Contact: Andrew Rush
July 2, 2007
NEW YORK STATE BAR ASSOCIATION APPROVES MEASURE ALLOWING MORE LAWYERS TO VOLUNTEER SERVICES TO DISASTER VICTIMS
Measure Would Allow Lawyers to Practice Out of Jurisdiction in Extreme Cases
Last week at the summer meeting in Cooperstown, the New York State Bar Association’s House of Delegates endorsed a new rule which, if adopted by the Unified Court System, would allow more attorneys to provide pro bono services in the aftermath of a mass disaster. The rule, modeled after a measure approved by American Bar Association, would allow out of state lawyers to temporarily practice in another jurisdiction, in order to allow them to provide free legal services to those most affected by the disaster.
New York State Bar Association President Kathryn Grant Madigan (Levene Gouldin & Thompson LLP) said, “New York Lawyers are some the most talented and generous legal minds in the country. When a disaster strikes, families are affected in a many different ways and lawyers can a significant role in helping victims recover from a disaster. Under this new proposal, in the event of a major disaster in New York, attorneys from other states will be able to lend their expertise to those most in need, at no charge. Obviously, we never want to see a disaster happen, but when one occurs, we want to ensure that volunteer legal assistance is available.”
Madigan continued, “In addition, if a disaster occurred
in another state, lawyers from that jurisdiction would be permitted to
shift their practice to New York on a temporary basis so that they could
continue to serve their clients.”
The rule was inspired by the hurricanes that devastated the Gulf Coast in 2005. The House of Delegates is the official policy making body of the New York State Bar Association.
The 72,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation. Founded in 1876, NYSBA programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.