NYSBA | Changes to Mandatory Pro Bono Reporting Requirement

http://www.nysba.org/probonorequirement/

Office of the President

New York attorneys will report their pro bono hours anonymously in the future–as was recommended by the House of Delegates of the New York State Bar Association.

The Office of Court Administration issued this statement on Dec. 18, 2014:

Today the Administrative Board of the Courts unanimously approved modifications to the mandatory pro bono reporting framework in New York, consistent with the recommendations of Chief Administrative Judge A. Gail Prudenti and NYS Bar Association President Glenn Lau-Kee that were an outgrowth of their recent discussions on the subject.

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman said that he is confident that mandatory pro bono reporting in New York “will provide the Court System and the bar with the information that we need to chart a course that promotes pro bono work by the legal community very much in the spirit of our noble profession.”

State Bar President Glenn Lau-Kee observed: “I am pleased the court system has responded to the concerns of the New York State Bar Association and other bar associations. The compromise is the outcome of collegial and productive discussions between representatives of the court system and State Bar leaders, which bode well for our future working relationship.”

The earlier rule, which took effect in May 2013, required attorneys to report their pro bono hours and charitable donations to legal service organizations when completing their biennial registration forms.

The Administrative Board of the Courts adopted a resolution to amend the requirement as follows:  

  • Attorneys still are required to report their pro bono hours and charitable donations, but they will report the information anonymously.
  • The information will be made public only on an aggregate basis.
  • The courts will broaden pro bono and public service categories on the reporting form.
  • All reported pro bono information submitted prior to the requirement change will be designated confidential. 

The changes were recommended by the House of Delegates at its November meeting. 

Details of the changes will be available at a future date. 

Sincerely, 
 
Glenn Lau-Kee, President

Senate Intelligence Committee Study on CIA Detention and Interrogation Program – Issues – United States Senator Dianne Feinstein

(Patience may be required as there appears to be a significant demand for the documents)

Key Resources

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein on December 9, 2014, released the executive summary of the committee’s five-year review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program. The release included redacted versions of the committee’s executive summary and findings and conclusions, as well as additional and minority views authored by members of the committee.

Read more…

Judge orders lawyer to put on socks-ABA Journal

Told by an Indiana judge that a local court rule requires lawyers to wear socks, Todd Glickfield resisted.

“I hate socks,” he told Blackford Circuit Judge Dean Young, who at first saw to it that the attorney was privately advised during a break about the need to don the footwear.

After Glickfield said he didn’t intend to comply with the no-socks rule unless it was proven to him, Young documented their conversation in an Aug. 26 court order.

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Above the Law provides a copy of the court order (PDF).

Read More.

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Lawyers may look at what jurors post online, but only if it’s available to the public-ABA Journal

 

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The gist of Formal Opinion 466 is that, within the context of Model Rule 3.5, a lawyer may review a juror’s or potential juror’s various postings on websites and social media. But the lawyer should not send jurors or prospective jurors a request for access, either directly or indirectly, to their social media accounts because doing so would amount to a violation of the prohibition in Model Rule 3.5(b) against ex parte communications with jurors that are not authorized by law or court order.

In a footnote, the ethics committee states that it “does not take a position on whether the standard of care for competent lawyer performance requires using Internet research to locate information about jurors that is relevant to the jury selection process. We are also mindful of the recent addition of Comment [8] to Model Rule 1.1. This comment explains that a lawyer ‘should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.’ “

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The ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility Formal Opinion 466(PDF), issued April 24.

Read entire ABA Journal article here.

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Legal Loop: 3 more states weigh in on ethics of cloud computing | NY Daily Record

 

Nicole Black:  …The good news is that cloud computing use by lawyers has become much more common and as a result more jurisdictions are tackling the issue of the ethics of cloud computing. However, because of the increasing number of opinions being issued, it turns out that there were a few helpful opinions issued over the past year or so that I have not yet covered So, I figured now was as good a time as ever [for]…the decisions issued by ethics committees in Maine, Ohio and Washington.

Read more: http://nydailyrecord.com/blog/2014/06/02/legal-loop-3-more-states-weigh-in-on-ethics-of-cloud-computing/#ixzz340OwBQzI

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For a complete list of all U.S. ethics opinions on cloud computing, see Bob Ambrogi’s recent blog post at Lawsites: http://www.lawsitesblog.com/2014/05/cloud-ethics-opinions-full-list.html.

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SHORT NOTICE–FREE CLE (Webcast available) FROM 2D CIRCUIT–MAY 21ST

 

The NYS/ Federal Judicial Council is sponsoring a free CLE class in Manhattan and via webcast on Wednesday, May 21st, at 7:30pm. The topic of the CLE is:

Ethical Issues in Plea Bargaining: The Implications of  Missouri v. Frye and Lafler v. Cooper

Two NYS CLE credits in Ethics will be given. Registration is limited to 250, in person, attendees. Registration for this CLE is done via:

http://ww2.ca2.uscourts.gov/coa_cle/

 

ProBono | Northern District of New York | United States District Court

 

Chief Judge Gary L. Sharpe announces the creation of a new section on the Northern District of New York‘s web page dedicated to honoring those bar members who have provided pro bono service to Northern District litigants who were unable to afford legal representation.  Unfortunately, these difficult economic times have increased the number of litigants attempting to pursue a cause of action pro se.  Without the public service of these dedicated professionals, the legal needs of the underprivileged may have gone unfulfilled.

The pro bono honor roll can be accessed via the following link: http://www.nynd.uscourts.gov/probono

Members of the Northern District Bar are invited to consider volunteering for a pro bono assignment.  The typical assignment takes place after all discovery and dispositive deadlines have passed and the case is about to proceed to trial.  While these cases can be challenging, they provide attorneys with a unique and invaluable trial experience which often pays dividends in the future.  If you would like to be considered for a pro bono assignment or have any questions about the Northern District’s Local Rule requiring pro bono service, please feel free to contact Larry Baerman, Clerk of the Court, at 315-234-8516 and he will be glad to assist you.

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