March 23, 2011
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION COMMENDS COURT OF APPEALS FOR ADOPTING ‘KATRINA RULE’
Rule allows lawyers to cross state lines to provide pro bono services in a disaster
Should disaster strike in New York, a new judicial rule allows out-of-state attorneys to offer pro bono services to disaster victims in New York.
New York State Bar Association President Stephen P. Younger today commended the state Court of Appeals for acting on the State Bar’s recommendation and adopting the so-called “Katrina Rule,” named for the devastating hurricane that struck the Gulf Coast in 2005.
“When a disaster occurs, it is imperative that citizens have access to critical legal services,” said Younger of New York (Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP). “I applaud the Court of Appeals for adopting this rule which protects the public and legal system while supporting efforts of lawyers to provide legal services during a time of crisis.”
The rule permits out-of-state lawyers to volunteer their legal
services in New York when the Court has determined an emergency exists
affecting the justice system.
The “Katrina Rule” was adopted as an amendment to the Court’s pro hac vice admission rule (Rule 520.11). It is formally known as Model Court Rule on the Provision of Legal Services Following Determination of Major Disaster. Link: http://www.courts.state.ny.us/CTAPPS/news/nottobar/MajorDisaster.pdf
In February 2007, the American Bar Association (ABA) adopted a
similar model rule after Hurricane Katrina. In June 2007, the
House of Delegates of the State Bar Association approved a report by the
Association’s Committee on Mass Disaster Response recommending
that New York adopt a version of the ABA