2011 In The News

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New York Times, December 28, 2011

Apropos Appropriation

At a debate about the Prince case at the New York City Bar Association last month Virginia Rutledge, an art lawyer and former general counsel for Creative Commons, a nonprofit group that advocates for more open copyright standards, said she believed that the problem facing the art world was as much a “cultural attribution crisis” as a legal crisis and that the problem could be at least partly addressed by cultivating a stronger climate of simple acknowledgement and credit. But Hank Willis Thomas, one of the artists taking part in the debate, said that the recycle and remix culture was gaining speed so rapidly that trying to bring order to it was, even now, like trying to hit a moving target.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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New York Times, December 22, 2011

Blindsided by Financial Crisis, and Trying to Rebuild

Struggling to balance motherhood and work, Ms. Calder decided to make a change. Confident she would be able to find similar work closer to home, she left her job of four years in 2008. She was blindsided when the bottom fell out of the economy….With no other options, Ms. Calder said, she and Orion entered New York City’s shelter system….In May, she turned to the City Bar Justice Center’s Legal Clinic for the Homeless, an affiliate of the Children’s Aid Society, one of the seven agencies supported by The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund, and received $200 from the fund to buy clothes.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Staten Island Advance, December 15, 2011

Staten Island Assistant District Attorney Receives Dewey Medal for ‘Outstanding Prosecutors’

Assistant District Attorney Anne Grady has been named the Richmond County recipient of the 2011 Thomas E. Dewey Medal at the Manhattan offices of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Ms. Grady, deputy chief of the Appeals Bureau, was awarded the medal at the Manhattan offices of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York late last week. The Thomas E. Dewey Medal, sponsored by the law firm of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, is awarded annually to one outstanding assistant district attorney in each of city’s five boroughs.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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AM Law Daily, December 15, 2011

Cleary Team One Step Closer to Winning Ex-Death Row Inmate's Freedom

In a pro bono victory for Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton lawyers, a Tennessee appeals court has vacated the 1985 felony murder conviction of former death row inmate Erskine Johnson and remanded his case for a new trial. The decision – issued on December 9 by the Tennessee Criminal Appeals Court in Jackson – was in large part the product of new evidence turned up by a Cleary team that over the past 15 years has spent at least 15,000 hours on the case while getting contributions from more than 25 of the firm’s lawyers…Cleary entered the case in 1995 after receiving a referral from the NAACP’s capital punishment unit and the New York City Bar Association.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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WNYC News, December 13, 2011

NY Gets Friendlier to Socially Responsible Business

Govenor Andrew Cuomo signed a law creating a new legal category of company in New York late Monday night: a Benefit Corporation. The companies that incorporate under the new law must prove they have social and environmental impact…Benefit Corporations in New York will have to submit to third party monitoring on at least one kind of non-financial benefit they provide to society. The law does not mandate which cause or which third party certification organization, something that the New York City Bar association has raised concerns about because it could put corporate boards of directors in difficult positions.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Washington Post, December 6, 2011

Senate Republicans Block Obama Appeals Court Nominee

Senate Republicans on Tuesday filibustered the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, blocking the nominee President Obama chose last year to serve on one of the nation’s most powerful courts…Sen. Charles E. Grassley (Iowa), the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in remarks on the Senate floor that Halligan’s representation of New York in a case against gun manufacturers and her membership on a New York City Bar Association panel that issued a report criticizing a detainee policy created by the George W. Bush administration had made him concerned about her “judicial philosophy and her approach to interpreting the Constitution.”

The entire article may be read here.

   

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New York Law Journal, December 2, 2011

Bar Leaders Say Plan Reflects Courts’ Needs, Fiscal Reality

Bar leaders yesterday lauded the Judiciary’s budget request as a reasonable spending plan at a time when the state is facing a $350 million shortfall this year and a $3 billion-plus gap in the fiscal year that begins April 1…Samuel W. Seymour, president of the New York City Bar, said the Judiciary’s proposal for 2012-13 is “a reasonable, practical document, responsive to the state’s current fiscal pressures while addressing the need to provide meaningful access to the courts and to ameliorate some of the harmful effects of last year's budget cuts.” He said the city bar supports its adoption.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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New York Law Journal, November 29, 2011

Davis Polk Partner Set to Lead City Bar

Carey R. Dunne has been nominated to be the next president of the New York City Bar. If elected, Mr. Dunne will succeed Samuel W. Seymour of Sullivan & Cromwell as the 65th president in the city bar’s 141-year history. The election will take place at the bar group’s annual meeting in May. Mr. Dunne is a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell, where he leads the litigation practice and is a member of the firm's three-person management committee.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Thomson Reuters, November 28, 2011

