in support of a request for rehearing, and a memorandum setting forth the bases for the Judiciary Committee’s conclusion regarding the candidate. A copy of the memorandum, or a separate memorandum from which all references to confidential sources and to the positions of individual Judiciary Committee members have been deleted, shall be provided to the candidate prior to the hearing of the appeal. The Executive Committee shall consider an appeal solely on the record before the Judiciary Committee on original consideration or in connection with a rehearing; any written materials not submitted by the candidate to the Judiciary Committee will not be considered.

4. The following shall be the order of procedure at the hearing of an appeal:

(a) The Chair of the Judiciary Committee, and/or a member or members thereof designated by the Chair for the purpose, shall appear before the Executive Committee in camera and present a summary of the information submitted to the Judiciary Committee as to the candidate’s qualifications or fitness.

(b) The candidate, with or without the candidate’s representative, shall then appear before the Executive Committee in camera and shall, upon the request of either, be apprised generally by the presiding officer of the nature of the information upon which the conclusion of the Judiciary Committee was based (except that the source of confidential communications received by the Judiciary Committee shall not be disclosed). The candidate or the candidate’s representative may then make such presentation as the candidate desires regarding the relevant facts, but neither the candidate nor the candidate’s representative may present additional evidence through witnesses, writings, or otherwise, unless the presiding officer otherwise directs.

(c) At the conclusion of both presentations, the Executive Committee may then recall the Chair of the Judiciary Committee, the Chair’s designee or designees, the candidate and/or the candidate’s representative for such further presentations as may seem necessary or desirable to assist it in arriving at a proper decision on the appeal.

(d) The Executive Committee shall then, after due deliberation, either affirm the conclusion of the Judiciary Committee or, if it is persuaded that the decision is wrong, having due regard for findings of the Judiciary Committee, reverse the conclusion of the Judiciary Committee or adopt on behalf of the Association such other conclusions as the Judiciary Committee might itself have adopted under the then applicable standards of the Association.

5. The candidate and the Chair of the Judiciary Committee shall be informed in writing of the decision of the Executive Committee as promptly as possible after the hearing, and the public may also be informed. Except for such announcement of the Executive Committee’s decision, all proceedings in the appeal shall be and remain confidential.

 

Publicity on Disapproved Judicial Candidates
Executive Committee, November 4, 1970

RESOLVED, that when nominees for judicial office, the investigations of whose qualifications are the responsibility of the Committee on the Judiciary (By-Law XVIII, 2), are appointed without the approval of that Committee then, the failure to obtain the approval of such appointments by the Association will be announced to the public by the President and given as much additional publicity as appropriate.

 

Law Secretary andPolitical Party Official
Executive Committee, September 11, 1974

RESOLVED, that the Association will not approve as qualified for appointment or for election to judicial office any person who at any time after January 1, 1975, while serving as an official of a political party, shall have concurrently served in a sensitive position in the courts (for example, as a law secretary or other confidential assistant to a judge or justice, or as a clerk with responsibilities for calendar control, approval of the form of orders, or similar functions affecting the administration of justice), and be it

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Association will not approve as qualified for appointment or for election to judicial office any person who at any time after January 1, 1975, while holding judicial office had a law secretary or other confidential assistant who concurrently served as an official of a political party.

 

Confidentiality of Executive Committee Proceedings
Executive Committee, May 8, 1974

WHEREAS, maintenance of the strict confidentiality of many of the deliberations and discussions and some of the official actions of the Executive Committee is essential both to the proper functioning and to the maintenance of the integrity of the Executive Committee, and of the Association; and

WHEREAS, the official minutes of the Executive Committee should not in general be confidential but should be open to all members of the Association, and the disclosure of the background of some Executive Committee actions is wholly proper and in some cases helpful in carrying out the resolutions and policies adopted by the Executive Committee; and

WHEREAS, the precise delineation of those deliberations, discussions and actions of the Executive Committee which should be treated as confidential from those which should not be so treated, as well as the enforcement of any resolution declaring such delineation, is probably impossible; and

WHEREAS, it is the sense of the Executive Committee that some aspects of the problem of the confidentiality of the deliberations, discussions and actions of the Executive Committee can and should be stated clearly, be it

RESOLVED, that the members of the Executive Committee recognize the necessity for maintaining the confidentiality of the Committee’s deliberations.

