Mark Your Calendars for these upcoming Network of Bar Leaders Events:
- Save the Date: February 18, 2015 - Network of Bar Leaders and New York Law School Present a Conversation with Corporation Counsel Zachary W. Carter and Reception. Click here for details.
- Save the Date: March 6, 2015 - Breakfast with Legislators at New York County Lawyers Association. Details to follow.
See the Calendar for details on this and other events.
The Network of Bar Leaders
Special Meeting and Breakfast Hour with the Chief Administrative Judge, Deputy Chief Administrative Judges, Administrative Judges, and Supervising Judges of the New York State Courts
January 29, 2015, 10-11am
Reception at the New York City Bar Association, 42 West 44th Street New York, NY 10036
The President of each member bar association in good standing of Network of Bar Leaders, together with one additional delegate, are kindly invited to attend this very special event.
Notice of Public Hearings: Uniform Bar Exam
In November 2014, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman appointed an Advisory Committee to study the proposed adoption of the Uniform Bar Examination (UBE) in New York. The Committee, which is chaired by the Honorable Jenny Rivera, Associate Judge of the New York Court of Appeals, and includes representatives of law schools, the judiciary, the State Board of Law Examiners, and the bar, is charged with studying the potential implementation of the UBE in New York.
In connection with that responsibility, the Committee will hold public hearings throughout New York in early 2015. The purpose of the public hearings is to receive the views of interested individuals, organizations and entities on the possible transition to the UBE. After the public hearings, the Advisory Committee will make a recommendation to the Court of Appeals as to whether the current New York bar examination should be replaced with the UBE.
The hearings will take place as follows:
- CUNY Law School, Wednesday, January 21, 2015, at 10 a.m., 2 Court Square, Long Island City, N.Y. 11101
- New York State Court of Appeals Tuesday, February 3, 2015, at 10 a.m., 20 Eagle Street, Albany, N.Y. 12207
- Appellate Division, Fourth Department Thursday, February 26, 2015, at 2 p.m., 50 East Avenue, Rochester, N.Y. 14604
The current New York bar exam consists of five essays and 50 multiple-choice questions testing on New York State law, one Multistate Performance Test (MPT) question developed by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE), and the 200 multiple-choice question Multistate Bar Examination, also developed by NCBE. In contrast, the UBE, which has been adopted in 14 other states, consists of six essays developed by NCBE that test the law of general application, two MPT questions, and the 200-question MBE. Unlike the current New York bar exam, the UBE produces a portable score that can be used to gain admission in other states that accept the UBE, provided the applicant satisfies other jurisdiction-specific admission requirements.
The State Board of Law Examiners has proposed that if the UBE is adopted in New York, bar applicants also should be required to pass a separate state law-specific component, the New York Law Exam (NYLE), which would consist of 50-multiple choice questions.
The Advisory Committee seeks testimony on the following issues (the list is not exhaustive):
- The advantages and/or disadvantages of the current New York bar examination and the proposed UBE
- The extent to which adoption of the UBE would result in changes to law school curricula and bar exam preparation
- How UBE score portability would impact New York law graduates and graduates of law schools in other jurisdictions, and the law profession as a whole
- The importance of requiring bar applicants to separately pass a New York-law specific component
- Whether the NYLE should be administered in conjunction with the UBE and/or on additional dates.
If requesting an invitation, please (1) identify yourself and your affiliation; (2) attach a prepared statement or a detailed outline of the proposed testimony, and specify which, if any, of the topics described above will be addressed, and; (3) indicate at which of the hearings you would like to deliver the testimony. In advance of the hearing, invitations to testify will be issued and will include an approximate time for each presenter's testimony. For those not invited to present oral testimony, the proposed testimony will be deemed a written submission for consideration by the Advisory Committee.
