December 1, 2011
Proposed 2012-13 Budget for the Judiciary
Statement by State Bar President Vincent E. Doyle III
“The court system has struggled during the past year. It has
incurred significant budget cuts, employee layoffs and reductions in
court operations. Despite the fiscal constraints, its doors must remain
open to everyone seeking its services.
“The court system has submitted a bare-bones request,
recognizing that, in hard economic times, the Judiciary, like the other
two branches of government, is called upon to strike a balance between
its needs and fiscal reality.
“While a case might be made for additional funding, we urge the
Legislature to approve this request in its entirety so that the
Judiciary can maintain its basic operations.
“We are pleased that the budget seeks $25 million for civil
legal services and $15 million to rescue the Interest on Lawyer Account
Fund, two programs that are vitally needed in the current economic
“Every day, New York courts resolve criminal cases, business
disputes, family matters and other pressing legal concerns. In doing so,
they perform an essential function to a free and stable society.
The New York State Bar Association has long advocated for adequate
funding for the Judiciary.
“The State Bar is analyzing how existing reductions affect
day-to-day court operations and New Yorkers’ access to justice. We
are surveying attorneys, court personnel and others to identify problems
and ways the court system might enhance its operations despite depleted
resources. The findings will be issued in a report, and discussed at
length at our Presidential Summit during our Annual Meeting in