NYC Bar Association Nominates Carey Dunne as Next President

The New York City Bar Association has nominated Carey Dunne as president of the organization, to succeed the current president, Samuel Seymour. Dunne, who is the head of Davis Polk & Wardwell’s litigation practice and sits on the firm’s management committee, has been a member of the city bar for more than two decades. He has served as the bar association's vice president and as a member of the executive committee. At Davis Polk, Dunne represents clients in white-collar criminal, civil and regulatory matters. He also specializes in advising companies on compliance and corporate governance issues. Prior to joining private practice, Dunne served as a prosecutor under Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau from 1984 to 1987.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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New York Law Journal, November 23, 2011

Noting Growing Acceptance, Circuit Denies Sanction for Ghostwriting

The Second Circuit said a number of bar association ethics committees have been “more accepting,” with a number of opinions that “suggest a possible trend toward greater acceptance of various forms of ghostwriting.” In 1987, the New York City Bar’s Committee on Professional and Judicial Ethics said an attorney who drafts “any pleadings” except those that are from a “previously prepared form devised particularly for use by pro se litigants” must at least note that the document had been prepared by an attorney.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Washington Post, November 22, 2011

Senate Should Confirm Caitlin Halligan to the D.C. Circuit Court

Critics note that Ms. Halligan’s name appears on a 2004 report by the New York City Bar Association that lambasted the Bush administration for asserting the legal authority to hold enemy combatants without trial until the cessation of hostilities; the Supreme Court ultimately endorsed the administration’s position. Ms. Halligan acknowledges that she was a member of the committee that wrote the report but testified that she was not involved in its development or writing and said she learned of it only in 2010, while gathering material for the confirmation process.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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New York Law Journal, November 14, 2011

State Bar Opens Online Portal to Assist Attorneys with Addictions

Attorneys seeking help for substance abuse, depression and other problems now can turn to eLAP, an online portal established by the New York State Bar Association’s Lawyer Assistance Program. Bar leaders unveiled the new site, www.nylap.org, at a House of Delegates meeting Nov. 5 in Albany.…Several local bar associations, including the New York City Bar Association, also provide lawyer assistance programs. The New York City Bar’s hotline number for attorneys in distress is 212-302-5787.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 10, 2011

Chief Federal Prosecutor Begins New Job in Brooklyn

Prosecutor Marshall L. Miller will begin his first full week as the new chief of the criminal division of the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s office Monday…Miller received the 2011 Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security and the New York City Bar Association’s 2010 Henry L. Stimson Medal for outstanding assistant U.S. attorneys in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.

Read full article here.

   

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Thomson Reuters, November 8, 2011

U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn Taps New Criminal Chief

The prosecutor who led the case against five men accused of conspiring to blow up New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport was appointed Monday to chief prosecutor in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York. Marshall Miller, who has served as deputy chief of the criminal division, will take over as chief of the criminal division effective November 11…Miller has received a number of awards for his work as a federal prosecutor, including the 2011 Attorney General’s Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security, and the New York City Bar Association’s Henry L. Stimson Medal for outstanding assistant U.S. attorneys in the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.

The entire article may be read here.

 

   

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New York Law Journal, November 7, 2011

Inadvertent Disclosure - Regrettable Confusion

In a more nuanced opinion, the New York City Bar…Committee on Professional and Judicial Ethics issued Formal Opinion 2003-4, in which it concluded that “a lawyer receiving a misdirected communication containing confidences or secrets (1) has obligations to promptly notify the sending attorney, to refrain from review of the communication, and to return or destroy the communication if so requested, but, (2) in limited circumstances, may submit the communication for in camera review by a tribunal, and (3) is not ethically barred from using information gleaned prior to knowing or having reason to know that the communication contains confidences or secrets not intended for the receiving lawyer. However, it is essential as an ethical matter that the receiving attorney promptly notify the sending attorney of the disclosure in order to give the sending attorney a reasonable opportunity to promptly take whatever steps he or she feels are necessary.”

The entire article may be read here.

   

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New York Times, November 4, 2011

A District Attorney Talks about a ‘Not Approved’ Rating

Robert T. Johnson of the Bronx is currently the longest tenured district attorney in New York City. So it might come as a surprise to some that when the New York City Bar Association released its ratings for judicial candidates a couple of weeks ago, it deemed Mr. Johnson “not approved by reason of the candidate’s failure to affirmatively demonstrate that he possesses the requisite qualifications for the office for which he is a candidate.”