Advisory Committee on the Uniform Bar Examination
c/o The Honorable Jenny Rivera, Associate Judge
New York State Court of Appeals
20 Eagle Street
Albany, N.Y. 12207
For further information, please visit the Advisory Committee's webpage at www.nycourts.gov/ip/bar-exam
City Bar Seeks Nominations for Tenth Annual Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award
The New York City Bar is now seeking nominations for the Annual Diversity and Inclusion Champion Award. The award recognizes extraordinary individuals whose actions and activities within the legal profession, particularly in New York City, embody the Statement of Diversity Principles by facilitating "diversity in the hiring, retention and promotion of attorneys and in the elevation of attorneys to leadership positions within our respective organizations." Diversity Champions are leaders in the bar who create lasting change in organizations and establish an inclusive work environment. Nominees are evaluated on their excellence in one or more of the following essential components of leadership:
1. Influencing Others
2. Being a Role Model
3. Continually Learning
4. Cultivating Diverse Teams
5. Innovating and Taking Risks
6. Holding Oneself and Others Accountable for Diversity
7. External Leadership Involvement
The deadline for submission is Friday, February 13, 2015. We encourage you to nominate individuals within your network that embody these principles. Please feel free to contact us directly with any questions. The 2015 Nomination Form is available at the following link: http://bit.ly/1xBGA6b
Please also save the date for our Diversity and Inclusion Champion Reception, held on June 11, 2015.
New Network of Bar Leaders Officers 2014-2015:
President – Hon. Bernice D. Siegal, Brandeis Bar Association
First Vice President- Diana Sen, Hispanic Bar Association
Second Vice President – Philip R. Schatz, Federal Bar Association- SDNY
Treasurer – Hilary Gingold, Brandeis Bar Association
Secretary – Alexander Badillo, Puerto Rican Bar Association
Executive Council – Jeanine Conley, Association of Black Women Attorneys
Executive Council – Edwina Francis Martin, Staten Island Women’s Bar Association
Executive Council – Lois Woll, Jewish Lawyers Guild
Executive Council – Domenick Napoletano, Brooklyn Bar Association
Executive Council – Kyun Yi, Korean American lawyers Association of Greater New York
Executive Council – Nexus Sea, Nigerian Lawyers Association
Webmaster – Mary Elizabeth Lacerenza, Association of Small Claims Arbitrators
Membership Chair – Elizabeth Connolly, Brehon Bar Association
Legislative Liaison – Daniel C. Marotta, Richmond County Bar Association Immediate Past President – Raymond J. Dowd Federal Bar Association
The Network of Bar Leaders is a coalition of 50 member bar associations dedicated to bringing together the leadership of the diverse bar associations of the greater New York Metropolitan area. Formed over 25 years ago, Network provides a forum for the exchange of information and ideas and serves as a vehicle for joint action on issues of mutual concern and pending legislation. The Network of Bar Leaders is the legal community's most diverse institution. It includes each of the five county bar associations, numerous citywide and statewide specialty groups, specialty bar associations dedicated to every field of practice, as well as ethnic and religious bar associations. Because of its great diversity, the organization is often called upon to express a consensus opinion on behalf of the organized bars in matters affecting the legal community as a whole.
News & Updates
Breakfast with Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti - January 29, 2015
As we welcome in 2015, I wanted to take this moment during the holiday frenzy to reflect on our accomplishments and our road ahead in the new year, and of course to thank all of you for your support and participation. With the unflagging energy of our past president, Ray Dowd, and a host of likewise indefatigable professionals such as William Dahill, Paula Edgar, Edwina Martin, Hilary Gingold, Judge George Daniels, Taa Grays and the entire Executive Council, the Network of Bar Leaders continues to fulfill Judge Baer's vision: promoting diversity and access in the courts and our profession.
Because of your participation and support, the Hon. Randall T. Eng, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division Second Department installed our officers; Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman shared his vision; and Chief Judge Robert Katzman welcomed NOBL to meet the chiefs and tour the court house. We have had a banner year!
