Letter From The President Of The New York County Lawyers' Association

2006-12-01 01:00

To The Readers Of The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel :

As I write this, the year 2006 is rapidly coming to a close. On December 12, NYCLA's Annual Dinner will help usher in the holiday season as we honor the law schools that have nurtured our profession. The New Year will present two new challenges that no one expected 12 months ago.

Some time between now and January 15, 2007, New York practitioners will have a definitive set of new rules governing attorney advertising. Proposed Rules were issued in June when the court system's administrative board solicited public comments before the rules became effective. Both the bar and the media submitted comments, complaints and suggestions and the Presiding Justices are now completing the final set of rules. It seems reasonably clear that some major changes will be made. NYCLA and New York's other bar associations await release of these new rules that will govern how we can ethically advise existing and potential clients on the availability of our legal services. NYCLA awaits release of the new rules so that we can quickly offer the necessary CLE programs to help us all learn what we must do.

The second challenge in the New Year involves answering the question, 'How will New York select its Supreme Court Justices?'In mid November, the New York State Assembly's Judiciary Committee began hearings to respond to the Federal Appeals Court's landmark decision in Lopez-Torres vs. Board of Elections. The State Legislature and our new governor will now determine how New York should proceed to the men and women who sit on the bench of the Empire State's highest trial court.

Three years ago, NYCLA established a Task Force on Judicial Selection, co-chaired by our past president Rosalind S. Fink and our board member Susan B. Lindenauer, to examine this issue. The Task Force's most recent report concluded that a commission-based appointive system will best serve the interests of the public, the courts and all participants in the judicial process.

Finally, 2007 marks the beginning of NYCLA's Centennial, and our Centennial Committee, chaired by former president Klaus Eppler, has begun planning events to mark the occasion. A specially commissioned book chronicling our rich past is being authored by the noted legal historian Steven Flanders. After reading a few draft chapters, I predict this book will be a 'must-read' for all our members and law school libraries. For six months I have been biting my tongue to refrain from saying the clich 'Our Past Is Our Prologue,' but I cannot deny the certainty that this worn slogan is absolutely true.

As 2006 winds down, I send all of our members and readers warm greetings for the holidays and high hopes for the New Year.


Edwin David Robertson