 

Confidentiality of Bar Association Proceedings
Executive Committee, January 4, 1989

RESOLVED, that the following policy is adopted:

Deliberations at committee meetings are normally understood by the committee members to be part of the process of reaching conclusions and are not intended for public disclosure of any kind. At the same time, the subjects are frequently issues of public concern which are not better resolved in a total vacuum. Some exposure to the outside world of the subjects being discussed within the committee is likely to result in a better conclusion.

Committees are free to and are encouraged to seek outside views, but such efforts should not be made without the express approval of the Chair of the committee or of the committee as a whole. Moreover, even with such approval, the disclosure of the views of individual members of the committee, or of positions being considered by the committee, is a violation of the rights of the committee and committee members, and is inconsistent with the fact that Association positions should be publicly announced only in accordance with the procedures set out in the by-laws.

 

Discriminatory Admission Policies
Executive Committee, April 8, 1981 (As amended, March 3, 1988)

WHEREAS, although it is the expectation of the Executive Committee that, to the extent practicable, meetings of the Association, its officers, committees and staff be held at the House of the Association, it is often desirable to hold such meetings at law offices, hotels, restaurants, or clubs; and

WHEREAS, some clubs, meeting places, restaurants and other establishments do discriminate in their admission of members, and any such discrimination on the basis of sex, color, race, religion or national origin, disability, age, marital status or sexual preference can be offensive to our members;

NOW THEREFORE, it is hereby resolved to be the policy of the Association that none of its meetings and no meetings of its officers, committees or staff be held at clubs whose admissions policies are known, or are publicly acknowledged, to be discriminatory on the basis of sex, color, race, religion or national origin, disability, age, marital status or sexual preference.

 

Policy on Voting by Delegates of the Association to Other Bar Associations
Executive Committee, January 7, 1982

RESOLVED, that the following statement of policy on voting by delegates of the Association to other bar associations, including the Union Internationale des Avocats, is hereby adopted for the guidance of such delegates:

Delegates of the Association to another bar association shall be free to vote their best judgment on issues raised by such other bar associations except to the extent that they are aware of an inconsistent position taken by the Association, by the Executive Committee, or by any other Association committee if the position of such other committee has achieved pre-publication clearance pursuant to By-Law XIV (g) or (h). To the extent delegates are aware of any such inconsistent position, they should not vote in conflict with it unless such a vote has been approved (1) by the Executive Committee in the case of an inconsistency with an Association or Executive Committee position or (2) by the President in accordance with the procedures provided in Section (1) by By-Law XIV in the case of an inconsistency with a position of such other committee.

 

Anti-Discrimination Policy
Executive Committee, May 6, 1992

RESOLVED, to approve the following as the Association's policy:

The Association of the Bar of the City of New York is committed to a policy of inclusion and diversity with respect to the composition of its staff, its membership, the chairs and members of its committees, and its officers. Consistent with this policy of promoting inclusiveness and diversity, the Association does not discriminate against any individual because of such individual's actual or perceived race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, or alienage or citizenship status.

 

Statement of Policy Reaffirming the Association’s Commitment to Diversity in the Profession
Executive Committee, April 5, 2000

RESOLVED, to approve the following as the Association's policy:

The Association of the Bar of the City of New York has long been committed to fostering diversity in the legal profession. In response to the Call to Action by President Clinton last summer exhorting the bar to promote diversity, we deem it appropriate that the Association reaffirm its commitment to diversity and urge law firms, other legal employers, courts and law schools to do so as well. We emphasize that diversity is an inclusive concept, encompassing race, color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, nationality, age, disability and marital and parental status. Through increased diversity, the legal profession can more effectively address societal and individual needs by bringing to bear more varied perspectives, experiences, knowledge, information and understanding in the practice of law and the administration of justice. Inclusion and full participation of all elements of society in law firms, government and corporate law departments, courts and law schools will better serve the ends of equal justice to which the legal profession is dedicated.