To ring in the new year, we will break bread with the Hon. A. Gail Prudenti, Chief Administrative Judge, and the Administrative and Supervising Judges of the New York State Unified Court System on January 29, 2015. This is an incredible opportunity to meet the leadership of our New York Courts in an informal atmosphere, voice your association's concerns and learn how we can work together to meet the needs of our membership and the public.
Please make every effort to attend. As always we welcome your representatives if the President and delegates cannot attend.
Finally, I want to say good luck to Alexander Badillo, who has relocated out of the state. He tendered his resignation at our last meeting. He has served NOBL well as secretary and he will be sorely missed. Election to fill the position will be held shortly.
Happy New Year.
Hon. Bernice D. Siegal President, NOBL
On May 19, 2014, shortly before Judge Harold Baer's untimely death, Loretta A. Preska, Chief Judge of the S.D.N.Y. and the Network of Bar Leaders honored Judge Baer and the Past Presidents of the Network of Bar Leaders at a cocktail reception. With humor and grace Judge Baer recounted stories from his career and explained how his interest in encouraging and expanding communication among diverse bar associations resulted in the founding of the Network of Bar Leaders in 1981. It was a very memorable evening. Judge Baer was an inspirational leader and will be sorely missed.
Below are a few of the photos taken at the event. Click here to view or download all photos.
Network Welcomes New Member
At the March 12, 2014 Meeting, the Iranian-American Bar Association (NY Chapter) joined Network of Bar Leaders. With over 300 religiously-diverse members here in New York they are a great addition to Network. IABA's President Raymond Iryami has invited Network members to a March 30 celebration of the Persian New Year. More info at iaba-ny.org and in Network's Events section.
Network of Bar Leaders Issues Three Consensus Resolutions
Network of Bar Leaders Joins the Coalition for Family Court Judges
February 11, 2014
I am happy to announce that Network of Bar Leaders voted last night to join the Coalition for Family Court Judges. We have been asked to urge individual bar associations to sign on and to support the Coalition’s activities. Please have your bar association join and please circulate the information below from Denise Kronstadt about the Coalition’s activities that your members will be interested in. Special thanks to Susan Lindenauer of NYSBA who came to our meeting last night and spoke so eloquently on behalf of the families and children affected by the crisis in Family Court. I note that Chief Administrative Gail Prudenti expressed her appreciation to Network of Bar Leaders for this support.
We had an action-packed meeting last night, there will be more news to report. Please mark your calendars for Tuesday March 4 for a Network of Bar Leaders visit to Albany. More details to follow.
Click here for NYSBA’s testimony on the budget re Family Courts from Susan Lindenauer.
Click here to read the Mission Statement of the New York State Coalition for More Family Court Judges.
Network Consensus Letter to President Obama on Dominican-born Persons
President Barack Obama
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Obama,
On February 10, 2014, the Network of Bar Leaders passed a consent resolution stating, in part, the following:
The Network of Bar Leaders expresses its grave concerns regarding the unreasonable ruling of the Constitutional Court of the Dominican Republic that rendered over 200,000 Dominican-born persons stateless. We further call on the Dominican government to enact a law repealing this ruling, and ask the United States Congress and the Obama administration to engage in diplomatic outreach to guarantee basic human rights to persons affected by the Constitutional Court’s ruling.
For more information about consensus resolutions and to access the full text, please visit www.networkofbarleaders.org.
Raymond J. Dowd
Message from Network's President Raymond J. Dowd
The Network of Bar Leaders consent resolution regarding the decision of the Dominican Constitutional Court rendering certain persons stateless has been sent to President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. Both the Haitian American Lawyers Association and the Dominican Bar Association have taken formal stances consistent with the consent resolution on this important human rights issue that directly impacts the administration of justice.
Consensus Resolution Regarding Small Claims Court
At its February 10th Meeting, The Network of Bar Leaders voted to issue a consensus resolution
That the New York State Court System increase the hours of evening operation for the Small Claims Court.
