NY–New Rules of Professional Conduct

Effective April 1, 2009

The new Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys go into effect today. These rules replace New York’s Code of Professional Responsibility with the model rule format that is currently used throughout the nation. The new rules are designed to assist attorneys in understanding their ethical responsibilities to clients, courts and the legal profession.

For more information on these rule changes, and how they will impact practicing attorneys, please visit www.nysba.org/professionalstandards. Visitors can view a complete listing of the new rules and a chart that displays how the new rules compare with the previous Code of Professional Responsibility.

The State Bar Association also will host several CLE programs statewide to help attorneys become more familiar with the new Rules of Professional Conduct. Additional information on these programs can be found at www.nysba.org/newrulesCLEofferings.

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court – 4/01/09

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW, ENVIRONMENTAL LAW, WATER LAW

Entergy Corp. v. Riverkeeper, Inc., No. 07-588
In a petition for review of EPA national performance standards for cooling water intake structures, the grant of the petition is reversed, where the EPA permissibly relied on cost-benefit analysis in setting the national performance standards and in providing for cost-benefit variances from those standards.

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, HABEAS CORPUS

Harbison v. Bell, No. 07-8521
In a capital habeas proceeding, the denial of federal appointed counsel’s motion to expand the scope of her representation to include state clemency proceedings is reversed, where: 1) a certificate of appealability is not required to appeal an order denying a request for federally appointed counsel, because 28 U.S.C. section 2253(c)(1)(A) governs only final orders that dispose of a habeas corpus proceeding’s merits; and 2) because state clemency proceedings are “available” to state petitioners who obtain representation under 28 U.S.C. section 3599(a)(2), the statute’s plain language indicates that appointed counsel’s authorized representation includes such proceedings.
DISPUTE RESOLUTION & ARBITRATION, LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW

14 Penn Plaza LLC v. Pyett, No. 07-581
In an Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) action, the denial of Defendant-Employer’s petition to compel arbitration is reversed, where a provision in a collective bargaining agreement that clearly and unmistakably requires union members to arbitrate ADEA claims is enforceable as a matter of federal law.