DAs Plan Constitutional Challenge to Prosecutorial Misconduct Commission | New York Law Journal

By Dan M. Clark


The state’s district attorneys may torpedo a proposed commission to investigate prosecutorial misconduct if a bill creating the group is approved by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

In a letter sent to the state’s prosecutors Tuesday, Albany County District Attorney David Soares said the District Attorneys Association of the State of New York will be advancing an expedited constitutional challenge to the bill. Soares is president of the DAASNY.

Soares also urged the district attorneys and their assistants to decline any appointment to the commission until the litigation is resolved, which would leave the body without four of its members required by the statute.


Read more…


Mandatory Mediation Program – Mediator Applications–Northern District of New York | United States District Court

The District Court for the Northern District of New York will be accepting applications for new mediators pursuant to the District’s Mandatory Mediation Program – General Order#47. Attorneys interested in becoming a mediator may apply during the months of August, September and October.  The application will be posted on our website beginning August 1st. Court approved hourly rates are $150 per hour for the first two hours of the initial mediation session.  If necessary, the mediator may charge an additional $150/hour for up to two hours of preparation time for cases which require substantial preparation.  Thereafter, the rate is capped at $325 per hour.

For additional information please see General Order #47 on our website at www.nynd.uscourts.gov

Just the Facts: Americans with Disabilities Act | United States Courts

While overall civil rights cases have declined, cases brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have increased three-fold in recent years. Filings in three states – California, Florida, and New York – account for a significant number of the civil rights cases filed under the ADA.

Learn more about this in the new installment of Just the Facts.

Trump tosses hiring process for administrative law judges, gives agency chiefs selection power–ABA Journal



President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order eliminating the exam and competitive hiring process for administrative law judges.

The order gives agency chiefs the power to hire administrative law judges according to their own standards. The process will be similar to the way agencies hire executive branch attorneys, according to a press releasePoliticoGovExecNPRand the Washington Post have stories.

About 1,900 administrative law judges work for the federal government, and all but about 300 of them work for the Social Security Administration, according to the Post


Read more…

Immigrant children begin appearing in court without lawyers or parents–ABA Journal


Most immigrants facing deportation wouldn’t climb onto a table during their court hearings. But then again, most 3-year-olds don’t go to court without parents or lawyers.

Nonetheless, that was the situation during a recent court hearing for a child represented by the Immigrant Defenders Law Center in Los Angeles.

“It really highlighted the absurdity of what we’re doing with these kids,” Center executive director Lindsay Toczylowski told the Texas Tribune.


A federal judge in San Diego ordered the federal government this week to reunite families within 14 to 30 days, depending on the ages of the children. If the decision is not appealed, being reunited with parents may help the minors make their cases. However, as Reuters notes, some parents have already been deported without their kids. Advocates including ABA ProBAR director Kimi Jackson have observed that there is no federal procedure for reuniting families, and lawyers for adult immigrants say the hotlines the federal government has provided are rarely answered and provide little information when they are answered.

A group of immigrant advocates sued in 2014 for a court order granting lawyers to unaccompanied minors, arguing that it is “fundamentally unfair” to expect children to represent themselves. The suit argued that children needed lawyers under both their due process rights–which courts have repeatedly held applies to immigrants–and the Immigration and Nationality Act’s guarantee of a fair hearing. That case led one Justice Department expert to testify that he’d been able to teach immigration law to young children, a claim mocked by immigration lawyers and at least one late-night comedian.


Read more…

Upstate Judge Resigns After CJC Finds He Lived in Wrong Town | New York Law Journal

By Dan M. Clark


An Elmira-area judge has agreed to never seek or accept judicial office again after the State Commission on Judicial Conduct found he did not live in the town where he was a judge.

Thomas Brooks resigned earlier this year after the commission found he lived outside the town of Veteran, where he served as a judge, the commission said in a decision Friday.

The commission received a complaint in February that Brooks lived in Erin, New York, rather than Veteran. Section 23 of Veteran’s laws says a sitting judge must reside in the town, according to the commission.

“A judge must meet the statutory residency requirements necessary to hold judicial office,” said Robert Tembeckjian, administrator of the CJC. “Failure to do so is disqualifying.”


Read more…

Solo/Small Firm Solution Room–GP Section–FREE Program for Section Members

GP Section members in the Capital Region:


The NYSBA General Practice Section is hosting a program for solo and small firm attorneys as follows:


Date:    Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Time:    5:30-7:30pm – Registration and light dinner at 5pm

Place:   New York State Bar Center | 1 Elk Street, Albany, NY


The event is free to General Practice Section members ($0 GP Section members / $15 NYSBA members / $30 non-members), but pre-registration is required.


The concept is simple: Lawyers talking to lawyers, about the real issues of solo and small firm practice. A facilitated format (The Solution Room) keeps discussion focused and lively, while attendees with a range of experience levels have opportunity to both give and receive advice on professional challenges. The Solution Room format has been used successfully in a range of professions on multiple continents to engage professionals in productive peer-to-peer discussion. The program will be facilitated by Adrian Segar of Conferences That Work in Marlboro, VT. For more details, see www.nysba.org/SoloSR18.


To register:

Register online at www.nysba.org/SoloSR18


Or GP Section members may RSVP via email to generalpractice@nysba.org. Please indicate your approximate length of time in solo/small firm practice, whether (a) 6 months-5 years (b) 6-10 years (c) 11-15 years, (d) 16-20 years, or (e) 20 years+.


And tell a friend!