Letter to Hon. A. Gail Prudenti from NOBL President Raymond J. Dowd
Hon. A. Gail Prudenti
Chief Administrative Judge
of the State of New York
Office of Court Administration
25 Beaver Street
New York, NY 10004
Dear Chief Judge Prudenti,
On behalf of the Network of Bar Leaders, I would like to thank you and each of the administrative and supervising judges of the State of New York for including us in the breakfast meeting at New York University’s Greenberg Lounge this past Thursday, January 29 at 10:00 a.m. Special thanks to Ernie Bartol of the Eastern District of New York Chapter of the Federal Bar Association for organizing and sponsoring the event. We hope, with your kind permission, to make it an annual event.
As we discussed, many Network members are concerned about adequate funding of the judiciary. We are planning a visit to Albany this spring to discuss issues regarding the administration of justice and I would be happy to circulate any advance materials to members that you believe might be helpful. Our Legislative Liaison Dan Marotta is working with Governor Cuomo’s counsel to finalize a date and we will keep Matt Kiernan in the loop on any developments. It looks as if we may have the participation of the New York State Conference of Bar Leaders (now known as “New York Bar Leaders”) in this effort, which would help to ensure that upstate bar associations would be fully represented in these efforts.
I hope that we will be able to schedule a Network of Bar Leaders meeting with you this spring to see how our bar associations may further support the administration of justice in the State of New York.
About Network of Bar Leaders
The Network of Bar Leaders is a coalition of over fifty member bar associations dedicated to bringing together the leadership of the diverse bar associations of the greater New York Metropolitan area. Formed over 25 years ago, Network provides a forum for the exchange of information and ideas and serves as a vehicle for joint action on issues of mutual concern. The Network of Bar Leaders is the legal community's most diverse institution. It includes each of the five county bar associations in New York City, numerous citywide and specialty bar associations dedicated to every field of practice, as well as ethnic, gender, and religious bar associations. Because of its great diversity, the organization is called upon to express a consensus opinion on behalf of the organized bars in matters affecting the legal community as a whole. More information is available at the Network’s website at www.networkofbarleaders.org.
Raymond J. Dowd
Network of Bar Leaders Honors Gary B. Pillersdorf
The Network of Bar Leaders gratefully thanks LawCash and Forge Consulting, LLC for its sponsorship of this event.
Click here for Gary Pillersdorf's bio.
Judicial Campaign Ethics Center
Resources for Attorneys Involved in Judicial Campaigns
For attorneys who are considering a campaign for elective judicial office this year in New York State or who may be asked to serve on a judicial candidate's campaign committee, click here for a flyer providing information on these items.
Judicial Campaign Ethics Center are available to answer any questions and offer assistance to either candidates or campaign committee members.
The Network of Bar Leaders held its Annual Legislative Forum on October 26, 2012 at New York County Lawyers' Association
Sen. Diane Savino, City Council members Daniel Garodnick and Julissa Ferreras, and Assemblyman Guillermo Linares discuss regulations affecting gypsy cabs, the city's restaurant grading system, food carts, proposed real property developments in Queens and other issues that affect lawyers, their clients and NY businesses with representatives from Network's member bar associations.
City Council members Daniel Garodnick and Julissa Ferreras at the Network's Annual Legislative Forum.
Network's Legislative Event was organized by Jeff Kurzon, Daniel Marotta and Taa Grays and provided bar association representatives the opportunity to dialogue with legislators on issues of concern to them and their clients. Assemblyman Herman D. Farrell, Jr. and Congressman Jerrold Nadler also attended.
The Funding Crisis and the Sequestration Process and Its Impact on the American Justice System
Message from Ronald Kennedy, Director of NYSBA’s Department of Governmental Relations
I am writing to alert you to an issue that is of critical importance to practicing lawyers, the legal community and every Bar Association. Unless Congress acts, “sequestration” will take effect on January 2, 2013 by operation of law. Should it take place, it will be very damaging to the federal courts and civil legal services programs. It is up to us as Bar Leaders to do what we can to prevent our justice system from being severely undercut.