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Thomson Reuters, November 3, 2011

NYC Bar Association Recommends Changes to Spousal Support

The New York City Bar Association on Thursday recommended that a recently-enacted formula to calculate temporary spousal maintenance – the amount of money one spouse pays another during a divorce proceeding – be applied more broadly in the New York state courts, a move the association said would benefit low-income residents…The bar association’s report recommends that the new maintenance formula, which currently only applies in Supreme Court, also be used in Family Court, which is authorized to award “spousal support” to estranged spouses who have not divorced. Since litigants in Family Court tend to be low-income and pro se, according to the report, they cannot demonstrate to a judge the need for support. “As a result of this ambiguous statutory guidance, many Family Court litigants do not obtain spousal support since they cannot afford counsel who can demonstrate that spousal support is warranted,” the report says.

The entire article may be read here.


   

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New York Law Journal, October 28, 2011

Court System Taps Recent Law Graduates for Pro Bono

A special four-day training program sponsored by the state court system concluded yesterday for 130 recent law school graduates to prepare them to represent low-income New Yorkers. The sessions, held in Manhattan and Brooklyn, focused on training attorneys to assist clients in housing, consumer credit and uncontested divorce cases…The court sponsors Volunteer Lawyer for the Day programs in various courts. In the Housing Court’s resolution part in Manhattan, volunteers provide representation for landlords or tenants in partnership with the New York City Bar.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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New York Law Journal, October 26, 2011

City Bar Justice Center Presents Pro Bono Awards

The City Bar Justice Center presented its Third Annual Jeremy G. Epstein Awards for pro bono service at a reception on Monday evening at the New York City Bar’s West 44th Street headquarters.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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AM Law Daily, October 24, 2011

In Maples Case, Sullivan & Cromwell Blames the Associates

By Tom Huddleston Jr.

Sullivan & Cromwell, represented by former U.S. solicitor general and Latham & Watkins appellate partner Gregory Garre, has asked the Court to give [Cory] Maples another opportunity to appeal his death sentence.…In arguing on Maples’s behalf, Garre and Sullivan & Cromwell pin at least equal blame on [Clara] Ingen-Housz and [Jaasi] Munanka, saying that they as individuals – not the firm – handled the case; that their failure to leave forwarding addresses upon taking new jobs while their client’s bid for an appeal was active rises “to the level of abandonment”.…S&C claims that when it comes to pro bono cases, its lawyers take them on as individuals….Garre reiterated that position in an August 1 reply brief (PDF) filed with the Supreme Court. In the filing, Garre argued that Sullivan & Cromwell itself did not represent Maples and that “while it may be more typical for a firm to assume the representation, the firm is not required to do so.” He also cited a New York City Bar pro bono committee tip sheet that says a lawyer can represent pro bono clients in an “individual capacity”; can keep representing them after leaving a specific firm; and should discuss with the client at the start of a pro bono representation whether the work is being done individually or via the employer.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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ProBono.net, October 24, 2011

City Bar Justice Center Legal Hotline Statistics

During the past year (9/1/2010-9/30/2011) the City Bar Justice Center’s Legal Hotline has received over 20,000 calls. The Hotline strives to help low income NYC residents with simple legal advice, information and referrals on civil issues, such as landlord and tenant housing cases, family, matrimonial, consumer and bankruptcy law questions. It is the largest free general civil legal hotline in New York City. When possible, the Hotline provides brief services to callers, such as providing self help materials. During the last year the hotline has assisted approximately 1500 callers with brief services. Since the economic downturn, the Hotline has received an increased number of calls concerning consumer debt issues, specifically from callers being sued on consumer credit debt in civil court and seeking information and help with bankruptcy.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Law Technology News, October 20, 2011

Discovery of Social Media in New York

By Emily K. Stitelman

Although there is no right to privacy with respect to content located on social networking sites, like Facebook and MySpace, attorneys must tread carefully when attempting to access information designated as “private” on these sites. Both the New York City Bar and the New York State Bar Association have opined that lawyers may not use false or deceptive information to “friend” a party or non-party (or cause someone else to friend a party or non-party) in order to obtain non-public information about that person.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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New York Law Journal, October 20, 2011

OCA Hosts Mediation Settlement Day Kickoff

The Unified Court System, in collaboration with FINRA Dispute Resolution, hosted its annual Mediation Settlement Day Kickoff on Tuesday at the New York City Bar. The program began with an open house of networking and learning opportunities on how to become a mediator, followed by a panel discussion and a keynote address.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Aljazeera, October 19, 2011

Targeted Killing and the ‘War on Terror’

