Contact: Mark Mahoney
Director, Media Services
May 1, 2012
STATE BAR PRESIDENT VINCENT DOYLE MARKS LAW DAY
BY STRESSING IMPORTANCE OF ADEQUATELY FUNDED JUDICIARY
In the historic chambers of the state’s highest court, State Bar
Association President Vincent E. Doyle III today emphasized the
Judiciary’s prominence in the U.S. Constitution as he stressed the
vital importance of a fully funded and operational court system.
“Our Founding Fathers ordered the priorities that should be set
in order to ‘form a more perfect union’ in the
Preamble,” said Doyle of Buffalo (Connors & Vilardo).
“Listed first—before providing for a common defense, before
promoting the general welfare, before ensuring domestic
tranquility—first was listed, ‘establish
Doyle delivered his remarks at Law Day ceremonies at the state Court
of Appeals where Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman opened the session
attended by members of the Court of Appeals, Attorney General Eric
Schneiderman and other elected officials.
Doyle’s speech reflected a central theme of Law Day being
echoed in the legal community across the nation: “No Courts, No
Justice, No Freedom.”
Doyle noted the “essential role” the courts play in the
lives of Americans, and said that unless the Judiciary has adequate
resources, it cannot fulfill that role.
“In matters large and small, the Judiciary is the foundation of
our freedom. The courts defend our fundamental rights, protect public
safety and facilitate the peaceful resolution of disputes,” he
said. “When the courts suffer, the pain is felt throughout
Doyle cited a comprehensive report released by the State Bar
Association in January that examined the impact of 2011 budget cuts on
the state court.
Among the report’s findings: reduced courthouse hours were
limiting citizen access to courts and resulting in delays in resolving
cases; the jury selection process potentially was being compromised by
the prospect of lengthier trials; delays were resulting in criminal
suspects spending more time in jail before trial; staff reductions were
affecting the ability of the courts to efficiently and effectively
dispense with cases; and less assistance was available to litigants who
represent themselves in family court and other civil cases.
The report is available at www.nysba.org/CourtFundingReport.
Doyle said the State Bar Association understands that
“government resources are not unlimited,” but when setting
spending priorities, elected officials must recognize the fundamental
role of the Judiciary in establishing the rule of law.
The 77,000-member New York State Bar Association is the largest
voluntary state bar association in the country. It was founded in