By Jonathan Hafetz

The United States’ recent killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen has prompted renewed debate over the CIA’s predator drone programme…As thresholds matter, the secrecy surrounding Awlaki’s killing shows a troubling parallel to the type of secrecy on national security matters that existed during the Bush administration. President Obama has yet to disclose the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memo that, according to press accounts, justified killing Awlaki. As the New York City Bar Association explained in a recent letter, the rule of law requires that the United States provide “a thorough and transparent legal analysis” of its position on targeted killings. While some information contained in the OLC memo might need to be redacted to protect sensitive information, the memo's legal reasoning should be disclosed.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Thomson Reuters, October 19, 2011

New York High Court Dismisses NYPD Negligence Suit

By Dan Wiessner

In a 5-2 decision released Tuesday, the Court of Appeals vacated a $10 million award granted to a Bronx woman who was shot by her ex-boyfriend after allegedly reporting death threats to the police...The case was watched closely by a number of civil rights and victim advocacy groups, who are concerned the ruling will send a message to victims of domestic violence that orders of protection are essentially worthless. “When the laws on the books are not enforced, it creates a huge gap for domestic violence victims,” said Sandra Park, an ACLU lawyer and the chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Domestic Violence Committee. Park, who authored an amicus brief on behalf of Valdez, said attorneys and advocacy organizations will now have to change the way they advise victims of domestic violence.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, October 18, 2011

The Need and the Response

Samuel W. Seymour, President, New York City Bar Association

Like many organizations across the country, our City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar Association, is observing National Pro Bono Week during the last week of October. Here in New York, and across the country, the pro bono need is evident in the numbers, which are alarming. One in five New Yorkers, including one out of three children, are now living below the poverty line. Nationally, the U.S. poverty rate has increased to 14.3 percent, the highest in 15 years. As disturbing as these statistics are, they are not surprising to our staff at the Justice Center, where consumer debt-related matters, including bankruptcy and foreclosure, have for the first time topped its case mix. Among the nearly thousand calls a month fielded by our Legal Hotline, housing issues are a close second, while a great many of the remaining calls relate to long-term unemployment issues, including all forms of government benefits (e.g., veterans benefits and COBRA expirations), and job discrimination. What this means is that there’s never been a more important time to support the Justice Center’s work, by donating or volunteering.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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New York Law Journal, October 14, 2011

Personal Notes on Lawyers

Laura Mathews-Jolly has joined the Immigrant Women and Children Project at the City Bar Justice Center on a two-year Equal Justice Works fellowship, supported by Greenberg Traurig, to provide legal services to immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and are survivors of labor and sex trafficking.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, October 4, 2011

Fragomen Welcomes Barbara Camacho to Fellowship with City Bar Justice Center

Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP has announced the appointment of Barbara Camacho as the firm’s latest “Fragomen Fellow” effective August 29, 2011.The Fragomen Fellowship is a two-year rotating position the firm established to enhance the pro bono immigration services provided by the City Bar Justice Center, the pro bono affiliate of the New York City Bar Association. Ms. Camacho will focus on advocacy to enhance the access to and quality of counsel for detained immigrants in New York. To this end, she will be responsible for training and mentoring pro bono lawyers. Further she will continue the critical community education and outreach activities.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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Newsday, October 4, 2011

9/11 Victims Begin Health Claims Process

By Ridgely Ochs

On Monday, the first day that the new 9/11 victim compensation fund was open for business, 117 people registered online to begin the process of filing their claims, according to the Justice Department…Registration online is the first – and, according to Special Master Sheila Birnbaum, not required – step in the process of qualifying for compensation from the $2.77 billion fund authorized under the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act enacted in January. Under the newly reopened fund, ailing first responders, cleanup workers and residents from Canal Street south can apply for compensation. Birnbaum said thousands might be eligible.…The special master said she had worked hard to make the process “user friendly” and that lawyers from the New York City Bar Association would be offering free help at clinics.

The entire article may be read here.

   

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New York Times, October 3, 2011

Registration Begins for 9/11 Health Compensation Fund

By Anemona Hartocollis

The federal government’s September 11th Victim Compensation Fund began taking registrations Monday from people who believe they were physically harmed by the terrorist attacks and who are seeking financial compensation…The next and perhaps trickiest step will be for people who register to prove that they were actually present in the attack areas during the period covered by the fund – Sept. 11, 2001, to May 30, 2002 – and that they suffered physical harm as a direct result of the attacks.…Ms. [Sheila] Birnbaum said that she was trying to make the process easy enough to be followed without the help of a lawyer. But she said that for those who felt more comfortable using a lawyer, she was trying to recruit lawyers from the New York City Bar Association and elsewhere to serve without charge.

The entire article may be read here.